6 May 2015

Megatrends that could throw the world into freefall

What will the future look like? How will technology development change the way we live, work and play? How should we respond to change? These are some of the questions that we need to answer if we’re to make wise choices and make a better world.

In a new book from CSIRO Publishing, Global Megatrends: Seven Patterns of Change Shaping Our Future, author Stefan Hajkowicz identifies seven patterns to tell a story about how the world will change over the next 20 years.

“Megatrends are gradual yet powerful trajectories of change that have the potential to throw companies, individuals and societies into ‘freefall’,” Dr Hajkowicz said.

“Moments of freefall will happen to you, your company, your society and the world. That’s assured. It’s not whether change will happen that matters, but when and how you respond.”

“The financial collapse of stock markets, terrorist strikes, technology disruptors, democratic elections in eastern bloc countries and the fall of the Berlin Wall were relatively sudden events – when viewed over history – but they did not occur in isolation.”

“The change heralded by megatrends lies beyond our direct control but not beyond our influence. By getting a picture of how the world is changing and what these megatrends are, we can alter our destiny.”

The seven patterns outlined in the book are:

  • More from less – Increasing demand for limited natural resources and a scarcity of these resources
  • Going, going... gone? –A window of opportunity to protect biodiversity, habitats and the global climate
  • The Silk Highway – Rapid economic growth and urbanisation in Asia and the developing world
  • Forever young – An ageing population, changed retirement patterns, chronic illness and rising healthcare expenditure
  • Virtually here – Digital technology reshaping retail and office precincts, city design and function and labour markets
  • Great expectations – Changing consumer expectations for services, experiences and social interaction, and
  • An imperative to innovate – Technological advancement is accelerating and it is creating new markets and extinguishing existing ones.

The book captures the thinking of many dedicated scientists and researchers who have devoted their careers to exploring and understanding change, and draws on hundreds of reports and peer-reviewed references.

It is an easy-to-read tool that can be used by businesses, governments, researchers and students to anticipate and plan for the future.

“The seven megatrends are all about the signals that lead-up to a moment of freefall. They are taking the world into new territory, creating new risks and new opportunities.”

Global Megatrends: Seven Patterns of Change Shaping Our Future, by Stefan Hajkowicz, now available in book shops and online. $35.00, paperback, 216pp, ISBN: 9781486301409.

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Background information

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz is an expert in foresight, which uses economics, geography and decision theory to plan for an uncertain future. He is principal scientist at CSIRO, Australia’s national agency, in Brisbane and is in demand worldwide as a speaker, strategist and consultant.

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NEWS RELEASE CONTACT

  • Ms Gabby Russell

    Communication Advisor · Communications

    • Phone:
      • +61 2 9490 5562

    Email: Gabby.Russell@csiro.au

  • Dr Stefan Hajkowicz

    Senior Principal Scientist - Strategy And Foresight · Data61

    • Phone:
      • +61 7 3833 5540

    Email: Stefan.Hajkowicz@csiro.au

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