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Global Megatrends
In 2009 a team of scientists, economists and industry analysts took time out from their day jobs to tell us about the future. The result was a set of global megatrends.



[Music plays and text appears on screen: Our Future World]

[New text appears: One of the best ways to anticipate change in your sector is to spend time outside of it – Michael Cameron, GPT Group Chief]

[New text appears: In 2009 we asked a team of scientists, economists and industry analysts to take some time out of their day jobs to tell us about the future. The result was a set of global megatrends]

[New text appears: A megatrend is a pattern in social, economic and environmental activity that will change the way we live.]

[New text appears: In 2012 we updated the report and we’ve identified six megatrends.]

[New text appears: So, what does the future hold for us all?]

[Image changes to show four hands reaching in from the four sides of the screen to a green dot and text is displayed on the right hand side: More from less – The earth has limited supplies of natural mineral, energy, water and food resources that are essential for human survival and maintaining lifestyles. While some resources are being depleted, population and economic growth are placing upward pressure on demand. We need to discover new ways of ensuring quality of life for current and future generations within the confines of the natural world’s limited resources.]

[Image changes to show an hourglass with a plant in the top half with dirt draining into the bottom. Text is displayed on the right hand side: Going, going… gone? – Many of the world’s natural habitats, plant and animal species are in decline or at risk of extinction. The actions taken by humans in the coming decades will set the scene for global biodiversity over coming millennia. However, there is a positive story and a potentially bright future. While the state of biodiversity is in decline and the pressure is rising so too is the human response.]

[Image of a sparse forest appears and a road starts appearing which then turns into a highway. Text is displayed on the right hand side: The silk highway – The coming decades will see the world economy shift from west to east and north to south. Rapid income growth in Asia and to a lesser extent, South America and Africa will see billions of people transition out of poverty and into the middle income classes. This economic shift will build new export markets, trade relations, business models and cultural ties for Australia.]

[Image appears of people standing on pillars representing the transition from a baby to an elderly person. Text is displayed on the right hand side: Forever young – Elderly citizens provide a wealth of skills, knowledge, wisdom and mentorship that is currently under-utilised. Concurrently, there are some challenges with an ageing population and associated demographic trends. Two of these challenges include Australia’s widening retirement savings gap and rapidly escalating healthcare expenditure.]

[Image of a circle appears with skyscraper buildings covering the circumference of the circle. Text is displayed on the right hand side: Virtually here – Increased connectivity means we are all immersed in the virtual world much more than ever before. We are moving online to connect, to deliver and access services, to obtain information and to perform transactions. Online retail and teleworking will have impacts on labour markets, retail models, city design and transportation systems.]

[Image of a person with their head in a cloud. Text is displayed on the right hand side: Great expectations – This megatrend explores the rising demand for experiences over products and the rising importance of social relationships. People will expect personalised services that meet their unique needs and wants while being delivered en masse. Conversely, for billions of impoverished people in the world the expectations are still for the basic necessities of life such as water, food, clothing, shelter and personal security.]

[New text appears: These megatrends present some enormous challenges, as well as great opportunities.]

[CSIRO log appears with text: Find out more at]