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“Australia is at a pivotal point. There is a tidal wave of disruption on the way, and it’s critical we take steps now to get ahead of it."

— CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall

Megatrends are trajectories of change that typically unfold over years or decades and have the potential for substantial and transformative impact.

A once-in-a-decade report from CSIRO, Our Future World, identifies seven global megatrends that hold the key to the challenges and opportunities ahead.

CSIRO released its seminal global megatrends in 2012 as part of the Our Future World report. While these megatrends helped inform long-term strategic and policy directions for Australian organisations over the past decade, a lot has changed in that time too, including the recent events of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine crisis and the flow-on impacts to global trade.

These changes have had a substantial impact on businesses, communities and governments in Australia and exposed new risks and opportunities.

This report presents an update on CSIRO’s global megatrends out to 2042 with the view to guide long-term investment, strategic and policy directions across government, industry, the not-for-profit sector and the broader Australian community.

Adopting a similar approach to CSIRO’s previous global megatrends, this work explores how the previous megatrends have evolved over the previous decade as well as the new trends, impacts and drivers that have emerged over this period, providing a perspective around how these trends may unfold in the coming decades.

Read the full report

Global megatrends, the 2022 revision

A venn digram of the megatrends explored in the Our Future World 2022 report

1. Adapting to a changing climate The protection of livelihoods, infrastructure and people’s quality of life as the climate changes

2. Leaner, cleaner and greener The global push to reach net zero and beyond, protect biodiversity and use resources efficiently

3. The escalating health imperative The promotion of health in the face of rising demand, demographic ageing, emerging diseases and unhealthy lifestyles

4. Geopolitical shifts The increase in efforts to ensure global stability, trade and economic growth

5. Diving into digital The rapidly growing digital and data economy

6. Increasingly autonomous The rise of artificial intelligence and advanced autonomous systems to enhance productivity and outputs across all industries

7. Unlocking the human dimension The elevating importance of diversity, equity and transparency in business, policy and community decision making

Global megatrends, the 2022 revision

Our Future World video

00:00 - 00:05: CSIRO opener
00:06 - 00:11 : Dr Stefan Hajkowicz appears on the left hand side of the screen, while the cover of the Our Future World report appears on the right.
00:11 - 00:13: A woman wearing black rimmed glasses is looking at a computer screen that is reflected in the lenses.
00:13 - 00:14: An over-the-shoulder shot of a man scrolling through data points displayed on a computer screen.
00:14 - 00:16: Dr Claire Naughtin observing a CSIRO robot.
00:16 - 00:18: A bird’s eye view of shipping containers being transported.
00:18 - 00:20: Robotic arms perform actions in a computer lab.
00:20 - 00:27: Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, Principal Scientist of the Strategic Insights team, reappears on screen to discuss Megatrends.
00:27 - 00:30: A sped up shot of a busy overpass in a central business district at night.
00:30 - 0:33: An animation of stock prices rising and falling.
00:33 - 00:37: The camera returns to report authors Dr Stefan Hajkowicz and Dr Claire Naughtin sitting side-by-side in a CSIRO robotics lab.
00:33 - 00:39: A close up of Dr Claire Naughtin, Senior Research Consultant in the Strategic Insights team.
00:40 - 00:44: A bird’s eye view of a coastal body of water, focussing on the rip current.
00:45 - 00:46: Skyscrapers in a central business district.
00:47 - 00:48: People using escalators to move between building floors.
00:48 - 00:50: A professionally dressed man in an office meeting space stands in front of a group of people and appears to present an idea.
00:50 - 00:54: A sped up bird’s eye view shot of a city.
00:54 - 00:58: The inside of a manufacturing lab, with overlaid virtual reality illuminating equipment statistics.  
00:59 - 01:05: The camera returns to Dr Stefan Hajkowicz and Dr Claire Naughtin sitting side-by-side in a CSIRO robotics lab.
01:05 - 01:07: A close up of Dr Claire Naughtin.
01:08 - 01:10: A close up of a man wearing a hard hat and ear muffs using a tablet on a high rise building site.
01:11 - 01:13: A man uses an interactive big screen to monitor statistics.
01:13 - 01:15: A woman uses a tablet while standing on a well-lit city street.
01:15 - 01:20: The camera returns to a close up of Dr Claire Naughtin followed by a shot of her and Dr Stefan Hajkowicz sitting side-by-side.
0:1:20 - 01:22: A shot of factory towers emitting smoke.
01:22 - 1:29: A sped up shot of a cityscape.
01:29 - 01:39: The camera returns to Dr Stefan Hajkowicz and Dr Claire Naughtin sitting side-by-side in a CSIRO robotics lab.
01:39 -01:41: A close up of a person using a microscope.
01:41 -01:43: A shot of Dr Stefan Hajkowicz standing and talking behind a bench displaying robots.
01:43 - 01:46: A close up of flashing cables plugged into a machine.
01:46 - 01:49 - A machine removing liquid from text tubes.
01:49 - 02:19 - The camera returns to Dr Stefan Hajkowicz and Dr Claire Naughtin sitting side-by-side in a CSIRO robotics lab.
02:19 - 02:24 - CSIRO closer. 

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