Towards 2050: Megatrends In Industry, Politics And The Global Economy, 2018 Edition

 

Since the first edition of this Special Report was published in March 2016, we have witnessed the rising tide of populism shift the rhetoric across many of world’s biggest economies in a decidedly more protectionist and nationalist direction. This tide has challenged established macroeconomic and political megatrends, most notably the notion that globalisation will continue to spread and deepen, carrying with it innovation and interconnectedness.

While we anticipated the risks of de-globalisation in our earlier report, its realisation has prompted us to revisit some of our 2016 views and assumptions. Although the forces of populism and nationalism, and the factors driving them, will persist for many more years, they could soon be superseded by new dynamics unleashed by ever more rapid technological change, a topic we cover in the 2018 edition of the report.

We expect the ‘world order’ to become considerably more disorderly between now and 2050. The US-led international system is giving way to a multi-polar world; dozens of countries will face growing tensions between central and provincial or local authorities; new technologies will dramatically transform the workplace, society, and warfare; climate change and resource scarcity will make migration patterns more volatile; eventually, new ideologies will emerge in response to these challenges.

The 2018 edition of Towards 2050: Megatrends in Industry, Politics and the Global Economy also includes the results from the Industry Megatrends to 2050 Survey, bringing together the views of 250 industry leaders and senior decision-makers on the forces that will have the highest impact across industries over the next 30 years.

Towards 2050: Megatrends In Industry, Politics And The Global Economy, 2018 Edition
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Globalisation, Demographic Shifts, Urbanisation, Climate Change, and Internet Proliferation are the macroeconomic megatrends that will shape the 21st century. They are global, seemingly irreversible forces that have already made an incredible mark on economies and societies, and will continue to do so for the next few decades.

But how will these megatrends manifest themselves on an industry level? How will they affect and shape the future of sectors such as pharmaceuticals, energy, automotives, and agribusiness over the coming three decades? In our view, these megatrends will trigger developments that will have game-changing implications beyond the realm of each industry itself.

In this special report, we look at some of BMI Research’s core industries and outline at a more micro level how forces like demographic shifts, urbanisation, and climate change are giving birth to new, industry-specific megatrends which will in turn have a tangible impact on business, society, and our daily lives.

We have brought together BMI Research’s extensive expertise on these industries and combined it with our macroeconomic and political outlooks from our Country Risk team to present a more holistic vision of the changes that the world will see in the remainder of the first half of the 21st century.

Crucially, this enables us to identify implications and opportunities at an industry-specific level, making the global megatrends more applicable to different sectors.

In the series of analysis in this special report, we examine among other things:

  • How new generations of consumers are becoming a lot more conscious of their individuality and conscientious in their choices, which will drive everything from energy efficiency initiatives to personalised healthcare and a new generation of genetically modified micro-food.
  • Population expansion and urbanisation will mean that the drivers behind smart cities and highly intuitive transportation systems will only get stronger and more urgent, and shape how infrastructure is conceived and designed.
  • Internet and connectivity proliferation will be at the very heart of every industry we have included in this analysis, to the point where we see ‘traditional’ telecoms as a sector morphing into a service with no discernible boundaries; one that is able to permeate and shape the development of the vast majority of industries present and yet-to-be created. The ‘Internet of Things’ will become a dominant force across industries, even though the parameters of its economic viability are still emerging and evolution could be delayed or derailed by regulatory, cyber security and policy backlash.
  • Climate change will impact regulations and public perceptions of everything from extractive industries to driving the future patterns of new food production. Environmental priorities are pushing for an overhaul of the automotives and natural resources sectors, as corporations seek to transform into entities ready, or at least able, to operate in the low-carbon economy.