MegaTrends: 16 Things to Watch for in the Decade Ahead

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Whenever I receive an email from the trend-watching organization called Shaping Tomorrow I get excited! Yesterday’s content was particularly insightful and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you in today’s post! I trust you will enjoy them as much as I did.

  1. More change will result from advances in technology in the next five years (by 2021) than has occurred over the past 50 years.
  2. Electricity generation will become a new small business.
  3. By 2030 the world is projected to have 41 mega-cities with more than 10 million inhabitants each (there are currently 30).
  4. By 2025, more than 70% of Africa’s population is expected to be living in cities.
  5. Facebook’s aggressive move into publishing will disrupt many marketing plans and jeopardize the traditional inbound marketing model (inbound marketing produces interesting content that draws customers to your business – like this blog!).
  6. Human-induced climate change will increase storm intensity by between 2 percent and 11 percent by the end of the century.
  7. By 2022, one in every 10 people will be wearing clothes connected to the internet.
  8. Drones will increasingly do many delivery, security and measurement jobs.
  9. Hydro, wind and geothermal energy could see Africa leapfrogging other continents by developing thousands of small-scale “virtual power stations” that distribute electricity via mini-grids and would not require transmission lines.
  10. Mankind will need to get much better at recycling agricultural inputs (like animal feeds and fertilizers) and growing food more efficiently.
  11. Three concepts of urbanization will emerge: megacities, mega regions and mega corridors. [Note: A megaregion is a large network of metropolitan regions that share several of the following: Environmental systems, topography, infrastructure and economic links. A megacorridor is transportation links between large cities, megacities or megaregions].
  12. Greater information flows will enable more people to become aware of opportunities for work both nearby and in distant places.
  13. Some of today’s large global managers will become mega-managers. A mega manager has the capacity to manage a much high level of complexity than traditional managers.
  14. The global production of battery EVs (electric vehicles) will grow from 273,000 in 2015 to 1.3 million in 2022.
  15. By 2050, the world’s urban population will have increased by some 72%.
  16. By 2020, 40% of existing jobs worldwide will be lost but many new ones will be created in the high-growth industries.

What megatrends would you add to this list?


Head ShotJeff Suderman is a futurist, professor, consultant and pracademic who works in the field of organizational development. He works with clients to improve leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational Future-Readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman. Email:


Michael Jackson (March 24, 2016). Megatrends report. Shaping Tomorrow.

Image Credit: Jarling-art

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