Eight global economic megatrends every investor should know about
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Social, environmental and economic changes have made the old way of doing business redundant, according to a new report.
Commonwealth Bank and Business Insider co-authored the Megatrends Report, which outlines eight global megatrends from government researcher CSIRO that are impacting the economy and the ways companies do business.
“Understanding these changes and the convergence of global forces that change the shape of the way people, business, society and politics operate as we move further into the 21st century is going to be critical to business survival in the years and decades ahead,” the report states.
Megatrends are “gradual yet powerful trajectories of change that will at some point express themselves with explosive force and throw companies, individuals and societies into freefall”, says Stefan Hajkowicz from the CSIRO.
So they’re pretty helpful if you’re about to make a years-long investment. Here they are explained:
1. Resource scarcity
Hajkowicz believes that growing scarcity of resources will force us to do more with less. “It will change the way we live and change the way markets operate and the ways societies govern themselves.”
2. Environmental change
This isn’t just about climate change — though that is having a massive impact across an array of industries — but includes issues like increasing antibiotic resistance and urban sprawl.
3. The Silk Highway
This one refers to the importance of the Asia Pacific, as China’s Belt and Road initiative gets further underway, and the emergence of China and Asia as global economic powerhouses.
4. Global movement
The modern world is a fast moving place. From urban density to the interconnectedness of the global economy for business and leisure travel, everyone is on the move. It’s upending data mobility and collaboration, and traditional transportation and freight.
5. Ageing population
Birth rates are falling, which is leading to a demographic shift in many countries towards older populations. It is a key fear for Japan and a reason they’re so keen to embrace regenerative medicine.
6. Digital immersion
There is a shift underway from mere digitisation to the digital world being the only one we know. “Business leaders won’t need a digital strategy because there won’t be any other type of strategy,” Hajkowicz says.
7. Artificial intelligence
This also includes the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, designed to increase efficiency, and a key plank of business that companies must not leave behind.
8. Human touch
But as digital immersion continues, Hajkowicz predicts we will see a swing back towards “real experiences”, saying the need for human connection and the need for businesses to remember consumers’ humanity is going nowhere.