Megatrends that will shape the next 20 years

Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, has released a major report identifying 7 global megatrends that hold the key to the challenges and opportunities ahead.  

With an outlook to 2042, Our Future World revisits CSIRO’s ground-breaking 2012 report of the same name. The report explores the geopolitical, economic, social, technological and environmental forces unfolding around the world, predicting their likely impact on Australia’s people, businesses and governments.   

The 7 global megatrends are:

  • adapting to climate change as natural disasters and unprecedented weather events escalate
  • an increasing focus on solutions to resource constraints through leaner, cleaner and greener means as part of the net-zero transition
  • escalating health challenges in the post-pandemic world posed by an ageing population and the growing burden of chronic disease
  • geopolitical tensions, disrupted patterns of global trade and growing spending on defence and cyber security
  • diving into digital as teleworking, telehealth, online shopping and digital currencies become mainstream
  • increasing use of artificial intelligence across all industry sectors
  • unlocking the human dimension as consumers push for decision-makers to consider trust, fairness and environmental and social good.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said megatrends help us to understand the challenges and massive opportunities that will shape our future.

‘Australia has the highest wind and solar capacity of any developed nation and a wealth of critical energy minerals – we can be a leader in feeding the world’s hunger for clean energy,' Dr Marshall said.

‘We have the opportunity now to use science to invent the kind of world we want to live in – but we have to act, and we have to do it together.’ 

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Our Future World CSIRO

CSIRO announcement