There are 8 Mega-trends

1. More from less (increasing demand of limited natural resources)

2. Going, going..... Gone? (harder to improve sustainability, ie protect biodiversity, habitats, environment, global climate, etc)

3. The Silk Highway (overland and maritime; changing economic focus to the developing world, eg Asia)

4. Forever young (uneven wealth/income distribution plus aging population with impact on changed retirement patterns, chronic illness and rising health-care expenditure).

War, crime, disaster, poverty, etc still exist today. They are more likely to be the exception than the rule

"... Despite what we hear on the news and from many authorities, the great story of the year is that we are witnessing the greatest improvement in global living standards ever to take place. Poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, child labour and infant mortality are all falling faster than at any other time in human history. Life expectancy at birth has increased more than twice as much in the last century as it did in the previous 200,000 years. The risk that any individual will be exposed to war, dying in a natural disaster, will be subject to dictatorships has been smaller than in any other epoch. A child born today is more likely to reach retirement age than his forbears were to live to their 5th birthday..."

Johan Norberg 2016

"...in the past 25 years, the number of democratic countries in the world has almost doubled......people living in extreme poverty in the world has plunged from almost 40% to less than 10%..."

Barack Obama as quoted by Der Spiegel 2016

"...in the past century the average lifespan has doubled, while the average income has tripled. Food is 10 times cheaper, electricity is 20 times cheaper, transport is 100 times cheaper and communication is 1000 times cheaper..."

Peter Diamandis as quoted by Scott Pape 2018

This progress started with the intellectual enlightenment of the 17th and 18th century where people adopt a more scientific/objective approach rather than being content with authorities, traditions and superstitions. Its political equivalent was classical liberalism which delivered people from the shackles of heredity, authoritarianism and serfdom. Industrially, the Industrial Revolution of the 19th-century further helped to conquer poverty and hungry. Then in the late 20th-century with globalisation, Internet, digitalisation, etc the progress continued at a faster pace and larger scale.

"...humans are not always rational or benevolent, but in general they want to improve their lives and the lives of their families, and with a tolerable degree of freedom they'll work hard to make this happen. Step-by-step, this adds to humanity's store of knowledge and wealth...... more people are allowed to experiment with different perspectives and solutions to problems than before. So we constantly accumulate more scientific and other knowledge..."

Johna Norberg 2016

5. Virtually here (digital/Internet/social media, etc technology is reshaping everything we do, ie greater connectivity)

6. Great expectations (changing consumer expectations for products/services, experiences and social interaction)

7. An imperative to innovate (accelerating technological change creating new markets and disrupting existing ones)

8. Safety (personal security, eg privacy through to global safety, eg terrorism)

NB It needs to be noted that it is claimed that the basis for recent prosperity is
"...Post War experience has indeed repeatedly vindicated the view that the single most powerful driver of prosperity is profit-seeking businesses operating with a law-governed and competitive market economy, overseen by an honest judiciary..."
Martin Wolf 2019

 

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