Welcome to our latest 2017 Global Trends report. While we live in a world of uncertainty, some trends ARE certain – we have covered these in our Megatrends section. Beyond known technology, demographic and environmental changes, we have found eight global master trends looking across our 18,000 interviews in 23 major countries.
In the West, we see the self-explanatory Crisis of the Elites and Generation Strains – the growing gulf between the young and older generations in terms of opportunity.
Everywhere we can see the Battle for Attention. With only so many hours in a day, consumers face being bombarded across more and more channels and are reacting by blocking and switching off. The Search for Simplicity and Control is in part a reaction to feeling overwhelmed, but is a global phenomenon – how business and public services provide this seems as big a challenge as ever. Another area in which we want to take control is in regard to our own health – a theme we explore in A Healthier World.
A decline in growth in living standards in the West, and pessimism about the future are now triggering two related trends: Uncertainty is the New Normal and the Rise and Rise of Tradition.
Much of this depends on where you are sitting as you read this. The Optimism Divide shows how living in Shanghai, Mumbai or Jakarta will give you a completely different perspective than if you are reading this in London, Chicago or Rome. This is an important corrective for international businesses – while the world is more connected than ever, it is not the same everywhere, and consumers remain dramatically different in their outlook.
The underlying sense is of increasing fragmentation across many spheres of life. Differences are growing, complexity increasing, positions embedding.
What this latest in-depth global study should remind us is that despite increasing longevity, rising incomes in emerging markets, more connectivity, computing power and storage than we could ever have imagined, the human condition is one of anxiety and striving for more – at least if you read the media. Understanding the manifestations of that seems ever more vital for politicians and business.
In this report, we outline an overall structure for organisations to use to frame their analysis about key trends in consumer and citizen opinion globally. You can find the full set of charts, data and more elsewhere on the site.
Do let us know what you think.