Global Trends 2020

Macro forces

Macro forces

Macro forces are the world’s broadest currents of change, providing long-term context for changing attitudes, values and behaviours. We have identified six macro forces, evolving from those we defined in 2017.

Dynamic populations

The world’s demography is in flux, and dynamic populations will shape the narrative of the 2020s. Europe will continue to age, with reproduction below replacement levels in all European countries in 2016.1

The fragile planet

2020 is expected to be one of the hottest years on record.8 In 2019, Australia caught fire. Indonesia is planning to move its capital city from Jakarta, which is being swallowed by the sea.9 

Growing inequality and opportunity

Despite rising global prosperity over the last few decades, division between wealthy and poor is growing. Rising living, housing and education costs are also making middle-class expectations difficult to access

Geopolitical tensions

The west no longer leads the world. Over the last decade, America’s geopolitical clout has diminished while China has become a superpower. This fragmentation has transformed us from a unipolar

Technology tipping points

Technological evolution is a certainty. Cyber-physical systems, Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) have been changing the infrastructure of our world. In the 2020s, these phenomena,

Data world

Information is now almost as vital to our survival as food. Our need to share and, crucially, validate information is a driving force. Even so, information is a double-edged sword. Humans are skilled liars. It is perhaps one of