Furthermore, the world's energy consumption need to come increasingly from renewable sources as emissions from fossil fuels need to be reduced significantly. The production of electrical vehicles must be increased, investments in public transport has to grow, and the intensity of flying needs to be reduced. Climate change will also affect people's health, as heat waves will cause heat strokes, dehydration, and even fatalities, and rapid floods and storms will continue to take lives and homes.
Growing population and increasing urbanizationSince the mid-1980s, the global population has grown from five billion people to nearly eight billion as of 2022, and it is expected to continue to grow over the coming decades. One reason behind the growing world population is that people in a number of countries live to become older and older. For instance, in 2050, South Korea is expected to have the highest median population age worldwide at 56.5 years. Simultaneously, fertility rates are decreasing in several countries, meaning that the working-age population is becoming smaller compared to the number of pensioners, a development that will have major impacts on economies and employment around the world. In contrast to this, developing regions are experiencing a demographic explosion, especially in African countries. Niger is projected to be the country with the lowest median age by 2050 with only 19 years, and Africa is the continent forecasted to see the highest population increase until 2100.
Another megatrend correlating with the population increase is the growing urbanization. In 2015, more than half of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 2050, it is expected that even more people will migrate from rural areas to cities. Much of the growth in urban population will likely take place in Asia, and a number of the most populated cities worldwide are found on the continent.
Globalization and shifting economic trendsAnother important megatrend worldwide is the shift of global economic growth. Dominance of G7 economies (the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Italy and Canada) is decreasing, and concentration of business activity is transitioning to E7 countries (China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey), with especially China seeing a massive economic growth since the 1980s and having become a major global player as a result. Today, a wide range of products are produced in China, the country has been investing heavily in other countries, especially in Africa, and there are increasing tensions in the South China Sea and about Taiwan.
There are also a range of other megatrends that shape the world and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Technology use will expand further, robots may replace human labor to improve efficiency, and there have already been tests with self-driving vehicles. Moreover, new technologies change the way we work, and the way we think about careers is constantly developing; before, it was more usual to stay in one job through the whole working life, whereas people are changing jobs more frequently today, especially the younger generations.