7 global megatrends that will shape how investors should invest

A once-in-a-decade report from Australia’s national science agency has identified seven global megatrends that hold the key to the challenges and opportunities ahead – both for the world and, in turn, for investors.

A once-in-a-decade report from Australia’s national science agency has identified seven global megatrends that hold the key to the challenges and opportunities ahead – both for the world and, in turn, for investors.

With an outlook to 2042, CSIRO’s newly released Our Future World 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.

“Australia is at a pivotal point. There is a tidal wave of disruption on the way, and it’s critical we take steps now to get ahead of it,” CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said.

According to the Federal Government’s Australia to 2050: Future challenges report, threats to our way of life relate to health, the economy and the “catastrophic risks” presented by climate change, of which Australia is shaping up to be one of the countries hit hardest and fastest.

But, noted Dr Marshall, these challenges also tell us “where the most powerful innovation can be found, when we see a different future and leverage science to create it”.

With that in mind, the seven global megatrends identified by CSIRO are:

  1. Adapting to climate change: Expect to be living in a more volatile climate, with unprecedented weather events. Natural disasters are expected to cost the Australian economy almost three times more in 2050 than in 2017.
  2. Leaner, cleaner and greener: An increased focus on solutions to resource constraints through synthetic biology, alternative proteins and the net-zero energy transition. By 2025, renewables are expected to surpass coal as the primary energy source.
  3. The escalating health imperative: The post-pandemic world has exacerbated health challenges posed by an ageing population and growing burden of chronic disease. There is a burning platform to respond to health risks and improve health outcomes.
  4. Geopolitical shifts: An uncertain future, with disrupted patterns of global trade, geopolitical tensions and growing investment in defence. While the global economy shrunk by 3.2% in 2020, global military spend reached an all-time high of $2.9 trillion.
  5. Diving into digital: The pandemic fuelled a boom in digitisation. About 40% of Australians now work remotely on a regular basis and the future demand for digital workers is expected to increase by 79% from 2020 to 2025.
  6. Increasingly autonomous: An explosion in artificial intelligence discoveries and applications across all industry sectors over the past few years. The number of peer-reviewed AI publications increased nearly 12 times from 2000 to 2019.
  7. Unlocking the human dimension: While Australia saw a record level increase in public trust in institutions during the pandemic, this ‘trust bubble’ has since burst. Societal trust in business dropped by 7.9% and trust in government declined by 14.8% from 2020-21. 

With great challenge comes great innovation – and, of course, investment opportunities. If this interests you as an investor, click here to be kept in the loop on Reach Markets’ upcoming deal flow.



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