Reimagining the future: The megatrends shaping our world

A look at the geopolitical, socioeconomic, educational, environmental and technological megatrends that are shaping our future and changing the world and how it is governed.

Reimagining the future: The megatrends shaping our world

Abstract

A look at the geopolitical, socioeconomic, educational, environmental and technological megatrends that are shaping our future and changing the world and how it is governed.

 

Rationale

Megatrends are dynamic forces of change that affect one or more aspects of our lives. Megatrends can force change over time and/or produce conditions for sudden major disruptions, creating both challenges and opportunities. There are numerous studies on megatrends across different fields from geopolitical, to environmental. Global warming for example has received worldwide attention, most recently culminating in the COP-21 accords. UN 2030 global sustainability goals have been established to address major challenges such as food scarcity, aging population and hyper-urbanization. At the same time, we are witnessing exponential advances in science and technology, including cognitive computing, humanoid robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, energy harvesting, DNA synthesis and genetic engineering for improved healthcare.

The plenary panel provides a peak into the future by looking at the interdependencies, aggregate effect and likely implications of the major megatrends. What are possible scenarios for how all these megatrends will converge into a vision for the future, both medium term (next 15-20 years) and long term (50+ years)? Most importantly, what do parliaments need to do today to build the foundation for legislation and government oversight to plan for this future so as to maximize the opportunities, while protecting their constituents from possible harm?