Global Climate Change
There is consensus within the scientific community that human activities initiated a global climate change, there is also evidence that as warming of the planet accelerates, some tipping points such as permafrost thawing will trigger further warming. The impacts of risks associated with these trends threaten to be more severe than currently assumed, especially as it seems unlikely that global warming will be kept to the Paris target of “well below 2°C” this century. Global climate change comprises global warming, extreme weather events, sea level rise, climate-induced poverty and migration among other risks.
Deterioration of the environment
Environmental degradation is one of the major challenges currently facing mankind. Mass species extinction, ocean acidification, declining land availability and pressures on the global water supply require urgent action. This trend encompasses environmental pollution, biodiversity loss, resource depletion and the alternative energy landscape.
Evolving Health Trends
Numerous breakthroughs in science and technology will change the landscape of medicine, bringing new threats but also possibilities of better treatments. Health trends include antimicrobial resistance, the increased frequency of chronic diseases, obesity, medication overuse and genetic testing.
The planet’s population is undergoing major demographic shifts, which may trigger political, economic, social, cultural and environmental upheavals, particularly in Asia and Africa. This trend encompasses not only population growth, but also the increase in the ageing population, rapid urbanization with the development of mega cities and mass migration.
Shifting Social & Geopolitical Landscapes
The increasing wealth gap within societies, the weakening of international governance and cooperation, and the increase of regulatory and economic uncertainty, are significant trends with the potential to generate social and geopolitical instabilities. Terrorism remains a major threat.
Innovative technologies could disrupt industrial development, production and entire business value chains. The 4th industrial revolution includes breakthroughs in automation, autonomous mobility, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, robotics, new materials, energy use, “Big Data”, and communication.
Hyperconnectivity stems from the rise in the cyber dependency of people, things and organisations. Hyperconnectivity incorporates many topics such as the rise of social media, wearables, Internet of Things (IoT) and other health-monitoring devices. Hyperconnectivity offers many opportunities but may represent also an increased vulnerability of individuals, governments and organisations to potential increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks perpetuated by criminal organisations or rogue states.
New Business & Finance Models
The world of finance is undergoing radical changes. Following the banking sector, the insurance industry is now at the forefront of this revolution. For example, blockchain technology could lead to fundamental shifts in business models, the creation of new payment solutions and enhanced transaction security.