Ipsos reveals 10 global megatrends to watch

Research company Ipsos has revealed a list of 10 megatrends that it believes will shape the world’s future.

Ipsos Australia and New Zealand CEO Hamish Munro revealed the trends last night to 150 guests at the company’s event, ‘Rewind, Pause, Fast Forward – what does the future hold?’, at Sydney’s Pier One.

“Behavioural science helps us decode the complexities of human behaviour, while big data enables us to layer multiple data sets to paint a more dynamic and comprehensive picture of consumers, and finally, technology gives us the tools to be able to do all of these things faster and more deeply and to get closer to consumers in real time,” Munro said.

“We live in a different world now defined not only by constant change but by true paradigm shifts – consumers have become producers, innovation is the default and data has not only become ‘big’ – it’s become truly dynamic and alive.

“But let’s not forget that ‘people’ are still at the heart of this revolution and the need for people to understand people and behaviour hasn’t changed. In fact, in an increasingly complex consumer landscape, the need to understand behaviour has become even more critical.”

Ipsos’ 10 megatrends

1. Dynamic populations

For example, two thirds of the global middle class will live in Asia by 2030. This presents significant opportunities for Australian businesses and understanding these customers will be crucial.

2. Growing opportunity and growing inequality

A class divide is increasing in Australia – the wealthy are increasing their wealth, while the poor are becoming poorer. Housing affordability in particular is leading to this growing inequality.

3. Megacities: urban superpowers or human disasters

Population growth in large cities is creating pressure on infrastructure, housing and jobs, as well as social challenges. Increasing travel times for workers threaten to harm productivity.

4. Increasing connectedness and decreasing privacy

People are spending more time online and making web-based transactions. But many people worry about government and business’ ability to track an individual’s’ digital footprint, and how long that footprint will live online.

5. Healthier and sicker

Increasing life expectancy is creating new industries across Australia. While many focus on maintaining healthier lifestyles, obesity continues to grow. Environmental challenges also fit into this trend as the planet gets ‘sicker’.

6. Rise of individual choice and decline of the mass market

The proliferation of international brands opening in Australia gives consumers greater choice and lower prices but presents challenges for Australian incumbents.

7. Rise of the individual and decline of social cohesion

‘Me-culture’ is rising and concern for the collective ‘us’ is declining. The concept of the ‘average family’ is continuing to be reinvented – single parenting, living alone and refraining from getting married are common.

8. Cultural convergence and increasing extremism

While Australian cities are multicultural and provide access to brands/services/foods from all over the world, social tension around immigration and the threat of home-grown extremism are increasing.

9. Always on and off the grid

Technology is allowing people to be ‘always on’ connected to the world through the internet. Many people seeking an improved work-life balance are going ‘off the grid’ for relief. Flexible working environments are expected to grow quickly over the next 10 years, and social conscience is increasingly important for companies.

10. Public opinion as a revolutionary force

Social media is facilitating mass activism or ‘clicktivism’. Protests are on the rise as the public demands to express a point of view to impact decisions.


Michelle Herbison
BY Michelle Herbison ON 6 November 2015
Assistant editor, Marketing Magazine.