Last week I wrote about the world’s booming population, a big undertow changing the way the world works. Here are five more super shifts redefining planet humanity, from Another five tomorrow.

1. Mobility in resources, people, products and services, capital, knowledge, beliefs, opinions

  • The ongoing revolution in global communications technologies offers organizations the ability to work 24/7 across time zones.
  • Companies in emerging economies are benefiting from faster knowledge flows to rapidly catch the leaders in many industries.
  • Mobile broadband penetration outstrips fixed broadband, billions of people are permanently “on,” able to work from whatever location they happen to find themselves in, blurring the boundaries between work and personal time.
  • Data has become a deluge and information can be disseminated globally in minutes with a “tweet”.
  • An ever-expanding array of digital entertainment and social media compete for our time.
  • With mobile expansion, time is being compressed.

2. Potential of food and water scarcity

  • In last 50 years, world population rose from 3 billion in 1960 to 6.9 billion in 2010 – and is projected to reach 9.1 billion by 2050. Population and affluence increases will significantly strain critical resources.
  • By 2030, the water gap could be as much as 40% between demand and supply. Geopolitical and social tensions may rise, along with negative economic impact.

3. Global race to be at the forefront of technology

  • BRIC and industrialized nations will race to become leaders in critical technologies – nanotechnology, biotechnology.
  • China is actively pursuing clean technologies.
  • India is building global nuclear power knowledge.

4. Beyond the BRIC Economic Power

  • In 2010, China’s economy surpassed that of Japan to become the world’s second largest
  • India is forecast to be the fifth largest consumer economy by 2025.
  • These countries will account for the majority of the emerging global middle class.
  • The playing field in BRIC is getting crowded both by multinationals and home-grown global challengers.
  • Companies need to start looking beyond BRIC to the next tier of attractive future markets.
  • Based on size, growth potential, natural resource positions and global influence over the next 30 to 40 years, these markets are likely to include: Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, Iran, South Korea, Egypt, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Argentina.
  • BRIC companies are already moving to compete in these regions – the question for firms from advanced economies is how to balance their focus between advanced economies, BRIC and beyond.

5. Democratization of Communication

  • People worldwide have seen their ability to make choices increase beyond imagination.
  • Communications advances have allowed people find their voices and exchange ideas, knowledge and experiences.
  • Communities of choice, including social networks and buying groups, are changing how we interact and behave.
  • Trust and dialogue are critical to building and maintaining relationships with and among these communities.
  • New tools to track the dynamics of influence, organizations that actively understand and manage influence have tremendous opportunities to broaden innovation, co-create with consumers and tap into the value of networks.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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