20 Global Trends that can Have an Impact on Your Business

20 global trends that will shape the world

Whether you run a small, midsize or large company, some of the trends will have an impact on how you do business. The question is – how ready is your business?

“We are actually within the next 5 years that I would call the great transformation,” says Daniel Burrus, a futurist, in an interview with Dr. Maira Gunn of IT Conversations.

This is not something that you should be afraid of. Instead it should challenge you! It’s about how you manage risks, especially risks that you have no control of. And see how these challenges can actually help redefine your business via innovation.

So here we go.

1. Population growth

The world’s population is pushing 7 billion (6.914 billion) by end of 2011. Asia accounts for more than 60% of the world’s population with more than 4 billion people. China and India make up about 37% of the world’s population. The U.S. is third most populous countries in the world with 308,745,538 people, according to Census 2010.

2. Technology

Four things that can impact your business: internet, mobile technologies, smart phones, and social appsonomics.

3. The world is increasingly urban

The world’s is 50.5% urban. In the U.S. 22 of the 30 fastest growing metropolitan areas are located in the fifteen most populous states, according to City Mayors. Twenty-four out of 27 megacities in the world (cities with more than 10M people) by end of 2011, are cities located outside the U.S.

4. Water scarcity

Closest to home. One-third of all counties in the lower 48 – will face higher risks of water shortages, according to NRDC study. A new report by U.S. government finds that major rivers such as Rio Grande and Colorado could see reductions in flow up to 20 percent. Water is among top 5 environmental issues that are important to business.

5. The use of social media in the world

Facebook has a global audience more than 500 million users, which is bigger than some “real” countries in the world. In 2010, Twitter added 100 million new users. According to Pew, 73% of adult profile users use Facebook, 48% have profile on MySpace and 14% use LinkedIn.

6. Supply chain

The supply chain is so interconnected globally, if something happened in one place it can affect productions in other places. Take for example in the case of Japan’s impact for the world’s major industries after tsunami and earthquake. Toyota have to adjust their May production in North America, because of parts availability after the natural disaster.

7. Climate legislations

A recent study by the Graham Institute of Climate Change found a growing commitment for climate legislations in 16 major countries.

8. Reverse innovation

Reverse innovation is innovation adopted from emerging markets, first. Companies are developing products in third world countries before they bring them to the U.S. Emerging markets been the catalyst of growth that you see in the telecom industries. The concept of prepaid was unheard of before. Now Virgin, Boost, Cricket, AT&T are in the business of offering – prepaid phone services.

9. Demographics change

In the world, the average age: 28. Han Chinese ethic group represents about 19% of the global population. In the U.S., Hispanics is the fastest growing population. The recent 2010 Census counted 50.5 million Hispanics making up 16.3% of the population, which is up from 35.3 million in 2000. This segment of the population grew over 43% in the decade.

10. The rise of value-concious shoppers

This is the silver lining of global recession. 91% of respondents from 53 countries surveyed by Nielsen (registration req.), said that they’d continue to buy private label products. More than half of Americans (55%) said that purchased more private label brands during recession and 94% said that they’d continue buy private labels even after economic improves.

11. The business of helping the poor

In economic term, this is often referred to as base-of-the-pyramid. They are the largest and the poorest in world’s socio-economic group. In scale, 4 billion people in the world living on $1 per day! C.K. Prahalad says, that “corporate sustainability and inclusive growth of poor people in the global market will become inextricably linked.” Already there’s movement in saving the poor and making profit at the same time.

12. People power

Egypt. The rise of social consumers, social commerce. It’s more likely that people would listen to their friends’ opinion than brands.

14. Government regulations

15. Rising energy prices

16. Biodiversity, the pricing of nature

Biodiversity matters more to business execs than climate change, according to a survey by McKinsey. 59% of respondents viewed biodiversity as more of an opportunity than a risk for their companies. The United Nations is pushing to put price on nature.

17. Crowdsourcing

Wisdom of the crowd. You can crowdsource just about anything. Netflix $1M prize for creating better algorithm for recommending films. Kiva, is crowdsourcing microloans. Procter and Gamble, Nike, Starbucks, Dell, Best Buy, Threadless – these cos. have created digital platforms for their customers to help them with creating new products, etc.

18. Demand for organic food, products

 According to Global Organic Market Access, the global organic food and drink sales is projected to reach $60 billion. The North American market for organic food and drink continues to show healthy grow. It has overtaken European market this year to become the largest.

19. Social, open-source learning 

Khan Academy. Open Course Ware. Open Learning Initiatives.

20. Sharing

Sharing knowledge, you see this already happening via social networking, social publishing sites. Sharing things, yes. There’s a peer-to-peer car sharing solutions. ZipCar. Bikesharing.

There’s a lot more trends that we can think of.

What else do you see happening around you that can have profound impact on how you do business?


Author: Dewita

Co-founder Ecotwist Labs.

3 thoughts on “20 Global Trends that can Have an Impact on Your Business”

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