The “five mega trends” that are going to change the world.
September 15, 2016 1 Comment
I’ve spent the last few days at a conference in Birmingham on waste, energy, renewables and water. It’s been interesting it hear what market leaders in each of these areas are innovating and unsurprisingly there are lots of similarities between the UK and Australia
A conference highlight was author and UN gold medal futurologist Ray Hammond who framed the conference with what he called “five mega trends” that are going to change the world over coming decades. I thought these were worth sharing:
1st trend: asynchronous or uneven world population growth
The between 3 and 4 billion people yet to be born will use 2 to 3 times as much power as their parent will today. This means global demand for energy will double in coming decades but we need to provide this as low carbon, clean power.
2nd trend: Climate change
Ray Hammond said that only when rich places get hurt is real action is taken. But that is what is now happening with Florida and other places being hit by the impacts of climate change. The 21st century will see both growing impacts and growing global action on climate change.
3rd trend: ongoing energy crisis
Renewable energy used to be called alternative energy – now it is mainstream. The cost of solar panel has come down 80%in last five years while their efficiency has also doubled. Battery storage as reached the tipping point. Renewable energy has become a practical replacement and is at grid parity although fossil fuel suppliers will increasingly push cheap fossil fuels onto market potentially slowing the transition. Eg. Oil price also dropped over 50% over last five years.
4th trend: post globalisation
For the first time in the modern globalised world as much investment is coming from developing countries to developed as from developed to developing. Furthermore automated industries are making cheap labour in developing world increasingly irrelevant.
5th – accelerating exponential technology development
Deep learning and AI or artificial intelligence is coming. Digital tech is developing faster than many recognise and will change our cities and our lives. This digital disruption of the global economy is gathering speed.
All of above are leading to a tipping point which will see global change at a pace never before experienced.
Interesting and inspiring stuff but the main reason we were here is to better inform ourselves over how Fremantle and neighbouring councils deal with our waste going forward. That less sexy topic will be my next post.