Global Futures Project

Megatrends in Global Interaction

We inhabit an increasingly interconnected world, and the impact of today’s policy decisions stretches out in multiple directions. Too often policymakers and advisers view issues in a vacuum, focusing on one issue at a time, and primarily on the near-term consequences of their decisions. Improving this system and broadening the field of vision of our policymakers will be a slow process, but efforts to push for such change are critical today and will be throughout the 21st century. We must – as policymakers, citizens and local or global communities – begin to consider how the major trends that shape our world are likely to develop and how they will influence one another.

Since its founding, the Bertelsmann Foundation has worked to define and develop solutions to future challenges. The Foundation is currently engaged in an innovative project to explore large-scale trends in society from 2020 to 2100. This project is called the Megatrend Meta-Analysis (MeMA). The MeMA will provide a detailed qualitative overview of the following six megatrends:

  • Global Governance
  • Demographic Change and Migration
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Security and Anti-terror Policy
  • Biodiversity
  • Economic Globalization

MeMA will provide insight into each individual megatrend and into the nature of the relationships between trends. Our primary focus is on the intersections and interdependencies of the six megatrends in the 21st century. This long-range view makes the MeMA unique among future-forecasting projects in that it comprehensively addresses these issues at multiple levels and in multiple ways.

The central goal of this project is to help policymakers, communities and citizens understand how some of today’s most significant issues are likely to interconnect and interact with one another over the next century, and to encourage those stakeholders to act on this information. To this end, we offer a rich, detailed online resource for research and discussion of future challenges by integrating the information contained in the Bertelsmann Foundation’s MeMA with trend-scouting reports conducted by the Rockefeller Foundation. The information will be segmented and tagged, and we will design infographics to make the reports accessible and appealing to the broadest possible audience.

For further information on the MeMA, click here.