The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has released a report identifying the seven global ‘megatrends’ influencing both future challenges and opportunities, including the transition to net-zero energy.

Megatrends are trajectories of change that typically unfold over years or decades and have the potential for substantial and transformative impact.

With an outlook to 2042, Our Future World revisits CSIRO’s ground-breaking 2012 report of the same name.

The report explores the geopolitical, economic, social, technological and environmental forces unfolding around the world, predicting their likely impact on Australia’s people, businesses and governments.

CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall, said megatrends help us to understand the challenges and massive opportunities that will shape our future.

“Australia has the highest wind and solar capacity of any developed nation and a wealth of critical energy minerals – we can be a leader in feeding the world’s hunger for clean energy,” Dr Marshall said.

“We have the opportunity now to use science to invent the kind of world we want to live in – but we have to act, and we have to do it together.”

The seven trends identified within the report include:

  • Adapting to climate change as natural disasters and unprecedented weather events escalate
    An increasing focus on solutions to resource constraints through leaner, cleaner and greener means as part of the net-zero transition
  • Escalating health challenges in the post-pandemic world posed by an aging population and the growing burden of chronic disease
  • Geopolitical tensions, disrupted patterns of global trade and growing spending on defence and cyber security
  • Diving into digital as teleworking, telehealth, online shopping and digital currencies become mainstream
  • Increasing use of artificial intelligence across all industry sectors
  • Unlocking the human dimension as consumers push for decision-makers to consider trust, fairness and environmental and social good
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