Five megatrends dominate The Project Economy — and all are contributing to greater societal disruption. But a new ecosystem of change-makers is finding business opportunities with positive social impact. PMI has identified these five megatrends as COVID-19; climate crisis; civil, civic and equality movements; shifting globalization dynamics; and mainstream artificial intelligence.
COVID-19 has had devastating health impacts, with more than 1.7 million people dead by the end of 2020 and the numbers continuing to rise in 2021. And, there are also the dreadful economic impacts. But it’s everything else the pandemic laid bare that’s also forcing companies to rethink business as usual, as the crisis exposed and exacerbated systemic inequalities in income, wealth, employment, and access to healthcare for marginalized groups. Indeed, the UN predicted the pandemic would push 96 million people into extreme poverty, with women bearing the largest brunt, particularly in South Asia.
COVID-19 has transformed the pace and scale of digitalization, with a huge impact on how people work and learn. This has brought some benefits — yet it has reduced the sense of belonging, and increased anxiety, depression, and disengagement. And it has created a divide between digital knowledge workers and those in at-risk jobs or who lack access to high-speed internet.