The presentation that I found most helpful today was by Alison Sander from Boston Consulting Group who spent 45 minutes talking about ‘Megatrends’.
The time she was given was not long enough to adequately cover the topic (I could have listened to her all day) but she did use her time well.
Alison Sander described four types of trends (forgive me for a very poor paraphrase):
- Linear Trends – those that are quite predictable (imagine a graph trending up in a straight diagonal line). She argued that while most predictable these trends are most rare.
- Cyclical Trends – trends that come and go in a cycle.
- Fads – one off trends – in this case the graph would have a sharp rise and then sharp fall
- Mega Trends – trends that not only trend up but do so exponentially with an ever increasing rise
Sander spent the rest of the session looking at Megatrends which she described as trends that are not going away, trends that are relatively recession proof and trends that are hard to spot at the beginning (but if you do spot them you make ALOT of money). She also made the point that if you don’t spot them early but get into them later there is still opportunity but that there also is a rise in risk in investing into them. She used the internet as an example of this type of trend.
Sander then went on to talk about 18 types of Megatrends. I’ll list them below but won’t describe each one as she was unable to focus upon each in the short time given.
- Economic Volatility
- Rise of Trust and Transparency
- Global Warming and Rise of Green Products
- Innovation Imperative
- Rise of Asia (China/India)
- Rise of Services
- Rise of Urbanization/Infrastructure
- Risk and Security
- Energy Volatility
- Rise in Natural Disasters
- Aging/Demographic Shifts
- Global Divides
- Health and Wellness
- RDE Challenges
- Health spending/biotech
- Rise of Entertainment/Celebrity
What struck me as Alison talked today was that her list was actually a pretty rich list of topics that bloggers might want to focus upon and align themselves with.
While these trends have moved beyond the early stages opportunity exists to invest time into them, to learn about, to develop expertise in, to create online communities around, to facilitate discussions in etc.
Of course these are massive topics so a wise blogger would be breaking them down and looking for opportunities within the larger topics to develop a profile on subtopics.