By Astrid von Schmeling, Partner at Purple Ivy AB
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals set a clear vision for the world we want in 2030. But what are the soothsayers of our day telling us about the world we are set to actually get?
Purple IVY spent the summer charting a map of the world in 2030. Based on the latest prognosis of the most respected institutes from the world over, two Purple IVY researchers—based in Stockholm and Delhi—collated the latest data in order to better understand how our world is changing and how businesses must navigate to thrive in a changing marketplace. What makes our analysis unique is the fact that it highlights the interconnectedness of global changes, and considers how the impact of one trend can amplify another.
The corners of our map are framed by four drivers:
- (B)reaching limits to growth
- Shifting demographics
- Changing natural environments
- Interconnecting our world.
These four drivers capture ongoing long-term megatrends that will define the world in 2030.
- (B)reaching limits to growth: The Arctic summer sea ice will have disappeared by 2025 and the global mean sea level will have risen by 9-18 cm compared to 2000 levels. Premature deaths due to air pollution will amount to 3 million annually.
- Shifting demographics: The global population is expected to grow from 6 billion to an average of 8.55 billion and 1.4 billion people are expected to be over 60 years of age in 2030. The global middle class will grow to 4.9 billion in 2030 from about 3 billion in 2018. The gap between rich and poor is expected to widen—the world’s richest 1% will hold USD 305 trillion; more than double from 2018 levels.
- Changing natural environments: Half the population, around 4.5 billion people will be living in water-stressed areas, and demand for food is expected to increase by 30%, for energy by 50% and water by 50%. Although global forest loss will slow after 2010, a net 1.2% loss of forest area will still occur compared to 2010.
- Interconnecting our world: The Internet of Things, which constitutes 27 billion connected devices today, will grow at an yearly rate of 12% to reach 125 billion in 2030.
We have also captured the ways in which society is changing in response to these drivers: our game changers. These game changers influence the marketplace, legislation and companies’ role in society. Circular economy, the fourth industrial revolution, workforce transitions and the future of mobility are all examples of game changers that open up a whole range of risks and opportunities for businesses.
Societies are evolving quickly in many different ways. At the same time, they are becoming increasingly complex and interlinked. It is a challenge for businesses to understand how these transformations will impact their markets, value chains and business models. In business terms, twelve years may seem like a lifetime away, but 2030 is a mere three strategy cycles away for many companies.
First step in materiality process
Our Navigating 2030 analysis is the first step in Purple IVY’s six-step materiality process that helps companies identify their most relevant sustainability topics to work with and communicate about. If you‘d like to learn more about Navigating 2030 and our findings, just give us a call!
P.S. Keep an eye out for our LinkedIn snapshots over the coming months, where we’ll publish our map, in small digestible snapshots.