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The next global mega trend

As you know at FutureWork IQ we study global mega trends and then look at how those trends will impact the world of work, skills and business in general.


The last mega trend we tracked was the need for organizations to undergo something known as digital transformation to remain relevant in the face of the 4th Industrial Revolution. This is still critical and unfolding.


Did you know that this term was introduced by Professor Klaus Schwab who heads up the World Economic Forum? You can read the two books he wrote on the subject here:


1) The Fourth Industrial Revolution

2) Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution


The conversation about the 4IR became mainstream in the latter half of 2015 early 2016 and has continued to shape what is happening to skills and the workplace especially with the massive advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning which underpins many of the technologies of the 4IR.


But now another global mega trend has emerged, one that dwarfs the already massively disruptive 4th Industrial Revolution.


This is the Climate Crisis Mitigation and Adaptation mega trend. This time we are quite literally facing a situation that will disrupt every aspect of our lives whether we are participating in the economy or not. The crisis is described as an existential threat. Meaning it threatens all life on earth.


A few days ago the IMF released this working paper on climate change mitigation and in it they make this observation:

“There is growing agreement between economists and scientists that the tail risks are material and the risk of catastrophic and irreversible disaster is rising, implying potentially infinite costs of unmitigated climate change, including, in the extreme, human extinction.”

In order to adapt the ENTIRE system as we know it is going to have to change and will in the near term require making some REALLY big sacrifices.


One of the first steps in being able to act on the latest IPCC report is to understand what the big deal is with a global temperature rise of 1.5°C or 2°C - considering that we see daily temperature fluctuations which are way more extreme than that - just think of the early morning temperature vs midday for example. In this video clip Professor Katharine Hayhoe explains what the big deal is:

The task ahead is at a scale we have never experienced before, but the first step in this entire process is to understand the why.


What did you find most useful in her explainer? Did you learn something new? Let me know in the comments!