Global Trends with Local Impact

To imagine and shape the future of the Basin, the following global trends may help us identify emerging challenges and opportunities, and inform our local perspective.

Lives and Communities

Who We Are, How We Live and How We Work

Many factors concerning who we are, how we live and how we work are impacting our lives and communities. For example:

  • the average age of people is increasing, and Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are having greater influence
  • more jobs than ever are temporary, part-time or due to self-employment, with many tied to the digital gig economy
  • job skills like flexibility and problem solving are becoming more important, along with skills like caregiving and empathy
  • more people than ever live in urban areas, rather than rural ones.

Toward a Sustainable Economy

Reducing the Environmental of Doing Business

People and businesses around the world are striving to reduce the environmental economic activities. For example:

  • nations are increasingly transitioning to a low-carbon future
  • businesses are moving away from a “take, make, use, dispose” approach and becoming more “circular,” meaning they deliberately seek to reduce waste and repurpose materials
  • businesses are considering the ethical, environmental and social impacts of the goods and services they use in their supply chains.

A Globalized World

Greater Forces That Are Shaping the World

The greater forces that shape the globe—and global connections—are transforming. For example:

  • more people are getting their news from social media and other apps, and “fake news” is becoming more common
  • there are more outbreaks of infectious diseases, driven by surging levels of travel, urbanization, deforestation, climate change and human displacement
  • the values of people around the world are changing, creating rising tensions around issues like human rights and international trade
  • people are increasingly uncertain about the health of the global economy, and debt levels continue to rise.

The Environment

Addressing Its Health and Ours

Increasingly, people are paying attention to and addressing the health of the environment, which is inseparably connected to the health of humanity. For example:

  • climate change is leading to more extreme weather events and posing a threat to humans in various ways
  • ecosystems are being pushed to their limits and threatening the capacity of the planet to provide water, food and more
  • governments, industry and non-profits around the world are making environmental protection a greater priority
  • globally, people are demanding better ways to adapt to and bounce back from environmental changes.

New Technology

Transforming Lives, Work and Societies

The pace and scale of technological change is transforming lives, work and societies. For example:

  • the amount of data is growing extremely quickly, adding benefits along with issues of ownership, privacy and fairness
  • high-speed internet has become vital to people, and internet-connected objects promise vast transformations
  • artificial intelligence and automation are impacting aspects of our lives like the workplace and our economies
  • increasing and more severe cyberattacks put people, organizations and societies at risk.

Health and Wellness

The Impacts of Where We’re Born, Live and More

Several factors—including where we’re born, grow up, live, work and age—are affecting health and wellness, which in turn impacts the prosperity of individuals and societies. For example:

  • there are increasing numbers of people with mental health disorders, plus those experiencing loneliness
  • there’s a rise in diseases and other conditions linked to factors like changing diets, new activity patterns and environmental stressors
  • individuals and institutions are approaching well-being and health care in new ways, including through preventative measures and the “wellness economy.”