Global Macro Forces that are Facing Businesses and Consumers
The following is based on excerpts from Dr David Hughes.
With a broad approach, we can look at the global macro forces that are facing businesses and consumers. This is the information used by CEOs and businesses to try and work out the big things that they don’t usually think about on a day-to-day basis, but need to be reviewed on a macro level.
As the strains on food, water and the environment intensify - people and companies are feeling the impact of not acting sooner. But there is forcing momentum among businesses, governments and society to take action at scale.
So there are four macro forces to consider:
A Multi-Polar World - more centres of power from countries continuing to develop and expand.
I think there is huge uncertainty in many mature markets. There is a crisis of trust in the elite - from government to the church; everyone is under scrutiny.
We’re worried about big business and there is a rise in nationalism and protectionism in societies, as shown in recent elections. Where once we were moving towards a liberal trading environment, the political waves seem to be backing off from that.
The Environment Under Stress.
We see in the global news that we’ve either got too much water…or too little; the water stress is a constant driver for business and consumers. Increasingly our requirement for energy is also at question, as the need for more renewable sources grows and we face the challenge of adoption of the technology. We’re looking for technological breakthroughs, but they need time and that’s something we’re all short of.
Digital & Technology Revolution.
It’s a mobile world; digital is reshaping our home and our shopping habits right across the world. The growth of robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality is coming towards us at real pace and again we face adoption challenges.
The explosion in the availability of data is sparking smarter business and agriculture, but of course this comes with it’s own challenges and further risks about security and connectivity.
Particularly in urban societies, we can see demography substantially changing household structures; from previously large families, down to small households.
For example, in the UK the better part of a third of all households - particularly in urban areas - are just 1 person living by themselves. And we’re also see the growth of health challenges; it doesn’t matter where you are in the world - health is a real driver. For a smaller proportion of the world it’s just about getting enough to eat, and that is tragic state of affairs. But also, surprisingly, whether in a high income or low income country - too much food is an issue for many people with many overweight.