The World Economic Forum has published their annual outlook. This years publication “The Outlook on the Global Agenda 2014” provides a view on the challenges and opportunities of the coming 12–18 months for both Governments and Business organizations around the world. The publications is a good read for anyone wanting an overview of the status of the world economy. The publication is based on a survey of more than 1,500 global economic and development experts that asked them to explore the most important issues we all face in the coming year.
The Top 10 trends identified in the Outlook on the Global Agenda for 2014 are:
- Societal tension in the Middle East and North Africa: war in Syria, political instability and unemployment in North Africa.
- Widening income gap: ramifications for health, education and social mobility across all regions of the world.
- Structural unemployment: a global issue demanding a global solution
- Intensifying cyber threats: electronic armies and government agencies are threatening the fabric of the Internet
- Inaction on climate change: extreme weather events may be occurring more frequently, but there has been no breakthrough on action to tackle the problem
- Diminishing confidence in economic policies: the scale of the global downturn and the pace of recovery have left deep scars, particularly among the young
- Lack of values in leadership: this has led to a crisis of legitimacy in governments and other institutions
- Asia’s expanding middle class: greater hope for increased prosperity – but also environmental and resource challenges
- Growing importance of megacities: these original social networks are home to more and more people, yet we still understand surprising little about how they grow and evolve
- Rapid spread of misinformation online: the speed of social media – and the scale of big data – is making it harder for people to know that information received is real
I’ve highlighted in orange 4, 9, and 10 as these are trends that are particularly important to those of us in the Information Technology industry.
In addition to ranking the top trends for leaders in 2014, the publication also highlights emerging trends that experts believe will become increasingly important in the coming 12 months. These include the implications of shale gas extraction, the failure or inadequacy of democratic institutions, the rise of emerging market multinational companies and the role continued exploration of, and experimentation in, space can have in improving our world. The Outlook also offers insight into how different regions and age groups perceive global trends, as well as data from Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, which conducts public opinion polling on issues, attitudes and trends that are shaping the world.
You can access all the digital content, including big data analysis and infographics, at http://reports.weforum.org/outlook-14/