Which trends shape modern economies

Different trends and trend categories

The technological basic cycles were for example by the economist Nikolai Kondratiev researched in the 1920s, the economist Joseph Schumpeter made the "Creative Destruction" Theory. About every 50 years (plus / minus 15 years) a new basic technology has emerged since the beginning of the industrial revolution, which addresses certain emerging shortages and "boosts" productivity. Road networks, automobiles and petrochemicals created the post-war boom. A century earlier, the railroad created a wave of prosperity. The latest big wave was triggered by computers, the Internet, and intelligent information technologies.

The business cycles that describe the general ups and downs of the economy are clocked in a (global) basic rhythm of around 12 years. Other economists found cycles with a length of 2 to 4 years. Arun Motianey speaks in his book "SuperCycles" also of large cycles that, similar to the Kondratiev cycles, last about half a century.

Product and fashion waves have an unpredictable character. They run as recursive turbulence. Trends cannot be implicitly or empirically analyzed or derived at this level. Rather, product and fashion waves are “made” from season to season: creatively, in terms of design and / or controlled by marketing and media.

Definition and duration of various trends

To understand in which Dimensions yourself Developments and change processes execute, it is important that different forms of trends to be clearly separated. The Zukunftsinstitut therefore works with a hierarchical system in which individual types of trends are classified according to their importance and yours Effective range be categorized. The differentiation of the scope is important in order to be able to work properly with trends in the company. Some trends are revolutionizing entire economic systems, while others are just stirring up a speck of dust in a product niche. For this purpose, the Zukunftsinstitut works with a Multilevel modelwhich clearly shows which trends have which areas of influence.

  • Natural evolution and climate change are the large-scale and universal changes that determine the basic conditions of all life.
  • Megatrends are the long-term, global changes, the dimensions of which depend on the society above Technologies up to basic economic principles pass. In a sense, they are the Blockbuster of Change: those trends that have a great, epoch-making character. They have a long-term effect and last at least several decades. The decisive characteristic of megatrends, however, is less their duration than their impact. Megatrends not only change individual segments or areas of social life or the economy, but also reshape entire societies. As a cluster of trends, various change movements come together in them: technological, social and economic. The Zukunftsinstitut defines 12 megatrends.