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Sitra’s 2014/2015 Trends List revealed

What are the challenges facing society and economies today? Sitra's Trends List pinpoints the areas having the most profound effects...


The updating of the Sitra Trends List, which attempts to depict major societal changes in the world, has been completed. During this year’s update, some of the issues that have gained traction as topics of conversation are the Ukraine crisis, the rise of the terrorist organisation ISIS, Europe’s continuing economic troubles and the threat of growing inequality.

However, we must remember that in addition to obvious, visible phenomena there are other phenomena that embody change but exist away from the glare of the public eye. When considering the future we must be able to identify larger entities, which is why we must bear in mind even those changes that are slow to progress.

We have compiled thirteen global phenomena in the Sitra Trends List that are important for the future. Since these phenomena are in reality subjective, complex and interdependent, differences of opinion are to be expected.

Sitra’s trend work included information gathering and compilation, interviews with experts and various types of group workshops. Numerous people have participated in this work, including experts from the national foresight network and Sitra, and members of the Sitra Board. I would like to thank all those who contributed to our trend work.

The Sitra Trends List serves as a tool and a basis for conversation when assessing changes in the operational environment in connection with strategy work, for instance. The Sitra Trends List is freely available to everyone.

This year’s Trends List is structured as follows.

  • A megatrend is depicted by means of a short sentence indicating the direction of change.
  • Megatrends are classified according to their emphasis:
    • yellow = a megatrend with an emphasis on well-being;
    • red = a megatrend with an emphasis on society;
    • blue = a megatrend with an emphasis on the economy and structures;
    • green = a megatrend with an emphasis on the environment;
    • violet = a meta-/megatrend with an emphasis on complexity.
  • Megatrend descriptions present:
    • trends;
    • counter-trends;
    • questions from the Finnish perspective;
    • links to signals comprising trends. 

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During the autumn, we will publish a more thorough article on each megatrend. I am happy to discuss any questions related to the Trends List and the associated work process. The future is what we make of it!

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