The Sitra Trends List provides an interpretation of the direction of global change-related phenomena – what are known as megatrends.

Megatrends 2020

What will the 2020s look like? What trends will have the biggest impact on our future and what kinds of tensions exist between the various megatrends of our time? Sitra’s Megatrends 2020 list provides an overview of the issues we should focus on in the coming years.


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Food for the mind.


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When considering the future, we need to be able to identify larger phenomena. Therefore, we must also closely follow the slow but major changes taking place.

Megatrends illustrate major, long-term phenomena that change slowly, are often interlinked and cannot be transformed in an instant.

Sitra’s megatrends highlight these phenomena and the related discussions on the future which are important for Finland. The objective of this megatrend work is to create a basis and a tool for conversation that promotes understanding of the visible changes in the world, especially from Finland’s perspective.

Megatrends 2020

Sitra’s Megatrends 2020 list provides an overview of the issues we should focus on in the coming years.

In Sitra’s Megatrends 2020 update, we highlight five trends and the links and tensions between them:

1) Ecological reconstruction is a matter of urgency

2) Relational power is strengthening

3) The population is ageing and becoming increasingly diverse

4) The economy is seeking direction

5) Technology is becoming embedded in everything

Megatrends 2017 & 2016

In honour of Finland’s centenary in 2017, we wanted to highlight the megatrends affecting work, democracy and inclusion, and growth and progress that are relevant to the Nordic model. All of these are themes specifically at the core of the Nordic model’s future. The 2017 trends are available here.

In 2016, our megatrend list included discussions on ecological sustainability, rapid technological advancement and the uncertain situation in global politics and interdependence. These are global megatrends which are still very topical. The 2016 trends are available here.

Sitra’s trendwork

Sitra’s Trends List has been published annually since 2011. Over the years, we have produced slideshows, videos, card games, draft recommendations – all kinds of material – to support the list. The latest Trends List has been viewed 220,000 times so far.

Since change-related phenomena are genuinely complex and interdependent, differences of opinion are to be expected. In our list of trends, we are not trying to present chapter and verse on the issue but instead, based on long-term data analysis, our interpretation of the major development trends already affecting the future of Finnish society.

Sitra’s list of megatrends is not based on academic futures research; it is a compilation of various visions, foresight discussions and viewpoints presented in layperson’s terms and in a usable format. A key part of the work has involved bringing together a range of phenomena from Sitra’s focus areas and their specialists. A deeper perspective has been achieved using megatrends-based foresight reports, international and national statistics, academic studies, news articles and expert statements, as well as the work of Finland’s national foresight network and contributions to a range of debates on future directions.

Yours to use

We hope that our megatrends analysis benefits and interests decision-makers, journalists, students, schoolchildren, or anyone else with an interest in the future. Sitra’s Trends List serves as an excellent tool and basis for discussion when assessing changes in the operating environment associated with activities such as strategy work. It is freely available to everyone.


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