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The interconnected future: megatrends for work, collaboration, and communication in 2040

Collage with humans, robots, building, the earth globe, energy sources, representing mega trends for work, collaboration, and communication in the next 20 years

An Economist Impact report supported by Webex by Cisco

May 24, 2022

The sudden and shifting global landscape of the past few years has accelerated decades-long transformations and catalyzed a renewed sense of possibility for a world that looks much different from today. The question of how to use the present moment of flux to establish a better future looms large for business leaders and policymakers alike.

With this future in mind, Webex by Cisco sponsored Economist Impact, the unit of The Economist Group that conducts world-class policy research and global media amplification, to identify leading trends impacting work and shaping our world.

Looking towards 2040, this report offers a brief overview of current and forthcoming drivers of major change, all with the potential to reshape society. These trends will form the cornerstones of a soon-to-be-released scenarios report exploring four potential futures. 

Download the report below to explore these key areas:

  1. Global demography: Opportunities for business and work will come from new places as aging populations, interstate migration, and urbanization change global demographics and create new markets for customers and suppliers.
  2. Geopolitics and macroeconomics: Rising tensions create long-term risks for economies and jobs, with growing inequality throwing long-term stability into question.
  3. Social services and governance: The demand for remote or flexible work models is a reflection of the global desire for better living conditions.
  4. Climate: The risk of climate catastrophe remains high, while climate-induced migration will intersect with urbanization to determine new centers of commerce and power. 
  5. Automation, jobs and education: Rapid technological advancement, including AI and automation, will transform jobs and work, creating a need for upskilling and new educational models.
  6. Corporate responsibility and worker power: The extreme pressure put on workers in the global economy has renewed calls for a reimagining of the standard relationship between employers and employees.
  7. Connectivity and interaction: Improved connectivity can improve wellbeing and foster global community, but risks such as mass-scale disinformation persist.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Webex by Cisco and do not necessarily reflect the view and policies of Economist Impact.

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