Megatrends – the collisions

The collisions

See the impact of the #megatrends through a new lens: the PwC collisions.

In our conversations with many organisations, we’ve seen that the challenges and indeed opportunities for them arise not from looking at the effect of one of the megatrends, but instead at the interaction between several. This impact has the potential to significantly disrupt the business landscape around them.

We call this a collision - a disruptive state of the world that arises when at least two of the megatrends interact. In many cases, the insights we have drawn from our analysis of the collisions challenge the very assumptions that have held the economy and society together for decades.


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A collision is when two or more of the megatrends come together and collide and interact to create something that's disruptive, whether it's an opportunity or a risk, and it gives more insight than looking at some of the megatrends on their own.

There are gaps between them; there are connections between them that actually you miss out and the danger is if you look too narrowly, if you look in, if you like, a linear way, you miss out, and you miss out to an organisation that has had the wider lens on some of the collisions between those megatrends.

The sharing economy is a collision and a concept which has generated a huge amount of attention in companies and in the media, and it's all about connecting demand of consumers or businesses to spare capacity or spare assets.

We talk about Generation I. These are consumers that have grown up digital, often called the digital natives or millennials, and they have a big expectation and a challenging expectation for the companies they interact with and engage with, whether as employees or consumers. They want an experience that's individual, it's immersive, it's innovative and it's interconnected across all the different devices that they use. That's a big challenge for many organisations, both to deliver against the promises that they give to these consumers or employees, but also, how they deliver against those in different generations all at the same time.

We're seeing the rise of popup networks and popup individuals across all sectors, and these are organisations that are quite small at the core, potentially 10, 20 people, but have built up a network of individuals in their hundreds and thousands that they can tap into, bring together, when they're building a business, changing focus, launching a new product. And then, when they finish, they can then scale down again. It's a far more nimble and agile approach that's disrupting and challenging the business models of larger organisations.

We're encouraging all of our people in PwC to be bold, be courageous, come up with points of view and debate with the individuals and organisations they spend their time with on how these megatrends come together, how they collide, in order to uncover, unearth new opportunities, but also manage potentially disruptive risks that could have a big bearing on the organisations they're working with.

We’re actually providing some new angles, some new discussion points and some new research and evidence to actually provoke a discussion, provoke organisations to think wow that's a bit different, that's maybe a little bit edgy, maybe a bit provocative.

We’d love people to leave conversations with us on the megatrends and collisions with a spring in their step, some new energy, some momentum, some insight and some different angles and a feeling that, I haven’t heard that before, haven’t looked through that lens before on a particular topic that matters to me. And perhaps I do need to do something about it and perhaps I do need to do something about it now either to deal with a particular problem, a risk or because there’s such a cracking opportunity that we want to tap into. So a combination of momentum, some new insight and a feeling that I actually want to do something about it.

Collisions and megatrends

The megatrends give us a great lens through which to view our world. However, if we only see the world through a list of trends then it is possible to miss the impact they have. The collisions provide a broader view, one which looks to understand the impacts of the megatrends on each other. This allows organisations and individuals to see a more comprehensive view of the world around them - a view which is more reflective of our complex, interconnected and interdependent economy.

The sharing economy

Our first collision is a combination of four of the megatrends. Consumers increasingly value access over ownership. This trend is currently playing out in a dynamic collection of sectors that is often labelled "the sharing economy".

Over the coming weeks we will be sharing our insights with you. Have you ever booked a holiday using someone else’s property? Do you stream rather download music? We would like to know if you’ve seen disruption to your business from a new type of organisation in this sector. We want you to have your say and hope you will join our debate.

We would like to hear from you

We are keen to be a hub for discussion on the megatrends collisions and we’re really interested in hearing your views.

If you would like to be alerted to relevant blogs and the launch of our interactive debate, then please click on 'Sign up for Megatrends updates' to register.