Global megatrends

Our future earth and global trends

The transformation of our world is increasing at an unprecedented pace. Wider perspectives, greater flexibility, and new ICT-driven social infrastructures are called for in order to build a sustainable society.


In 2050, human society will require two times the earth's resources

According to the United Nations’ estimate, the global population will increase to 9.6 billion from the current 7.3 billion by 2050. Population will continue to concentrate in urban areas and the breaking down of borders will accelerate. Transportation of goods and movement of people will also increase, as will consumption of energy, water, food, and other resources. And if today’s urban lifestyle continues, in 2050 we will need twice the amount of resources the earth can supply.
In addition, there are also many social and political problems facing our world, such as natural disasters and abnormal climates brought about by global warming, population problems that differ from country to country, political matters caused by terrorism, and many other issues.
To overcome these problems and build a sustainable society while coexisting harmoniously with the earth, we must use the earth’s resources more efficiently and make social systems and lifestyles more agile and responsive to change. Information and communications technologies (ICT) are being increasingly looked to as a means of resolving the diverse social issues we are facing.

ICT can help to change society and address the world's problems

The evolution of a wide array of technologies and other advanced ICT such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as robots, drones, and medical technologies/biotechnologies will play a central role in creating new social frameworks and unprecedented value for the future. In Japan, a national initiative called “Society 5.0” was approved by the Japanese Cabinet in January 2016. The goal of this initiative is to realize a “super-smart society” that will create new value and bring prosperity to people through the merging of the real world (physical world) and the cyber world.
A Digital Transformation that will accelerate changes in the industrial structure as well as the essence of economies and societies is about to take place. This transformation, spurred by the innovations achieved through digitalization, will lead to changes in society and will drive the resolution of the problems the world is facing.

(Source: Data from OECD, FAO, PwC, and the United Nations)

Global megatrends for the future that
we must address to create a better society

The problems and changes that we face, such as the explosion in global population and the accompanying depletion of the earth’s resources, natural disasters caused by global warming, the increasing complexity of economies and political systems, and rapidly advancing technology, are complex and intertwined. NEC has classified the major social and global trends for the next 10 years into six megatrends.
These trends are intricately connected and affect each other as a series of chain reactions. As these chain reactions increase in speed, we begin to reach the limit of how accurately we can predict the future. However, it is precisely because of these rapid changes that we must correctly identify global-scale megatrends and understand their essential qualities in terms of long-term impact. Awareness of the long-term impact of megatrends will also help us imagine, and prepare for, various scenarios concerning what might happen in the future.
Based on these global megatrends, NEC is working together with its customers and partners to plan and realize new social infrastructure for the achievement of an inclusive society in the Digital New Age in which we will be addressing myriad social problems and diversified threats.

Global initiatives for solving social problems

Initiatives for solving these problems are being taken all over the world, led by the United Nations. At a United Nations summit held in September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 were adopted. These consist of 17 goals on issues such as poverty, hunger, energy, climate change, and peace that are further broken down into 169 specific targets.
Realization of these SDGs, which include disparity and inequality issues in addition to environmental, social, and economic problems, necessitates that all nations—emerging and developed alike, governments, companies, and citizens around the world adopt these SDGs as common goals in carrying out their roles as citizens of the earth, in this increasingly diversified international community.

Reading NEC Vision Book 2017

More information about NEC's vision for social value creation and the steps we are taking to achieve this vision can be found in NEC's Vision Books.