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Visualizing The World's Megatrends In 2020

Tyler Durden's picture


From 'the resurgence of religion' to 'food price volatility', cyber-viruses, urbanization, quantum computing, and peak water, Richard Watson's table highlights societal, technological, economic, and political trends that the world faces in the next decade. And if that wasn't enough, Bain & Co.'s 'Great Eight' trillion dollar growth trends should provide some food for thought as the US enjoys its vacation (although we wonder how soon until Q1 GDP misses are blamed on not only snow in the winter but also on nationally recognized holidays resulting in completely unforeseeable economic growth deductions: after all something has to be the culprit for the secular contraction, but never, ever the Fed's ubiquitous economic micromanagement and central planning).


Via What's Next,

Here’s something to start a few arguments, which is the whole point of the exercise, of course. Briefly, it’s a table of key trends and technologies that are likely to shape the world out to 2020. I’ve used the periodic table, not because the trends are weighted in any way, but by following the basic structure of the table (i.e. the number of categories and boxes) this has forced me to edit what would otherwise be an almost endless list.

The categories themselves broadly follow S.T.E.E.P, which is widely used in scenario planning, but I’ve extended and added to this with the result that we have S.T.E.E.E.P.P.I (Society, Technology, Energy, Environment, Economy, Employment, Population, Politics and Identity). There are also two lines devoted to global risks, both high and low probability.

And, as usual, there are a few jokes so that people don’t take this too seriously.

Bain & Co.'s Great Eight Trillion Dollar Trends


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Mon, 02/18/2013 - 15:48 | 3253841 spinone
spinone's picture

Bain?  Fuck you Bain.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 15:57 | 3253855 Kitler
Kitler's picture

So a resurgence of religion is in the cards. Looks like a bear market for freedom.


"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."

Denis Diderot (5 October 171331 July 1784)

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 15:58 | 3253873 CH1
CH1's picture

Try telling that to Freeborn John, just after you thank him for the right to face your accusers.

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 04:24 | 3255451 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Man is work on very high roof top, fix is shingles, and is trip. Man is slide down steep roof and see his fate, begin to pray. Remember his total life in sin and ask is for more time to fix life. Sliding down shingles is hope for answer, plead with God to save from fall. At last seconds, suspender is snagging on nail and stop from fatality. Man is brush sweat from brow and tell God, "never mind, is okay now."

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:12 | 3253913 macholatte
macholatte's picture


So a resurgence of religion is in the cards. Looks like a bear market for freedom.


“We are going to take England — the Muslims are coming.”

Ridiculing the daily lives of UK workers, Choudary said: “You find people are busy working the whole of their life. They wake up at 7 o’clock. They go to work at 9 o’clock.

“They work for eight, nine hours a day. They come home at 7 o’clock, watch EastEnders, sleep, and they do that for 40 years of their life. That is called slavery.”


Muslim preacher urges followers to claim 'Jihad Seeker's Allowance'


Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:46 | 3253993 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

But they're just kidding around. They don't really mean that stuff. Everybody knows that Islam is a peaceful religion and they wouldn't hurt a flea. They are no different than the hispanics in America. Just becasue they want to keep their Mexican flag and live in their Mexican neighborhoods and never learn to speak english doesn't mean they're not good Americans. And even though both groups only embrace cultural diversity to the point that english speakers become extinct doesn't mean they don't like us. They just don't want to be around us, which does seem a little weird in that they are moving into english speaking countries, but hey, we got to be tolerant right?....Right?

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:59 | 3254028 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Well, at least when the muslims take over the UK the liberals that caused it all will be taken out and stoned for being infidels.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:18 | 3254071 falak pema
falak pema's picture

the downward spiral of oligarchy betraying its civilization and letting the barbarian into the gates; perfect combination of the "axis of evil"; mad oligarchs and mad hatter revelatory goof heads. 

What a road to Dante's circles of hot bubble baths. 

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:42 | 3254123 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

Muslims and Christians agree that usury is unpayable and immoral. The Jew believes it's fine to fuck over Muslims and Christians. The politicians in the United States are known Jews and their system of hypercounterfeiting, tax and usury is a form of violence against us.

By 2020 we will refer to "a Mad Max scenario" as being "in the good old days"

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:42 | 3254139 falak pema
falak pema's picture

just move away from Abraham's legacy and you might see it differently.

You sound like an age old 33" PVC recording. 

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:44 | 3254143 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

You sound like a Banker Troll.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:47 | 3254154 falak pema
falak pema's picture

you must be haunted by ghosts of the devil and the WS variety...sleep tight.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 18:22 | 3254218 rogeliokh
rogeliokh's picture

"Muslims and Christians agree" 

Sorry to burst your bubble, dude, but Jews are actually much closer to Christians, then muslim barbarians.

12 apostles of Jesus, all Jews, man.

"Muslims and Christians" it's like north and south pole. Jesus - "King of Jews", not sure, if you ever

read the Bible in that matter.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 22:23 | 3254690 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture


Sorry to burst your bubble, dude, but Jews are actually much closer to Christians, then muslim barbarians.

I'm not religious, yet (/because of it?), even I know better than that: Muslims are actually also Christians, as they revere Christ and Mary (and Moses too, btw); Jewish aren't (it's actually an heresy, so they look down on it with despise) - that alone contradicts your claim.

12 apostles of Jesus, all Jews, man.

Well, considering Christianity started within Judaism, that's not a big surprise is it? Fact is it was quickly and fiercely antagonized by Judaism and the Jewish population in general, just to expand to beyond Judaism and into a whole new belief of its own.

"Muslims and Christians" it's like north and south pole. Jesus - "King of Jews", not sure, if you ever

read the Bible in that matter.

Maybe you should ask them about that last claim, but in case you didn't know, Muslim religion, itself, drew significantly from Judaism (case of prohibition of pork, for instance); besides, as Christianism and Judaism, it's just another branch of the same common religion - the Abrahamic religion, reason why the Muslims call them all The People of The Book.

So it's you who should read beyond (a redacted, distorted and misquoted medieval version of) the Bible, in this and other matters.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 22:42 | 3254731 13thWarrior
13thWarrior's picture

Jewish people rejected Jesus. Sent St. Paul to circumvent the Chrisitanity.

Jewish people & Christians rejected Mohammed. Sent Ibn Saba to circumvent the Islam.

Without believing in Moses, Issac, Solomon and Jesus, a muslim cannot be muslim.


According to Islam be like someone in middle, not as shrewd and claculated as Jewish people and not soft as Chrisitains to believe everything.


Here are some Islamic teaching forgotten by Muslims and not promoted by Zionist Monarchy of Saudi Arabia:

  1. No income tax, only savings tax
  2. No GST/VAT
  3. No price fixing
  4. No monopoly
  5. No fiat money
  6. No usury
  7. No fraud
  8. No lying
  9. No future trading/speculation
  10. Trade instead of financializations
  11. No restrictions on trade
  12. Profit and loss sharing instead of Socialise the loss and privatize the profit

Isn't the Western people like to have this?

Taliban wanted to stop using fiat money, see what happened to them. Saddam, Gaddhafi, Ahmedinijad wanted to end fiat.

It is not war of religion it is about lies and truth.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 19:04 | 3254339 Mike in GA
Mike in GA's picture

Isn't 2020 just 7 years from now?  Did I miss the Mad Max thing or something?

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 22:26 | 3254695 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Actually usury is condemned in both the new (Christian) and old (Jewish) testaments, besides the Quran.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 21:37 | 3254617 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture


Everybody knows that Islam is a peaceful religion and they wouldn't hurt a flea.

So is supposedly Christianism, and Judaism, and Hinduism, and Masonry, and etc., and neither would any of their believers, if you'd ask them.

All that shows is they're no different than any of these - just another group trying to leverage their influence for its own agenda - so why singling them out?

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 18:24 | 3254236 e-recep
e-recep's picture

economic depressions push people to radical conservatism.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 18:48 | 3254302 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Economic depressions are caused by people who will not see the truth, instead buying into the lies of easy money. Radical conservatism is a knee jerk towards reality, sometimes with overshoot. People start to cling to their religion when they realize they cannot rely on their fellow man. When things get bad enough we will return to throwing virgins into volcanos because like congress today, we must do something, regardless of how silly it may be. The economy is collapsing because we are owe more than we own or can pay back, so obviously the answer is to borrow more. Any failure in our methodologies is always due to just not doing enough of it.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 15:49 | 3253842 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Pt and Os, bitchez!

NICE graphic!

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 18:38 | 3254259 CPL
CPL's picture

The Lanthanine and Antinide, should all represent consumer trends.  Short half life, costs too much to get there.

74, tungsten will be interchanged with 79 and 47, gold and silver....oh wait that's already happening.

Nobel a sec.


...holy shit.  Someone sent this on other people and they haven't been committed yet?  Seriously, find this line and start reading.


Macro trend: Everything the  same, but nicer.


I'm afraid, but I believe that this document is entirely composed of unicorn shit, puppy kisses and lube.  Lots of lube.  Because there is no way anyone will swallow this crap, it'll have to jammed in people's corn holes...

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 22:36 | 3254724 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Speaking of noble gases, where is Hopium, that I cannot see?

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 15:58 | 3253856 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture


Oil will have peaked production for at least five years, and with no resource able to mitagate the EROEI of light sweet crude we are back to riding horses and bicycles.

Fiat currency was printed ad infinum to save the debt structure but when the dominoes began to fall the fiat currency was left to burn.  Price could no longer be determined and people were selling their houses for food and those that produce food will sell it for silver.

The sun will still set and the moon will still shine and if any of us want to make it through 2020 with our coats on our backs then we will be the ones ready.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:06 | 3253895 Kitler
Kitler's picture

Chicks on horseback are HOT and I have yet to see a "porker" on a bicycle. This could be just what the doctor ordered.

Tell me more of this marvelous future of which you speak Mr. Lennon Hendrix... tell me more! ;)

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:21 | 3253935 Hulk
Hulk's picture

NONE of the hot horseback chicks will like you, trust me on this one !!!

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:54 | 3254015 true brain
true brain's picture

they will if you have gold.

hell. they like you now if you have gold. don't need to wait for that future.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:00 | 3254033 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Plus, their vaginas will smell like sweaty horses.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:08 | 3254046 falak pema
falak pema's picture

have you ever played Buzkashi?

if you have then any honey bun would smell so sweet.

You are not pure...even as evil! 

Jump on a horse n try...the goat skin before the honey bun!

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:17 | 3254067 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Will humanity still be bathing by 2020? From one of those pictures from India it looks as if they aren't even bathing in 2013.

Nothin' like the smell of a ripe vagina after riding a horse, even Buzkashi style.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:20 | 3254079 falak pema
falak pema's picture

did humanity bathe in the 1600s? Nope!

It survived. Change your yardstick. 

We are moving backwards, thats not the same thing as moving from 1500 to 1600! 

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:29 | 3254101 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Dude, I think its time for you to go and brush your teeth. You've got all kinds of hairs stuck between your teeth and you smell like a horse that's been rode hard and put up wet.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:38 | 3254126 falak pema
falak pema's picture

no encores!

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:37 | 3254127 falak pema
falak pema's picture

lol, if u say so you must know it all. 

when's the sequel to your movie? 

Buzkashi rides again! wowie! 

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 19:32 | 3254404 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Are you sniffing your own farts to get high?

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 22:39 | 3254730 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Calm down, size is not that important.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 18:45 | 3254292 CPL
CPL's picture

It's because a mini-van is slimming.

"Look at the size of that mini-van, but in relation to that woman.  She is a slender reed.  To the full sized van."  



Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:56 | 3254020 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

Agreed... it will all (globally) come crashing down before 2020.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 15:54 | 3253858 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Bernanke will ensure there is no 2020. $15 a gallon gas will destroy us.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:35 | 3253973 machineh
machineh's picture

Ben is the bain of our existence.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 21:33 | 3254608 CH1
CH1's picture

Vile as he is, Ben is merely a front man. His employers are the ones who matter.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 23:18 | 3254822 Lore
Lore's picture



There will be no 2020. Central bankers will remove a zero. The year will be 202, with tough times ahead.

"The Crisis of the Third Century (also "Military Anarchy" or "Imperial Crisis") (AD 235–284) was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression...  Internally, the empire faced hyperinflation caused by years of coinage devaluation..."

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 15:57 | 3253869 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Anytime you hear things like 'volatility' and 'prices' in the same sentence it only means one thing - higher food prices. And anytime you hear public-private partnership and decaying infrastructure in the same sentence it means higher taxes, higher fees, and more tolls.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:01 | 3253881 pingpongthesecond
pingpongthesecond's picture

At least you can choose to pay tols or not, taxes are compulsory...

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:07 | 3253902 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Look for big hikes in utility bills too. If you don't pay them you won't have electricity, natty gas, or water.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:41 | 3253983 machineh
machineh's picture

Plus a new bill you never had before: Obamacare.

Pay a stiff premium for coverage, or a pay a penalty (excuse me, TAX, according Chief Just-ass Roberts).

Bain says U.S. per capita health care spending will stay twice as high as other advanced countries.

It means Bain sees opportunities to siphon off some of the swag. After all, their man Mittens invented the prototype of Obamacare.

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 10:06 | 3255788 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"After all, their man Mittens invented the prototype of Obamacare."

The more I see of Obama-care, it is apparent that it is Mittens-care.  Almost exactly.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:09 | 3253906 Janice
Janice's picture

No, taxes are voluntary. The fact that so many choose to voluntarily pay taxes ensures its continued collection.

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 05:29 | 3255496 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

In theory, perhaps.

In reality, it pays to not pay taxes...  so long as you don't mind being caged and Bubba isn't attracted to you.

We live in a might makes right society - and they will throw your behind in jail for picking the wrong end of voluntary.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:00 | 3253878 ramacers
ramacers's picture

interesting, considering there'll be no world as we have known it.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:04 | 3253891 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Interesting to see that $5000 puts you into the global middle class but that $22000 in unemployment and welfare checks is poverty in the US. My prediction for 2020 is that these two numbers converge, with the dollar getting weaker such that $22000 buys less, and emerging market currencies getting stronger such that their $5000 buys more.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:08 | 3253904 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Global ruin, resistance is pointless.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:17 | 3254068 Captain Kink
Captain Kink's picture

Ws = Collapse of Welfare State.... they list this as Low Probability?!?  by 2020?  

I guess no one could see it coming...


Tue, 02/19/2013 - 01:41 | 3255251 natty light
natty light's picture

Starting in Greece eight years early.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:09 | 3253910 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

A Trillion dollars won't be worth all that much in a few years.  We're all Zimbabwe sooner or later.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:13 | 3253920 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  Is poverty a "megatrend"?

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:16 | 3253926 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Am I missing something? No more ZIRP?

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:40 | 3253979 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 You are spot on in my book ;-)

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:31 | 3253953 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Ten to one says that just one of these 8 biggies makes the top ten list in 2020.  Seven years ago would you have guessed that Social Media would explode on the landscape like diarrhea in a pot?  Try my list of the top eight growth industries for 2020:

1) Drugs and equipment to combat worldwide plagues

2) Prepper supplies

3) Ammunition & gas masks

4) Pesticides

5) 4D web-enabled sexual devices

6) Underground shelters

7) Government spy equipment

8) armed security services


Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:42 | 3254138 Matt
Matt's picture

My list of top 5 black market goods for 2020:

1. underground water cisterns (so the government cannot imprison you for stealing rain)

2. heritage seeds (which will be illegal and nearly extinct)

3. firewood and equivelents (because electricity and natural gas will be unaffordable for the masses)

4. mason jars (which will be banned as part of The War on something or other)

5. Anonymous Internet access (which will be banned due to The War on something or other)

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 20:13 | 3254488 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I got #1-4 already...

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:32 | 3253959 ShakaZulu
ShakaZulu's picture

1. Politicians will continue to lie

2. People will continue to believe them

3. TPTB will continue to wage war against the rest of us

4. Populations worldwide will be greatly reduced


These are the only trends that matter now.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:32 | 3253962 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Maybe I've just been on ZH for too long but I just can't imagine it. I understand the Chinese and Indian component in growth but I can't help but think most of that growth will be in low cost goods that they will have the advantage in producing within their own markets. Bain may be correct about some people seeking quality, but i contend that quality will be marketing driven and have very little to do with content. Most people who spend serious money on non-essential items do so to impress others. The actual quality doesn't matter nearly as much as what other people think. The future lies in marketing and as we see in politics and finance, the better at telling lies, the more prosperous they will become.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:35 | 3253969 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Damn, those city pics sure make me glad I have a place in the country. I don't know how people live like that...

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 16:55 | 3254016 The Phu
The Phu's picture

Must be a slow news day when Tyler feels the need to regurgitate a Bain report released on 9 Sep 2011:


Sorry, Tyler, I don't mean to be too critical, but this is a bit stale.  It does make me wonder if this were written today, would guns/ammo/safes/rural land/hard commodities be on the list?  Gold and Silver?  <sarc> Meteor sonic boom resistant, shatterproof glass in Russia?</sarc>

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:09 | 3254049 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Well......, after all it is President's day. With the center of the Universe on vacation and the markets closed (US) things are a bit slow.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:16 | 3254063 The Phu
The Phu's picture

The fact that this Commander-in-queef has a national/banking holiday shows the depth of depravity, IMHO.  Forward, Obummer, to Victory!

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:33 | 3254110 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Johny Monroe in tycoon : once upon a time you built something with those hands; now all you do is destroy things...

Tycoon (1947 film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Wayne...running after money...good movie that made no money at box office...C'est la vie! 

"Put a man in a jungle and you discover his real nature...'

'But he was real...I loved him'

'But he's going to learn now, all along..'


'He built a bridge...anybody can do that...But will it withstand the storm and the flood?...that's the question.'

Sounds a bit like the Scenario with Helicopter Ben! 

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 18:16 | 3254214 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Uuh I'll take virtual sex over being married right fucking now. To hell with the trend.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 18:30 | 3254255 e-recep
e-recep's picture

on a long enough timeline, prostitutes are way cheaper than the housewife.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 18:58 | 3254320 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

I don't know how you can say that after all the money my wife has "saved" me over the years! If there was only a resale value to used shoes. If things go to hell though, a good pair of practical shoes might be worth a lot.

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 18:25 | 3254239 razorthin
razorthin's picture

Some geneticists believe humans are becoming more stupid.  The mass delusion tells me this is so.

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 09:16 | 3254367 are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

You have to see the movie 'Idiotocracy'.

It is a political comedy science fiction where the average IQ in 500 years in the future is around 30. Even thopugh the president in it is black it was made before Obama was a candidate. Half way through the move you realise it is accurately predicting our future. Really worth the watch.

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 10:09 | 3255808 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The movie accurately predicts the present.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 04:50 | 3258716 kurt
kurt's picture

I know you are but what am I?

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 20:24 | 3254503 busternc333
busternc333's picture

I just gotta say - Been a ZH reader for years.  Never commented, but damn, if these damn posts don't crack me up!  Keep em' coming you crazy friends of mine!


Mon, 02/18/2013 - 22:15 | 3254670 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

The Megatrends of 2000 would be fun to read too. Enron would have taken over Apple, Amazon and created Facebook.

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 00:51 | 3255150 Derezzed
Derezzed's picture

"Yet, China, India and other developing countries will still be about 5 to 10 times poorer per capita than advanced countries…" WRONG. They might still be poorer, but it will be much closer than you think, simply because revenue per capita in advanced countries will decrease tremendously, when emerging countries start to redirect their investments towards their economy rather than accumulating Foreign Currencies and Sovering Debts denominated in USD, EUR ...

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 04:42 | 3255469 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

The Israeli General's Son - forward this to the world

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 07:35 | 3255550 snowman
snowman's picture

The Bain report is crap.

Not once did they explain how the "growth" will be funded. Apparently by printing money I suppose.

Current debt levels cannot sustain their projections. They forgot to do the math. Amateurs.

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