At HP, our vision is to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere, and understanding the Megatrends that are shaping the world around us enable us to do just that. While they won’t give us all the answers, Megatrends can be a beacon for where the world is headed, giving us the opportunity to adapt, chart, and reinvent our own future.

After five years of Megatrends research, this past year we took a step back and combined our learnings into a single, refreshed report. The report includes updated data highlighting the four big Megatrends — Rapid Urbanization, Changing Demographics, Hyper Globalization, and Accelerated Innovation — as well as new observations and analysis of the impact they are having in shaping everything from our planet to our businesses to our day-to-day lives.

See the latest HP Megatrends report here

Megatrends combined with disruptive technologies are changing the world

Disruptive technologies allow us to innovate and create new experiences that customers might not even know they need or want yet but can fundamentally change their lives. Disruptive technologies can assist in counterbalancing the depletion of our natural resources, to enabling new products and business models designed for next generation workers and aging urban consumers, to advancements that will make the world smarter around us and allow us to evolve beyond our current human limitations. In our latest report, we share some of the key disruptive technologies — edge computing, human augmentation, microfluidics, etc. — helping to shape our future.

Let’s take microfluidics for example. Microfluidics is where biology, technology and AI come together to manipulate and control fluids at a microscopic level, with precision. Think biomedical research, pharmaceutical discovery, point-of-care diagnostics, food and soil testing, etc. At HP, we are extremely skilled at manipulating incredibly small things and placing them exactly where we want them. The underlying technology we have developed for printing can place something as small as one-fifth the size of a human cell exactly where we want it, and precisely pump fluids in picoliters. A picoliter is about 1/100,000th the size of a raindrop. HP Lab’s research in microfluidics explores applications of this expertise in the realm of life sciences, from pumping blood cells to counting cell types to sensing technologies. As an example, the team has looked at using this microfluidics technology to separate tumor cells from normal cells in the body after chemotherapy, to determine whether any of the cancer is coming back.

Technologies like these when fueled by megatrends drive impact. In our report, Impact Points are where this crystallization occurs. It’s where megatrends and disruptive technologies join forces to help HP focus its responses to global issues and in turn create new opportunities for HP and our customers and partners. Impact Points often span multiple megatrends and involve more than one disruptive technology. Megatrends and technology are shaping our world in many ways.

  • Shaping the Planet: Established companies and new startups are looking to provide more sustainable solutions, as consumers and businesses alike put more consideration into how their actions affect the planet.
  • Shaping Cities: Rapid Urbanization will put additional stress on city infrastructure and natural resources, shaping our cities, homes and workplaces of the future and creating opportunities for smarter, more sustainable products and services targeted at urban consumers.
  • Shaping Markets: Growing cities of all sizes, megaregions, changing demographics, and shifting consumer preferences will give rise to new opportunities fueled by new markets and a massive number of new consumers entering the world economy, especially in Asia.
  • Shaping Industries: The impact of Megatrends will be felt across industries, including Retail, Manufacturing, and Education. Retail will become increasing omnichannel, manufacturing will become smarter and more sustainable, and education will shift and change as technology enables new learning models.
  • Shaping Business: New business models will continue to emerge in response to new technologies and changing consumer preferences, while digital platforms and ecosystems are reshaping the business landscape, forcing companies to constantly reinvent themselves before they are disrupted.
  • Shaping Work: Megatrends impact every aspect of where and how we work. From smaller and shared workspaces, to a multigenerational workforce with varying needs and expectations, to an increasing desire to work anytime, anywhere. Digital advances are leading to new, immersive ways of working that blend the physical and digital, augment workflows, and make work smarter and more automated.
  • Shaping Life: Our physical and mental capabilities, our privacy (or lack thereof), how we communicate, and what we eat, not to mention the homes we live in and the way we move from place to place, will be transformed.
  • Shaping Health: An aging population and unhealthy lifestyle habits are putting more demand on healthcare and forcing us to try and find new ways to provide better, more personalized healthcare outcomes, move from treatment to prevention and allow healthcare to happen anywhere.

Thanks for taking a look at the preview of our latest Megatrends report outlining the trends and technologies shaping our future. Stay tuned over the next few months, as we’ll be sharing more details on our latest Megatrends research so you can stay ahead of all this change to innovate, adapt, reinvent and engineer experiences for a future that promises to look very different from today.

Editor’s note: The Megatrends refresh presentation was developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so although we don’t address it directly, we do speak to the innovations and solutions that exist beyond it. We hope this knowledge opens a window of hope and possibility to what awaits us on the road ahead.

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