Joseph Lewis
January 2023

Briefing: How are megatrends shaping the future?

graph showing trend overlaid with four other graphs indicating megatrends

The world is changing, and its relationship with science has never been as important as it is now. Megatrends like climate change, rapid urbanisation, and economic, social, and technological developments are already fundamentally impacting the sector, and all have the potential to change the role of environmental science further.

As part of the Future of ES23 horizon scanning and foresight project, the IES is examining how megatrends will shape the future of the environmental sciences.

Ahead of our first major horizon scanning discussion event later this week, the IES has published a short briefing paper to encourage awareness of the nature and effects of megatrends such as climate change and rapid urbanisation to support horizon scanning for environmental professionals and to identify opportunities to inform pathways towards a positive future for environmental science.

Read the briefing for an introductory view, in the context of the breadth of wider literature on the topic of megatrends.

How are megatrends shaping the future of environmental science?


What next?

On Thursday 2nd February, the IES will be holding a discussion event to facilitate conversations about how these megatrends may influence the future of the environmental sciences.

The scene will be set by a panel of experts presenting on climate change, urbanisation, and the wider context of megatrends. After the event is finished, it will help to inform the ongoing process of horizon scanning, as well as the project’s final vision for the future of environmental science.

How can you get involved?