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Analysis of megatrends by Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies

Understanding megatrends

The analysis from our research partner CIFS sheds light on the structural trends transforming the world, helping us build better investment portfolios.

Pictet Asset Management has been working with the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies (CIFS) for over a decade to establish a deeper understanding of megatrends – the powerful secular forces that are changing the environment, society, politics, technology and the economy. CIFS is a leading global think tank and consultancy. CIFS uses a wide range of research methods, developed over the last 40 years, which include megatrend analysis, scenario planning, risk management, innovation initiatives and strategy development.

Through our partnership with CIFS, we have devised an investment framework that incorporates CIFS’ 14 megatrends. The framework – which includes trends such as Demographic Development, the Network Economy, Focus on Health, Sustainability and Technology Development – enhances our thematic equity capabilities and informs the construction and development of our thematic equities strategies such as Water, Robotics or SmartCity.

As CIFS’ partner, Pictet Asset Management has access to research into areas not normally covered by the investment analyst community such as changes in societal attitudes and beliefs, the impact this has on the environment and the business sector, and the acceleration of technological development. We are proud to be associated with CIFS and would like to share some of their research with you.

Download the reports (The reports are only available in english)

Fourth industrial (R)evolution

Fourth Industrial (R)evolution.pdf

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. But how much of the technological change we are seeing today is indeed revolutionary and how much is a continuation of past trends? Which blind spots, wildcards, opportunities, and risks are on the horizon, and which potential futures are we not paying close enough attention to?

The report aims to provide a multifaceted and thought-provoking take on this important topic, exploring both familiar themes surrounding the Fourth Industrial Revolution and asking and answering some of the questions that are otherwise forgotten or ignored. ► Read the full report here

Using the future


Our futures are shaped by the decisions we make in the present. By becoming more conscious of how our understanding of the future guides these decisions, both in a professional and personal setting, we can make choices that are better informed and less clouded by biases and misguided assumptions.

This report is an exploration of how to enable future-ready decision-making in organisations, through strategic foresight, and more future-conscious decisions on an individual level, through fostering futures literacy and broader inclusion of the public in futures work in general. ► Read the full report here

CSR in the age of compounded crisis


Companies and organisations are increasingly expected to play a greater role in solving some of the major global challenges and interconnected crises facing us. Are they up to the task?

In this report, we ask if we are shifting our focus from reactive compliance to proactive commitment when it comes to how and to what extent companies and organisations engage in societal causes. We discuss what ’doing good’ and corporate social responsibility mean today, outline crucial trends, and explore questions for the future. ► Read the full report here



Pandemics are agents of creative destruction that expose the critical vulnerabilities and inequalities in society while also supercharging innovation through necessity. Often, pandemics act as expressways to the future that force us to reassess the status quo, break away from ingrained modes of thought, and overhaul our systems and structures. This report examines the societal impacts of pandemics in a past-present-futures perspective and outlines how tools and capabilities like scenario planning, megatrend analysis, and futures literacy can be used to reimagine and chart out our post-pandemic trajectories. ► Read the full report here

Visions of a greener world

Visions of a Greener World

A range of solutions to mitigate climate change exist or are on the horizon. Some are well-known, others more novel, and they vary in effectiveness.

This report aims to cut through the noise and provide a comprehensive survey of current and future climate solutions, their potential impact and the challenges we need to overcome if they are to be successfully implemented.

► Read the full report here

Your life in 2024

Your life in 2044

The report combines fact with fiction in three storylines set in Copenhagen 25 years from now, seen through the eyes of a young mother, a lord mayor and a business leader.

Underlying the three narratives is a scenario for the world in 2044, constructed collectively by the futurists at CIFS based on the latest research from the Institute’s key topics.

► Read the full report here

Rethinking higher education


The nature and purpose of higher education will have to be re-evaluated to accommodate societal, technological and demographic shifts, as well as more automated and fluid job markets.

We will have to reconsider how higher education is organised and delivered, and the role of higher education institutions in the digital economy of the 21st century.

► Read the full report here

Future media


Media production and consumption are accelerating, the media environment is becoming more complex, and junk news and misinformation run rampant.

Three articles cover our changing media landscape from different perspectives: the future of public service media, diverging trajectories in commercial media, and the new frontiers of hi-tech media.

► Read the full report here

Crumbling pillars


We are living in a time of upheaval. Many of the conditions we have long taken for granted are now changing.

The report looks at four trends that threaten the global status quo: Democratic recession, the end of Western technological dominance and Western-led globalisation, and accelerating environmental change.

► Read the full report here