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Megatrend 6: Global knowledge society

March 14, 2018

Prosperity begins in the classroom

Between now and 2030, seven forces will shift the way we see our world and transform the way we do business. We call them megatrends, and they are the focus of our sought-after Trend Compendium 2030. In this study, we zero in on megatrend number six, the Global Knowledge Society, and its three subtrends: know-how base, war for talent, and gender gap. From basic education to workplace applications, we uncover the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead in the field of education and the need for a skilled workforce.

We begin by looking at how the diffusion of knowledge can be increased. Education, of course, is the foundation of the know-how base. We track how the number of years spent in primary, lower and upper secondary, and tertiary education directly correspond to increased GDP per capita. We also examine literacy rates, how enrollment figures differ between world regions, and what can be done to level the field. This will be a critical step in ending the war for talent, where certain demographics in established economies have left them lacking skilled workers—approximately 38% of employers struggle to find suitable candidates—and emerging regions are threatened with a brain drain. We continue by examining the gender gap, comparing figures across developed and developing regions, and identifying the factors that must be addressed to bridge the difference.

To conclude this in-depth look at the Global knowledge society megatrend, we lay out a number of recommendations for corporate action. Goals for the future will include fostering online education in order to fully advance employee potential, evolving human resource management to head off future talent shortages today, and implementing attractive recruitment, retention, and career models for women to tap into this under-utilized workforce. Prosperity begins in the classroom – and that goes for private business as well as nations.


Trend Compendium 2030, Megatrend 6


Global Knowledge Society

Published March 2018. Available in