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Why are megatrends important?

We introduce the idea of megatrends and explain how they can be major disruptors for any organisation and its plans for the future.
Young business man balanced on the top of a tall ladder. He is surrounded by clouds and is looking into the distance through a telescope.
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Change has always been a feature of human existence but, for many of us, it feels like the rate of change is increasing like never before.

What is the EFQM model?

The EFQM Model was updated to its current version at the end of 2019. EFQM carried out an extensive research and consultation process to find out what needed to be changed or updated in the EFQM Model to make sure that it would be fit for the next 5-10 years.

As part of the research, interviews were conducted with senior business leaders from different sectors and different countries. One of the questions we asked in each of the interviews with this group was, “What keeps you awake at night?” Their answers can be summarised as the rate of change.

Organisations need to know the changes that will impact them

More than ever, organisations need to be watching for changes that will impact them. They need to look beyond the boundaries of their organisation, their sector, their competitors or their country.

They need to look for big, emerging changes that will transform organisations, communities, economies and countries. These large, global transformative changes are known as the megatrends.


Megatrends are longer-term in nature and have irreversible consequences for the world around us and how we live and work. These shifts may come from technological disruption or new business models, but they may also appear as a result of geopolitical issues or climate change.

Identifying megatrends

Identifying megatrends helps an organisation identify potential threats and opportunities. It can then take action to prepare for the potential threats. It can also make the most of the opportunities.

Outstanding organisations scan the horizon for these megatrends with a mindset of opportunity rather than fear. They realise that the approaches that made them successful in the past will not guarantee their success in the future.

Global megatrends

EFQM identified nine global megatrends that it wanted to consider when it was developing this most recent version of the EFQM Model. These nine megatrends are not to be seen as the definitive list.

For example, a recent internet search for the word megatrends generated 2,150,000 results! By their nature, megatrends will change over time. However, EFQM’s list of nine megatrends represents the most commonly discussed themes in the world of business.

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