Nov 24 2010

Global MegaTrends Part 2 – Tech, Health Care and Global Business Cravings

Night lights and the spread of economic growth.

This is part 2 of longer overview of the 12 leading global business & economic megatrends effecting US associations prepared by MCI’s Global Association Management & Consulting Practice. Part 1 of of this article can be found here. Using the latest research findings from leading global institutions, MCI assembled these megatrends to help with client 2011 strategy and planning.  Here then is a short excerpt from this more in-depth client analysis covering trends.

Megatrend #4 – Tech Explosion Meets Population Explosion

Forecasts predict that Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia will be the sources of the most dynamic growth in digital consumption.  Already more than 610 million residents in these countries are regular Internet users and are expected to grow to 1.2 billion by 2015.  Over 60% of these users are under the age of 35 years old. As they earn even higher incomes as the middle class continues to expand, they will require more complex needs that will offer massive business potential of consumer electronics, Internet, and mobile communication.

Online usage in emerging markets is different than in developed countries and varies by age demographic segment than economic status although Brazil and Russia are far more advanced in usage sophistication than India or Indonesia. While China is far beyond them all with Internet and mobile phone usage deeply embedded in the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese.

But by far the online device of choice is and will continue to be – the smartphone.  PC’s are and will remain a platform with smaller adoption outside businesses.

Megatrend #5 – Health Care Offers Challenges & Opportunities for All

Innovation & Demand Soar in Emerging Markets – Spending on health care will continue to rise in line with economic growth and key markets will become big opportunities for health care companies. Yet serving them will require new models that can adapt to local needs. Demand for treatments for traditionally “Western” diseases will soar in these countries.

Greater Incidents of Global Pandemics – The world has become more sophisticated at coping with potential pandemics, but urban sprawl, population growth, global travel, and rudimentary delivery systems in poor countries ensure that global pandemics will remain a serious threat.

Environmental Quality Erodes Health – The effects of poor water and air quality, pathogens in food supply, and urban sprawl and congestion will cause dramatic health care challenges for decades to come.

Medical Tourism Goes Mainstream – The allure of good care at much lower prices will cause increasing numbers of people to go abroad for cheaper treatment. Americans traveling abroad for treatment will soar to more than 1.6 million in 2012.

Megatrend #6 – Acceleration of Demand for Generally Accepted Practices, Standards and Codes

As globalization affects industry and professions, its impact on a profession is felt through the definition and acceptance by industry of job roles, levels of skill mastery and principles of practice.  They become the means by which to standardize knowledge transfer from one part of the globe to the other and make managing complicated projects easier.

A recent management study by a US and UK business school identified that one important explanation for the large differences in productivity between firms and countries is variations in management practices. Their work suggests that implementing new practices may be easier when the workforce is more knowledgeable.  So more basic business education could help improve management in many nations, especially in developing nations.

And given emerging markets are only becoming aware of non-formal education (what we call professional development offered by associations) outside of university systems in recent times, the potential for certifications, accreditation and professional training that has generally accepted status outside their homemarkets have unique opportunities to tackle this new demand.

Emerging market governments want a good local supply of 21st Century workers to help their domestic companies compete.

Next up in Part 3 (found here) – Governments Get Intrusive, Massive Global Labor Shortages, & Massive Population Growth at Either End of the Pyramid

About the author

Peter Turner

As MCI's Senior Advisor, Global Development Strategy, I help associations build and execute global growth strategies. Over the past 30 years I have served three associations (ASAE, MPI and IEEE Computer Society) as a leader of business, product and partnership development.

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