Identifies and outlines nineteen powerful trends that are reshaping global markets and changing the role and strategies of corporations. Presents leading indicators of world economic, environmental and social conditions to international business audiences.

Executive Summary

A collaboration of World Resources Institute, United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

While the future is always uncertain, probable market scenarios are bounded by global trends.

This publication joins the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, the World Resources Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme to identify the trends that are shaping the global business environment. These trends are shaping a new marketscape, the landscape through which business must navigate to succeed.

The features of the marketscape continue to be dominated by the business fundamentals such as competitive advantage, price, product channels, cost of capital and operating costs, but the pathways to market success are marked increasingly by indicators of environmental and social performance.

Here we describe the basic condition of the global customer base, the impacts and opportunities of rising wealth, the natural capital that supports us, the networked world and the changing roles of governments, civil society and the private sector. We illustrate each trend with key facts and leading indicators and provide a concise interpretation of its meaning for the target audience, the international business community.