By Thomas Fröhlich
With his book “Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives”, John Naisbitt (1982) coined the term “megatrends.” Mittelstaedt et al. (2014: 255) define megatrends as changes that are “complex in nature, extensive in their impact, and reflective of their historic context.” Megatrends can therefore be seen as long-term developments in all areas of society that have the potential to fundamentally change current systems and processes. The importance of identifying and understanding such megatrends lies in mid- to long-term planning for political and economic purposes. If unaccounted for, megatrends might face political leaders with new and unexpected problems and proven business models might require fundamental adjustments.
Read the full article in our Newsletter No.74
By Jonna Nyman
The decisions we make about energy shape our present and our future. From geopolitical tension to environmental degradation and an increasingly unstable climate, these choices infiltrate the very air we breathe. Energy security politics has direct impact on the continued survival of human life as we know it, and the earth cannot survive if we continue consuming fossil energy at current rates. The low carbon transition is simply not happening fast enough, and change is unlikely without a profound shift in how we approach energy security. But thinking on energy security has often failed to keep up with these changing realities. Energy security is primarily considered to be about the availability of reliable and affordable energy supplies—having enough energy—and it remains closely linked to national security.
Read the full article in our Newsletter No.72
By Richard Kent
The economic blockade of Qatar by its neighbouring Gulf states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the 5 June, has caused rifts and uncertainty in global energy markets, and conveys a rebalancing of power and emergence of strategic foreign and energy policies within the wider MENA region. The blockade halted all land, air, and sea traffic, and GCC states have expelled all Qatari diplomats and citizens, causing a diplomatic crisis.
Read the full article in our newsletter no.66.
By Thomas Fröhlich
Brazil is the world leader in the use of biofuels in transport, and can look back at a successful history of introducing and expanding the use of ethanol in particular as an alternative transport fuel to substitute petroleum imports.
After the introduction of the government’s “Pró-Álcool” programme in 1975, Brazil was able to transform its light vehicle fleet to be almost completely ethanol-fuelled by the late 1980s, thereby substituting about 7bn barrels of petrol imports.
Due to high sugar prices, a phase-out of government support and the opening of the economy in the 1990s, Brazilians increasingly opted to buy foreign cars that we
re petrol-fuelled, resulting in a decrease of ethanol-fuelled cars and thereby ethanol consumption.
Read the full article in our Newsletter.