The objective of this note is to set out a number of overarching trends in a globalised and rapidly changing world that are likely to be of legislative importance towards 2020 and beyond. It focuses on:

  • People – the projected increase of the population, both in the UK and globally. There are also trends towards
    increasing longevity, resulting in an ageing population and a larger proportion of people above retirement age.
  • Technological change – for example the ongoing rise in computing power and the growth in the number of devices that are connected to the internet, which have helped to fuel a massive rise in data collection and use.
  • Climate change – the increasing impacts of rising greenhouse gas levels in the Earth’s atmosphere is projected to cause more extreme weather patterns both in the UK and globally.
  • Resource security and sustainability – increasing pressure on natural capital (such as land and water) and rising demand for resources such as food and energy.
  • Inequality – variations in the measures of income inequality, and its impact across a range of policy areas including education and health.
  • Governance issues – such as new global tensions, the future of the UK, its relationship with the EU and changes in the way that public services are delivered.