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The future of the child: foresight for action

The child in 2030

Megatrends and 'what if' questions

Analyzing megatrends is a foresight methodology that is particularly useful for unpacking assumptions about the future and considering a wider range of different outcomes. Megatrends are the convergence of multiple, underlying trends or shifts in the status quo. They have the potential to substantially influence the future. To demonstrate the utility of foresight, we analyse five megatrends that are of growing importance for children, UNICEF and the broader development sector: 

  1. global health crises
  2. inequality and the middle-income trap
  3. the changing nature and scale of conflict
  4. global migration
  5. the effects of technology on work and education

How and why?

We analyse each megatrend by identifying the driving forces of change and possible implications for children. Then we use ‘what if’ questions to facilitate meaningful consideration of how these trends could shape the world of a child in 2030. This process illustrates how foresight can help us better prepare for change and ultimately improve outcomes for children.

Children play football outside a child-friendly space in Lushan county, Sichuan Province, China, in August 2013.

© UNICEF/UNI167551/Liu





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