GMT Slovakia

Global megatrends and Slovakia






Diverging global population trend


Towards a more urban world


Changing disease burdens and risks of pandemics



Accelerating technological change



Continued economic growth


An increasingly multipolar world


Intensified global competition for resources (water, energy, food)



Growing pressures on ecosystems


Increasingly severe consequences of climate change


Increasing environmental pollution



Diversifying approaches to governance


Evaluation and challenges from the perspective of the Slovak Republic


© Centre of social and psychological sciences Slovak Academy of Sciences


Slovakia chairs the European Union in the second half of the year 2016. On this occasion, the Center of Social and Psychological Sciences SAS ( Forecasting Institute) in collaboration with the Institute of Landscape Ecology and the Institute of Physics has initiated the elaboration of global environmental megatrends (EEA, 2015) for Slovakia , their publication and presentation  in Slovakia and abroad.


Presentation of the first results of the project Megatrends in Slovakia


Presentation of research Megatrends in  Slovakia will be held on

2nd-3rd May 2016

in the Congress Centre SAS Smolenice


Authors ( in alphabetical order):

© Pavol Baboš, Dušana Dokupilová, Richard Filčák, Ivan Chodák, Zita Izakovičová, Ľuboš Jurík, Ivan Lichner, Zuzana Lieskovská, Štefan Luby, Martina Lubyová, Edita Nemcová, Eduard Nežinský, Miroslav Balog, Radoslav Považan, Boris Vaňo, Branislav Šprocha,


What the megatrends are?

Europe is tied to the world through various economic and social links that allow the flow of materials, resources, innovation, ideas, as well as waste and emissions. Global competition for resources increases with the effects on such global phenomena as biodiversity loss and climate change. This development makes that the ecological, economical and social situation in Europe and in Slovakia will be strongly influenced by different global changes in coming decades. The studies of trends and megatrends  are used for better understanding of  the current state, its causes and perspectives. Trend is essentially a particular development in which the value is  changing over time. The trend analysis forms the basis for many sectoral analyses and forecasting. In the tests of complex social and environmental systems the analysis of megatrends are used. These trends can be defined as a large-scale (global), often interconnected and characterized by a large impact. They are nowadays observable trends that probably will continue for several decades and through a slow change they will significantly affect a large number of areas - social, technological, economic, environmental and political. [1] Global megatrends (the "GMT") belong to the system characteristics features of today's environmental challenges.European Environment Agency ( EEA) defines 11 global megatrends in five areas ( clusters) [2 ], which are considered crucial to the long-term outlook for Europe's environment. The first area is the social cluster that contains 3 GMT (different global population trends, rising levels of urbanization in the world, changing burden of disease and the risk of pandemics). Technological cluster contains GMT of accelerating technological progress. Economic cluster includes 3 GMT (continued economic growth, a multipolar world and greater global competition for resources). The fourth key area is the environmental cluster that contains 3 GMT (increasing pressures on ecosystems, increasing the severity consequences of climate change, increasing environmental pollution). The last and least so far is cluster of management, which includes a GMT (diversifying governance approaches). Above mentioned 11 GMT have high importance for the situation in the European Union and its Member States. They introduce the key challenges and issues that will affect the environment, economic and social development of Europe and the world. GMT is described as follows [ 3 ]: 

GMT 1: Diverging global population trendSvetová populácia sa od 60. rokov 20. storočia zdvojnásobila na 7 miliárd a predpokladá sa, že bude naďalej rásť, hoci vo vyspelých hospodárstvach populácie starnú a v niektorých prípadoch i klesajú. Populácie v najmenej rozvinutých krajinách naopak prudko rastú.The world population has doubled to seven billions from the 60s of the 20th century till now. It is expected that it will continue to grow, although in developed economies the population is aging and in some cases declining. Population in LDCs, on the contrary, is soaring. 

GMT 2: Towards a more urban worldApproximately half of the global population now lives in urban areas and it is forecasted to rise to two-thirds by 2050. The ongoing urbanization can support innovative solutions to environmental problems with adequate investment, but also can increase the rate of pollution and resource use. 

GMT 3: Changing disease burdens and risks of pandemicsThe risk of exposure to new, emerging and re- emerging diseases and emerging pandemics is associated with poverty and increasing climate change and the increasing mobility of people and goods. 

GMT 4: Accelerating technological changeNew technologies are radically transforming the world, particularly with regard to the nano-, bio- , information and communication technology. It creates opportunities to reduce the human impact on the environment and increase security of resources, but also entails risks and uncertainties.

GMT 5: Continued economic growthIn spite of the recent economic recession, there still dampens economic optimism in Europe. Majority of prospective studies anticipate continued economic expansion at the global level over the coming decades and the accelerating consumption and use of resources, particularly in Asia and Latin America.

GMT 6: An increasingly multipolar worldIn the past, there dominated relatively small number of countries in the global production and consumption. Today there is substantial balancing of economic power, particularly when Asian countries are gaining ground. This has important impact on global interdependence and trade. 

GMT 7: Intensified global competition for resources (water, energy, food)The growing economy tends to use more resources, renewable biological resources and non-renewable reserves of minerals, metals and fossil fuels. Industrial development and changing consumption patterns contribute to the increase in demand too. 

GMT 8: Growing pressures on ecosystemsThe main influence is seen on biodiversity loss and degradation of natural ecosystems, which are driven by global population growth and the associated food and energy needs and evolving consumption patterns. They are forecasted to continue and seriously affect poor people in developing countries. 

GMT 9: Increasingly severe consequences of climate changeWarming of the climate system is beyond dispute. The changes in global climate, serious consequences on ecosystems and human society (including food security, drought and frequency of extreme weather events) are unprecedented over hundreds of years and they are forecasted to continue.  

GMT 10: Increasing environmental pollutionEcosystems are now globally exposed to critical levels of complex pollution. Human activity, global population growth and changing consumption patterns are key factors responsible for these increasing environmental burdens. 

GMT 11: Diversifying approaches to governanceGrowing mismatch between longer-term global challenges facing society and the more limited power of government creates demand for additional approaches to management. Business and civil society should play a greater role, there. These changes are necessary; however, they raise concerns about the coordination, efficiency and accountability.


Methodology and research questions  

The aim of the research is to assess the situation in the Slovak Republic in the context of the 11 identified global megatrends. The publication is focused on three fundamental questions:

1. How much do  the 11 identified global megatrends express their impact in the Slovak Republic ?

2. What is the impact and contribution of Slovakia to global megatrends?

3. What are the environmental, economic and social implications of global megatrends of action for Slovakia?


[1] EEA, 2007


[3] Source: EEA, SOER 2015

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