Over the past century, many parts of the world have seen an extraordinary increase in living standards and life expectancy.
As the Financial Times notes, we used to marry at c15 years, become grandparents at c30 and die at c45. Yet whilst 15 - 30 - 45 is still the demographic cycle in the poorest countries, developed economies are now moving to a 25 - 50 - 75 cycle, and some to a 30 - 60 - 90 cycle.
The chemical and pharma industry has played a major role in enabling this improvement to take place. Its products are critical for the supply of clean water, improving food production/storage, and in healthcare.
Now Anna Jagger has written a very interesting ICB article looking at likely Next Steps in terms of the long-term societal megatrends that will drive chemical/pharma industry growth during the 2010's.
She notes that companies are not only redesigning their innovation processes to cut carbon emissions, but are also focusing on key areas including Renewable Energy, Food, Energy Efficiency and Water.
She highlights some of the activities underway at leading companies including Bayer, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, Evonik, ExxonMobil and Wacker. And she also summarises new studies by McKinsey (for the International Council of Chemical Associations), the United Nations and the World Economic Forum.