Sajid Javid

The five mega-trends shaping our world

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP discusses challenges from AI to vaccines and adjusting to life in the post post-Cold War era.

In this Oxford Saïd Future of Business event of 9 May 2023, Professor of Management Studies Mari Sako talks to MP and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid about the five ‘mega trends’ shaping the world: climate change and biodiversity; technology and life sciences; demographics; conflict; and migration.

Javid draws on his experience, not only as Chancellor but also as Home Secretary, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and most recently as Health Secretary, to discuss the impacts of these mega trends on governments and businesses worldwide. He talks about the potential dark sides of technological and scientific advances, and acknowledges the difficulties of moving from political promises to effective action.

However, he also suggests a variety of positive approaches and developments that governments, in particular, could consider in order to mitigate the worst consequences of these mega trends, ‘and bring out the very best so that we can build a better world’.

  • We should be open to new and even ‘outlandish’-sounding technology to address the challenge of climate change – everything from small, modular nuclear reactors to changing the weather through stratospheric aerosol injections.
  • Measuring and reporting on natural capital in the national accounts would be an important first step towards truly valuing nature and holding governments to account. Currently, nature is not valued, and ‘because it's undervalued we are completely overusing it, and if we carry on consuming … at the rate that we currently are, we would need 1.6 planets’.
  • The UK’s Online Harms Bill has not yet made it through Parliament, but already some of the large technology companies are talking to the Government and making changes to their algorithms, because the bill proposes giving regulators much stronger powers to enforce cooperation in tackling online criminal behaviour and abuse – and imposing much larger fines.
Sajid Javid MP