Five Trends to Keep in Mind as Your Organization Prepares for the Future

September 19, 2022 By: Jenny Nelson

What are the trends you need to know about to lead your association into the future? ASAE Foundation research has the answer. Here’s a look at the five recently introduced drivers of change that are particularly relevant to the work of associations.

No surprise here: The world in which your association is operating is changing fast, which means you need to understand the external forces that could make or break its future success. ASAE’s ForesightWorks research identifies drivers of change important to associations, helping you envision and plan for the future—all while monitoring and acting in the present. Here’s a look at the five new drivers of change recently introduced.

American Wealth Gaps

Wealth varies greatly in the United States. The boomer generation has amassed significant assets over their lifespan, while the relative lack of wealth accumulation among younger Americans is affecting family formation and housing demand. Disparities in wealth across racial and ethnic lines persist. These wealth gaps may drive political attitudes and attempts by younger generations to redefine a satisfying life.

Changing Information Channels

New technologies and new perspectives are giving rise to new channels of information dissemination. These channels, like TikTok or gaming platforms, are shaped by audiences seeking new forms of contact and expression and transforming what it means to be a legitimate information source.

Digitizing Money

Money is evolving past the idea of fiat currency—money issued and backed by governments. Traditional currency is competing with digital (e.g., credit cards, digital vouchers, and cryptocurrencies) even as concerns about equitable access to digital money grow. Interest in new money concepts such as cryptocurrency and nonfungible tokens reflects a shift from faith in government to trust in the underlying algorithms of digital assets.

Shrinking Youth Populations

In many countries, birthrates have been falling for decades, with births in a growing list of countries—now including the United States—under the population replacement rate. Having fewer young people presents challenges to societies: a smaller workforce, fewer students in the educational system, and shifts in population geography. More countries will have to meet the needs of rising senior populations with fewer youth to support them.

Supporting Mental Health

Views of mental healthcare are changing, and there is growing attention to the importance and ubiquity of mental health issues. A binary view of well versus unwell is breaking down—though the question of what constitutes mental health may prove increasingly contentious. New efforts are underway to achieve equity and access in mental health, while therapy innovation is growing.

For more information about ASAE ForesightWorks, visit asaecenter.org/foresightworks. In addition, this collection includes only new and updated ForesightWorks files released in 2022.

 

Jenny Nelson

Jenny Nelson is director, content and knowledge resources, at ASAE.