While the first learning sprint focused on exploring regional economic conditions in order to gain the best possible overview of the region’s existing strengths and challenges in terms of realizing employment opportunities, the second learning sprint is dedicated to observing global megatrends as a starting point for creating and developing new or existing ideas for innovative services and products. The examination of megatrends can help identify sustainable career prospects.


For example, Paula already knew that there were two established catering companies in the region that deliver food and offer party services. Paula and her friends didn’t have enough money to open a restaurant, and competition was already fierce. They also wanted to offer something special that didn’t yet exist in the region. But how could Paula and her friends develop their cooking idea into an innovative service idea?

Starting point for the creation of new innovative services and products can be the examination of technological developments, economic and social trends, values, and lifestyle models. Megatrends derive from lifestyles. Various micro-trends can be assigned to the megatrends. These micro-trends are the source of needs and, consequently, markets. Products and services are then developed for these markets. This results in jobs and employment potential (Kröll 2018, Göttling 2018).

On the other hand, certain needs can only arise on the basis of certain megatrends. Thus, a megatrend can have a significant impact on supply and demand by changing needs or creating new needs and can even influence the economic and political position of entire industries and countries. In the context of the employment radar, megatrends can thus be used to identify the needs of people resulting from the prevailing trends (Mulhouse, 2015) and to derive service or product ideas from them (excerpt, self-study module “Networking Capability”, detection of social megatrends)

Megatrends refer to profound and long-term changes that not only affect each and every one of us, but also touch and change all areas of society: Politics, culture, economy, science. The Zukunftsinstitut has defined 12 megatrends that affect all levels of our social and economic life. The following megatrends are pointed out, among others: Knowledge Culture, Urbanization, Connectivity, Individualization, Neo-Ecology, Globalization, Gender Shift, Health, New Work, Mobility, Silver Society, Security (Zukunftsinstitut, 2020). Microtrends, on the other hand, are changes that are less comprehensive and more short-lived. They are present in smaller groups, limited to a few age groups, to certain consumer habits or leisure behavior. Income differences also play a role. This includes, for example, trend sports, fashion trends or the consumption of certain superfoods.

Paula and her friends decided to get involved with the exciting topic of “megatrends” in order to generate the most creative ideas possible for their joint project “Cooking with Vision”.

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This work by Martin Kröll, IAW/RUB is licensed under CC BY 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit