Futures researchers always work with three types of futures: the predictable, the possible, and the preferred. The two last – the possible and the preferred – are also worth considering when we use megatrends in our strategic work with the future.
Megatrends say something about the probable future, but there are other possible futures. Every megatrend can be set aside or can suddenly and fundamentally change direction. Wildcards – events that are unlikely, but that would have enormous consequences – can slow a megatrend’s development or create counter-forces. For example, the events of September 11, 2001 temporarily stopped growth and slowed some aspects of globalization.