2024 Trends to Watch

In Episode 23 of Business Diplomacy Today, host Matthias Catón is joined by Tom Standage, Deputy Editor of The Economist and editor of its future-gazing annual, The World Ahead. Timely, with the start of the new year, Matthias and Tom delve into global trends and predictions for 2024; as well as their implications for businesses and global affairs.

To understand the metholodogy, Matthias and Tom begin by discussing how forecasting is developed and the necessity to analyse previous events and liaise with cross-departmental colleagues to look forward. Their conversation analyses both predictable events and forecasted events, ranging from GDP growth in a country to instability in domestic and international contexts.

Interestingly, Matthias and Tom briefly look at how cognitive bias plays a role in the prediciability of events and how our common assumptions can lead us to be unprepared for events; contextualised in the episode, is the Russia-Ukraine war. The discussion further investigates crucial geopolitic affairs such as China-Taiwan, US Elections and the role of artifical intelligence. Tom further highlights the importance of 2024 as “election year” with over half of our global population living in a country that will have an election this year.

With a wealth of knowledge and relevant contextualisation, this episode is a must listen for policymakers, business leaders and those interested in understanding how to navigate 2024 and the intricate network of global affairs.

About the guest

Tom Standage

Tom Standage is Deputy Editor of The Economist and editor of its future-gazing annual, The World Ahead. He joined The Economist as science correspondent in 1998 and was subsequently appointed technology editor, business editor and digital editor.

He is the author of seven history books, including “Writing on the Wall” (2013), “The Victorian Internet” (1998) and the New York Times bestsellers “A History of the World in 6 Glasses” (2005) and “An Edible History of Humanity” (2009). His latest book, “A Brief History of Motion”, was published in 2021.

Tom studied engineering and computer science at Oxford University and has written for other publications including the New York Times, the Guardian and Wired, taking a particular interest in technology’s social and historical impact.

Executive Briefing – what you should read now

  • The Economist “The World Ahead 2024”
  • Tetlock, P.E. and Gardner, D. (2016) Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction