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TREND 9: The importance of wellbeing

What do the 2020s have in store for investors? Big-picture thinker David Dowsett sets out the ten trends he foresees emerging over the next decade, along with their investment implications.

TREND 9: The importance of wellbeing

In the 19th century, most new diseases (predominantly pneumonia) were the result of industrialisation.

In the 20th century, the prevalence of cancer is the by-product of the artificial age.

In the 21st century, I predict the biggest challenges will be associated with diseases of the brain.

All of us are living in a 24/7 world of unlimited and unceasing data. Who among us is not in some way addicted to their mobile phone? Who has not read a Twitter post that has made them angry? Who is not on Facebook, the largest empire the world has ever known with 2.7 billion followers?

The rising mental health epidemic, particularly among the young, is directly related to this data and social media explosion. Our brains are literally struggling to cope.

The 2020s will be the decade when the fightback begins.

Presentation, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues will become a core health service competency. Advances in neuroscience will allow much more effective remedial work. Wellbeing will also become a core corporate responsibility for businesses to their employees.

We will also see big strides in individual health awareness. Wearables with real-time health apps will be standard by the end of the decade.

This, in turn, will prompt better eating and wellness habits. Veganism and ‘Beyond Meat’ are not passing fads. Demand for food that is actually good for you is set to continue to rise.

I predict that even something as simple as sleep awareness will become more popular. The importance of sleep has been downgraded in our ‘always on’ culture. The restorative power and health benefits of sleep are an obvious source of wellbeing, and yet nobody is taught its importance. The science of sleep can be a growth industry for the 2020s.

An increased focus on wellbeing rather than continual material gain will be another signal of the changing nature of capitalism as we enter a new decade.

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