New World Same Humans
New World Same Humans
New World Same Humans #44 – Audio Version

New World Same Humans #44 – Audio Version

Welcome to New World Same Humans, a weekly newsletter on trends, technology, and society by David Mattin.

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Recent weeks have brought news of three effective vaccines. Now, the challenge is roll out. We need to get these vaccines first to those who need them most. That means frontline health workers, and the old.

So much about this virus, and in consequence about this year, has been about management of risk for old people. In that way, the pandemic has been a reminder of a central fact about about the human collective in 2020: it is ageing.

The UN says that the global population aged 65 and over is growing faster than any other age group. In 2019, one in 11 worldwide was over 65; by 2050 it will be one in six.

It’s an unprecedented demographic change. And because it will shape our response to all else, I’ve come to believe that it is the most consequential megatrend reshaping the decades ahead.

So this week, reflections on this megatrend; specifically, three thought starters on what it means for our journey through life, our politics, and our relationship with work.

Enough preamble; hit play!

If you prefer to read this week’s instalment, go here for the text version of New World Same Humans #44.

Graphs in this week’s instalment

This is a classic population pyramid. It shows the distribution of age groups across a human population:

This is the equivalent graph for the population of Europe in 2019 and as forecast in 2100, from the EU’s data agency Eurostat.

Links in this week’s instalment


1. The UN says that in 2019, one in 11 worldwide was over 65; by 2050 it will be one in six.

Longer lives will reorder the 21st-century:

1. The UN calls ageing populations ‘one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st-century.’

We’ll search for a new settlement between the young and the rest:

1. As discussed in New Week Same Humans #13, the OECD says those aged 25 and under are 2.5 times more likely to be without a job because of the pandemic as those between 26 and 64.

2. The Ipsos Global Trends 2020 report showed 53% of 60 to 74-year-olds agree that ‘even the scientists don’t really know what they’re talking about on environmental issues’, against 39% of 16 to 24-year-olds.

Just a number

Thanks for reading this week.

The new realities emerging as a result of ageing societies are many and complex. Treat these three thought-starters as just that; jumping off points for further analysis. What do they mean for your business? For your career, and your personal journey through the years to come?

In the meantime, we in the New World Same Humans community are forging a journey, too! We started as a small tribe back in January; today we encompass more than 14,000 smart people – founders, strategists, designers, coders, policy makers and much more. If you help our community expand, you make it more useful for all of us. And all you have to do is share!

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I’ll be back on Wednesday with New Week Same Humans. Until then, be well,


David Mattin sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Consumption.

New World Same Humans
New World Same Humans
New World Same Humans is a weekly newsletter on trends, technology and our shared future by David Mattin.
Born in 2020, the NWSH community has grown to include 25,000+ technologists, designers, founders, policy-makers and more.
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