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This year has been a 12-month white-knuckle rollercoaster ride as organisations rode the ups and downs, twists and turns of an extraordinary year in-through-post COVID, depending on what sector you work in.

The leaders and teams we’ve been working with have juggled a complex set of circumstances, including increasing demand, limited staff, new obstacles, a change in federal government, geo-political pressures, workforce shifts, and each having to uncover, design and test their new normal for themselves and their people.

I applaud all the remarkable people we at Zadro are fortunate to work and walk beside, and thank our clients for their trust, openness, willingness to try something new, and acknowledge them for constantly wanting to do things better for their own people, clients, members and communities. You inspire us.

As everyone goes into this well-earned Christmas break, we can’t help wondering, what does 2023 have in store for us all? Here are the top 5 megatrends, we believe are on the way:

1. Acceleration towards Net Zero 2050

Whilst the challenges to achieve net zero are immense scientifically, technologically and financially, finally, the will seems to exist. Expect to see consumers and suppliers in all industries addressing their part in the picture and doing/talking more about sustainable practices, purchasing and prioritisation as part of business-as-usual.

2. The S in ESG

As we grapple with the environmental challenge of all time, the S in ESG – social – is taking hold. Once confined to the work of governments, now staff, consumers and stakeholders are increasing their voice and calling for corporate Australia to help make inroads into social issues such as equality, diversity and inclusion, racism and more. Organisations will need to consider their position and action plans authentically, openly and strategically or be accused of taking advantage of the issues, without committing to results. For example, check out rainbow washing and its demoralising impacts.

3. The rise of the Gen Ys

According to the latest ABS results and Mark McCrindle’s analysis of the 2021 Census, for the first time, there are more Gen Y people (aged 28 – 42) in Australia than Boomers (aged 58 – 76). The children of the Boomers have grown to be the largest generation group (21%), overtaking their parents (20%). Digital natives, parents of Gen Alpha, socially aware and pursuing quality of life over increasing their standard of life (typical of Gen X) or survival (Boomers), we will see our civic life more shaped by this generation than ever before.

4. Increased stakeholder dialogue demand

Do you know exactly who has a vested interest in your organisation and its work? Do you know what they need from you, or say about you? Do you have an open and constructive relationship with all your stakeholders? Organisations will be looking more and more at their stakeholder relationships – beyond staff and client groups – as pressure builds to be more cognisant of how our work impacts others. Organisations will need to map, measure and develop plans to establish, build and maintain relationships to mitigate risk, protect social licence and build healthy, productive legacies.

5. The Magentaverse

The mood of 2023 will hopefully be summed up by Pantone’s Colour of the Year, Viva Magenta 18-1750, which vibrates with “vim and vigor”.

Pantone® says, the colour is “rooted in nature descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength. Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, and a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative. Viva Magenta galvanizes our spirit, helping us to build our inner strength.”

Have a wonderful break, and a prosperous, healthy and happy 2023.

Felicity Zadro