Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center


The World-Class Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Centre and the UNESCO Futures Studies Chair (UNESCO Futures Literacy Chairs network) presents the results of a human capital development trends study of the National Research University Higher School of Economics Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (HSE ISSEK).

The study methodology included big data mining using the HSE ISSEK-developed iFORA system, expert sessions, and a Delphi survey of more than 400 leading international and Russian scientists specialising in human capital.

A complete list of trends is available in the unique open-access database.

Trendletter #1 (09/2022) 

Economy. Distributing Customer-centric Business Models

Focusing on the fastest possible customer’s needs satisfaction is the main characteristic of modern customer centric models. The service economy assumes that the consumer receives not just a product, but a solution to the problem (product-as-a-service).

Following the service and rank economy, the economy of impressions is gaining momentum. Goods and services are evaluated not so much by their objective characteristics as by their symbolic meaning for the consumer. In the future, it will give way to the transformation economy.

Trendletter #2 (10/2022) 

Healthcare. Transition to Preventive and Personalized Medicine

Progress in the field of genomic and cellular technologies, medical bioinformatics and active introduction of information technologies in medicine allowed us to move to a new model of medical care based on an individual approach to the patient.

The key elements of preventive medicine are early diagnosis systems, vaccination, as well as regular monitoring of individual human health parameters, including using wearable devices. The transition to preventive medicine will significantly contribute to reducing the burden on the primary health care sector.

Trendletter #3 (11/2022) 

Politics and Regulation. International Order Regionalization 

Today, it is within the framework of regional institutions that more modern and flexible rules of interstate cooperation are being developed, while the importance of the old international structures is declining.

Fragmentation of the world political order, regionalization of economic ties and the international legal system, emergence of new mechanisms of cooperation, cardinal restructuring of the world monetary and financial system are the main trends of the foreseeable future.

Trendletter #4 (01/2023) 

Ecology and Environment. Accelerating the Processes of Climate Change (RU)

Many of the destructive effects of climate change observed today are larger than those that have occurred over the past few centuries, and some (for example, sea level rise) may become irreversible. If the same greenhouse gas emissions remain in the 2020s, warming in the 21st century may exceed 2 °C.

According to the study, global warming will be accompanied by intensive precipitation, more frequent floods in some regions and droughts in others, melting of permafrost and glaciers, sea level rise, ocean acidification, a decrease in oxygen content in it, etc.

Trendletter #5 (03/2023) 

Growth of the Creative Economy

Creative industries are the most dynamically developing sectors of the world economy, a significant part of the added value of which is formed through creative activity and management of intellectual property rights.

Human capital is the main resource of creative economy. It is associated with the achievement of sustainable development goals, including ensuring quality education, gender equality, economic growth, and innovative development.

Trendletter #6 (05/2023) 

Urbanization Rates Differentiation (RU)

Successful urban development will be determined by investments in human capital and creative industries. The key factor of success in the competition between them in conditions of a high level of the population mobility is the availability of a comfortable urban environment for life and professional implementation that meets the standards of sustainable development.

Trendletter #7 (06/2023) 

New Employment Models (RU)

Today, part of the labor relations is being transferred to a digital environment that provides a rapid exchange of information and the results of intellectual activity. At the same time, the mobility of the population is growing, the attitude to work is changing. All this leads to the spread of non-standard forms of employment. Digital technologies provide communication between employees and employers at any distance and at any time, and allow organizing work processes in a new way. Partial and remote employment, freelancing, platform employment, outsourcing, employee sharing are becoming widespread

Trendletter #8 (07/2023) 

Digital Control Extention (RU)

Digital control tools are distributed everywhere: to protect infrastructure and production facilities, search for criminals, maintain law and order and labor discipline, measure human health indicators, etc. The COVID-19 pandemic largely legitimized the use of tracking technologies in order to ensure public safety: they were used for remote collection of biometric data and monitoring of compliance with the isolation regime, tracking contacts of patients and detecting clusters of people.

The authorities will continue to develop digital identification ecosystems to confirm the identity of citizens, ensure access to public services and multi-channel interaction.

Trendletter #9 (08/2023) 

Decline in Fertility and Spread of Reproductive Dysfunction (RU)

The birth rate in the world is decreasing. This is primarily due to the transition to an industrial and post-industrial society, when children are no longer considered as an additional labor force in the household, and their upbringing is becoming more and more expensive for the family. Women have more opportunities to study, to realize their professional ambitions, so they more often make a career choice, limiting themselves to the birth of one or two children or completely abandoning the role of mother. As a result, the average age of parents at the birth of a child also increases. For example, in Russia it has grown from 24.8 years in 1995 and to 28.8 years in 2020.

Trendletter #10 (09/2023) 

Increasing Social Responsibility of Business (RU)

Against the background of worsening social, economic and digital inequality, business is paying more and more attention to issues directly related to human well-being. At the same time, the growth of information transparency and the speed of data dissemination increases public attention to what policies companies adhere to.

Ignoring social and value issues by business is associated with numerous risks, such as legal costs, reputational damage, loss of investors, suppliers, partners or customers, negative information background and a wide public response; 71% of consumers are ready to abandon the brand, for which profit is more important than caring about people.

Trendletter #11 (09/2023) 

Lifelong Learning Concept (RU)

By 2030, more than 1 billion jobs in the world will change under the influence of new technologies, and successful adaptation to new conditions in the labor market will require continuous training (Lifelong Learning) and improving people's professional competencies.

It is expected that 40% of the basic skills for employees will change over the next 5 years, and in the 20-year perspective, digital literacy will become the main requirement for most jobs in all areas. Currently, in Russia, only 15% of the able-bodied population and 1% of pensioners are involved in additional education programs, whereas in developed countries — 40 and 5%, respectively.

Trendletter #12 (09/2023) 

Unhealthy Lifestyle (RU)

Despite the growth in the number of people who consciously relate to their health, more than a quarter of the world's population suffer from physical inactivity, and in developed countries this figure is even higher.

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation, as places for sports and outdoor activities have been closed. Physical activity could save up to 5 million people annually, and moderate-intensity training (only 2.5 hours a week) will reduce mortality by about 10%.

Trendletter #13 (10/2023) 

Boundaries between Real and Virtual World (RU)

Virtuality is increasingly penetrating into the real world. The economy of impressions is developing; in order to attract and retain customers, companies focus on creating user experiences, where they use modern AR/VR technologies, among other things. In addition, work, education, medicine, entertainment and much more are becoming virtual. Interaction of the virtual and real worlds is the main topic of the new issue of trendletters.

Trendletter #14 (11/2023) 

Transition to Preventive and Personalized Medicine (RU)

The progress in genomic and cellular technologies, medical bioinformatics, and the active use of information technologies (IT) in medicine allowed to move on towards a new model of medical care based on a personalized approach to the patient. Transformation of the modern healthcare system is the main topic of the new issue of trendletters.

Trendletter #15 (12/2023) 

Increasing Attention to Human Rights Issues (RU)

Almost all the tasks that need to be solved in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals are directly related to the protection of human rights: providing equal opportunities for vocational and higher education, ensuring decent work, implementing social protection systems and measures at the national level, etc. In recent decades, positive changes have taken place in this area, in particular, interaction between governments, international organizations, commercial and non-profit structures has increased.

Trendletter #16 (01/2024) 

Transition to participatory medicine (RU)

The new participatory model of medicine focuses on turning individuals into active participants of treatment process, alongside medical professionals. It is believed that this model is aimed at contributing to an overall increase in the effectiveness of healthcare industry.

Patient’s engagement promotes the development of educational content for non-specialists in the medical field, as well as the creation of specialized services and applications for monitoring health status. According to the researchers, an increasing number of patients start to use portable electronic devices to monitor their own metrics and to maintain their health at a high level. It is expected that by 2027 more than 470 million people will be using electronic devices for medical purposes.

Trendletter #17 (02/2024)

Automation and Robotics Technologies for Labor Market (RU)

According to experts, the labor market is experiencing significant changes because of the development of automation and robotics technologies. The role of humans at a workplace is shifting as a result of the introduction of innovative technologies. It is expected that by 2025, work processes will be equally reliant on humans and machines.

Due to the increasing impact of technological innovation on the labor market it is to be noted that, individuals will face both positive and negative effects of this phenomenon. While specialists will have an opportunity to enhance their productivity and delegate certain work tasks, they will also face such challenges as an insignificance of legislative framework to protect their rights, a decline in job opportunities and a need to go through advanced training in order to develop their skills.

Trendletter #18 (03/2024)

Developing Culture of Equal Opportunities (RU)

The development of a culture that promotes equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their ethnicity, social background, age or minority status, is stimulated by such drivers as demographic changes, accelerated migration processes, economic factors, etc. Additionally, recent events have highlighted the importance of addressing issues related to equality and diversity thar affect people from different ethnic or national backgrounds.

Despite the progress made on different levels in order to promote a culture of equal opportunities, there are still issues that need to be addressed. According to experts, such  problems as a lack of attention given to diversity at the state and corporate levels, a lack of measurable criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of inclusive practices and the persistence of stereotypes represent an obstacle to development.

Trendletter #19 (04/2024)

The Shift Towards Conscious Consumption (RU)

According to the experts, the trend towards conscious consumption and environmental awareness is spreading worldwide, transforming the production sector and fostering the emergence of new business models. Manufacturers are integrating the principle of shared use and ownership of resources into their businesses, while consumers are increasingly turning to the reuse of items.

The evolution of eco-culture and the culture of sustainable consumption is the central theme of a new trendletter issue that depicts the main barriers and drivers, risks and opportunities of this phenomenon. 

Trendletter #20 (06/2024)

Healthy Lifestyle As A New Priority For Individuals, Businesses And States (RU)

In recent years, there has been a global shift towards a positive perception of a healthy lifestyle. The UN identifies it as a key factor for sustainable development, prompting many countries to implement programs promoting physical activity and healthy habits.

Companies are also prioritizing employee health to boost productivity and reduce healthcare costs, introducing mental health programs and better work environments. Individuals recognize the importance of physical and mental well-being, driven by increased health awareness, the rise of wearable fitness devices, better sports infrastructure, and healthier food options. This trend is expected to enhance public health and increase life expectancy.

Trendletter #21 (07/2024)

New Technologies as a Solution to the Problem of Unequal Access to Education (RU)

The text discusses the impact of modern technologies such as AI, machine learning, 3D modeling, VR, AR and MR on education sector, highlighting their potential to enhance student engagement and simulate real-life scenarios, which is particularly beneficial for high-risk professions.

The education sector ranks third in global investments in VR, AR and MR technologies, following gaming and healthcare. However, significant inequalities in access to education persist, with 260 million children projected to lack schooling by 2023, decreasing to 200 million by 2030. Bridging this gap requires addressing the lack of electronic devices and internet access. The trend towards using innovative technologies in education is driven by efficiency programs, personalized learning, technological advancements, and decreasing equipment costs.