Understanding the impact of living longer takes a researcher in many directions – including the mass movement of people. I am not, for a moment, suggesting that the current wave of migration to Western Europe is caused by an increase in life expectancy – but it is most certainly is a contributory factor.

There are two global ‘mega trends’ that are re-shaping much of our world – a 50% increase in human life expectancy over the last 50 years – this is also a major contributor to the second mega trend – a 50% rise in the global population in just the last 25 years. These figures are averages and their impact is disproportionately high in developing economies, some of whom have seen population growth approaching 100% in just 50 years. No wonder there is chaos in much of the developing world – no system of government was designed to cope with such unprecedented growth in population – increasingly it is down to individual citizens to take all necessary steps to provide for themselves and their families.

Add to this mix a rapid increase in interconnectivity brought about by mobile communication and the internet and you have a potent cocktail – growing numbers of people unable to provide for themselves and their families ‘at home’ who are increasingly aware of better prospects in other parts of the world – specifically Europe and beyond. The add to this cocktail the spark of civil unrest and many will quite naturally conclude that the rewards are worth the risks of migration.

Understanding the motivations of desperate people is a step in the right direction but remains a long way short of solving these issues, but it is progress. With improved understanding we can devise better solutions – some of which will work, but not all. As we continue to listen and understand better the solutions will become more effective.

EML does not have all the answers, we help clients understand the changing world better and when they do magic happens.