While the future is impossible to predict, as the global economic and financial crisis and many disasters in the MDG era acutely illustrate, this report assesses recent trends in six critical areas that are either reflected directly in the SDGs or are so important that they are likely to condition the prospects for achieving all of the goals. These six “mega-trends” relate to poverty and inequalities, demography, environmental degradation and climate change, shocks and crises, development cooperation and financing for development, and technological innovation.