How to analyse the macro-environment

Before you can forecast how today's innovations and trends will rise, fall, and change in the future, it is vital you understand the external, uncontrollable, macro environment of today and tomorrow.

To explain by analogy: 

If you think of an innovation as a seed, we are examining the ground it is planted in.

If you think of an innovation as a swimmer, we are analysing the water and weather she is swimming in.  

Originally inspired by Michael Porter’s PEST analysis — of political, economic, social, and technological factors — the Future Is Here uses an updated model that includes more areas, which form a mnemonic we call:

"DAS STEEPLE"

D — demographics, eg, longer lives, aging populations, more people
A — aesthetics, our changing perception of what is/isn’t beautiful, useful, and usable
S — science, as discoveries change our attitudes and behaviours

S — socio-cultural, our attitudes, aspirations, dreams, behaviours
T — technological, arguably the most important driver of change in the 21st century
E — economics.
E — environment, the time bomb in any conversation about human behaviour in the 21st century
P — political, how we act as groups and get on with others (think of Occupy and the Brexit campaign)
L — legal, as laws can speed up/slow down change (think homosexuality and marijuana)
E — ethics, social norms and beliefs