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At the basis of our competitive analysis is the application of a tool called STEEP Analysis. Used by futurists, this mnemonic device reminds us to consider a wide variety of trends outside of our own industry, specifically:

Social trends: aging populations, urbanization, mixed families, increased prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and kidney failure

Technology trends: increased distribution of GPS, IPv6 networking, decreasing price and increase application of robotics in the home, genomic medicine, electric automobiles, nanotechnology

Economic trends: Real estate occupancy rates, unemployment rates, sovereign debt, household debt, corporate debt, government intervention in markets, corporate merger and acquisition activity, energy factors, raw material availability

Ecological trends: Water availability, biodiversity, soil health, wetlands integrity, climate change

Political trends: Legislation, regulation, political parties, authoritarianism versus liberal democracy

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