Maybe it’s me, but I don’t understand this, especially the axes. It’s from Oltmans van Niekerk, a global research and innovation firm in the Netherlands.
Category Archives: Trends
Couple of trend pieces from the Financial Times and McKinsey & Company. Nothing that new about the trends, but some nice visialisation.
I got a lino print set for my birthday. Not sure I’m very good at it, but i must admit it’s quite relaxing to do. I think I have an idea about turning the attached into a trend map. Watch this space.
Is spirituality is the new sex?
I’m not sure if this is a weak signal, but it’s interesting. An analysis of the Sotheby’s art prize has found that the theme of introspection, especially spiritually, is trending upwards, while sex is trending down. The data set is small, so beware of jumping to premature conclusions, but worth watching nevertheless.
The full article is worth a read.
Many moons ago (I’ve never used that phrase before , where did that suddenly come from I wonder?) I wrote something on weak signals and mentioned that t-shirt slogans are a good source of weak signals, emerging trends or at least new feelings. Here’s a t-shirt from, rather weirdly, from a cybersecurity conference of all places.
Trend of the Month…
…is asociality. This isn’t to be confused with people being anti-social, which generally refers to antagonism, displeasure or hostility towards other human beings. It isn’t quite introversion either, which might be referred to as someone that’s reserved or reflective or autism where people find it hard to interact with other people. No, this is more to do with individuals (or indeed an entire society) that just prefers to be left alone, dare I say it, to their own devices.
Trends Vs Fads
Is this a trend, a counter-trend or a fad?
It’s not a trend to my mind – not large enough in scale or fast enough in velocity. It could be a classic counter-trend. The bigger a macro-trend the greater the chance that a micro-trend will emerge as a balancing force in my experience (e.g. globalisation drives localisation, fast food drives slow food, digitalisation drives craft). I think this is a fad driven by a certain demographic (nostalgic), but also a kind of reverse /ironic status.
In the case of phones though, there’s also a real need. The low-cost dumbphone was originally designed to appeal to poor users in Asia and especially Africa. They now appeal to people seeking a cheap phone that won’t get stolen, won’t break if dropped, won’t act as a tracking device and won’t run out of battery life in an emergency.
The Nokia 3310, for example, isn’t the future of phones, far from it, but it is part of a longing for simplicity. It’s one species within a complex ecosystem of technical diversity.
The on-demand economy
Two interesting conversations last week. The first concerned generational attitudes to privacy. A friend was considering putting their home on Airbnb. His daughter (22) thought it was a great idea. His wife (40 something) was horrified. It exposed differing attitudes to not only privacy but possessions. Ownership Vs. access too. I thought it was interesting.
The second conversation was with a retailer. I had long thought that the new ‘on demand’ economy had a small glitch, which was its business model and economics. Essentially, retailers aren’t making any money on instant (same day) delivery. Customers won’t pay much more than a few pounds to have something delivered on the same day, but it costs more than this to do it. Not sustainable, unless someone can unlock value somewhere or possibly bundle the delivery cost into something else or support it with something else (ads?).
Future Predictions for 2050 (or before, but who can say?)
Here’s a list of some of the entries I removed from my final Mega trends & Technologies map for a variety of reasons.
Gyroscopic inertial thrust engines (reactionless drive)
Electrification of Africa
Rise of Christianity in East Asia
Cascades of rage
Search for novelty
Crisis of meaning
Growth of transgender agenda
Growth of women in work & education
Identity chips implanted at birth
A company less than a year old with a billion users
Energy bills bundled with other services
Apple launches the iCar
Use of Marmite to soothe Middle Eastern conflict (de Bono)
Shopping ‘bots that negotiate price with retailers.
Five dimensional memory glass for data storage
Lighter than air solids
Companies fined for having fat workers
Body hacking for sensory augmentation
Internet connected animals
Cloud seeding using lasers
Emphasis on self-reliance
Tech-free work spaces
Neurologically driven vehicles
Routine manipulation of embryos in vitro
Markets not fully factoring in debt
Lab grown meat in supermarkets
EU disintegration (trust me, when not if)
Rise of the vegetarians
Polarisation between snacking and social eating
Price point polarisation
Real-time car insurance (by the minute/mile)
Floating data dashboards
Backdating of vehicles (to make them look old)
Most vehicles electric in some form
Growth of new transport corridors
Preemptive interventions based on genome
Male birth control pills
Search for intrinsic value
Growth of criminal economy
Low growth era
Real-time tax payments (no annual tax returns)
Micro-scale energy harvesting
Everyone has an online reputation score
Growth of urban mega-regions
Digital only banks
Popularity of colour pink (denial)
Popularity of colour silver (protection)
Fragmentation of national identities
Renaissance of craft
Declining urban air quality
Rise of the 4th Reich (I know! This belongs to a friend of mine).
Crop pollination robots
Fully autonomous battlefield robots
Warfare merges with gaming
Rise of non-Western art
Clean slate digital identities
Full immersion VR suits
Apple becomes first trillion-dollar company
Dream imaging and recording via fMRI
US energy independence
Ability to locate anything anywhere anytime
Libraries of human emotions
Pollution absorbing paint
Rising importance of food and water security
Disenfranchisement of men
Children growing up too fast
Adults behaving like children
People regularly living to 100-years-of-age
Growth of air filtering & quality monitoring
Fully autonomous farms
People as pets (employees kept on for legal reasons only)
Voting via mobile devices
Glucose-measuring contact lenses
Re-emergence of European fascism
Fully biodegradable mobile phones/electronic devices
Digital (downloadable) smells
Glasses that interpret human emotions
Tension between privacy & personalisation
The human race splits between the organic and the enhanced
Map of Global Mega Trends
Here you go then. Use this link to get to a high resolution version. A3, A1 and rather wonderful AO sized copies on paper are available upon request (no charge except for print, post and a cardbaord tube). See you in the future.