Thursday, October 08, 2009

Back from The Future

Yesterday was pretty special. Spent most of the day at the Future Laboratory's trend briefing on the New Normal having my mind blown by trends, insights and their super-slick presentation style. Then I went for dinner with my good friend The Social Media Guru and talked shop and plans to attend SXSW Interactive over a bowl of hummus.

In the briefing, founder Chris Sanderson talked about 'triangulation' - the combination of intuition, observation and interrogation - in forecasting trends. It highlighted the very element which has always made trends so fascinating to me, and which makes it an integral part of branding. That nothing stands in isolation. Everything that happens comes from somewhere and has direct and indirect effects on the things around it.

They packed a huge amount into 4 short hours, looking at how "Generation Jones" - the second largest demographic at 34 - 45 years old - are reconciling their desire to consume with making the "right" ethical, financial, and behavioral choices. They asserted that it's no longer cool to be cool, that we're more interested in a "participatory" culture which is collaborative, warm and friendly. They showed us the house of the future where screens become architectural and ovens teach us lessons in reducing our carbon emissions. I left with my head spinning but looking forward to slowly digesting and applying their insights.

Image via If it's no longer cool to be cool, maybe Snow White no longer wants a bite of the apple.