CHANGE IS CONSTANTLY ACCELERATING

In a disruptive era, we often only focus on game-changing technologies, but the ripple effect of those disruptive technologies has started to blur the lines of how we live, work and play. Direct from the Lifestyle pages of our upcoming tenth-anniversary collector’s edition, here’s Dion Chang on five mega-trends that will change the way you live (and think) in the next five years.

1.Digital Mobility

The concept of “transient ownership” – the fact that you don’t need to own something in order to use it – is permeating into an older generation’s mindset, but it is already firmly entrenched with millennials as well as Gen Z’s. Ride sharing services like Uber, have already convinced some people to ditch car ownership completely, or persuaded couples to only invest in one car. The domino effect of the sharing economy, on related industries like insurance, car rental and parking is already raising alarms, but it is also creating new, on-demand delivery services and logistics opportunities, specifically in food retail.

2.The #FreeFrom Movement

We’re increasingly ordering-in our food (cooked or uncooked), but what we’re eating is changing. Fast. The #FreeFrom movement – ie; free from gluten, free from lactose, etc – has spawned a global shift towards plant-based diets. It is a dual cause driven by allergies, as well as sustainability issues, and the vanguard of the movement is a younger generation. Gen Z in particular.

3.Gen Z (people born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s)

If you thought millennials were difficult – as customers, as well as a workforce – then brace yourselves. The first generation of digital natives are coming of age. They are a post-9/11 and a post-Great Recession generation who have been handed a broken system: environmentally, economically and politically. As such, they are guided by a strong sense of social justice and this impacts on their brand loyalty, as well as who they want to work for (if indeed they take on traditional careers – see trend 5).

4.Value Based Business

A global survey by Havas Worldwide found that 68% of respondents believe that corporate business now bears equal responsibility, with governments, to drive positive social change. Political strategist Doug Hattaway elaborates: “More and more businesses are being forced to become value driven, rather than sales driven.” It’s no longer just about selling a product, it’s about what that company stands for. For businesses previously fixated on the bottom line and keeping shareholders happy, this is a deeply uncomfortable shift, but a crucial one they are being forced to make.”

5.The GIG economy

The GIG economy, spawned in conjunction with the sharing economy, is a foreign concept for baby boomers, but a logical alternative when you consider the trajectory of the future of work and new business models. Technology has made the concept of 9-to-5, 40-hour work week a quaint relic of the 20th century. Digital nomads (aka remote workers) are now being referred to as “the new elite”. They are “wealthy” in terms of time and place (work anywhere, anytime), but not material goods. They don’t need them. The sharing economy has that box ticked.

Dion Chang is the founder of Flux Trends. For more information on trends as business strategy,
visit www.fluxtrends.com.

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