Strange Days – the Spring/Summer 2013 Trend Briefing from The Future Laboratory
Strange days – when our beliefs about the universe are not based on an eternal God, but on a 2012 discovery called the God particle…
Strange days – when you can download a product and 3D-print it in the comfort of your own home…
Stranger days – when pre-teens and toddlers now know more than you or me as they interrogate the world more through their ‘screen finger’ than through their other senses…
Stranger still – when the successes of the past – the heavy, real, solid, tangible mega-malls, stores and mom-and-pop joints of our distant, pre-digital youth – are replaced by intangible, weightless, mercurial mega-platforms such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Weibo
‘Here at The Future Laboratory we have been considering where these strange times will take us, and what this will all mean for you and for your brand,’ says The Future Laboratory co-founder Chris Sanderson. ‘As we will show in our most radical Trend Briefing to date, this switch from the heavy to the light, from the tangible to the invisible and from the physical to the metaphysical is far more profound than most of us truly understand.’
8:00am : Registration
Meet, debate and argue with our stand-up philosophers on the meaning of life, art, commerce and culture and why brands are failing consumers.
9:00am : Introduction
9:15am : Strange Days
The fourth industrial revolution and its impact on how we do business, buy products, retail brands globally.
9:30am : USA Consumer Attitudes Audit
The New Normal is no longer new, and far from normal. But what’s next? Here 2,000 US householders tell us what is new, next and set to influence their buying, brand and online behaviour for 2013/2014.
9:50am : The Dawn of the Mega-Systems
Apple, Google, Facebook, Weibo and Amazon are no longer simply trading platforms. They are the mega-systems of tomorrow, within which most of us will socialise, shop, hire, create, manage and live our lives.
‘Organisations still haven’t grasped the true impact of their presence and the fact that they are building new walled-garden eco-systems within which we will all do business over the coming decade,’ says The Future Laboratory co-founder Chris Sanderson.
Friend or foe? Mega-opportunity or anti-business super-monopoly? Here we examine how the new global corporations are changing the business and consumer landscape, and show how your brand can thrive in the age of the mega-systems.
10:30am : Cultural tea break
11:00am : Generation I
Now that the first generation of digital natives has come of age – and the hauling, hacking, skittering and multi-screening habits we predicted in Generation D have gone mainstream, in true The Future Laboratory style, we turn our attention to what and who are next – those born after 2002.
Like members of Generation D, they are digital natives, but their expectations of the world around them, and the way they interact with it, are entirely different. They are not just active, they are hyperactive in the way they consume and control media. Mobiles come first, phablets next, then computers they construct themselves – and there are still more pieces in the connected, transmedia and platform-agnostic puzzle in which they play.
‘For them, looking is searching, coding is writing and finding should be as easy as a flick or click of the finger,’ says Tom Savigar, The Future Laboratory chief strategy officer. ‘And they expect content – online and even in the real world – to be personalised for them.
‘Digital downtime and information overload? These ideas don’t even exist for them. And as their digital lives become longer, and their physical lives become lighter, the hyper-personal, digital-physical realm will replace the old, real world.’
Prepare your brand for feather-light flexibility, glance-controlled media, wearable technology and borderless sharing – the all-new habits and expectations of the next group of consumers for whom digital is intuitive, which we call Generation I.
11:40am : Re-enlightenment Rising
From the possibility of life on Mars to the discovery of the God particle, science is suddenly in the news and in our wider consciousness. It is also in our galleries, theatres and fashion and lifestyle shoots. At the same time, scientists are drawing on the worlds of art, infographics and culture to help us all better understand everything from dark matter to quantum mechanics. As a result, the worlds of science, commerce and culture are colliding – in a way not seen since the Age of Enlightenment.
‘In this time when the old truths about capitalism, consumerism and even the cosmos feel bankrupt and broken, we are now looking for new answers,’ says James Wallman, editor of LS:N Global. ‘In this era of questioning and questions, science is now the ultimate fuel. It is becoming the vital source of inspiration for today’s creators to make a more compelling tomorrow.’
Here we look at the innovators that matter and the brands, businesses and organisations that are already profiting from the products, concepts and category innovations riding the next wave of consumer behaviour.
12:20pm : Toolkits, conclusions and a final word from our philosophers
12:40pm : Strange days: the new beginning – your chance to meet The Future Laboratory and LS:N Global team.
1pm : Ends
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