I have always been interested in trends. Oddly enough, my interest started with historic trends, because I hated studying history in school. I didn’t see any value in it. “Who cares?” popped into my head way more often than any of the required events, places and dates.
Until, one day, when a lightbulb went off. I was seated in a high school sophomore social studies class when I realized most of history was based on trends, which led to patterns, which led to changes. That got my attention. Often, those changes came about through major conflicts, but other times they occurred simply because people just like you and me wanted something different for themselves, their family, their community or the world, and individually and/or collectively made “it” happen.
Over the years, my interest in trends expanded to include the present and future. I now love researching current trends and where they made lead us. I recently came across a description I liked of the word “trend” in a Trendwatching Brief – Please hang in there with me, I promise it will be worth it; after all we are talking about changing lives here – yours, mine, the worlds’ :-)
A trend is:
A novel manifestation of something that has unlocked or serviced an existing (and hardly ever-changing) consumer need, desire, want, or value.”
They go on to say . . .
At the core of this statement is the assumption that human beings, and thus consumers, don’t change that much. Their deep needs remain the same, yet can be unlocked in new ways; these ‘unlockers’ can be anything from changes in societal norms and values, to a breakthrough in technology, to a rise in prosperity.”
That’s when a Christmas tree of lightbulbs went off. The mother of all lightbulbs, so to speak.
Human beings . . . deep needs . . . “unlockers” . . . trends . . . patterns . . . changes.
Lighting up the New Year
In just under one month a new year begins. It will be a year that our ancestors could only dream about. A year in which people all over the globe will communicate instantaneously, travel with ease, and learn more about themselves, others and the world than ever before.
It got me thinking. What trends do we want to set for ourselves in 2011? What would make 2011 one of our best years ever? What deep needs, need to be met? How will we unlock them?
Are you interested? Me, too. Let’s meet back here this weekend.
And, just so you know, we are going to take this one step at a time. No need to panic.