What People May Crave in the Future
Curious Clues, Autumn 2017
If you could see what’s coming on the cultural landscape over the next three years, how might you respond? Here’s a few curious clues about what may become.
How might you mindfully craft these into your future personal and organizaional vision?
Craving Experiences Over Things
The economic and cultural shift from spending discretionary income on experiences instead of things has been happening for several years now. The shift is partially driven by the sustainability wave (so nice that ITunes, Pandora and Spotify replaced plastic CD cases, albeit the negative effect on the income of musicians). The simplification trend has also impacted consumption of tangible objects.
Looking ahead, people may increase perceived value of future memories, shareable stories and principles of behavior that are provided by social experiences.
Take travel - to a different paradigm, please. People are beginning to crave virtual travel over jet travel, which is becoming too much of a drag and does not offer the fantasy of virtually created environments. Unless the jet travel experience has the paradigm shift it deserves in a completely transformed experience, as all-electric planes emerge.
People may become more personally transparent about their experiences, sharing their virtual essence wherever they go as an expression of their whole identity. What is your equivalent of having your favorite Pandora music follow you on to your uber ride? How might you transform your things into shareable experiences?
Craving Craft Over Mass
The resurgence and growth of the artisanal-crafted trend will likely continue and democratize as it is also connected to transparency and desire-for-experience movements.
We wish to see how the magic happens and be part of the tactile experience, being part of both creation and consumption. The countervailing force against impersonalized mass production and mass-selling environments, such as the Kin-Folk https://kinfolk.com movement, is driving human interest in everything crafted.
Beers in growlers, cheese in cloth, baking with noble grains, locally pressed olive oil, delis that cure their own meats, masters-level bbq shacks, letterpress printing and even crafted listening devices for finer musical experience http://www.zmfheadphones.com. All of these products are enjoying a resurgence as we place great value on the human element of crafting something meaningful and wonderful.
Fair Trade is also gaining more traction in the hearts and minds of people and producers while ETSY continues to thrive. Coffee keeps getting tastier and more enticing with exotics beans and thoughtful roasting. Even massed produce items such as shoes are being crafted, such as addidas Future Craft http://www.adidas.com/us/futurecraft customer 3D printed shoes. People crave comfort, soulfulness and integrity. This is not just for elite or hipster consumption anymore. How might your brand or organization become more mindfully crafted?
Craving Chocolate Over Everything
Chocolate is relentlessly improving and becoming more interesting because people can absolutely not resist the craving and curiosity for an ultimate chocolate experience. Also, the delta between bargain chocolate and absolutely supreme chocolate is only a few bucks while other categories may require thousands of dollars to get penultimate. Country of Origin and direct-sourcing are becoming markers for flavor and sensory quality as trans-modalism and synesthesia grown on our consciousness. What sensations arise when you are tasting Mozambique?
Nobody knows this better than Dandelion Chocolate in the Mission District of San Francisco which provides full transparency and hands-on experiences to the chocolate-making process. Their 1-2-3 “Taste-Talk-Eat” approach is interactive and there is a LOT of yummy wonder-ness to consume or share. The bigger challenge is meal planning - is chocolate for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert? How might your organization “chocolatize” the next experience?
Craving Wellness Over Fitness
The Wellness trend has strong roots back to the mid-80’s when exercise, diet and meditation started to merge in meaningful ways thanks to the rise of Nike, Jane Fonda’s aerobics, nutritional discoveries and Gaiam wellness/yoga products
Fitness and sports performance were already in full bloom, with people defining “personal best” as an achievement based on equations of time and distance. Our understanding of “personal best” is evolving.
Mindfulness is becoming democratized both personally and in large organizations (more than 25% of Fortune 500 companies now have mindfulness programs) as a means for holistic health - boosting creative, intellectual and economic performance. We’re learning more about the neuroscience of wellness and how our collective energy influences our personal wellness.
Empathy may also become more valuable currency as our ability to feel what someone else feels optimizes our personal performance. We’re becoming more integrated within a holistic energy field. We are appreciating that are connected energy with each other transcends physical presence, leading to more open-minded care for others How might you integrate a greater responsiveness to wellness in your organization and what you provide to the world?
Craving Minds Over Matter
The concept of Singularity can either be embraced and nurtured or feared and loathed. We created virtual intelligence from our personal intelligence and now realize that our “digital babies” are smarter and more abundant than us.
Even the concept of abundance is changing from over-indulgence to magnificent possibilities. In the coming years, making our devices and interfaces anatomically correct and socially desirable will be an important evolution toward coherence.
Soul Machines https://www.soulmachines.com
is one company on this track, merging neuroscience, psychology art and innovation to humanize computing. Elon Musk’s Neuralink and Bryan Johnson’s Kernel are examples of consortiums that are exploring the furthest reaches of our minds and connectivity to artificial intelligence. How might your organization “humanize” your digital experiences for the betterment of society?
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