Forecasting the future

Forecasting the future
'The best way to predict the future is to create it.'
Abraham Lincoln 

Forward planning has never been so important. The world we live in is impulsive, fast-paced, and impatient. Cultural trends change rapidly and digital innovation is constantly in competition with itself. Everything we create needs to be better, faster, and more intuitive. The race is on, and every brand wants to lead the charge.

Imagining the future, and the steps it will take to get there, has become a key strategy for inspiring innovation. Forward planning enables businesses to evolve and adapt. By identifying emerging social, political or technological trends, and keeping the future firmly in the foreground, companies are able to coordinate a clear corporate goal and ensure they never fall behind the times. 

With so much rapid change and growth, the opportunity for innovation is rife. Dragon Rouge, in partnership with Travis Perkins, recently spoke with people from various sectors, including architects, critics, designers, and students, in a bid to understand what life might soon become. Their research identified six long-term forces that will shape the future of the built environment, and with it, the opportunities for innovation. Their findings, which addressed ideas of space, community and design, hinted at the changes to come, and the creative possibilities they may offer up to us.

Recognising current trends is essential for pre-empting future ones. Clubhouse Studios recently created a digital experiment called The Happy Forecast, which aimed to predict how our long-term happiness will be influenced by the places we live. After collating observational data, and designing an interactive 3D map, they encouraged Londoners to explore their city, and discover the happiness outlook for their area. The project aimed to raise awareness of how small encounters could make a big difference to our social wellbeing, and reflected how important it is to consider what our present standings might mean for our future ones.

A recent survey by Euromonitor highlighted three opportunities for the travel sector over the next five years: mobile, personalisation and customer experience. AIS, in a recent insight, argued that the key to the future was to combine all three. By using Waitrose’s, ‘Pick Your Own’ campaign as an example, they discussed the growing importance of letting the customer call the shots. They argued that, when it comes to forward planning, the customer needs to come first: engaging with consumers is an ongoing journey, and it is essential to take the lead, without leaving anyone behind.

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