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24 March 2017 Press 580 Views

Faith Popcorn on the Unpredictable Year Ahead


Futurist Faith Popcorn, who’s founder and CEO of Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve, a strategic consultancy serving the Fortune 500, has predicted everything from the popularity of home delivery services to the cultural trends that led to Donald Trump’s presidential win. She recently spoke to the Observer about what she envisions for the year ahead.

•    Popcorn predicts the rise of Micro-Clanning, or creating small groups of friends based on similar beliefs (think your current Facebook feed). This is done by what she calls Digital Cocooning, where people only follow accounts that won’t stress them out (think unfollowing a Facebook friend whose political beliefs irk you.) Another Trend is FutureTense, where consumers are so anxious about the indicators of Tomorrow they escape by drinking heavily or watching reality television. Another forecast introduces the Vigilante Consumer, a shopper who demands accountability from the companies she buys from and holds them to an ever-higher standard.

•    Among the companies that are setting the standard for Tomorrow: “We are already seeing brands like Everlane rise,” says Popcorn. “I love their ‘set your own price’ sales. They tell you exactly how much the materials cost and about the factory conditions where it was manufactured. Companies that give back and support their consumers will also thrive. I love Sephora’s Accelerate program of funding female founders in beauty.”

•    Popcorn says that increasingly we’ll look to technology to enhance human contact: “Our digital lives are enabling Micro-Clanning, like all of the websites and apps that connect like-minded people. There are dating sites for snake lovers and salad eaters, for tattoo fanciers and marathoners. There are apps and sites that connect like-minded people like meetup.com and Hey!Vina to pair up platonic female friends. So it’s happening online and IRL. Young people have too many Facebook, Instagram and Twitter friends and those are not real friends–they should shed some. Have you seen Bestie Rows, where friends are living side by side in tiny smart houses? That’s not tech-enabled but [it’s] all about the power of the squad.”

For more of Faith’s thoughts on the Future, click here for the full Observer article.

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