Economists like to tell some jokes about trying to discern the
future – It is very difficult to forecast, especially about the
future. He who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground
glass. Jokes aside, the current business landscape is increasingly
complex and rapidly changing. A serious look at the future is essential.

First, before you look at future trends, you should enhance your trend watching skills. Thanks to TrendWatching (a great site –visit it for a further description of these tips, sign up for their newsletter) here are some tips –

  • Know why you are tracking trends
  • Make sure you acquire a point of view about the world around you.
    The more trends you spot and track, and the more skilled you are at
    putting these trends into context, the more guidance you’ll have.

  • Celebrate the incredible wealth of trend resources at your fingertips, many of them free or dirt cheap! (Yes indeed, more on this below)
  • Have a Trend Framework: basically a long list of all the trends we’ve spotted over the years.
  • Every company should have its own Trend Group. Even if that “group”
    is just you. The Trend Group is not some multimillion dollar/euro/pound
    affair. It doesn’t have to employ a dozen staff (though that would be
    nice ;-). It’s more a state of mind. It can be low-cost, unauthorized
    and grass roots if need be. Don’t wait for permission, make the Trend
    Group a fait accompli.

Ok, now let’s look at some trends. The first list is from Ernst & Young’s 2009 Global Megatrends

For a comprehensive discussion of these trends visit E&Y’s
website. This is one of the best resources on future business trends.