Trendspotting: Forecasting the Future

The ability to look for random patterns and extrapolate from the past and present—the basic element of trendspotting—is hardwired into the human brain for survival. Yet, for most of human history, people lived in small groups and not a lot changed from one decade to the next. Year in, year out, the same people performed the same activities in the same places, with the occasional unpredictable catastrophe. Now, of course, the most fundamental truth of what’s next (besides death and taxes) is unprecedented change. Those who stay ahead of or on top of these changes—those who can surf them and communicate them to a broader group—will be the winners within their industries and within the world at large.

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