Taking Trend-Driven Innovation (and a sneak preview of our 2017 Trend Report ;) to the NEXT Conference

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‘What will my customers want next?’ No doubt that’s a question you’ve asked yourself at least once in the past weeks, if not months (and if you haven’t, well perhaps it’s one you should ;) For attendees of NEXT16, it was one David Mattin, TrendWatching’s Global Head of Trend & Insights, attempted to answer in his opening keynote at the conference. And then one I helped participants put into practice during a lively workshop the same afternoon.
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David presented a selection of trends from TrendWatching’s soon-to-be-released 2017 Trend Report, including MOTIVATED MINDLESSNESS, which is all about how AI-enabled tools, products and platforms are helping consumers outsource the discipline they need to reach their self-improvement goals, and VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE ECONOMY. That trend is all about how, in 2017, digital experiences will become the focus of consumers who seeking new forms of status fix. 

Both those trends – and more – formed the basis of our afternoon workshop, which was structured around the Consumer Trend Canvas (CTC): an easy-to-use tool that helps you unpack and apply consumer trends and generate new ideas. Considering the session was fairly brief, attendees came up with some interesting new innovations including, but not limited to, Sociable, an app that helps you structure your social life and schedule calls to friends and family, and Quality Time Tracking, a platform that monitors how long parents spend with their kids and, if it’s below and agreed amount, charges them interest that goes into the child’s savings account. You heard them here first!

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The digital slant of the new innovations wasn’t surprising considering that NEXT16 focused on ‘the digital ego’, thinking about how to put the human at the center of technological change and innovation – certainly something we can get on board with at TrendWatching – where one of David’s key takeaways was that it’s important to see technology through the lens of basic human needs, and not the other way round.

But you’ll be happy to hear it wasn’t all work for David and I. We managed to catch some inspiring speakers, including Brian Solis’ explanation of why the future of brand, tech and business is experience, and Golden Krishna on why ‘the best interface is no interface’. And then it was off to try out some VR experiences, eat at the street food stalls and catch some of the music acts. Sometimes you have to go and spot trends in the real world!

If you didn't manage to attend NEXT16, don't panic. We've got a recording of David's presentation ready for you to digest at your leisure right here:

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TrendWatching’s content and tools give business professionals in 180+ countries the actionable foresight and inspiration to create successful trend-driven innovations.

In 2015, we gave 79 Trend Presentations, ran 32 Innovation Workshops, and led 5 Trend Safaris, visiting 32 countries on 6 continents! Our LIVE engagements deliver inspiring and powerfully engaging sessions to get people up-to-speed with the most crucial consumer trends for their audience, packed with global and cross-industry innovation examples to expand horizons and help people apply trends successfully. Find out more at trendwatching.com/live

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