Seeking Connection and Value: A Futurist’s Perspective on Trends in 2022 for LouisianaJan 03, 2022
As a futurist and strategist I have explored which global trends may be most impactful within the state of Louisiana in 2022. As we approach the time of year where many look forward and back, I have reviewed many trends and developed a list of possibilities that could affect life in Louisiana.
It may be surprising that futurists and strategic foresight practitioners don’t love annual trends lists because most people read the list and stop right there. It’s what comes next where the true value lies.
Trends themselves are not the future. By definition, trends are already happening. The impact of trends and the responses to trends and their impact creates the future.
Trend watching is about discovering the patterns within trends — the opportunities that could be seized, innovations needed, even threats that could be avoided or prepared for in advance, and how they all fit into different scenarios of the future. Exploring all of these aspects of trends helps organizations and people build resilience and most importantly map out a preferred future(s) and create strategies to get there.
Seeking Connection: A Futurist’s Take on What to Watch in 2022 for Louisiana
Seeking connection is a mega trend of 2022. Values have been reprioritized and will continue to be for at least a couple of years as new opportunities come from the chaos of the last two years. Some are craving connection of all types with people, nature and humanity. The counter mega trend is disconnection and isolation because for many safety and lack of trust are still concerns.
Trends to watch in 2022
- Contactless economy: Both for safety and convenience contactless services will continue to grow in more areas potentially affecting the overall economy, workforce, education, policing and healthcare.
- Experiential travel: Adventure novice tourism, road trips, hyper convenient camping and educational travel are a few ways this trend may surface. In Louisiana, look for the “Sportsman's Paradise” to go more mainstream.
- Politicization of everything: Politics has weaved its way into more aspects of society and the economy than ever before. The question remains: Are systems and processes at the breaking point or is collaboration still possible?
- Tech fatigue/boomer tech: Many are very tired of tech and looking for more non-tech connection after experiencing so much virtual life the past two years. Boomers used the pandemic to get techy so they could stay connected. They were forced to learn how to use it. Now there is opportunity for more tech that targets that generation.
- Authenticity/deep fakes: Kindness is cool and authenticity is critical for trust whether it's brands or people. In the digital world, telling the difference between fake and real has become nearly impossible.
- Throw the rules out the window: Rules, policies and structures once thought to be solid may not work anymore. The pandemic turned many things upside down and exposed/accelerated things that don't work any longer. Within this chaos, opportunity will arise. Could this be the time when a new Louisiana Constitution might be realistic? More people are leaving the traditional workforce and entering the creator economy. What opportunities does this create for individuals and organizations?
- Next generation care and technology for health monitoring: Younger generations crave fun, accessible, playful, youthful options and branding. Generation Z won't be scared into being healthy. You'll have to fun them into it. Meanwhile, the older generation is going techy with monitoring devices and automated reminders. Those who can most effectively market to these generational differences may see the largest market share growth.
- Weatherproof housing: Can 3D-printed material, composite materials and modular homes with weatherproof-design features assist in disaster mitigation and recovery related to wind, extreme heat and flooding? As these weather conditions become more the norm than the exception, it’s possible. Property values and insurance rates could depend upon it.
- NFTs: Non-fungible tokens are one-of-a-kind digital assets that belong to one individual — and only one individual. The most popular NFTs include artwork and music but can also include videos, in-game items or even tweets or writings. The NFT trend will likely continue expanding into other creator economy sectors for security, efficiency and sustainability reasons.
- Rentable luxury: Ownership is expensive. With increasing prices and short supplies, people can't afford as much these days. Renting instead of buying may continue to expand into more retail sectors in more mainstream ways. It’s not just for clothes anymore — fine china and crystal service for 12, baby items that are used for a very limited time or high-end home furnishings may soon be common rental items.
- Subscriptions: Subscription boxes blew up especially as online shopping and delivery services hit all time highs, but now here comes a new subscription market including restaurant subscriptions. Unlimited coffee at Panera may just be the beginning. What about monthly date night subscriptions or family nights at restaurants?
- Metaverse consumption/glocal consumption: The metaverse is becoming more mainstream. It’s not just for gamers anymore. Digital assets dovetail with less material consumption, which appeals to those looking to be more sustainable consumers. These days local support can be achieved while still having a global mindset. Something may have been designed in Germany but manufactured locally — that’s the true spirit of a global economy and consumption that could help small businesses survive.
Futurists do not predict the future. There is no crystal ball or even a magic eight ball. There are a multitude of possibilities and improbabilities for the future, which is created today with each decision made. Those decisions are influenced by the unconscious biases and perceptions each person holds. Negative views of the world likely lead to risk averse, cautious decisions just as positive views of the world likely lead to more open, hopeful, and innovative decisions. Futurists encourage thoughtful consideration of the lenses used to view the world — and recommend trying different ones on for size.
Is Louisiana poised to embrace the complexity of 2022 and deal with the uncertainty of the future with a resilient confidence? The challenge is to consider the lens through which the world is viewed, then to look beyond the surface of trends lists and focus resources on how the implications of trends and underlying patterns could prevent or enhance organizational and personal visions from becoming reality. Then, everyone is in a better position to create resilient strategies to bring the preferred visions to fruition.
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