Lifestyles: What will tomorrow's world be like?

A year and a half ago, the 2017 edition of Trend Obs "Escape Game: Truths are Elsewhere" described a polarized world in an atmosphere of excess, unreasonableness and madness. The trendsetterssuffocated by a permanent injunction to choose a side, were building a salutary elsewhere through nature, communitarianism, spirituality and travel.
In 2018, based on the results of the Ipsos Trend Obs 2019 study, the here and now reminds everyone. Whether they are felt or imagined, there are positive signs that encourage us to put aside chaos and create a simpler, more readable world where we can start moving forward again: the beginnings of an economic recovery, positive and more controlled technology, militant and humanist initiatives that will fuel the need to believe in a positive future at last?
Cach year, Ipsos interviews trendsetters* in several countries, with this year's choice being Argentina, the United States, France, Great Britain, Japan and Sweden. This observatory provides brands with keys to understanding tomorrow's society and helps them position themselves in it, thus enabling them to shape possible futures in the links identified between new social phenomena and consumption. A year and a half after the last edition, which highlighted some trendsetters In a quest to escape from an ultra-polarized world, Trend Obs 2019 reveals a new search for balance, an attempt to regain control of its trajectory at the cost of simplifying the outside world. But the exercise is not so simple and perhaps heralds other developments ...

The need to escape the urge to believe in it

Two major trends and a counter-trend are emerging:
Trend 1 - Beautiful things: a desire to make the world a better place. More human(s), art, positivism, dance, heroes and beautiful stories ...
Trend 2 - "Indiversal" spheres: an unprecedented mix of individuality and universality. "I'm all the same", a new standard behind the illusion of difference.
The environment has changed, the perceptions and strategies of the trendsetters too. Several new elements in the speeches were alarming. While the awareness of a chaotic world is always present, there is almost no spontaneous mention of it. Humanist, "religious" sounding words are flourishing: make the world a better place. There's an ever-present desire for real estate, family and career. A positive future is emerging and it is technological. Art, beauty, everywhere, all the time ...
Faced with a world without promise, complex and agonizing, with news arriving in a continuous stream... ... and a financial situation that remains tense. The irrepressible need emerges for a simpler, more readable world where we can start moving forward again: to put chaos and complexity aside. Ecological crisis / economic uncertainty / Spectrum of an all-powerful AI... The scenarios are very well known and... put aside. The focus is on oneself, one's life, one's daily life.

But will this sudden re-enchantment last? Wouldn't this ultra-positivism already be showing its first cracks?
Counter-Tendency - Travelers from elsewhere: an extension of the 2017 edition of Trend Obs with a strong desire to escape a brutal world through nature, spirituality, travel ... A small part of the trendsetters remains a step back from the new American dream, and continues to explore other avenues along the same lines as the 2017 edition of Trend Obs.
"If it is true that the world has become more and more complex lately, I think that there are certainly negative aspects, such as selfishness or greed. On the other hand, other qualities such as generosity, love and empathy are much purer and stronger. » (trendsetter, Argentina).
The regaining of control is done in the present, in everyday life: purifying one's body and mind, surrounding oneself with the ones we love, reaching out to the weakest and neediest: "My perfect world would be full of equality and kindness. » (trendsetter, UK).
At the same time, we assist at the trendsetters to a dramatic surge in the digital universe. Technological self-prophecy is on the march: it's up to technology to make the world a better place. So much so that for a great majority of them, it recovers some of the 'nature' and 'spirituality' movements of the previous years, promising an increased and e-nchanced daily life. Because technology is the main link between people, cultures: it is merging with the dream of free trade and openness.
Because it's so much easier to accept it than to do otherwise. Because it is one of the engines of growth that the trendsetters hope to benefit. Because she's one of the only forces bringing new things to life.
"The new thing is that we have many opportunities with all the information available, we can share what we do, work with anyone in the world, today it's easier to travel, including from Google." Argentina.
Because it works concrete miracles and promises many more and is repeating itself.
Would the new happiness be found in a 2.0 tradition, where love, charity and success gravitate in a world of artificial intelligence?
The right to be different, freedom of enterprise, religion and good conduct, emancipation from the past, belief in scientific progress... All the values advocated by the trendsetters echo the original promise of the American dream. The home of the oppressed, the new beginning, the infinite range of possibilities...
But this myth proposes a promise as dangerous as it is attractive that places the Doing above the Being. I am what I do.
For brands, the situation is both rich and questioning and provides an opportunity for tactical and strategic reflection. They must be inspired by these promising themes while remaining vigilant so as not to fall into the traps of an enthusiasm bubble that is as promising as it may be ephemeral...

The end of a chaotic world? Interview with Thibaut Nguyen, Director of the Trends & Prospective Department at Ipsos

What's different this year compared to last year?
Thibaut Nguyen This year trendsetters Caricatured figures such as Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Bashar Al-Assad become the designated incarnations of what must be fought (intolerance, authoritarianism, lies, violence...). Conversely, the time has come for leaders or figures who carry a certain optimism made up of "positive compromises and appreciation of a society where one can "at the same time" work for people and succeed (Emmanuel Macron, Sheryl Sandberg, Justin Trudeau...). This somewhat forced but understandable optimism is also based on positive signs such as the resumption of growth, technological and scientific advances. More profoundly, this edition perhaps marks the advent of a new utopia, whereas hitherto the great utopias have collapsed one after the other. Science and technology seem to be vested with a quasi-religious power to "save the world", to restore progress, to put the world back in motion and to restore economic growth. A new "American Dream
Can you explain the three trends that await us: "beautiful things", "indiscriminate spheres" and "travellers from elsewhere"?
TN "Pretty Things " s practices, including the practices of trendsetters ... "to do good, the good, the beautiful": it can be about plebiscite art and creation, dancing, being an active defender of minorities... " Sphère Indiverselles" is the translation of their permanent behaviour of synthesis: to combine the universal with individualism, to express its uniqueness while remaining in a rather traditional ideal, to disconnect while remaining very connected... but also, it translates the idea of protection, to live in rather privileged microcosms which resemble each other strangely.
Finally, "Voyageurs de l'Ailleur "s is for us a real counter-trend, which is expressed very weakly but nevertheless clearly in each country, and is a continuation of last year's edition: chaotic and negative perception of the world, strong search for another way forward, existential quest, very strong desire for moreover. We mention it because it seems to us that it could come back, in the event of a "cessation of optimism" or a major world crisis.
How do you explain this "I am what I do"?
TN It is the logical consequence of the trendsettersIn this desire to change the world simply and positively: as in the American films "everyone is free to change their past: all it takes is one good deed to become a good person". Let's not lock ourselves into a heavy and disabling past, let's do something new and so let's be new! It also responds to the rise in power given by technology: do more, see more, act faster: today I can be more everything, we must seize this opportunity. Finally, it echoes the promise of big data, which is to know people through their actions... while dangerously forgetting to take their intentions into account.
Do you have specific and concrete examples of the application of this trend to date?
TN A very strong wave of "social brand engagement" in positive terms, or "social washing" if we are more critical: anti-trump brands, pro-minority brands, committed to the good of the planet. Symptomatic disappearance of the "bad guy" Monsanto behind Bayer, so that only the positive remains. Beyond that, it is also the (re)success of the brands that offer the simplest and simplest equation safeAlmost in front of the small, specialized brands: Zara, H&M, Samsung, Nike, Starbucks... accessible everywhere, universal and unifying, with good value for money, without risk. All the brands that also highlight the alliance of "human tech" opposites: "efficient, but social...".
What advice would you give to brands as a result of this investigation?
TN To take the good points of this major trend, especially in terms of simplifying their proposal, optimism in their tone, highlighting human relations... but remaining very vigilant about the "next move": not to abandon naturalness, not to fall into "angelicism", and to question their uniqueness in a world where the search for the alliance of opposites can end up standardising all discourse.
Interview by Fabienne Marion

* Trendsetters: people between 25 and 40 years old selected for their ability to feel and react more quickly to the context than others. Recruited mainly on attitude criteria (no CSP): eclectic, open, curious, sensitive, in touch with the world of creation.
Trend Obs is an international quality observatory that synthesizes changes in lifestyles and consumption patterns. Every year, Ipsos surveys trendetters* in several countries, with this year's selection including Argentina, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Japan and Sweden. This observatory provides brands with keys to understanding tomorrow's society and helps them to position themselves better in it.
To go further
- Book " La tyrannie des modes de vie " by Mark Hunyadi - Edition Le Bord de l'eau, 2015

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