Months of reading, scanning, couring festivals, interviewing, brainstorming, discussing, and browsing the margins allowed us to distill the nuances of stories and look beyond the oversimplified assertions about Millennials in the media.
The result is a bulky report that brims with insights on the avant-garde of today’s young generation. Don’t expect clickbait articles with easily digestible information. You'll have to take in trends one bite at a time. The content can be interpreted on multiple levels, we want to stimulate you to rise above the creation of copy-paste innovations. Encourage you to push boundaries and think ahead. And with the eyes directed at tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities, let your business grow in a human-centered way.
Get your copy in our shop and put it on your desk. As the ultimate physical symbol representing the next generation. Your inspiration and motivation.
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These are our six trends:
+ business advice per trend (we've got lots more in our report).
Trend 1 - Blurred Lives
Boundaries are fading. What is young and what is old? What is underground and what is mainstream? What is male/female? Work/Life? Employee/Freelance? Everything is a continuum, and young people slide from one side to the other effortlessly. Youngsters prefer the hybrid and diversified over the consistent and homogenous. Being indefinable equals 'cool'.
A word of business advice: beware of disruption coming from other sectors or disciplines. Crosspollination is a popular gateway to innovation.
Check: Skylar Kergil, Estonia e-residency, Framily, Kirsten-Lee Moolman
Trend 2 - Super Sculpted Self
Youngsters browse the internet looking for tools, technologies, techniques that maximize their physical and mental personal development, their time and their knowledge. They register heart rate, calorie intake, quality of sleep, stress levels and the exact effect of meditation on their brain capacities.
A word of business advice: be functional, informative and educational. In search for products, services or companies that fit in with their needs and values, consumers appreciate some level of guidance
Check: Biohacks.net, Soylent, Lucy McRae, Cybathlon
Trend 3 - Underwebtribes
Subcultures are dead. Long live Underwebtribes. Youngsters gather in closed Facebook groups, in hidden fora and on shared accounts. For every fetisj, longing, field of interest and way of life, there's a group of like-minded souls somewhere. You're not only part of this tribe or another (as was the case with subcultures), you participate in a number of different tribes. Every one of us is unique, so we all have a different set of tribes to reflect our unique personality.
A word of business advice: building platforms, supporting talent and sponsoring communities can be fruitful ways to collaborate with communities.
Check: Hey Vina!, Wasteland Weekend, Art hoe movement, Yami Ichi
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Trend 4 - Connected Sensing
In ingenious ways, youngsters link tangible practices, such as craftsmanship, to new scientific and technological developments. They fervently experiment with technological novelties: from visuals that gets them goosebumps, to VR experiences that freak them out, or implanted technology with which they can hear colours. Aside from the kick they get out of this, they also use these sensations to connect more deeply with themselves and others. Again, it’s about rekindling with their human nature.
A word of business advice: create meaningful memories by enhancing the senses
Check: Alcoholic Architecture, touch that taste, Nervana, Gentle whispering
Trend 5 - Mindful Mindfucking
In the on-going pursuit for new perspectives, youngsters explore new territories of the brain. DIY brain hacking devices are quite popular, but there are also plenty of psychoactive substances (micro-doses of LSD, cacao powder, laughing gas), music festivals and online techniques, that help youngsters to an altered state of mind, to a more productive and creative self, to an extra dimension in life.
A word of business advice: Helping youngsters to explore new territories or sensations through new technologies offers many opportunities to trigger consumers in a fresh way.
Check: EMOTIV, World Series of Vape, Google Deep Dream, Psi-Fi Festival
Trend 6 - Browsing the margin
Tired of hyper-innovative concepts and the decadent innovation culture, youngsters revere the ordinary, the crappy and the raw. It’s a trend in which humour plays an indispensible role. In a tongue in cheek way, they embrace absurd, and sometimes even grim banter. Although this folly is all pervasive, it is not necessarily enjoyed by everyone. It’s the trend of gory pictures, nauseating videos that sear into the brain and paintings created with menstrual blood to make a bold statement. Most of all however, it’s a revolt against all things trendy.
A word of business advice: Exuding personality and standing out in a bold way are flat-out necessities for any future-oriented brand.
Check: forgotify.com, Jan Hoek, Victor Barragan, Coby Hounjet
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