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[GreenYes] 2007 Trends

I don¹t know if any of you have heard of Faith Popcorn, but she¹s a
predictor of consumer trends (she¹s published books on trends and marketing,
and she predicted ?nesting¹ years ago and that consumers would want products
for their homes- like cozy new expensive kitchens and bathrooms.) I was just
looking at her website and she has some interesting things on there of
interest to folks like us. Her 2007 predictions are below. I For more info,
her web page is On the home page, there are also some
videos of interest in the trendbank, such as Atmosfear, Futuretense, Save
Our Society, and Vigilante Consumerism

Faith Popcorn¹s Predictions 2007 ­
The New Networked Self

Leading future-focused trend consultancy Faith Popcorn¹s BrainReserve
anticipates the forging of a new type of identity in the coming years: The
New Networked Self. The technological advances of the information age have
produced the most powerful tools yet for shaping our collective human
destiny. The world has simultaneously become more fluid and more connected,
one of both infinite possibility and extreme intimacy. As a result, people
are turning away from the ego-driven self-aggrandizement that characterized
the old era of hyper-consumption. The New Networked Self is far more
ecologically aware than her predecessor and sees herself as a tiny, but
instrumental part of a much larger picture that is constantly in flux. With
this newfound awareness comes a personal sense of responsibility to
understand and engage with the whole.

Identity Flux
Technology has enabled us to experiment with different personalities,
leading to a much more fluid sense of who we are. Having tasted the nectar
of virtual liberation, we¹re beginning to reject the singularly defined
roles we¹re expected to play in society.
The Future: Gender-neutrality goes mainstream. People list skills on their
business cards rather than title, and dress up in various costumes depending
on who they feel like being that day.

Liquid Brands
Today¹s consumers are capricious and non-committal. Brands will have to
become more liquid to keep up with their constantly moving targets.
The Future: Chameleon-like brands focus less on communicating a static
message and more on being the right thing for the right persona at the right
time. Constantly morphing retailers carry products until they sell out and
never restock.
Virtual Immortality
Consumers globally are creating fully fleshed out existences in the virtual
world?dressing up their avatars, making friends, having affairs and buying
property for their pixilated alter-egos.  And now that people have multiple
lives, who says you can¹t live forever? 
The Future: While some let their avatars drift away to online purgatory,
many more leave behind specific instructions on how their virtual selves
should proceed. Services offering avatar surrogates flourish, and we
bequeath avatars to friends and family in our wills.

EnvironMENTAL Movement
Like the movement to combat environmental pollution, the next consumer-led
reaction will be against the mental pollution caused by marketers. With
every corner of the world both real and virtual becoming plastered with
marketing messages, bombarded consumers are starting to say they¹ve had
enough. The current attack against marketing to kids is just the beginning.
The Future: Companies are expected to reduce the amount of damage they are
doing to our minds. Savvy companies sponsor marketing-free white spaces in
lieu of polluting the environment with models and logos.

Product PLACEment
In the globally networked age, consumers are much more concerned about the
consequences of consumption. Is my garbage poisoning someone in a developing
country? How much fuel was burned in order to get these strawberries to my
local supermarket?
The Future: Enviro-biographies are attached to just about everything,
letting consumers know the entire life story of a product: where the
materials were harvested, where it was constructed, how far it traveled, and
where it ended up after being thrown away or recycled.

The government has let us down when it comes to providing the social
services we had once expected from it. Brands are stepping in to take over
where the government left off. Companies are already finding there¹s profit
to be made from providing affordable healthcare to the masses.
The Future: Socially responsible brands make a buck while providing
desperately needed services. Communities are revived by Target daycare,
Starbucks learning centers, and Avis transportation services for the

Moral Status Anxiety
In today¹s increasingly philanthropic climate, expect conspicuous
self-indulgence to go straight to the social guillotine. The globally
conscious consumer regards altruistic activities as a necessary part of
The Future: A person¹s net worth is no longer measured by dollars earned,
but by improvements made. Families compete with each other on how many
people they fed while on vacation, and the most envied house on the block is
not the biggest, but the most sustainable.

Oldies but Goodies
Our culture is suffering from an experience deficit. With the availability
of online knowledge, we¹re claiming expertise based only on secondary
experience. Now that everyone¹s a web-educated know-it-all, we¹re secretly
longing for authority figures to guide and assure us with indispensable
nuggets of wisdom that could only come from having actually accumulated life
The Future: Respect for elders makes a comeback in the form of Ask Your
Grandma hotlines and the proliferation of online video clips by seniors
showing us how to tie knots and concoct home remedies.

Amy Perlmutter
Fellow, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, UMass
Principal, Perlmutter and Associates
23 Avon Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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