The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
Each of us carries a piece of the future. Together, our decisions, intentions, and actions, our failures, successes, and dreams and beliefs help determine what our world will look like down the road. The Great Law of the Iroquois compels us to consider the consequences of our actions seven generations removed: In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation … even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine. This is an interesting concept for trend forecasting: evaluating the future based on the consequences of how we inhabit the world right now. If we continue to rely on fossil fuels and imported oil for example, what will the biosphere look like in seven generations? If we continue to build urban farms on our rooftops and city buildings, what will our food supply chains and manufacturing plants look like in seven generations? How I live, how you live, how we live … these individual and collective behaviors will shape the future our planet. As a trend forecaster, look to the patterns of community, technology and science and you’ll glimpse a greater blue print of sociological change. Look behind you at how history has taken shape. Look to your neighbors and friends and family to see what “things” matter most; where and how we invest our monies; where we build our homes; what cars we drive; what foods we eat. All these behaviors matter. In fashion, we evaluate color, silhouette, pattern, print, and textiles in order to forecast future trends. But we must also take these larger pieces of the puzzle into consideration. What happens on the runway or in the department stores is only half of the story. For example, the decrease of fast food chains and vending machines, and government-mandated “healthy-eating” programs, contrasted with Moschino’s recent “junk food” -inspired 2014 Fall RTW collection. A very tongue-in-cheek collection, yet also strangely nostalgic. Did you know that McDonald’s now gives away books with its Happy Meals instead of toys? A wildly intelligent move! The formulas for its fries may remain largely untouched, but the fast food conglomerate is adapting to the times, perhaps even encouraging its patrons to linger longer and read with their children. Not-so-fast fast food, if you will.
The future is now. Are you ready?