As we move rapidly towards the year end, we have been out presenting our thoughts on – 2015: The Year Ahead – to agencies, clients and partners. Sessions are from a UK First or World First perspective according to priorities.
This is the third year that we’ve undertaken such a programme and it’s a great opportunity to share thoughts, ideas, and even a few trends, as they impact on different business sectors, audiences and international markets.
What is particularly striking is the enduring legacy of the financial crisis and recession, with the UK economy for example growing steadily in GDP terms but with hugely varying impacts on different audiences – by age, life stage, region, and more.
Across the Eurozone the spectre of deflation is made more real by the falling oil price – itself reminding us of the enduring geo-strategic role of OPEC – while the impact on the Russian economy has been laid bare in recent days. Globally there is widespread anxiety about the Chinese economy together with increasing debt and diminished confidence across other developing markets.
Such a troubled legacy from the historic events of 2008 is part of a widespread crisis of legitimacy for governments, elites and parliaments around the world. As the WEF have memorably commented we have 19th century political institutions, dominated by 20th century mind-sets that fail to connect with 21st century citizens. Of course this is reflected in secessionist and devolutionary pressures in the UK and elsewhere.
And yet there is huge room for positivity for individuals, communities and of course brands in the current environment – be that through hyper-connectivity, the sharing economy, crowd-sourcing, localism, hybrid experiences, new forms of utility and more.
We have grouped our thoughts for 2015 around three broad dynamics – fragility, hyper-connectivity and me – with the later encompassing individual and community values and attitudes. Insight into the inter-relationship between these dynamics will be crucial to success in 2015.
These are hugely challenging times for people around the world as we grapple with the impacts of globalisation, technological innovation, hyper-connectivity and sustainability – and yet it is an environment replete with new opportunities and exciting innovations.
If you would be interested in organising a 2015: The Year Ahead session for your organisation please do let us know – alternatively if you would be interested in attending an open/public event in the New Year then please do drop us a quick note and we will keep you informed of our plans.