Sitra’s yearly trend work is now up and running. The process that started in April will last over the summer. Results of the process (such as “Sitra’s trend list of 2014-2015”) will be published in the autumn. You can read about last year’s trend process that resulted in the Sitra trend list 2013-2014 here (in Finnish).
This year’s updating process started with planning in April and discussions about the trend list at Sitra’s board meeting. Some of the mega-trends of note that arose in the discussion were the growing inequality of societies and individuals as well as the future of work.
Sitra’s management team was further involved in the trend work when last year’s requirements for updating the trend list were covered in Sitra’s open management team meeting, something all Sitrans could follow. Thoughts and ideas on previously observed and (and yet to be observed) trends were collected from the management team. Some of the issues that came up in the discussion were: youth’s changing expectations of work; preventive healthcare services; the growing need for resilience; the renewal of China’s environmental questions; the renewal of our understanding and measurement of well-being; corporate responsibility and transparency; growing tensions and conflicts; and the transformation of expertise.
Trends were also discussed at the strategy clinic organised for Sitra’s staff where all Sitrans had the opportunity to exchange thoughts and give input to Sitra’s general strategy as well as the trend work. The half day-long clinic was attended by around 50 Sitra experts, almost half of Sitra’s total staff. In addition to the previously mentioned topics, the conversations included the growing emphasis on skills versus knowledge, mission-driven entrepreneurship of the young as well as the growing role of financial capital in power questions.
In addition to meetings and discussions, a lot of information on trends and phenomena (both from public sources as well as expert assignments) is constantly collected at Sitra. I also actively participate in events such as seminars and workshops related to foresight and the future. I aim to compile and analyse the collected information over the summer. I also look forward to having discussions with other foresight experts in Finland and abroad in order to share information and understanding of global changes.
I would also like to hear about day-to-day experiences and insights on trends and their effects throughout society. For example, you can let me know which trends interest you the most by voting. You can also bring forward any thoughts and views you might have on trends.
Last year’s Sitra trend list prompted a lot of interest and discussion. I believe one of the reasons for this could be people’s desire to understand our world of accelerating change. Mega-trends give a good source base for discussing and understanding our changing environments. As a think-and-do tank reporting to the Finnish parliament, Sitra is in a unique position to introduce topics to the Finnish societal discourse.
The trend work at Sitra is done both to support our own work as well as for the use of our stakeholders. In early autumn, our aim is to edit the material worked on during the summer and present it in its final form. I can be freely contacted by phone, email or by Twitter (@ernestoharti) in regard to any trend-related issue. I am always happy to answer any questions.