The Vision 2020: The macro trends that will fix the future

Long before its arrival, 2020 has been branded as “the future” –  as an era of flying cars or robotic friends. We have all had different dreams of this future, and as it approaches, it’s clear that it will be a time to shape society for generations to come.

Embracing the importance of new voices, inter-generational perspectives, and a world where our emotional needs cannot be fulfilled by a smartphone, we will move away from tired marketing, traditional corporate structures, and mass consumption. We will fix what’s broken, instead of breaking what’s working.

But what are the macro trends that will define 2020? Meet Empower Up!, Code Create and Designing Emotion.

Powering up inclusivity and ethics

 A new sense of vitality and change will arise, powered globally by youth and by groups that did not previously have voices. These newly empowered, often optimistic and aspirational individuals will demand transparency, ethics and social conscience from both countries and corporations. There will be a focus in design on doing rather than just producing, and design thinking will take on a new sense of purpose.

Rewriting the codes of creativity

From biological codes to computer codes and dress codes, advances in science and materials will make it possible to re-engineer almost anything. Nature and technology will intimately blend to create new systems, materials and products that merge the physical and digital worlds. As we move from the Industrial Age to the Organism Age via the Digital Age, we will use DNA and micro-organisms to solve the macro problems of tomorrow.

Humanity in a digital age

Humans will be demanding more from their technology, and from themselves. Emotional intelligence and connections – both real and digital – will be cornerstones of the future. Increasingly, we’ll integrate human needs for touch and physicality in a world of invisible tech, and at the same time this will give tech a sense of emotion. In short, as humans become more digital, technology will become more human.

What’s The Vision?

Twice a year, the trend experts at WGSN gather to identify the political, economic, artistic, and socio-cultural movements that will impact everything from how we shop, to how we eat and communicate.

Over the course of 6 months, WGSN experts will interpret the Vision macro trends into 200 forecasts for 16 sectors that empower WGSN members to future-proof their products and services.

To know more, download our complimentary executive summary of the Vision 2020.


Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

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