Yesterday I spoke at the International Autumn Fair – which I was delighted to do in return for securing a stand for the lovely Amber Burge ‘The Queen of Gift Wrapping’ to showcase her gorgeous collections for people who LOVE giving gifts…
They had me listed to talk about ‘Identifying the next big opportunity’ which created a bit of inner turbulence as a) this is not one of my normal topics – so I had to create a whole new theme, and b) in my view the future is not about materialism
Tricky then, given that the whole show is about shifting ‘stuff’…
To ‘identify the next big opportunity’ first you have to understand what is happening within the market, which hinges on what is happening within society and within the world.
We’ve all seen that the consumer boom of the past few decades is unsustainable. Western economies are practically bankrupt – and much of the funding keeping them going is being derived from the Far East. As one analyst I heard speak put it, if the West is the alcoholic then the East is the distillery.
What’s more, none of the goodies has made us happy! Practically everyone I know has too much debt than they feel comfortable with. And the lucky few who are sitting on a pile of money are fearful of where to put it – with currencies, stock markets, banks – even whole economies – in danger of collapse.
We live on a planet where the oil is running out, the oceans are becoming empty and there’s far too much pollution… I even read an article at the weekend that ‘space junk’ is reaching danger levels.
The planet is at breaking point – which means we are nearing a breakthrough.
If the 1980’s was about what you owned and the 1990’s was about what you experienced then the first decade of the 21st century has been about who you are – hence the boom in blogging & social media.
My take is that this decade is becoming all about where you BELONG – which tribe or tribes you are part of – and how that collective energy can influence change. It’s the power of the Tribe which has seen whole governments fall as well as London burn in the past month or so.
It’s power from the people up – whether channelled for good or for evil – an end to ‘command and control’ government.
So the future is not about ‘stuff’ it’s about harnessing the energy of (or creating your own) tribe – a group of people operating from the heart and connected via a shared passion.
And if you happen to assemble a tribe to which you can then sell a customised T-shirt or a range of organic earthenware then so much the better!
That was my message to the people at the NEC.
Have a wonderful day.