Faith Popcorn of New Yorks' Brain Reserve is one of my favorite futurists. As a visionariy and advertising maven, Her services are in demand by many large corporations and governments across the world. I believe that in order to understand what the future holds for us as nonprofits, we need to see inside the mind of the foundations, corporations, and individuals who will fund us.
It looks like we're going local again. The cocooning is coming back bigger than ever.
2010: THE YEAR OF LO-CO (LOCAL COCOONING)
Local Cocooning is an outgrowth of the dominant Trend of Icon Toppling. Consumer skepticism will drive the “anti-big” movement; Anchoring and Clanning will provide our new touchstones for Trust. And those safer havens are Local.
Highlights from our observations and predictions on LO-CO include:
Farmer’s Markets Move Beyond Farmers; A New Economic Morality: Massive increases in Farmer’s Markets and the Community-supported agriculture movement; even shared access to backyard bounty, suggest a real change in our food source preferences. Conventional food markets will try and get in on the action, they will fail on the critical elements of authenticity and community.
Lococonsumer: The “locovore” moment – eating locally produced food – will extend to Loconsumer, an intense effort by consumers to not just shop locally, but to buy neighborhood and community-sourced products and services of all kinds.
Thousands of Local Obamas: Power is rapidly sliding downhill from Washington. Activism is happening locally. And politics is changing as a result; returning to a view that “all politics are local”. Watch the Republicans try and rebuild on a Reaganesque view of local power, as an alternative to Obama’s spend and control leanings.
The Era of Locotainment: Another example of American Icon Toppling? Look at baseball. In the era of steroid abuse, multi million dollar player contracts, we’re turning our back on the big leagues in favor of an interesting proxy for small, entrepreneurial and distinctly local brands—the minor leagues, who set another attendance record (their 6th in a row), while the majors declined 6.6%. Watch this translate to a broad range of entertainment, with an accessible local feel.
Teach Me In; Community Colleges Grow Up: The long derided Community College system is on an enrollment tear, growing at an annual rate of 10% since 2000. Watch them become the engines of local economic growth and entrepreneurship as new industry clusters emerge as micro centers of excellence and innovation.
The Stimulus Hits Home; We’re Hood Huddling: More and more people will move back to the cities, towns and neighborhoods they grew up in, as they seek to recover roots in a time of stress and uncertainty. The National Stimulus package is focused on creating local jobs that focus on education and infrastructure.
Grass-Roots Finance; The New Banktopia: With the bleeding of “big finance” at least staunched, recovery will now focus on small business reinvestment, with community banks as the primary conduit. The Vigilante Consumer (and small business) will reject the continued excesses of big banking; recognizing that inter-dependence of small business and local banks mean collective prosperity.
One last ‘hood—Cyberhood: Tweets, blogs, memberships and searches are all about finding community, predicated on common interest. Physical distance doesn’t matter—connections to the like minded does—why do you think we refer to those groups that aggregate online as “communities”. And even though it’s the “worldwide web”, it too, is looking local, as is much of media.
The LO-CO Brand Challenge: Big Brands will be challenged to figure out how to weave into local culture: What kind of community citizen are you? What kind of neighbor is your manufacturing facility? What local ingredient do you employ (even in a global formulation)? What elements of your Brand identity suggest affinity to locale? Do you make the places where you trade better places?
Click below to see the full explanation of all the predictions:
FPBR 2010 Predictions