Best trend reports 2021

David Alayón
Jan 25, 2021 · 4 min read
Photo by @Dose

In the last Future Today newsletter I published a Google Drive folder that Ci En and Gonzalo Gregori had created with more than 100 trend reports on different topics. Many of you wrote to me thanking me for sharing it and some of you asked me for recommendations of specific trend reports. Below I list my top 3 trend reports, and not only for this year, these are the ones I look for every year:

Fjord Trends 2021

This year’s Fjord Trends are like no others that have gone before, shaped during a period of comprehensive, global uncertainty. Even in the time it’s taken us to write them, the situation has evolved frequently, so it’s possible that we might issue a second edition at some point — particularly if a successful vaccine transforms the landscape. (We can but hope.)

As we looked through the submissions for this year’s trends from our designers around the world, one thread connected them all: a sense of displacement. In 2020, the transformation in who we are in the world and how we move through it has been unquestionable. We liken it to standing on your own street corner and finding, in the blink of an eye, that someone redrafted the map of the neighborhood you’ve always known, leaving you seeking the comfort of familiar sights that stay just out of view.

The reassuring thing is that we’re all in the same boat of uncertainty and unpredictability. We’ve tried not to let the pandemic make Fjord Trends 2021 a gloomy read, but pretending it isn’t a factor would be to render them irrelevant before we even hit “publish”. Yes, Covid-19 has made things tough for people and businesses alike, but we can and will come through this.

Gartner Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021

When employees at an industrial site returned to the workplace after it was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, they noticed a few differences. Sensors or RFID tags were used to determine whether employees were washing their hands regularly. Computer vision determined if employees were complying with mask protocol and speakers were used to warn people of protocol violations. What’s more, this behavioral data was collected and analyzed by the organizations to influence how people behaved at work .

Distributed cloud, AI engineering, cybersecurity mesh and composable business drive some of the top trends for 2021.

The Future 100: 2021 — Wunderman Thompson

The Future 100: Trends and Change to Watch in 2021 highlights emerging consumer behaviors with 100 trend predictions from Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. Trends span culture, tech and innovation, travel and hospitality, brands and marketing, food and drink, beauty, retail, health, work and finance. Each includes an original analysis of why it matters for the organizations whose products and services we use daily. This year’s report also includes 21 exclusive predictions from leading experts across industries to mark 2021.

And the Future Today Institute report would have made the list, but it is published in March… Set a reminder! It’s always worthwhile. And to complete the list, here are a few more that I think are particularly insightful:

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