The fine folks at Now and Next and Future Exploration Network have published their Trend Blend 2007+, which is a visual map of trends in 2007 and beyond.
This map is a comprehensive look at mega-trends arounds us. I find these graphical depictions of trends fascinating. While no map can tell you everything, they are valuable for triggering ideas at a glance.
I will offer one piece of commentary on the map, only because the founder of Future Exploration Network, Ross Dawson, invited people to “run with it” and offer up suggestions. OK, Ross, since you issued the invitation, let me give this bit of input:
I’d like to see a closer relationship depicted among RFID, the death of cheques (checks, for all you in the United States), digital cash and contactless payment on the map. Those topics are in my mind clearly related. Yet the map does not demonstrate the relationships very well or really at all.
RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification, is the underlying technology that makes contactless cards possible. Contactless cards are credit cards such as the MasterCard PayPass that allow you to simply wave the card or tap the reader in order to register payment, instead of taking the time to swipe the card or hand it to a cashier.
Digital cash and the death of cheques are cause and effect. And one could make the case that RFID and contactless payment cards are moving us faster and faster away from using paper bills and coins and checks, toward using 0’s and 1’s to move money (digital cash).
Yet when you look at this map, if it weren’t for the fact that I write about RFID, I wouldn’t have a clue about the relationships. So, my input is that I would like to see the map more clearly indicate such relationships.
View the Trend Blend 2007+ map in full size (PDF file). See what you think. (And, yes, that resemblance to the London subway map is not coincidental.)
I agree with your assessment Anita, this is an interesting mashup but the map is so busy it is hard to make sense of it. I wonder what might be gleaned from it if we could turn on and turn off each of the legend items to simplify viewing and make more direct comparisons… I might play around with that to see what I can see.
Would you be interested in showing the relationships on the ‘Digital Cash’ end?
Today, I saw your trend chart and now I am seeing this. In your chart, you have not only mentioned the major upcoming trends but made a positive, negative relation. This chart is quiet complex already but it mainly mentioned the major issues. It did not show how they would effect each other;positively or negatively. The main difference is you take less information and present them very neat and clean and this chart brings in lots of trends subtrends and links them. If they tried to show how they are related, they would have made the chart more complex.
You blogged about my trend map a little while ago so I thought you might like this new timeline – one that works the other way around…
It’s open source so people are encouraged to add, delete, amend or otherwise play around with it
(I can supply the artwork files if required) and also please note that it’s a bit of fun and shouldn’t be taken too seriously!