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13 Sightings For 2013

NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR North America and an award-winning trendspotter, is providing a preview of her forecast for the new year, titled "13 for 2013." Looking at the two irresistible forces that have been shaping the lives of billions of global citizens over the past half-decade—technology and the economy—Salzman has identified a shift in direction and momentum that has placed us in the center of oppositional alternatives. 

"As we head into 2013, technology continues to develop at a rapid clip, but major economies are limping along," Salzman says. "Technological ideas that were flights of fancy in 2007 are now available to, and being used by, the masses. On the other hand, the feeble global economy has forced consumers, corporations and governments to change their expectations of many things we used to take for granted as everyday. The result overall is a radical reshaping of 'normal.'"

"The only way to survive and thrive today is to arm yourself with the right tools," says John Winsor, CEO and co-founder of Victors & Spoils and chief innovation officer of Havas. "In this quest, trendspotting is more important than ever. It's essential for creating relevant content and shaping products, services and markets."

Here's a sneak peek at the 13 trends from Salzman's upcoming report:

1.      Sound of the Year for 2013: Co . Life is a co-production, and collaboration is the hottest concept at work and home (especially there, as multiple generations gather in the communal nest). All the "co-" words (co-creation, co-parenting, commingle, coincide, copreneurials, even coincidence) take on bigger meaning because "you + me" is somehow armor and protection against the wild world, and also brain food to ensure that all the "i" stuff (isolation is the worst, though infection sounds fairly vile …) doesn't happen.

2.      Make Solutions, Not Problems . Politicians always say they have the solution, otherwise they get taken down. Negativity has never won friends except when it's dissing the other side. Take the subprime crisis: Nobody took notice of Nouriel Roubini and others who were causing "problems" with their contrarian views of impending trouble.

3.      2013 Living: Austerity with Double-Dip Frugality . Consumerism will be replaced by collaborative consumption and an eye on less being more through micro-ownership (1/12 of a car, 1/4 of a dog, 1/365 of a vacation home, etc.). It felt awkward when we started buying only essentials, then the economy bit us a second time. Now, expect the global consumer class to reduce and reuse far ahead of shopping till they drop.

4.      Economies Go Alternative . New is now old. Old is next. Cashless economy fits in. But we find new marketplaces for trading recyclables, experiments with local currencies—everything from the storage biz to Dumpster diving to old houses and more.

5.      What's Next for an Imperfect World? Photoshop can clean up all kinds of imperfections, cosmetic dentistry can repair someone's smile and the SAT tutor can prep the average student for test success. So how do we embrace and celebrate the less-than-perfect people, places and things we revere as authentic? The yin (quest for perfection) and yang (search for authenticity) lead to quite a juggle.

6.      Dads: The New Moms . In a post-mancession economy, dads are hunkering down, minding the kids and carving out new traditions and mores for raising the family. They are also becoming a new stereotype; if ladies of the house were the target consumers in the 1970s, daddy bloggers will be the men to watch by 2015, setting the international shopping lists.

7.      The Future of Education: Constant Schooling . Tomorrow, school will be continuous and only a clickstream away, and most industrious people will look at education as a lifelong commitment to personal relevance: their own. College might cost megabucks, but top-drawer instruction is now available for free online—and so it's log in or lose out.

8.      Rethinking Quality of Life . Slowing down the pace is a dream scenario for most, especially anyone who has benefited from (and/or been injured by) the fast lane and the pace of change. More emphasis will be placed on slow cooking and eating, on slowing down aging and courtships. We'll chase homey vibes (slow colors, scents, sensorial experiences) to offset the pace of mobile everything.

9.      What's Next for Places? SXSW made Austin the Texas capital of cool. Lost in Translation showed a new generation Tokyo's cutting-edge subculture. Savannah benefited from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil to become a home to young artists and young-at-heart retirees. Pittsburgh reinjected itself with digitivity and is now thriving with modernity and energy (not of the steel kind). Solutions and local placemakers believed that these places could.

10.  The Rise of Africa . For decades, we wrote off Africa as the slow cousin of the modern world, but today we're beginning to see signs that this land of 1 billion people might become the new Asia. If African commodities continue to boom, watch the continent take center stage in the next global economy.

11.  The Big Burg Theory . New supercities are materializing, and the biggest cities will grow even bigger, with more than 15 million in residence and new big problems arising (from pollution to terrorism) but also the potential for new solutions. Most of these hot capitals will be in the emerging markets.

12.  Reconnecting to Reality with Native Cultures . This is becoming a trigger word in fashion and style, and the source of "ground zero reality" in everyday life. After a spell of rooting for what feels real and authentic, native is becoming the ultimate proof point. The native essence—knowing where something or someone is really from—will become an obsession in this increasingly virtual world.

13.  2013: The Year Fatigue Set In . Fatigue is ubertrendy in almost every format. All kinds of trendy diagnoses are raging, but none as talked-about as chronic fatigue syndrome. Medical journals have reported on fad diagnoses including adrenal fatigue. When we write history for 2013, it might be the year fatigue took root and we all migrated back to a binary approach to living, with no outlets for overload because everything is survival or reboot.

As one of the world's leading trendspotters, Salzman has presented an annual trends report for 17 consecutive years. Each report curates her insights regarding changing attitudes, beliefs, values and media preferences, as well as the broader geopolitical shifts that together are transforming the landscape for brands, business, newscrafting and newsmaking.

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