Back to the Future

My North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicked off with a glimpse into the future, when Sheryl Connelly, Manager of Global Consumer Trends and Futuring at Ford Motor Company introduced the theme “Looking Further With Ford, 2016 Trends.”

  • January 27, 2016

Connelly has been serving as the in-house Futurist for Ford Motor Company for almost a decade. In this role, she tracks global consumer trends to aide in the discussion of long-term planning and strategy across the entire company, including design, product development and corporate strategy.

The abridged version:

  • Time Poverty: Today, where greater connectivity means we’re increasingly “on call,” time feels more elusive than ever.
  • The EZ Life: With the growing support of artificial intelligence, we can outsource more and more responsibilities to technology that learn and adapt to our needs.
  • Mindful Goes Mainstream: Two-thirds of consumers across the globe say that mindfulness is not just a fad, and studies show the practice can mitigate the impact of stress.
  • In Awe of Aging: As people live longer, healthier lives, the notion of aging is being re-defined.
  • Fit for Misfits: Some people seek ways to stand out, while others simply don’t want to get lost in the crowd – and society is more openly celebrating diverse opinions and interests.
  • Waste Not, Want Not: Globally, 90% of adults agree society has an obligation to reuse materials and reduce the amount of trash it creates.
  • Buying into the Flexible Economy: Business models are adapting to maximize resourcefulness while allowing for greater flexibility and fulfillment.
  • Retail Revolution: Retail is no longer simply about product, it’s about experience – and retailers are finding new ways to inspire meaningful connection with consumers. Mahatma Gandhi once said: “The future depends on what we do in the present.” Ford, as other major brands, are creating our future, while looking to the past and not conforming to the present.