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.
Fin