How does a trend expert work? What is a trend really, and how do they even spot and analyze trends? We have asked the author and trend researcher David Bosshart.

This is a small excerpt from the book ‘Trendsociology v. 2.0’, published by pej gruppen. Buy the book here.

Why and how did you become a trend expert?
It is a mixture of chance, luck, will and determination. What do you do when you have a business education, a PhD in philosophy and political theory, you are interested in everything and willing to work and travel a lot? By chance, I got a job as junior project manager at GDI in 1991, after working as a part-time university assistant, business consultant, wine dealer and teacher.

Why is it important to forecast trends?
Breaking up silos! Most people, even the most internationally successful ones, live in what I call an experience prison. They are perfect at a certain time in a certain business. But they are often stuck in their small cages of experience. I have spoken at over 2000 conferences in over 40 nations over the last 25 years. It includes all types of businesses, global companies, small and mid-sized organisations, governments, NGOs and universities. You get a pretty good feeling about culture, habits, businesses and standards. It is essential to learn to compare.

How do you define the concept of a trend?
A trend is like a short term religion. If it is there, you cannot escape. You have to deal with it. Otherwise you have to surrender – often without knowing and understanding it. Then it moves on.

Which types of trends interest you the most?
We live in a world of capitalism and consumerism. That is sort of dominating everything else. So understanding these two
basic premises is key and then making the best of them with the consequences in mind. It is both fascinating and also a bit scary. Today, it is what follows from digitization; shaking up business models, human behaviour and the emergence of super intelligence, i.e. something much greater than humans can imagine.

How and where do you discover trends?
I have a great research team and we are well connected internationally to businesses, universities and governments. We especially work together with interdisciplinary teams in behavioural economics, robotics, consumer psychology and all that concerns new business models.

Are you interested in getting your hands on the entire book, (it’s 400 pages), it is possible to buy here.

The book consists of three parts:
1. Theory and practical description of what a trend is, how it is spread and what effect it may have.
2. Interview with 17 of the world’s top trend researchers
3. Practical process description (5 phased process) with concrete methods and tools for working with trends.