How does a trend expert work? What is a trend really, and how do they even spot and analyze trends? We have asked the Swedish trendspotting futurologist Magnus Lindkvist.

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?
The profession chose me. Had I succeeded as a budding filmmaker or novelist, I would not have become a trend spotter. Failure drove me towards my passion.

Why is it important to spot trends?
Because the brain is a prison. Few things are as unbearable as being stuck alone with your own thoughts. Trend spotting – taking a broader view on life and society, looking outside yourself, looking beyond the present – will keep you sane and maybe, just maybe, make you rich too.

How do you define the concept of a trend?
The original meaning of the word ‘trend’ was to turn. So what we are looking for are the turning points, the anomalies, the exceptions, the inflection points. We do not talk about “people breathe oxygen” trend because that is a human given, a biological basic need and eternal. When we spot trends, we are looking for something new, unique,
neuron-engaging and provocative. This is why most use of the word trend is wrong – it is repeating conventional wisdom about climate change, globalisation or health food. Dull, clichéd and conventional. A trend should be a small, combustible piece of packaged revolution.

Which types of trends interest you the most?
Long-term trends are fun because they are only long-term for us short-lived humans. The Holocene, for example, is a blink of an eye for a carbon-rich rock. Many things we take for granted are just fashion fads in evolution or societal development. Many things we worry about are virtually risk-free if you take a long-term view (look at homicide
statistics from the 1300s and tell me we live in a violent world).

How and where do you discover trends?
The best place to hide information is inside a human being – that is where I look. The most interesting people are seldom where you think you will find them. Most people I met on my trend spotting tour in California in 2013 were quite dull. Most Russians I met last year in Moscow were full of contrarian ideas about where the world (incl.
Russia) was heading. Go where others do not go. Talk to the weird ones. Practice immersive trend spotting. Stay away from Google and the newsstand.

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.