How does a trend expert work? What is a trend really, and how do they even spot and analyze trends? We have asked the Ståle Økland who is a Norwegian trend analyst, author and lecturer.

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 was partly by chance, but particularly because I am curious about the future. I am deeply fascinated by change, movement and how people choose to live their lives.

Why is it important to spot trends?
The future is hard to predict, but we must never give up! We must continue to look for patterns that the individual statistics do not reveal. Good information is vital for making good decisions and a better society. Trends tell us a lot about what people think and what occupies them.

How do you define the concept of a trend?
A trend differs from a mayfly (fad) because its duration and extent are longer. When you talk about a trend change, the way we think and act changes. It’s the difference between fashion and trends.

Which types of trends interest you the most?
Many world developments, but also many smaller trends, can be explained by understanding economics, trade and technology. Therefore I am very interested in these areas. But the way we relate to work and leisure is also very interesting.

How and where do you discover trends?
I travel around the world a lot, both for lectures and for research. I try to get in touch with people who make a difference and stay in touch with scientific communities, first movers and researchers.

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.