This is a small excerpt (page 183) from the book ‘Trendsociology v. 2.0’, published by pej gruppen. Buy the book here.

In his book ‘Future Savvy’, Adam Gordon gives a slightly more nuanced picture of what is going on when a trend develops. He believes that a trend can relatively easily be identified and analyzed but that there is also a need to go behind the trend to understand it and predict its continued development.
The forces that drive a trend forward are called trend drivers and are what fundamentally turns a weak signal into a trend. The ageing population is a trend that is due to several interrelated forces: A large year group of 50+, medical advancements and control of diseases, higher education and welfare level, healthier lifestyle, etc. The trend is just the proof or the result of a series of underlying forces that have pulled in a particular direction. While a trend driver paves the way for a trend, any trend also has an enabler, which is a factor that enables, promotes and facilitates the trend.
A trend, however, also meets resistance, also called friction, which is the primary resistance to change, such as habits, history, selection of an easier solution, etc. Then there are blockers that can prevent a trend from turning into anything, such as new laws, acquisitions, protests, etc.

A trend is thus, according to Gordon, a result of the combination of these different forces, and a trend can only become something if it is in a position to combat the obstacles. A trend cannot exist in itself, but it reflects what lies below it and around it. Therefore, Gordon compares a trend with a leaf that flies away in the wind – if the wind stops, then the leaf falls to the ground. It also indicates that some trend breaks or trend stops can arise, whereby a trend does not necessarily follow the typical path of development or that the development may increase or decrease in speed.

Understanding the forces that either promote or limit a trend gives a more detailed picture of what is going to happen. More details are taken into the analysis, and thus the result, in the form of predictions about the near future, will also be more sophisticated and have a higher degree of probability. The involvement of the various forces also makes the simple projection of a trend seem less appropriate, as it is assumed that the factors that keep the trend flying do not change. It is probably more likely that one of the forces changes over time, or that a new force arises, and that the trend must also change. Therefore, according to Gordon, it is only the predictions about trends that get all these factors into play which are worth trusting.

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.