Top 11 Trends of 2011
The mid-January issue of the Trends Journal will feature our “Top Trends 2011” — The Trends Research Institute’s compendium of
the dominant trends for the year ahead. The following synopses of these trends provide insights into some of what to expect.
After the tumultuous years of the Great Recession, a battered people may wish that 2011 will bring a return to kinder, gen-
tler times. But that is not what we are predicting. Instead, the fruits of government and institutional action – and inaction – on
many fronts will ripen in unplanned-for fashions. Trends we have previously identified, and that have been brewing for some
time, will reach maturity in 2011, impacting just about everyone in the world.
1. Wake-Up Call In 2011, the people of whatever they must to keep a roof over made it ripe for cyber-crime and cyber-
all nations will fully recognize how grave their heads and put food on the table…. warfare to flourish.
economic conditions have become, how In 2010, every major government ac-
ineffectual and self-serving the so-called 5.Crackdown on Liberty As crime knowledged that Cyberwar was a clear and
solutions have been, and how dire the con- rates rise, so will the voices demand- present danger and, in fact, had already be-
sequences will be. ing a crackdown. A national crusade to gun. The demonstrable effects of Cyberwar
Having become convinced of the inability “Get Tough on Crime” will be waged and its companion, Cybercrime, are already
of leaders and know-it-all “arbiters of every- against the citizenry. And just as in the significant – and will come of age in 2011.
thing” to fulfill their promises, the people “War on Terror,” where “suspected ter- Equally disruptive will be the harsh mea-
will do more than just question authority, rorists” are killed before proven guilty sures taken by global governments to control
they will defy authority. The seeds of revolu- or jailed without trial, in the “War on free access to the web, identify its users, and
tion will be sown…. Crime” everyone is a suspect until literally shut down computers that it consid-
proven innocent…. ers a threat to national security….
2. Crack-Up 2011 Among our Top Trends
for last year was the “Crash of 2010.” What 6. Alternative Energy In laboratories 9. Youth of the World Unite University
happened? The stock market didn’t crash. and workshops unnoticed by main- degrees in hand yet out of work, in debt and
We know. We made it clear in our Autumn stream analysts, scientific visionaries with no prospects on the horizon, feeling
Trends Journal that we were not forecasting and entrepreneurs are forging a new betrayed and angry, forced to live back at
a stock market crash – the equity markets physics incorporating principles once home, young adults and 20-somethings are
were no longer a legitimate indicator of thought impossible, working to cre- mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it
recovery or the real state of the economy. Yet ate devices that liberate more energy anymore. Filled with vigor, rife with pas-
the reliable indicators (employment num- than they consume. What are they, and sion, but not mature enough to control their
bers, the real estate market, currency pres- how long will it be before they can be impulses, the confrontations they engage in
sures, sovereign debt problems) all bordered brought to market? Shrewd investors will often escalate disproportionately.
between crisis and disaster. will ignore the “can’t be done” skepti- Government efforts to exert control and
In 2011, with the arsenal of schemes to cism, and examine the newly emerging return the youth to quiet complacency will
prop them up depleted, we predict “Crack- energy trend opportunities that will be ham-fisted and ineffectual. The Revolu-
Up 2011”: teetering economies will collapse, come of age in 2011…. tion will be televised … blogged, YouTubed,
currency wars will ensue, trade barriers will Twittered and….
be erected, economic unions will splinter, 7. Journalism 2.0 Though the trend
and the onset of the “Greatest Depression” has been in the making since the dawn 10. End of The World! The closer we get
will be recognized by everyone…. of the Internet Revolution, 2011 will to 2012, the louder the calls will be that
mark the year that new methods of the “End is Near!” There have always been
3. Screw the People As times get even news and information distribution will sects, at any time in history, that saw signs
tougher and people get even poorer, the “au- render the 20th century model obsolete. and portents proving the end of the world
thorities” will intensify their efforts to extract With its unparalleled reach across was imminent. But 2012 seems to hold a
the funds needed to meet fiscal obligations. borders and language barriers, “Jour- special meaning across a wide segment of
While there will be variations on the theme, nalism 2.0” has the potential to influ- “End-time” believers.
the governments’ song will be the same: cut ence and educate citizens in a way Among the Armageddonites, the actual
what you give, raise what you take. that governments and corporate media end of the world and annihilation of the
moguls would never permit. Of the Earth in 2012 is a matter of certainty. Even
4. Crime Waves No job + no money + hundreds of trends we have forecast the rational and informed that carefully follow
compounding debt = high stress, strained over three decades, few have the pos- the news of never-ending global crises, may
relations, short fuses. In 2011, with the fuse sibility of such far-reaching effects…. sometimes feel the world is in a perilous state.
lit, it will be prime time for Crime Time. Both streams of thought are leading many to
As Gerald Celente says, “When people lose 8. Cyberwars Just a decade ago, reevaluate their chances for personal survival,
everything and they have nothing left to when the digital age was blooming be it in heaven or on earth….
lose, they lose it.” and hackers were looked upon as
Hardship-driven crimes will be committed annoying geeks, we forecast that the 11. The Mystery Trend ... will be revealed
across the socioeconomic spectrum by legions intrinsic fragility of the Internet and upon publication of the Trends Journal in
of the on-the-edge desperate who will do the vulnerability of the data it carried mid-January.
Are you ready for the future?
To prepare and profit from the Top Trends of 2011 … and beyond, click here.