Prioritise community facilitation or corporate innovation?

category - strategy
type - features
Consumers are shunning individualism in favour of alliances that redistribute power at scale. Rachele Simms, director of strategy and planning, and Rachael Stott, senior strategic futures analyst at The Future Laboratory, unpack the key strategic take-outs from our latest macrotrend, Neo-collectivism.

The mass re-organisation of society that our new sociocultural macrotrend analyses has been building for some time. 

Back in 2015, New Bricolage Living identified how rootless consumers were beginning to relearn collective ways of thinking on a global scale, when borders were removed both digitally and physically. A shift to a borderless mindset built the foundations for globally connected consumers to create their own decentralised models of Community Commerce, prioritising those peers with shared values and aspirations over large conglomerates that had previously dominated the conversation. Fast forward to 2021, and these new models of exchange and connectedness truly came to the fore in Alternet Economies, due in part to the pandemic’s digital acceleration and acceptance, and in line with the formation of a new internet – Web3. 

Events over the past 12 months have been a constant reminder of the interconnectedness of humans across the planet. Right now, rebuilding life post-pandemic and amid the Ukraine conflict – with the internet its own front line, capable of disempowering the enemy or building community and morale – are matters of global concern. As the impact continues to be felt on many levels, this shift from individualism to collectivism is challenging brands, particularly in the West, to prioritise community facilitation over corporate innovation and financial growth. As Greg Sherwin, vice-president of engineering at Singularity University, says: ‘The new normal will include a greater awareness of systemic dependencies and the need for social goods.’

Having seen what positive action can be achieved collectively in response to recent global events, the collaboration between people, private sector and public institutions represents the blueprint for the future relationship between consumers and brands. And, as our existing offline systems continue to fail, consumers will expect businesses to be at the forefront of new digitally integrated systems of solidarity. 

To genuinely place collectivism at the heart of business, brands will need to make the radical move from sellers to coordinators, blurring the boundaries between how we define a company, a community and a collective. Collectivism has historically been integral to many global societies such as Indonesia and China, but the emergence of Web3 and other new technologies is changing the way in which it is assembled. 

Is your brand prepared for Web3, borderless and hyper-local strategies, next-door commerce, and fractionalised and cooperative finance models? Are you aware that niche is your new mainstream?

Published by:

31 March 2022

Author: Rachele Simms and Rachael Stott

Image: Sam Miles for The Future Laboratory


Sam Miles for The Future Laboratory

To engage with growing consumer communities rather than just individuals, these are the actions brands will need to take to navigate a neo-collective future.

Key thought-starters for brands and businesses:

Consumer: Coordinate collaboration over consumption
How do the ways in which you show up as a brand – whether that’s your store, marketing strategy, product or service – actively benefit and bring value to the broader community and culture?

Culture: Advocate for community agendas
How can your brand’s marketing and messaging account for the cultural nuances of collectivism, and amplify an individual community’s agenda rather than appropriating or pushing your own motives?

Business: Promote civic collectivism
As a business, what role do you play in driving collective progress and leaving society in a better state than you found it?


Our team of strategists have developed a wide-ranging set of strategic decision-making tools to help provide future-first solutions for our clients. If you would like to discuss how our Redemptive Diets macrotrend could support future planning for your brand, or if you have any questions about embedding our macrotrends into your business, send us a message at We look forward to accelerating into the future with you.

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Members of LS:N Global can read more about the strategic implications of Neo-collectivism as well as new downloadable strategic worksheets.

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