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The Future Laboratory’s unique proprietary methodology allows us to track, monitor and determine the key drivers of change affecting future consumers, culture and business. Here is how we identify our trends.
Strategic foresight is the most valuable tool you can adopt to identify future prosperity. Despite our reputation for getting it right, we can’t predict the future. There is no crystal ball.
However, our methodology enables clients to interpret and frame all their decisions about future risk within a brand, consumer or organisational context that is provable, practical and minimises uncertainty.
We do this by understanding the influence of six global drivers causing profound, consistent – and therefore relatively predictable – change. Their impact is assessed against seven core human needs and the ensuing value shifts that change consumers’ attitudes and behaviours.
This leads us to identify emerging macrotrends and microtrends, and ascertain what their implications are for the future landscape.
Get in touch with a member of our team to discuss our methodology in more detail.GET IN TOUCH
At the heart of The Future Laboratory is a taxonomy that our teams have used since the millennium to shape the strategic thinking and foresight capabilities of FTSE 100, Fortune 500 businesses, and progressive brands and disruptors.
We use this methodology to map, monitor and interrogate the future. It serves as the foundation for everything we do as a business, and is based on six layers of hindsight, insight and foresight:
To find out more about our taxonomy or to receive a PDF of our full methodology, contact our team.GET IN TOUCH
Static and universal needs, based on a value system that supports human nature’s physical and emotional programming
The shifting social, technological, economic, environmental and political landscape reshaping the world we live in, affecting everyone and everything
Consumers’ changing attitudes and behaviour – a reaction to their contemporary context
The cultural manifestations of new and emerging attitudes worldwide
Influential short-term signals indicated by innovation
Future implications for brand and business growth
The seven human needs are timeless and universal. Based on a value system that supports human nature’s physical and emotional programming, each human need is of importance to us as individuals and together they form the foundation of society as well as that of our methodology:
Why they matter:
Every day consumers make decisions based on what they feel and believe is most important. By aligning our research with these static needs, businesses gain a deeper understanding of how the needs of early adopter consumers will translate into product and service needs as their values shift with the global drivers.
To find out what the seven human needs mean for your business, contact our team.GET IN TOUCH
Global drivers represent the cultural, social, economic, political, technological and environmental eventualities reshaping the world we live in. They are factual, objective and long-term structural forces that are pervasive, powerful and transformative.
Why they matter : What’s next
These are the fundamental shifts or external forces that have the potential to reshape the future trajectory of a brand or business. They help to contextualise decision-making by considering why and how the world is being reshaped. They enable clients to rethink what kind of world consumers will live in and therefore what will drive the businesses of tomorrow.
To find out how the six global drivers affect your business, contact our team.GET IN TOUCH
We know that our needs are prioritised, expressed and pursued differently as time, culture and social requirements change.
The evolving forces sitting above these needs are changing our value expectations, transforming our aspirations and priorities, and beginning to reveal the role, the purpose and the direction that brands and businesses can take as they move towards 2030.
Identifying how societies and culture are changing provides the sociocultural context for our macrotrends.
Why they matter : What to plan for
As consumer values shift from year to year, we track their evolution through the lens of our global drivers and human needs to help businesses stay ahead of the cultural curve and understand the trajectory of the trends they have invested in or should be investing in.
We can identify future macrotrends by studying the behaviours of innovators and early adopters who signal the cultural manifestations of new and emerging attitudes globally.
Why they matter : Where to play
To understand revenue-driving early and late majority consumers, we focus on innovators and early adopters who determine today what the rest of us will be doing tomorrow
By understanding these consumers, we can help our clients deliver a business strategy that appeals to early adopters and the late majority – ultimately future-proofing your business
The Diffusion of Innovation curve seen here is a simplified version of the mapping process used by Bryce Ryan and Neal Gross to describe how an idea, innovation or product development passes from the fringes of our culture into the late majority mainstream
Every year we publish over eight global macrotrends exclusively for members of our trends intelligence hub, LS:N Global.DISCOVER MACROTRENDS
Where macrotrends chart the next 3–5 years, microtrends are tangible examples that are emerging now.
Supported by new consumer-facing innovations, microtrends are evident in new start-ups, products, services and experiences. Manifesting in the short term, microtrends emerge in local and regional variations.
Why they matter : How to win
Microtrends highlight specific shifts in consumer behaviour that change the business environment in the short term.
They enable businesses to see what’s happening now across industries, regions and markets, allowing them to re-align new workstreams and help articulate a proposition from local insights.
Members of LS:N Global get exclusive access to new microtrends published each week.DISCOVER MICROTRENDS
As you can see, we don’t predict the future. But through Strategic Foresight we can track global shifts to understand the key drivers of change and mine the evidence of today’s world to preview what the future could look like.
Our Strategic Implications enable clients to contextualise, navigate and find opportunities by highlighting how a macrotrend might affect them and refocus their outlook.
Our frameworks are designed and created in close partnership with our clients.
Our team of strategists are always on hand to dig deeper and build a personalised Foresight Framework for you. Get in touch to understand how our human needs, global drivers and macrotrends will affect your organisation.
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