It used to be: “I think and therefore I am”. Then it was: “I shop and therefore I am”. Today it is: “I feel and therefore I am”.

A New Value Universe
As a futurist I observe society trends and their impact on human behavior and needs. The digital reality is in constant flux – influencing our value universe and lifestyle preference. This is also key to understanding people and the evolving needs for human interface technology.

The Evolution of Needs
Looking at the evolution of needs over the last century there is an apparent redefinition of our value universe – a big cognitive shift where new lifestyle patterns and business models are emerging. Material wealth alone can’t buy you happiness, so we are exploring new avenues for meaning and personal empowerment.

Connecting with People
Meaningful consumption and dialogue has become a priority for people and increasingly we ask: “How can I get more out of life?” There are huge opportunities in helping people achieve higher levels of meaning through what I call inspired engagement. Therefore it is important for brands to connect with people in a much more human-centric manner

Striking a Happy Balance
However contrasts do co-exist. Constantly bombarded with contradictory messages and data of whether to go fast or slow the real challenge perhaps is to understand how to strike a happy balance. Navigating these contrasting demands requires companies to engage whole brain thinking. For far to long society at large has banked on pure pragmatic left-brain thinking only. I believe it is about time we start to synchronise both left (logic and detail) and right (feeling and intuition) to effect positive change.

Negotiating Complexity
A key tool for this process is trend mapping. Creating a Trend Atlas is my system to negotiate complexity and decode the cultural contexts of society. The method identifies challenges and opportunities that will impact us both today and tomorrow. Monitoring trends in a’ Whole brain’ manner is key to tuning into people’s real needs and the human interface.

Most Influential Trends affecting the Human Interface:

1. Always On – Convergence
Multi-channel convergence of media, shopping, banking, blogging, reviewing is the norm. Always On empowers people to socialise, work and manage their life wherever they are.

2. Cloud Culture – Dialogue
New communication channels and consumer ‘touch-points’ proliferate. Cloud culture allows ‘real-time’ exchange and sharing networks – fostering a dialogue driven and open society.

3. Social Entrepreneurship – Participation
Growth in global philanthropy and a culture of giving indicates people’s need for social participation. It is essential to nurture ethic values to create authentic caring communities.

4. Happiness Hunting – Meaning
Personal well-being is big business and what makes a society happy is a hot topic. It is not enough to tell people where happiness is on the map companies must facilitate ‘meaningful encounters’.

Patchwork Tribes
So how do these trends affect tomorrow’s people? We live in a polarised society made up of patchwork tribes who share common lifestyle and value sets across conventional geographic borders. This moves us away from traditional demographics into a more profound and holistic understanding of people and the human interface.

Meaningful Dialogue
On a Rational level people want real-time interactive encounters and media convergence. Informed dialogue is essential to build and cement lasting relationships. On an Emotional level social entrepreneurship fulfill people’s quest for participation and is a natural path towards finding more meaning in life.

Tomorrow Success Stories
People’s priorities are changing and they are already saying: “Don’t Tell Me, Show Me!!!” They want enabling technology that adapt to their needs and not the other way around – clunky disabling interface.  Therefore future systems must act more human-centric. Tomorrow’s successful businesses will be those who create a culture that: – “Thinks from the outside in” and “Feels from the inside out.”

Keynote by Anne Lise Kjaer – Q DAY: Lund University – Sweden

Inspirational Sources
* Haptic Technology >>
* Human interface guidelines >>
* The Human Interface >>

All Images
* Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe ART Installation LA >>

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