courage can't see around corners but goes around them anyway. ~Mignon McLaughlin

Emerging markets or emerging futures?

Several conversations with Nazia Hussain and Niti Bhan have brought questions I frequently debate in the back of my mind to the front. Namely, why do we need to use the word ‘market’ when examining global trends and opportunities? Main reason: that’s how economists organise the world, it’s how businesses do too. Indeed, cultural factors play a huge role in developing design and business solutions for a global audience and one size does not fit all. But in the end, market-tailored analysis/solutions/approach sell better because it fits the existing way of thinking.

If we define solutions on a market by market basis, we risk missing the forest by looking only at the trees. To create something new, knock down the market based silos and observe what’s emerging globally (futures is as fine a word as any). Then notice if there are nuances from country to country, region to region,’market’ to ‘market’. That will then enrich the insight because you can see how local culture and circumstance (broadly speaking) affects design, technology, innovation, usage, adoption, whatever. But the guts of what’s happening is happening to humanity, not to a country, a market, or a region.

So that’s where my thoughts are headed. What do you think?


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