On Trend: The Business of Forecasting the Future

Friday, 24 January 2020 - 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
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Contact person: 
Phyllis Rippey
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Cost to attend: 
Free of charge
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School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies CRC Science and Society

Something is always trending. There is always a new trend on the horizon: some habit or practice that is nascent but building, some gizmo or movement on its way to occupying our collective awareness. While cultural observers have long understood the dynamism that defines modern life—what sociologist Georg Simmel called the “restless rhythm” that “opposes the fixed duration of any particular form”—recent decades have seen these currents become literal currency, and trends turning into an important driver for consumer culture. One explanation for this shift is the growth of a global trends industry that anticipates, packages, and markets trends and futures to corporations around the world. This talk will explain the rise of the trends business, and explore what happens to the future when it is forecasted, bought, and sold.