foreword

We are happy to introduce the first edition of Nordkapp’s New Normal foresight report. In New Normal, we look into the most topical phenomena in 2020 and how they can manifest themselves in the world at large.

Climate change has a tremendous impact on our lives, driving a wealth of phenomena either directly or indirectly. Technology also has a big influence on our surroundings. In New Normal, however, we do not cover technology trends per se, but we approach technology as a driver or enabler of most of the themes contained within.

As we are based in Helsinki, Finland, we look at the world from a Nordic perspective. Our publication deals with global phenomena, but we won’t dive deep into various pressing issues around politics, diversity, ethics and so on. These topics are of utmost importance, but we aim to examine our subject matter as unique instances, without generalisations.

New Normal 2020 is assembled from various signals we have collected from research and interviews we have conducted during the autumn of 2019. Our approach included collecting and identifying the most interesting signals, clustering those signals and recognizing patterns and wider phenomena. Simultaneously, we had several conversations about futures and business with executives from companies like Kone, OP, Neste, SOK, Telia Finland, Vaisala, Varjo and VR.

In this edition, the starting point for clustering is to cover the most pressing or basic questions we can have about our lives — what is urban everyday life like? (Fluidity), how do we face different extreme conditions? (Resilience), am I healthy and happy? (Habitualised), what kinds of new experiences do I have? (Supercharged), how are my surroundings redefined? (Frontiers) and how are values guiding the actions of myself and the world around me? (Dedicated). Each section is divided into subthemes, which are highlighted with a few exemplary signals and pieces of evidence (the larger selection we keep for our library and client work). At the end of each section, we include some questions to hopefully spark some inspiring thoughts and discussions.

As for reading instructions, the key is to translate the report to your context. We didn’t differentiate between B2B, B2C or different industries, as every phenomenon can have different implications in different realms — it’s a separate sense-making task that should always be performed in the context of the task or problem at hand in order for it to be relevant.

Decisions and actions about better futures are achieved together. We hope this foresight report will open up many worthy new opportunities and beginnings.

 

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