Next trend – Vision 2020 lifestyle and design

Vision 2020 – how is the forecast for design and lifestyle trends? We visited Colour House Next Trend Seminar in Copenhagen where Els van Niekerk shared her vision for 2020. We have summarized the four macro trends for the years to come.  

At the Next Trends seminar by Colour House the trend forecast agency Oltmans van Niekerk shared their insights for the 20’s. Els van Niekerk, co-owner of the agency, presented their four macro trends with the title “A Better Tomorrow”. Trends that will drive change and influence how the future consumer needs will develop in 2020.

There are millions of possible futures, choose the one where everybody wins.
– Els van Niekerk

The viewpoint is that radical matters – we have to rethink our way of living to secure a sustainable future. So, how can we understand the future and create future proof strategy for companies and brands?

4 macro trends for 2020

It’s easy to think that the future is determined when the report of the next thing lands in your lap. But according the Els we have all the possibilities for change, and to choose the future where everyone is a winner. These four trends shows alternative for a future that work for all and bring out the best of us. The four topics of Oltmans van Niekerk’s vision is called Heal the World, Life on Earth, Harmony of Difference and The Next Wave.

1. Heal the World

Heal the World is based on the relationship between people and technology, and how the limits in the between is being blurred. Today, there are no limits for what we can do with technology, we have all possibilities to change and heal the world.

The biggest challenge is to find the balance in this busy world we’re living in, where change is constant. Changes is only going faster and we have to learn how to deal and adapt with the change. As Els puts it, human is what we are, it’s the technology that moves fast. To find the balance, in an unbalanced world, the solution is cooperation between tech and human using creativity to deal with the changes.

To understand the human relation to tech, we have to understand our behavior. What makes us thrive, makes us unique, makes us act? According to Els it’s with three words; sensitivity, curiosity and harmony. With this we have the ability to remake the world, we just have to be creative.

In a brand perspective it’s important to really show who you are. Personality, character and to have the curiosity for learning more about ourselves. Think about life as a life long learning – instead of knowing it all, learn it all. Also, boost your followers with positivity, we want to hear all the good news for change. The most successful strategy for 2020 is to be transparent.

3 key words for Heal the World

  • Stretch your strategy
  • Connect
  • Soften

2. Life on Earth

The next phase of sustainability is what Life on Earth is all about. There must be a change. We often think that the change needs to be in the bigger picture, a systematic change in the society. But as Els said is that also up to every person, company and organisation for making that change happen. Change is needed, big as small.

“Life On Earth is about creating smaller healthier eco-systems. The global landscape needs systemic change which requires global thought and solutions. Technology can help us to engineer a better future, it can be the ultimate wellness movement.” said Els van Niekerk.

To think big, is to think small. Think closed circles, new and alternative materials and to use it again. No more linear models, the customer demands healthy systems in the supply chain. “Make it to be made again.” said Els is the motto we have to have in our strategy.

For businesses it’s time to ask yourself, why are we doing this? Does it have a purpose or is it just for the paycheck? Question everything and have transparency, be local and flexible in your mind for a better life on earth.

3 key words for Life on Earth

  • New materials
  • Ecosystems
  • New values

Read more
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3. Harmony of difference

Diversity and equality is the two big words for this trend. The foundation for our society and culture lays in the fairness of people, where sisterhoods och community is more important than ever.

With many global shifts ahead it is time to open up and start listening because of our inseparable interwoven cultures, histories and shared future.
– Els van Nierkerk

The next generation is ready for change, which means a global shift. We will see cultural hybrids, urbanisations and new constructions. They will demand an equal society to live in.

For companies this will mean new ways of communicating. The person to person connection is where the trust is. More demands on storytelling, communication that affects, in order to make your customer remember you. Working with products? Use materials that talk. Let them tell their story, let them be raw, natural and reused.  

3 key words for Harmony of Difference

  • Community
  • Diversity
  • Mixing

Read more
What Is Storytelling?

4. The next wave

Real change is anarchy until it becomes mainstream. We want an open internet, a new web is up on rising. We also want to own our data in this digital world, one solution for this is with blockchain.

In The Next Wave, science fiction is on the verge of turning into science fact. There is not one future option, there are many. Stand up for what is right, pushing humanity forward and sparking positive change in the world.
- Els van Nierker

With this she also wanted to challenge Google’s Code of Conduct “Don’t Be Evil” to “Can’t Be Evil”. A motto they just recently removed, maybe with this trends in mind

Anyhow, the digital and physical becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish from each other. The blend will contribute to that we’ll have a hard time to see the difference between reality, 3D and digital. It can both means a new way of thinking and seeing or lead to a virtual chaos. Can it all be an illusion and what will that mean for us as individuals, organisations and society?

For business it’s acquired to think of new business models. We will consume differently. Stores will be labs for the consumer to experiment, choose and create their own personal product. 3D prints will allow more personal developed items and prototyping is one way of hack the machine for change. The combination between physical and digital is a tactic to use to survive. Imagine the impossible, test new technics, dream big.

3 key words for The next wave

  • Experiment
  • Digital
  • Free


Search for a better life, improve what we have now, eat better, buy better products. People are now not just changing their habits, we are changing our relationships with products and with how we live our daily lives.

Read more  
Colour House Next Trend seminars here
Oltmans van Niekerk's Vison 2020 here

September 3, 2018
Want to know more?
Get in touch with:
Caroline Formby
Senior Designer
+46 760 45 20 40
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