What trends are you seeing today?

Going to local events with crowd-sourced talks such as TEDx and Ignite are a great way to understand current trends in our industries. Several key messages and themes tend to resurface during the talks, and it’s not because the speakers are unoriginal. They are just putting into words, what’s on the minds of many in this snapshot of time.

Just over a year ago, before I moved to Australia, everything was focused on the “real-time.” How we were using technology and social networks to interact instantly was the hot topic. This expanded beyond just marketing. Ideas of what personalised health care might look like when delivered in real-time were discussed.

At Ignite Sydney last year, a presenter shared on how Twitter was being used to find out where bush fires in Australia were breaking out. According to him, this was more accurate than any other type of monitoring technology available.

I’ve been seeing three key trends that I find interesting and want to highlight.

1. “Collaborative consumption is so hot right now”

I tweeted this half serious, half joking during Sydney Ignite 7. Lisa Fox presented “The Aussie guide to collaborative consumption,” a story of how everyday people are using online sites such as Open Shed, to rent and share items you might find in storage. Another talk by Darryl Nichols told the story of his project, the “Garage Sale Trail,” community focused yard sales across the country. October also celebrates Buy Nothing New Month and this idea of sharing, trading, renting and swapping is pretty fashionable at the moment.

2. Becoming a catalyst for change: Empower local leaders

If we want to be most helpful, perhaps we should look to empower local changemakers instead of trying to force change ourselves. This is the message that Aaron Tait, Executive Director of Spark* International gave during his TEDxMacquarieUniversity talk. Chantelle Baxter, co-founder of One Girl also explained how education can help empower young women and girls, so they can then lead change in their communities.

3. Social entrepreneurship and Gen-Y

Last year, I think we were scratching our heads trying to further define this “millennial generation.” Topics were about Gen-Y in the work force and how Gen-Y uses technology. While these discussions continue, now the focus has shifted to the power of Gen-Y. I love the number of young people who stood up and defined themselves in some way as social entrepreneurs. We are a driven generation who wants to give back and this was reflected in the speakers.

 Are you noticing these trends in your community as well? What topics are you finding relevant and popular in today’s society?


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