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FJORD TRENDS 2020 Ready, reset, reinvent biz, tech and design

The emerging trends in business, tech and design

As you explore these trends, consider the questions they ignite – for the future of business, technology and design, and the world. The curiosity, concerns and actions they inspire will shape how brands serve people for the decades ahead.

Each year, Fjord — Accenture Interactive’s design and innovation practice — crowdsources trends for the coming year from its global network of 1,200 creatives in 33 studios. With new studios opening across Latin America and Japan, this year’s Fjord Trends are the most closely connected yet, telling a comprehensive story about our landscape and what’s coming next.

In brief

  • Capitalism is evolving. People are becoming increasingly conscious and hyper-aware of how their purchases affect others and Earth’s resources.
  • Growth for profit alone will fade away as people demand products and services that are personally meaningful and socially and environmentally beneficial.
  • 5G technology will create a wealth of exciting opportunities for new products and services. Delivering faster data speeds than ever before, 5G will help brands optimize the relationship between people and machines.
  • The focus of design is transitioning from “me” to “we.” Design will shift to cast its net beyond the end user alone, pivoting from user-centered design to design for all life.
  • Brands with a long-term, forward-looking view that care for the planet and people — and the causes that matter to them — will emerge as winners.

Business unusual

Economics and politics, capitalism and resources, technology and society – all have long been entwined. But, recently, the consequences of that have burst into the public consciousness. And, this is fueled, ironically, by the very technologies that made such interconnectivity possible.

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The clash between the technology industry and governments is resulting in widely felt tremors, as tech giants are seen as having too much power. Meanwhile, there is still disagreement around who should be held accountable for their actions.

2020’s meta-trend represents a major realignment of the fundamentals. It is tempting to misunderstand this as a gloomy picture. Instead, Fjord feels this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to innovate business models, services and products around new definitions of value.

One thing is likely: Those who embrace the long-term view — starting with their impact on the world and society and embracing the systemic complexity of the world — will emerge as winners.

Fjord believes the following trends will be the most important . For organizations, customers, employees and stakeholders over the next 12 months and beyond.



Realigning the fundamentals

In a world grappling with climate change and constant political and social disruption, people are more aware than ever of how their purchases affect others and Earth’s resources. People are demanding products and services that are not only meaningful to them, but also socially and environmentally responsible.

Meanwhile, technology continues to fuel unprecedented change. Now it’s morphing the shape of money, creating virtual doubles and rendering our bodies a form of signature.

What does all this mean for businesses and people? In short, a complete realignment of the fundamentals.

This is not a bad thing. In fact, we see this shift as a tremendous opportunity to reinvent business models, services and products to fit new definitions of value.

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Profit as the sole metric — essentially growth for growth’s sake — will not be the ultimate decider of a company’s success. This realignment potentially leads to iconic innovation moving beyond the start-up realm. To catch up, businesses must work together to fuel disruption at an industry level.

The companies brave enough to recognize and respond to this meta-trend will experience many opportunities and challenges on their journey to transformation.

Here’s what we predict. As this shift takes hold in varying markets at different speeds, developed markets will likely reject endless material consumption in favor of balance and conservation.

Ultimately, the winners will be businesses that consciously consider their impact on an ever-evolving climate, society and world.


01. Many faces of growth

For decades, companies have been laser-focused on one main objective: financial growth — the faster the better. Now, people are challenging organizations to define their success in more ways than financial growth, the long-established benchmark for prosperity. Today, companies must pursue a broader set of business objectives that are balanced with the reality that profit is critical for longevity. This opens the doors for opportunities to imagine entirely new ways to create and sustain value.

The trend is about embracing a much more comprehensive range of success metrics. Also about re-examining the long-held belief that the bottom line is important above all else. This is why companies must work differently, responsibly and imaginatively.

Investors, customers and employers are putting pressure on organizations. To respond to changing societal values, concerns about climate change and finite natural resources, and economic and political instability.

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As a result, business success metrics and economic models will naturally evolve. Shareholders will increasingly demand environmental, social and corporate governance, and organizations will need to upskill staff at all levels. This is a positive call to redefine growth in new ways that improve our lives and our world.

The long-term health of free enterprise capitalism will depend on delivering profit with purpose.

Lionel Barber, Financial Times Editor In Chief

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