The Future of Retail at Foresights & Trends, Miami, FL

Another great year at Foresight and Trends - a big thank you to KNect365 for bringing us all together.

At this year's Foresight & Trends, I chose a topic I've been lucky enough to dive into as part of my day to day; betterment as it relates to the future of retail. While in past, I've spoken on the democratization of retail, I wanted to next dive into its implications, including an increasing innovation bar; one that ties back to a model we can all relate, Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

In a nut shell, we're seeing a convergence of trends: 1) the democratization of retail and an increasing innovation bar, and 2) digital connection increasing the scope of our lives through greater social connection, knowledge and resources. Combined, what was once considered amazing is now just expected, resulting in society reaching up Maslow's ladder towards self actualization - the quest to fulfill one's highest potential (aka, being your best self). While certainly not universal, this is the direction of travel.

Maslow's hierarchy, denoting the shift towards more time, energy and resources being spent on self actualization

Maslow's hierarchy, denoting the shift towards more time, energy and resources being spent on self actualization

If we think of the area on Maslow's ladder (see right) as representing time, energy and resources, I predict we'll see an inversion of the triangle over the next decade; where the most time and energy will not be in putting a roof over your head and food on your table but in becoming your best self. The "self actualization" economy will flourish. We're already beginning to see it in our products, services, public spaces, media & entertainment, the classroom; in millennials looking for purpose & design-it-yourself, freelance lifestyles. This presents an enormous opportunity for brands.

More specifically, how do we create something for the world, whether it be an experience, a product or offering, that enables people to fulfill their highest potential?

What came afterward? Some awesome dialogue - check  out a taste of it here!