Our trend map for 2009: The vital Trends, Risks, and Red Herrings you must know


Following our extremely popular Trend Blend 2007 and Trend Blend 2008 trend maps comes…. Trend Blend 2009!

Created by Future Exploration Network’s Chief Futurist Richard Watson, also of NowandNext.com, the 2009 trend map moves on from the subway map theme of the last years to show the multi-tentacled hydra that is the year ahead.


Click on the map to download the pdf (810KB)

To pick out just a few noteworthy elements of the trend map:

CORE THEMES include:



Global Connectivity


Power Shift Eastwards


SOCIETY: Search for control, enoughism

TECHNOLOGY: Simplicity, Telepresence, Gesture based computing

ECONOMY: De-leveraging, 2-speed economies, Shorter product lifecycles

ENVIRONMENT: Bio fuel backlash, Negawatts, Nuclear power

POLITICS: Virtual protests, Globalisation in retreat, Immigration backlash

BUSINESS: Networked risk, Transparency, Asset price uncertainty

FAMILY: Debt stress, Allowable luxuries, Middle class unrest

MEDIA: Flight to quality, Facebook fatigue, Skimming, Micro boredom


Climate change crisis

Fall of US Empire

Nuclear power

Device convergence


Major Internet failure

Influenza pandemic

Major earthquake in economic centre


Electricity shortages

People taking trend maps too seriously

As usual, this is released on a Creative Commons license, so feel free to play with it, adapt it, and improve it!

Wishing everyone a fabulous 2009 – be sure to take advantage of these upcoming trends!

  • Not seen this before and it is smashing stuff. The ‘multi-tentacled hydra’ as you call it is a superbly effective way to present all the information and relevance. This is such great work in bringing together the numerous issues and trends that face us.
    It would be very cool to offer an online interactive flash version, that lets people play around with the order of the issues, and possibly edit the issues too. A dedicated site could then let people create and share their own versions in a gallery and you could then use collaborative filtering to analyze the consensus and produce a consensus view. To let people have the opportunity to agree on what is most likely to be significant would be a great upgrade.
    All in all though brilliant stuff.

  • Many thanks Alex!
    If you haven’t already, check out the trend maps for 07 and and 09, and have a browse down the right hand column of the blog for some other visual maps, and at the
    Great suggestions, which we’ll aim to implement over the next little while – probably gradually rather than all at once! We’re working on a Media Timeline that will have interactive elements – hopefully out in the next few weeks.

  • This was such a fascinating map and explanation that I have shared it with others. I know this will open a lot of further discussions. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

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