2018 Trends Brief

For 2018, we’ve selected cultural shifts in our 2018 Trends Brief that will emerge or continue to shape our behaviors, capture our aspirations and impact industries across culture.

These trends represent some of the most important influences in the coming year ahead. Our research took us on a roller-coaster journey where polarization, accelerating technological advancement, and evolving social norms constantly intersect to play an outsized role in the year ahead.

In a world where our perceptions of reality are challenged with the blurring of truth and fake, trends such as Truth Labs have far-reaching impact across culture. The walls that withhold biases and discrimination are more visible than ever, intensifying polarization, filter bubbles and creating tensions as we adjust to evolving social norms, such as with the trends of Detoxing Masculinity and the 67% Movement.

A polarized world is also fueling a desire to better understand ourselves, as we seek to quantify the very essence of humanity. This is seen in trends such as Stunt Math, Mind Rights and Armour Therapy.

Read the full report for the 69 trends you need to know in 2018.

86 pp.


For this report, we applied a trend scoring methodology combining machine intelligence from our active learning system, Q™ with human intelligence. Q™ helps us identify signals, structure data, score trends, and add bias into the system at great speed and much more accurately than humans alone.

Our data science team scored and identified the emerging trends of 2018, using methods that measured the trend energy, recent rates of change and forecast the future of these trends.

Out of a working list of 108 trends, 69 trends made the final cut. These represent a balance of cultural change across our five categories of analysis — Aesthetics, Humanity, Ideology, Media and Technology — as well as a range of potential impact in our lives and collective imaginations.


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