Trend Briefing: The Age of the Long Near

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Imagine if we had built the pyramids to implode after 10 years, or Stonehenge to collapse within the same time frame. Imagine if we made planes, trains and automobiles to shut down after a season or crash after a planned number of flights. How would the world look? What would people think?

And yet many of the brands, businesses, corporations and products we encounter on a daily basis have been designed to do just that via seasonality, planned obsolescence, cheap production, unsustainable work practices and short-termist CEOs – their average time at the helm is dropping each year.

Add to that the fact that the average Fortune 500 multi-corporation only lasts for 50 years – many vanish from our radar over our lifetime – and we increasingly understand why new approaches to thinking, doing, being and producing are needed if our brands are to last, companies are to survive, and consumers are to be kept happy and engaged.

So forget short thinking, increased seasonality and planned obsolescence, even five-year plans that are designed to drive brand value and retail buy-in.

Instead, join the world of long-form thinking, 100-year plans and 1,000-year scenarios, as we will look at in our Spring/Summer 2015 Trend Briefing.

Prepare to be amazed, astonished, challenged, invigorated – but most of all prepare to learn the about the Age of The Long Near. Long because it’s the future, Near because it’s just about to happen, but you still have time to challenge and change it.

Be aware, be watchful and be ready.

Be part of the Long Near programme.



Martin Raymond

Editor in Chief @ The Future Laboratory

Martin Raymond co-founder of The Future Laboratory, is editor-in-chief of Viewpoint magazine and LS:N Global, the online lifestyle news and consumer insight portal. Martin has written several books, including crEATe (Gestalten) and The Tomorrow People: Future consumers and how to read them today (Financial Times Prentice Hall), The Trend Forecaster’s Handbook, which is the definitive work on trends and the trend forecasting arena.

He is a regular contributor on trends and business for the BBC, the BBC World Service programme Culture Shock, Channel 4 and ITV. Born in Ireland, he moved to the UK in 1984 to work as a journalist in the design, fashion, film and video sectors. He founded VideoGraphic, and later became an associate editor at Screen International.

Martin went on to edit and re-launch Fashion Weekly, the UK’s fashion business bible. A return to his native Dublin to present RTE television’s fashion magazine programme Head To Toe was followed by a four-year tenure at the London College of Fashion, as senior lecturer in fashion journalism. He maintains a busy schedule of lecturing at over 12 colleges and universities throughout Great Britain and Ireland. He is also a contributing editor for Wired UK, and a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Science (RSA).

Chris Sanderson

Co-founder @ The Future Laboratory

Christopher Sanderson is co-founder of The Future Laboratory, where he is responsible for delivering the company’s extensive global roster of conferences, media events and LS:N Global Trend Briefings, which he co-presents with the team in London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Stockholm and Helsinki.

Clients who have booked one of his inspirational keynotes include Gucci Group, the European Travel Commission, Retail Week, Selfridges, M&S, Chanel, Harrods, Aldo, H&M, General Motors, BBDO, Design Hotels, Conde Nast Media and Omnicom.

Chris recently presented Channel 4 TV’s five part series, Home of the Future. Chris co-writes a monthly column for Luxury Briefing and is a SuperBoard member of The British Fashion Council’s Fashion Trust.

“Forget short thinking, increased seasonality and planned obsolescence, even five-year plans that are designed to drive brand value and retail buy-in. Instead, join the world of long-form thinking. Here we look at the implications for brands, businesses, retailers and consumers.” The Long Now : The Future Laboratory
“The Future Laboratory trend briefings are considered and inspiring - no waffle, no suppositions, but helpful perspectives supported by real examples. I always leave The Future Laboratory armed with new knowledge that I can use the very next day, across different aspects of my work.” Rebecca Fleming, Senior Planner, Leo Burnett