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It’s January. Time to sign up to the gym, not drink for four weeks, quit smoking, fall in love, and get planning for the year ahead. The last point is one thing that Canvas8 can help with.

We pride ourselves on creating and nurturing dialogues with cultural, commercial and academic experts all over the world. Our current network boasts more than 500 people – from acclaimed psychologist Dan Ariely to youth researcher danah boyd to cultural sociologist Jeffrey Alexander.

Every year, for the Canvas8 Expert Outlook, we hand pick three specialists from 12 sectors, and pick their brains about how they think emerging innovations will impact people’s behaviour in the following year.

Conversations with our experts this time around revealed a recurring theme around a desire to feel in control – hardly surprising when ‘uncertainty’ is the word on everyone's lips. Half of young people today say they’re worried about the future because of financial pressures, while 74% of business leaders cite geopolitical uncertainty as a major concern.

And the desire to take control is manifesting in all kinds of behaviours. Whether that's parents using mesh Wi-Fi to cut off their kids’ internet, households monitoring energy consumption, or busy workers picking exactly when and where their parcels are delivered, customers are firmly in the driving seat.

In 2017, we’ll see brands stepping up to meet these demands. That may be through surprising collaborations – like Spotify teaming up with Sonos to offer superior service – in-platform developments – like chatting to an airline on Facebook Messenger – or new business models – consider a phone manufacturer that let people subscribe for five years so they could get an upgrade annually.

Hopefully, you’ll find these insights useful as you plan for 2017. And when you find yourself in the pub after work on Friday – with the prospect of a dry January already been and gone – comfort yourself with the fact that only 8% of people actually stick to their resolutions.

You can find our highlights here.

And read the full Expert Outlook here.


Jo Allison is Canvas8’s editor. Previously, she worked for retail trends consultancy GDR where shopping was part of the job description. When she’s not getting her head around the quirks of human behaviour, she’s busy ‘researching’ the latest food or fitness fad.

10 Jan 17
2 min read

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