41 trends you should consider as a business

Frightening stats and trends

We were very taken by a book called “Leading from the emerging future”, which starts with some frightening statistics (with “Frugal innovation” adding a few):

  • We leave an ecologic footprint of 1.5 planets
  • Food prices are expected to double by 2030
  • In USA 1% owns more that the entire bottom 90%
  • 25% of kids in the USA live in poverty
  • 90% of new cancers are caused by lifestyle and environmental factors
  • The US healthcare wastes 600 billion a year
  • In 2000 twice of many people died of suicide as died in wars
  • There are 200 million people unemployed going to 600,000, most of them youth
  • Every one in five people lacks access to safe drinking water
  • One third of our soil has eroded and have become unproductive
  • 90% of industrial production in health sector concentrate on diseases that are lifestyle driven
  • 125 million phones end up in landfills every year
  • The life cycle of US buildings accounts for nearly 40% of all energy use, 72% of electricity consumption, 14% of potable water use, nearly 40% of CO2 emissions and 30% of waste output
  • 2/3 of carbon emission happens at the end of the food chain (that is you and me)

System break down

The conclusion of that book is that the current economic system has failed us and we need to move to an economy or business 4.0 model.

Frugal innovation

That is why “Frugal Innovation” is such an interesting book. Doing more with less. Real quality, real value and real purpose. In the developed world people are becoming not only more value conscious but also more values conscious. New methods of design, production and distribution allow for the continual reuse of parts and components, reducing waste and creating a so-called circular economy.

More with less

FRUGAL INNOVATION is the ability to “do more with less” – that is, to create significantly more business and social value while minimising the use of diminishing resources such as energy, capital and time.

Don’ t wait

Companies do not have the luxury of waiting and watching. Frugal competitors are already in the market. Particularly rivals from emerging markets.

Your company is breaking down too

Which means you need to understand how the current business practices do not work. Not enough return, too slow, high failure rate, underused IP, too complex and most important, not what the customer or your employees want.


Here is a checklist. Do you understand the following:

  1. Crowd sourcing
  2. The dangers of concept testing
  3. Immersion techniques
  4. Design thinking (over 70% of a product’s life-cycle costs and environmental footprint is determined during its design phase)
  5. Just in time design
  6. Continues manufacturing
  7. Frugal manufacturing
  8. Additive manufacturing
  9. Decentralised production
  10. Micro factories
  11. Re-shoring
  12. Local sourcing
  13. Shared economy at B to B level
  14. Last mile distribution
  15. Circular economy
  16. Cradle to cradle (good!)
  17. Lab to landfill (bad!)
  18. Biomimetics
  19. Sharing economy at C to C level
  20. Spiral economy
  21. Global recovery of waste (GROW)” companies.
  22. Up-cycling
  23. GDP versus GNH (Gross National Happiness)
  24. Emerging-market “MacGyvers
  25. Prosumers
  26. Shared IP
  27. Horizontal economy
  28. Value co-creation
  29. DIY versus DIWO (Do It With Others)
  30. GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon)
  31. Makers and 3D printing
  32. Shapeways, Fablab,Techshop and Quirky
  33. Agile marketing
  34. Dreamers, validators, makers, evangelists, fixers
  35. Hyper-collaboration
  36. MEcosystems
  37. Mental model disruption
  38. Industrial symbiosis
  39. Jiejian chuangxin
  40. Innovation practices in China, Africa and India
  41. Enlightened self disruption

Sustainability as a success factor

If some of these do not ring a bell, you will be in trouble soon. Sustainability will be a decisive factor in terms of which businesses will be here in 20 or 30 years’ time. It is the future of business. Customers demand eco-friendly and healthy solutions.

Do it

GE is doing Quirky, local motors, Techshop, Firstbuild, crowd sourcing, speed, agility, entrepreneurship, shared IP and mavericks. IBM is doing it. BMW is doing it. Nike, Heineken, Philips, Kingfisher, Mars, Pearson, Pepsi, Coca Cola, BNP and many, many more are doing it. Your staff will demand it. Your customers will demand it. Government will insist on it. Every business book we cover with our clients is predicting it.

It is happening

The circular economy could save us 700 billion annually. Some 80 million Americans (around one-quarter of the US population) and 23 million Britons (nearly one-third of the population) consider themselves sharers; and in France 48% consider themselves to be active participants in the collaborative economy.

Business opportunity

The authors estimate that 5% of businesses are involved in frugal innovation. Which means that it is a 95% opportunity. It is 100% threat for every business. Business 4.0 is coming at the speed of Moore’s law.

We don’t think you have 20 or 30 years.








sensemaking cover


Sense making; morality, humanity, leadership and slow flow. A book about the 14 books about the impact and implications of technology on business and humanity.

Ron Immink

I help companies by developing an inspiring and clear future perspective, which creates better business models, higher productivity, more profit and a higher valuation. Best-selling author, speaker, writer.

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