Marketing & Media trends
#BizTrends2022: Fasten your seatbelt for the metaverse with Bronwyn Williams
In the build-up to Bizcommunity’s annual BizTrends2022 content highlight, we go behind the scenes with the speakers. Here, we chat to Bronwyn Williams, who will present her highly anticipated Flux Trend briefing - Fasten your seatbelt for the metaverse.
Can you share a bit about what audiences can expect from your presentation?
I'll be talking about "metanomics" - the economy of the metaverse, or as I like to call it, the financialised-squared economy, and how markets, games, economics, and money are colliding and creating (and destroying, and re-allocating) value. I'll also be speaking on Reality Privilege and how real life is becoming a luxury, even as digital existence is becoming a lifeline; and how games are becoming work, and work is becoming a game.
What is a trend and how would you distinguish it from a fad?
A trend has momentum and direction - much like vectors in physics have both a direction and a magnitude. A fad, however, might have either a direction or a magnitude but not both. Fads can therefore be seen as being one-dimensional, and therefore less impactful on society at large - they pass through culture without leaving a lasting impression. Whereas a trend changes us (and the future).
As a professional trend consultant, what do you believe the purpose and value of trends should be?
A trend just is. Trend analysis however identifies trends early on in their adoption cycle in order for us to take advantage of them (if positive), or reduce them (if negative).
In light of the last two questions, what is the best advice you would give to a brand when it comes to trends?
Hire an outsider, an expert generalist (and change them up often) to help you spot trends and scan the horizon for blind spots. Your in-house team becomes "institutionalised" in that when you work in one industry or one business, you start to see the world in terms of your work, rather than seeing the world for what it is - insiders have blind spots because they are deep, rather than broad experts.
What media, literature, music, movies, cultural references etc. do you go to on a regular basis?
Everything! Aim to know a little about all sorts to spot the greater threads that tie all those things together. But mostly I read since reading is faster than listening if we want to process vast amounts of information.
As an avid reader, what devices do you read on and do you read paper books? What books do you read?
Mostly paper books, since reading speed is faster on paper, and retention from print is better than retention from ebooks. I read a lot of history, politics, philosophy, economics, classic fiction, science fiction, and biography.
What is the smartest design or new idea that you have come across since you started your career as a futurist and trend analyst?
That's got to be bitcoin - there is no denying how it's changed the world over the last decade.
What is the craziest idea you have come across?
More disturbing than crazy, but it has to be naked-selfie loans in China, where young women put up nudes as collateral for personal loans, and the loan sharks sell the photographs if the women fail to pay back the money.
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Date: Wednesday, 02 February 2022
Time: 13h00 – 17h30 with tea break
Price: R150 per head; 25% discount for bookings of five or more. Students are free.