OPEN SESSION: State We’re In 2023

Posted by Flux on 

18 January 2023


We enter 2023 with a common consensus that we’ve entered an era of “polycrisis”  (or permacrisis). The Financial Times brings this state of mind into sharp focus with this explanation:A problem becomes a crisis when it challenges our ability to cope and thus threatens our identity. In the polycrisis the shocks are disparate, but they interact so that the whole is even more overwhelming than the sum of the parts. At times one feels as if one is losing one’s sense of reality”, which aptly describes how 2022 unfolded.

Not only does it feel as if we’re losing a sense of reality, but that the world is unravelling.

Ontrafel” is the Afrikaans word for “unravel” and it somehow has a “mouthfeel” that more accurately describes the helplessness most people felt throughout the year. 2022 was meant to be the year of re-emergence and recalibration after lockdown. But this was not meant to be. 

We have been diverted onto new uncertain futures and in the midst of our distraction we are putting more faith and reliance on automation and algorithms.

Our annual trend briefing – The State We’re In – is a trend overview we use to give a glimpse of where the world is, and where the world is going. Using our T.R.E.N.D.S methodology we highlight the key trends in each pillar that will have an impact on businesses and individuals alike. We delve into the undercurrents between the pillars and how they come together to create the winds of change that continue to shape our world and affect business.

Below are the key themes that will be covered within each pillar:

  • T (technology): The proliferation of AI – Generative AI as well as AI within the creative economy into every area of society – from work to entertainment. The question is can humankind keep up with the rise of the machines? 
  • R (retail): The evolution of the omni-channel retail models with more subtle nuances like “discovery commerce”, virtual product placements and dark advertising. 
  • E (economy): Global supply chains are being reconfigured with the emergence of more complex issues like the real impact of climate change and the volatile geo-political landscape, making it more difficult for economic recalibration to happen.
  • N (natural world): Climate catastrophes are wreaking havoc on global communities and affecting food security. Climate relocations and climate colonialism are new issues on the table, as is disaster funding via algorithms.
  • D (diplomacy): We’re at a fork in global politics as governments veer towards the right in the real world but a battle for digital sovereignty is being waged in cyberspace. However, the emergence of Gen Z politicians has now been added to the mix
  • S (socio-cultural): The real effect of the lockdown life audit begins to emerge with people harnessing technology to connect with the dead, live as well as avatars and explore the non committal world of “situationships”.

And much, much more…

Our open session will help you see that the unravelling of an old world order is not necessarily a negative  thing. It’s very necessary. The question that you’ll have to answer is whether you will be the architects of a post-pandemic world, or will you cede that responsibility to the machines?

Who should attend this trend briefing?

  • Anyone who understands that trends today inform business strategy: this includes executive leadership, management and marketing, media and service industries.
  • Companies that are trying to make sense of the new world order, and are willing to explore what needs to be done to be prepared for the change ahead.
  • Businesses that realise that today’s complex undercurrents can derail any strategy or decimate an entire industry. 

Join us as we connect the dots for you and bring clarity and foresight to frame your business’s new trajectory.

Presented by Dion Chang

Come see what state we’re in?

Event Details
Time: 08h30 for 09h00 to 10h00
Date: Tuesday, 14 February 2023
Address: Workshop 17 @ The Bank
Corner Tyrwhitt and, 24 Cradock Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196
Drop Pin:

If you are interested in booking this trend briefing for your team or clients please contact Bethea Clayton on  or +27764539405.

A special thanks to our sponsors

Image credit: Gallo Images/ Getty Images AND Workshop17

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