The State We’re In 2024

Posted by Flux on 

11 January 2024


The annual Flux Trend briefing – The State We’re In – has become the definitive executive summary of where the world is, and where it’s going. 

Using the acronym T.R.E.N.D.S. – representing six trend pillars that will shape how we will live, work and connect in the coming year – Flux identifies new, game-changing trends and tracks the ripple effects from last year.

For the past three years it feels like we’ve been trapped in this state of limbo:

from a global pandemic to extreme weather, to not one, but two wars spreading geopolitical uncertainty. Adding insult to injury, Generative AI has been unleashed reinforcing this hallucinatory state.  

The past three years have required endurance but South Africans have practically written the handbook on resilience. We have grown accustomed to aftershocks.

But acclimatisation is equally dangerous. It’s time to seek new perspectives.

“Resilience” erodes mental wellbeing and “endurance” depletes energy and focus. New mantras are needed: Recharging, not enduring. Rewiring, not enduring. Reinvention, not endurance.

The Great Unravelling creates a window of opportunity to reimagine and rebuild.

Mindful optimism is required. We are witnessing the death of old ideas and the birth of the new. There will be more aftershocks, but also new opportunities.

Here are some key trends that will be covered in this trend briefing:

  • T (technology): Generative AI has evolved into Interactive AI – when AI meets robotics. This evolution is ushering in the age of Artificial Generative Intelligence which will continue to blur the line between reality and fabrication.
  • R (retail): The nature of retail in the past three years has changed so rapidly  that we are moving from a focus on multinational brands towards more community-centric retail that caters to consumers in their own homes.
  • E (economy): The aftershocks of the polycrisis are pushing governments and financial institutions to adopt policies that focus on reducing the risks to a country’s economy from more black swans or a buffer to volatile geopolitics.
  • N (natural world): We unpack how businesses and governments are bracing themselves against “green swans” and how climate change continues to affect supply chain logistics as well as policies around food security, town planning and migration. 
  • D (diplomacy): “The longest democratic recession” in three decades has pushed nations to lean into an “à la carte diplomacy” – i.e. approval of democracy in principle but cherry picking elements from other political systems. Coupled with the growing global civil displeasure and integration of Generative AI into politics, this year is set to be a political twilight zone like no other. 
  • S (socio-cultural): Generative AI continues to change the landscape of society through relational experiences by using chatbots to fill the space of companionship. This brings into focus other issues about grief and AI relationships when a service is discontinued and individuals are left with broken hearts. 

We will unpack these themes and much, much more in this trend briefing.

This trend briefing will help you see that The Great Unravelling creates a window of opportunity to reimagine and rebuild.

Book this trend briefing to unpack the challenges as well as the opportunities that the aftershocks of this new era of uncertainty bring.

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

Still not sure if this trend briefing is suitable for you and your team? 

Read our latest trend release to get an overview of the insights in this trend briefing offer. 

-Looking at Trends as Business Strategy-

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