The annual Flux Trend briefing – The State We’re In – is an eagerly awaited 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 not only identifies new pivotal trends but also the undercurrents that have intensified from the year before.

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.

Instead we were diverted onto new uncertain futures and in the midst of our distraction we put more of our faith and reliance on automation and algorithms.

The unravelling of an old world order is not a bad thing. It’s very necessary.
But we need to ask, will we be the architects of a post-pandemic world, or will we cede that responsibility to the machines?

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