Samantha Moeller

by Samantha Moeller

Director - Strategic Communications

Future Predictions for 2021 Podcast Blog

  • FEBRUARY 09, 2021
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Season two of the M+Ake It Innovative Podcast premiered sharing the “Top 8 Trends of 2021” in a two part episode featuring M+A’s Certified Futurist, Mark Bryan, and Director of Strategic Communications, Sam Moeller, sharing ideas, insights and innovations for the years to come.

Listen to part one here, and part two here, or read below for a recap of the “Top 8 Trends of 2021” to be in the know of what’s happening now, and what’s to come next.

Mark covers topics pertaining to innovations spanning a wide range of industries and community advancements, and Sam will highlight forecasts related to behavior psychology, consumer sentiment and mental health.

13:00- TREND 1: Phygital World
A blend of the physical and digital world. Work-from-home requires full reliance on technology, and the present day is focused on the integration of it into post-pandemic life. Think devices that promote the idea of a “helpful home.” For example, a sliding door that reveals a workplace nook, that could also double as a place to put an exercise mirror.

20:05- TREND 2: PTSD Support
If you think of war veterans when you hear the words “post traumatic stress disorder” know that’s an extreme example. PTSD is a sliding scale, and symptoms can show up differently based on types of losses or traumas experienced, especially after the year 2020. PTSD, and anxiety, has a direct impact on our ability to perform. Left untreated, it directly impacts every aspect of our life- work, relationships and home. Increase in mood swings, difficulty concentrating, increased irritability, and losing interest in passions are all common symptoms of PTSD. But, there is good news. PTSD is treatable and there are clear ways for business owners, individuals and family members to stay on top of caring for people battling PTSD.

28:40- TREND 3: The Workplace, “An Inclusive Community Center”
As a result of PTSD and heightened anxiety post-pandemic, transparency and community will be two paramount concepts to focus on while welcoming people back into the workspace.

First, transparency: constant communication will be key in upholding stability, security and consistency. This means consistent check-ins, sharing of KPIs or financials and candid conversations from leadership.

Secondly, building a community using a “4th” space: a blended space where many functions can occur. Specifically, a place where community members gather, and amenities are offered. This could be anything from retail options to wellness opportunities. The overarching idea behind the 4th space is to capitalize on gaps in company assets, because the idea of a single use space does not make sense anymore. Overall, the 4th space concept engages the outside community to generate revenue and engagement in a company's space during their off hours.

42:08- TREND 4: How to Create a “Safe Space”

It’s no longer a priority, but a demand, to focus on inclusivity, diversity and accessibility. And one way to do this is by creating a safe space. Whether this looks like a digital detox in M+A's respite room, or working inside a phygital environment, all that matters is that it promotes well-being.

3:30- TREND 5: Local Experience, Retail’s Lifeline
Brick and mortar is not dead, it is just greatly changed. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased online purchases by 6 to 10 percentage points across most product categories. One way retailers can enhance their presence, in a predominantly digital environment, is through experiential moments. For example, there are opportunities to have face-to-face conversations with your delivery person in order to create a more personable experience. There are many other creative ways to create an experience for your customer. Whether it is a pop-up dj or a live-streaming service, 2021 will see many innovative ways to capitalize on experiential moments.

11:50- TREND 6: Emotional Plurality
Multiple emotions can live at once. You can be angry, but optimistic at the same time. You can be sad, but also feeling brave. And, the recognition, acceptance and understanding of emotional plurality is the way of the future for the emotionally intelligent and evolved. In the next 3-5 years, you, your colleges and family members will be experiencing emotional plurality first hand, and changes to the built environment will come as a result from it. For example, experiential designers will create from a sensory design and messaging standpoint to welcome more than one emotion in the workplace.

32:99- TREND 7: Rewilding Higher Education and Healthcare
In the built environment, we are already seeing healthcare systems shifting into communities with freestanding emergency departments. These freestanding departments, like Ohio Health, allow for people to feel safe by choosing a local provider. Other innovations that will come into fruition are at-home-healthcare-options and delivered healthcare.

In terms of higher education, we are bringing back the basics. That is, choosing your own path. It may be a shift toward online community platforms, community education centers and even apprenticeship offerings. As to the learning process, online education will work for some, but not others. Different students have different needs, and many learn best with a hands on learning approach- this is why maker spaces add value for students. Others may gravitate towards gamification, or digital gaming as an education platform.

33:40- TREND 8: The Reminiscence Bump

Researchers have found that people vividly remember life experiences between the ages 15 and 25. In this age range, many important “firsts” happen: your first crush, your first heartbreak, your first time moving out. These first experiences create a deep imprint on your brain, and provide nostalgia for years to come. Nostalgia is an anchor to which people grasp and feel grounded in the present while thinking in the past. During 2020, amid tech advancements, there was a rise in nostalgic items, like polaroid cameras, further solidifying the reminiscence bump in our mindset.

Samantha Moeller

by Samantha Moeller

Director - Strategic Communications

Life-enthusiast, occulture fanatic, and mental health champion, Sam has a passion for natural health modalities and energy healing practices like yoga. She also teaches Lagree at Butcher Shop Fitness in Columbus.