As communicators prepare to make the shift to 2018, this year’s trend report from Havas PR North America CEO and world-renowned trendspotter Marian Salzman pulls together the biggest and most influential trends to watch in the coming year.

The firm has released its eighth annual trends forecast, unveiling 20 trends—from compassion fatigue and the retail apocalypse to gaming at work and the appeal of singledom—that will shape the year ahead.

The report, The D-Words: On Disruption, Despair and Dumpster Fires—20 Trends for 2018, reflects on the patterns that defined 2017’s bumpy ride. It recaps major social and cultural moments like NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s protests, Brangelina’s breakup and the unveiling of the first autonomous cars—and anticipates how they will blossom into shifting behaviors and beliefs in 2018.

Marian Salzman

“This report is not about leaving the past year behind. Instead, it’s about offering a perspective on how the world will transform in 2018 because of everything we’ve seen, experienced and felt this year—whether firsthand or via the news ticker. As we scanned 2017 for patterns, we noticed how often D-words came up: disturbance, destruction, depression, deception, defiance, discontent, despair and death, to name a few,” said Salzman, in a news release.

“From these D’s, we see P’s emerging that present a prettier picture—patience, pragmatism, positivity, patriotism, practicality. These are the ideals that bind together the trends we’ve identified in the report,” she added.

Highlights from the report include:

Grassroots food for the soul

In this new era of grassroots activism, the voices of everyday troublemakers are growing louder and more persuasive. The desire to air grievances and lend a hand is a reaction to our need for control and purpose, and it’s showing up in ways that are variously noble, controversial and malicious.

Havas CEO Marian Salzman’s 20 trends for 2018

Lonely hearts club

In a world where power couples come and go and Facebook keeps a public record of the revolving door of relationship statuses, famous women like Tracee Ellis Ross are disrupting social norms by taking pleasure and pride in their “single” relationship status. And the public is adjusting expectations.

Compassion fatigue

Even while some people chant until their throats are sore, there will always be others whose response to chaos or controversy is to go quiet. At least part of this silence can be blamed on the fact that many people are bone tired, worn down to the emotional nub after so many mass shootings, terrorist attacks, celebrity deaths, natural disasters and rounds of political name-calling.

Gaming at work

Life’s a game, and we’ve all got to play it, even at work? Yes, and that’s because applying game-based mechanics to workplace training has been shown to motivate employees to learn, stoking competitiveness and engagement.

Ageism—the new white privilege

Older workers are often plagued by the perception that they’re clueless noobs who will require extra training and patience to get up to speed on technology. Look for HR departments to create and enforce hiring and employment policies to reduce ageism.

Download the report here.

Take a look at the report’s compelling intro here:

Havas CEO Marian Salzman’s 20 trends for 2018

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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