Παρασκευή, 18 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

How to Start a Food Club

Once upon a time there were seven women in Chicago who loved food and cooking. Of the seven, each only knew one other in the group, until one fateful evening in October, at a restaurant called Sola on the North Side of Chicago. They met for dinner and talked and talked for hours about food, recipes, cookbooks, chefs, restaurants, the Food Network, grocery stores and specialty markets, cooking and baking techniques, TV food shows, food magazines, cooking equipment, cookware shops - oh, they were in heaven! It was ALL anyone wanted to talk about!

Πέμπτη, 17 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Seamless access to metainformation: Εικόνες από το μέλλον της τεχνολογίας σήμερα.





This demo -- from Pattie Maes' lab at MIT, spearheaded by Pranav Mistry -- was the buzz of TED. It's a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment. Imagine "Minority Report" and then some.


About Pattie Maes

At the MIT Media Lab's new Fluid Interfaces Group, Pattie Maes researches the tools we use to work with information and connect with one another.

Τρίτη, 15 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Ομιλείτε και γράφετε ελληνικά! Πολύ πολύ χρήσιμο λεξικό.


Ένα εγχειρημα του Κέντρου Ελληνικής Γλώσσας για την υποστήριξη της ελληνικής γλώσσας στη διαχρονία της: αρχαία ελληνική, μεσσαιωνική ελληνική, νέα ελληνική αλλά και στη συγχρονική της διάσταση.

Δευτέρα, 14 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Case Study: στη δουλειά κανένα email δεν είναι προσωπικό..

City Girl Quits After Saucy Email Goes Global

Damien Pearse, Sky News Online

A graduate trainee at a top accountancy firm has quit her job after a private email she wrote about the "fittest" men in the office went around the world.

  The email was sent to colleagues but ended up scrutinised by bosses
Holly Leam-Taylor sent a cheeky request to a small number of female colleagues asking them to vote on the most attractive males at her Deloitte office in London.

But the email - titled Deloitte First-Year Analysts' Christmas Awards - spread like wildfire over the internet and was soon under the glare of unimpressed bosses.

The 22-year-old, from Surrey, resigned within 24 hours.

The former Warwick University student said she sent out the email as a "light-hearted joke" to celebrate Christmas but conceded it damaged the firm's reputation.

"While intended as a joke, this is a stark reminder of the need to exercise careful judgement when using email." A Deloitte spokesman

She began it by writing: "So girls... it's been nearly four months at Deloitte so I think we should have some sort of Xmas awards ceremony for us ladies about the stuff that really matters at work ie gossip/the boys!

"This probably massively violates the HR equal opportunities policy, but never mind! It's all for a fun and a bit of a laugh."

She went on to list a number of categories on which to vote, including Fittest Boy (looks), Fittest Boy (body) and Best Dressed Boy.

She also invited colleagues to vote on Most Attractive 'Older Member' of Staff and The Official Deloitte First-year Analysts Girls' Man of The Year.

A Deloitte spokesman told Sky News Online: "We are very disappointed by this matter.

"While intended as a joke, this is a stark reminder of the need to exercise careful judgement when using email."

Miss Leam-Taylor graduated with a 2:1 in Management and joined Deloitte on an estimated £25,000 a year.



Παρασκευή, 11 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Όταν το όνομά σου μετατρέπεται σε brand, τότε οι κανόνες αλλάζουν.

Αποκτάς τις ιδιότητές του, τη δύναμή του αλλά και τα ρίσκα του. Μετά δεν σου αρκεί ο δικηγόρος αλλά χρειάζεσαι crisis management.

Το σκάνδαλο με τον Tiger Woods, ένα από τους μεγαλύτερους αθλητές του golf το image του οποίου συνεχίζει να κάνει κατακόρυφη... βουτιά με τις καθημερινές αποκαλύψεις από την προσωπική του ζωή έχει πολλές πτυχές.

Τα sites και παραδοσιακά μέσα που καλύπτουν το θέμα έχουν ανεβάσει την αναγνωσιμότητά τους κερδίζοντας έτσι νέους πελάτες σε διαφήμιση, ενώ οι χορηγοί του αθλητή, έχουν αρχίσει και σκέφτονται πώς το σκάνδαλο επηρεάζει τα δικά τους brands. Ο Woods έχει χορηγούς τις Accenture, Nike, Tag Heuer, Electronic Arts, Gillette και το Gatorade της Pepsi με το τελευταίο να έχει ανακοινώσει επισήμως ότι εγκαταλείπει το δημοφιλή παίκτη.


Woods Attacked By Angry Fans Over Sex Life

Alex Watts, Sky News Online

Tiger Woods has been subjected to a hail of abuse from fans after being linked to at least ten women - including two porn stars, a waitress and a nightclub hostess.

                 
        Tiger Woods admitted he was guilty of transgressions that had hurt his family
                                 
The forum on his official website has hundreds of hate messages venting vitriol at his "philandering ways" and shattered marriage.

As the golf star's career continues to plummet with daily revelations about his sex life, questions are being asked over why his once-slick management team have allowed the scandal to get out of control.

One abusive post reads: "You are a disgusing PIG! (sic)...you don't deserve your children... just cause you have a ..... doesn't mean you deserve such a gift.

"You now represent a huge part of what is wrong in our world today. How will you ever look your children in the face again and feel like a good father."

Another rants: "You are such a piece of garbage... good job wrecking your family, butthead."

And another says: "You are a laughing stock - just another arrogant athlete who thought he could get away with anything... your image was nothing but a fraud."


                    Fans are continuing to leave hate messages on his website                                             

The situation has been made worse by comments on the website from Woods himself.

In a section called Dear Tiger, where the billionaire answers fans' emails, he is asked about how he copes with the heartbreak of being away from his wife and kids while on tour.

Woods replies - just days before his mystery car crash two weeks ago: "You're exactly right, Rupert.

"Now, it's very difficult to leave Elin and the children, and I'm sure it's only going to get tougher.

"Once Sam and Charlie start school, it won't be easy to take them out of class for a week-long trip

                          Rachel Uchitel is among a string of women linked to the champion golfer

"A veteran pro once told them (sic) it's tough to leave them as babies, but once they ask you not to go, it breaks your heart. That's something I'll always remember."

Marketing experts have expressed bewilderment at the lack of protection from his agents, International Management Group.

They say it is farcical that the abuse has not been removed from the website.

"American people love the fall of the high and mighty, but they also love a comeback story," said Leigh Steinberg, a US sports agent.

"He needs to get out front with all the facts and make a public apology to the relevant people so the healing can begin and he can put this behind him, otherwise it will eat him alive."





Τετάρτη, 9 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Τα άχρηστα αντικείμενα γίνονται πολύτιμα δώρα

Ρούχα, έπιπλα, βιβλία, παιχνίδια που θα κατέληγαν στα σκουπίδια, για κάποιους είναι είδη πρώτης ανάγκης.

Την περίοδο των Χριστουγέννων πολλοί κάδοι σκουπιδιών γεμίζουν με ρούχα. Αρκετοί είναι αυτοί οι οποίοι μετά τη γιορτινή βόλτα στα καταστήματα ανανεώνουν την γκαρνταρόμπα ...τους, με αποτέλεσμα να πετούν τα παλιά τους ενδύματα. Ωστόσο, τα ρούχα που καταλήγουν στα σκουπίδια μπορούν να μετατραπούν σε δώρα για αστέγους, απόρους, πολύτεκνες οικογένειες. Με σύνθημα «στις γιορτές δεν πετάμε τίποτα» πολλές μη κυβερνητικές οργανώσεις καλούν τους πολίτες να δωρίσουν τα παλιά παιχνίδια, έπιπλα, βιβλία, ακόμη και συσκευές. (από τα ΝΕΑ)

Research Reveals Social Media’s Impact on Business and Decision Making

SNCR Research Reveals Social Media’s Impact on Business and Decision Making

I am thrilled to share key findings from research that Vanessa DiMauro and I conducted over the summer called The New Symbiosis of Professional Networks. The research was conducted as part of our 2009 fellowship with the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR).

As introduced in a previous post, a great deal of attention and research has been devoted over the last few years to evangelizing social media as a new form of customer-centric relationship building. Build a network or use social media to deepen customer intimacy has become the mantra of today. However, what is often overlooked is the impact of social media to change behaviors, and the potential to use social media to impact a professional’s decision-making processes. While everyone is endeavoring to capture the mindshare of the buyer, few understand what success truly looks like.

In an effort to better understand the impact of social media on business, we conducted research (as a first step) to examine the role that social media has on decision-making among business professionals. Specifically, we sought to understand the following:

• Is social media typically regarded as a trustworthy source of information for professionals?

• Does social media offer effective tools to access information, advice and engage in professional collaboration? How do they compare to traditional off-line networking?

• What are the tools and sources of social media that professionals rely on to make decisions?

• Will social media change the business and practice of enterprise-level operations?

The methodology for this study involved a mixed methods approach supported by quantitative data gathered via online survey of 356 professionals to understand their perceptions and experiences with social media in support of their decision-making. Select interviews of 12 professionals were also conducted using a semi-structured interview guide as part of the second phase of the study.

Key demographics of the research include:

• Close to a quarter (23%) of respondents identified themselves as CEO of their organization; 50% as “Director” (24%) “Manager” (24%)

• Company size ranged from less than 100 to over 50,000 full-time employees

• Age was well distributed with the greatest proportion in the 36-45 range

• 25 countries were represented, with 58% of respondents living in the US

• All respondents were either the decision makers or influenced the decision process within their company or business unit

Below are key findings and an executive summary of the research. The full report will be available over the coming weeks through SNCR. A presentation of results with detailed charts are available on the SNCR website, now (located halfway down the page).

Six Key Findings From The Research Include:

1. Professional decision-making is becoming more social - enter the era of Social Media Peer Groups (SMPG)

• Traditional influence cycles are being disrupted by Social Media as decision makers utilize social networks to inform and validate decisions

• Professionals want to be collaborative in the decision-cycle but not be marketed or sold to online; however online marketing is a preferred activity by companies.

2. The big three have emerged as leading professional networks: LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter

• The average professional belongs to 3-5 online networks for business use, and LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are among the top used.

• The convergence of Internet, mobile, and social media has taken significant shape as professionals rely on anywhere access to information, relationships and networks

3. Professional networks are emerging as decision-support tools

• Decision-makers are broadening reach to gather information especially among active users

4. Professionals trust online information almost as much as information gotten from in-person

• Information obtained from offline networks still have highest levels of trust with slight advantage over online (offline: 92% - combined strongly/somewhat trust; online: 83% combined strongly/somewhat trust)

5. Reliance on web-based professional networks and online communities has increased significantly over the past 3 years

• Three quarters of respondents rely on professional networks to support business decisions

• Reliance has increased for essentially all respondents over the past three years

6. Social Media use patterns are not pre-determined by age or organizational affiliation

• Younger (20-35) and older professionals (55+) are more active users of social tools than middle aged professionals.

• There are more people collaborating outside their company wall than within their organizational intranet

Executive Summary of the The New Symbiosis of Professional Networks Report:

The convergence of the Internet, Web 2.0 and mobile technologies has created a disruptive shift in business. The era of Business-to-Person (B2P) communications driven by all things social (social media, social networks, and social influence) has emerged as a new model for engagement and Social Media Peer Groups (SMPG) have evolved to take important and influential shape in a new business and economic environment.

This shift has disintermediated many long-standing marketing, communications and selling beliefs that have traditionally guided how companies interact, support and collaborate with their customers. We now work in an environment where companies have diminished control over the reputation of their brands, products and services as the wisdom of crowds increasingly dictate the rules of reputation management and selling. Through the use of social media, customers and prospects now have an almost instantaneous platform for discussion of their ideas, experiences and knowledge. Increasingly, the use of social media is playing an important role in the professional lives of decision-makers as they utilize the tools and mediums before them to engage their decision-making processes. The social nature of decision making has increased with impressive strength connecting generations of professionals to each other - changing the dynamics of customer relationship management, marketing and communications, forever.

In today’s global environment of a vast network of seamlessly connected devices (one billion people connected to internet and 4 billion mobile phones) information has the capacity to travel at a business velocity never before seen. 400+ million people are sharing billions of pieces of content and experiences each week through the online exchanges. Communities of practice, professional networks, e-mail, SMS are the sort of tools that enable multi channel access for individuals (employees, customers, partners and suppliers). We are finally a part of the long-promised global virtual and collaborative work environment.

Online communities and professional networks have arguably changed the way we do business and are, in themselves, new ecosystems, virally creating communities within communities that drive brand recognition and brand experience - beyond the control of most companies to manage. Professional networks facilitate vast interactions, connections and networks of people by enabling collaboration anywhere and at any time.

Through this research we focus on professional use of social media – and it all comes back to the strength of the relationship. Human relationships and peer-to-peer decision making are inherently interrelated. We make decisions about who we trust in work settings based on a number of factors – one often being proximity. With social media, proximity is often superseded in the trust factor by relativity or like-mindedness. Is this person knowledgeable? Credible? Believable? Do we share the same views and networks – on or offline?

Because belonging to a peer network or online community requires us to perform publicly, to share our background by way of a profile, to display our professional connections and networks, trustworthiness is in many cases more tangibly determined. Peer Groups can now be formed by idea sharing and virtual collaboration as easily as the proximity based groups that often form in office settings.

Enter the era of Business-to-Person (B2P) communications and the emergence of Social Media Peer Groups (SMPG).

Through the use of professional networks and online communities, decision-makers are connecting and collaborating with peers, experts and colleagues far and wide in an on demand environment, about the issues that keep them up at night. The impact of these far-reaching business networks is becoming clearer every day as millions of consumers, partners, suppliers and businesses discuss and share their professional experiences with each other with increasing levels of trust and reliance. It has long been known as truth that peer endorsement is the single greatest decision-making accelerant. Through social media, peer influence cycles are happening at a velocity never before seen, and in many ways, companies are losing the ability to control their messages. They need to get back into the relationship cycle but on the terms set forth by the SMPG. Participating in the SMPG relationship requires a behavior change on the part of organizations – one dominated by valuable content and genuine contributions, transparent honesty and a commitment to follow where the decision-maker wants to lead.

What does this all mean?

1. Social Media is supplementing the traditional professional decision-making cycle with great affect

• The era of Social Media Peer Group (SMPG) has arrived and information will travel at a business velocity that has never been seen before enabled by the Internet and Web 2.0 technologies.

2. Challenges are facing marketers who endeavor to mange or control social media network content

• Traditional cycles of decision-making are being disrupted by SMPG

• Managing and influencing professional decision-making will be the major challenge as professionals often do not seek the information that marketers want to share online.

3. The greatest opportunity business has is to engage collaborative influence – via immediacy of impact through social channel



Τρίτη, 8 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Dubai crisis exaggerated by poor communications strategy

Alec Mattinson


The media storm surrounding the Dubai economy has been exaggerated because of the poor way it has been communicated, it has been claimed.



The announcement that Dubai's state-backed property developer Nakheel, the property arm of Dubai World, was seeking a standstill agreement with creditors plunged stock markets into the red and generated headlines about the economic collapse of Dubai for days.


Middle East PR experts have pointed the finger at the Dub¬ai authorities for exacerbating the ‘rid¬iculous' level of media coverage - in particular for making the announcement on a public holiday in the reg¬ion. They were also critical of a statement from Abdulrahman al-Saleh, director general of the department of finance, that ‘creditors need to take part of the responsibility'.


‘There are no two ways about it, it has been handled incredibly badly,' one senior source said.
‘The announcement infuriated the investment community and international markets.'


Brunswick picked up a brief with Dubai's Department of Finance earlier this year after the Dubai authorities ended their brief relationship with Finsbury. It is thought that Brunswick has been involved in comms around this issue, although sources stressed it was unlikely that the agency's advice about the timing of the statement was followed.


FD has also been involved because of a brief with Dubai World. Nakheel itself held pitches with financial PR agencies last year for a prospective IPO, but the plans were scrapped and no mandate was handed out.


The news is likely to be seen as a blow to financial PR in the region, given that many UK agencies - such as Finsbury, M: Communications, FD, Brunswick and Kreab Gavin Anderson - have expanded into Dubai in recent years.


Tim Anderson, partner at Buchanan, which quit the region this year, said: ‘We saw the writing on the wall at the end of 2008. Dubai will have to take some pain before its UAE partners rally around.'

Agencies are unlikely to be among the current creditors, but timely payment is a concern. One source said: ‘If you're owed money by the state, what do you do? If you sue, you'll never work there again.'

Copenhagen airport ads


Visit our Copenhagen (COP15) page.

30 Nov 2009, Adverts with heads of state placed all over Copenhagen International Airport by the global coalition, tcktcktck.org and Greenpeace calling on world leaders to secure a fair, ambitious and binding deal at the Copenhagen Climate Summit. This ad depicts President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy

© Greenpeace/Christian slund

As journalists and delegates arrive in the airport, they find the first message from world leaders waiting for them...

Παρασκευή, 4 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Key Learnings from the Fifth Annual M2Moms Conference

Ketchum was an associate sponsor of the recent M2Moms - The Marketing-to-Moms Conference held at the Chicago Cultural Center. Attended by approximately 200 marketers representing well-known brands, M2Moms is the premier conference in the U.S. for business and marketing professionals looking to engage their brand with the lucrative mom market.

Πέμπτη, 3 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Η Ketchum και η Pleon συγχωνεύονται και δημιουργούν ένα από τα πιο ισχυρά διεθνή δίκτυα επικοινωνίας στην Ευρώπη και στον κόσμο


Μία από τις σημαντικότερες συγχωνεύσεις που έχουν γίνει ποτέ στον κλάδο της επικοινωνίας και των δημοσίων σχέσεων ανακοινώθηκε στο Λονδίνο πριν λίγες ημέρες. Η Ketchum, μία από τις κορυφαίες εταιρείες δημοσίων σχέσεων στον κόσμο και η Pleon, η μεγαλύτερη εταιρεία παροχής συμβουλευτικών υπηρεσιών στρατηγικής επικοινωνίας στην Ευρώπη, ενοποιούν τις λειτουργίες τους.

Η συγχώνευση δημιουργεί μία από τις μεγαλύτερες – σε μέγεθος και γεωγραφική κάλυψη – εταιρίες συμβούλων επικοινωνίας στον κόσμο, και σαφώς τη μεγαλύτερη στην Ευρώπη. Η νέα εταιρεία δραστηριοποιείται σε 66 χώρες, με 103 γραφεία και απασχολεί περισσότερους από 2.000 εργαζόμενους.

Σε παγκόσμιο επίπεδο η συγχώνευση αυτή θα συνδυάσει τις ισχυρές διοικητικές ικανότητες, την τεχνογνωσία και τη δημιουργικότητα της Ketchum με την επιχειρηματικότητα και την εξειδίκευση της Pleon, ιδίως στον τομέα του Strategic Business Communications.

Και οι δύο εταιρείες είναι ευρέως αναγνωρισμένες για την παροχή αποτελεσματικών - και πολυβραβευμένων - υπηρεσιών προς τους πελάτες τους. Ως αποτέλεσμα, και οι δύο εταιρείες κατατάσσονται στις πρώτες θέσεις των πελατών τους σε επίπεδο αφοσίωσης. Επιπλέον, η Ketchum και η Pleon συγκαταλέγονται συχνά στις εταιρείες του κλάδου με το καλύτερο εργασιακό περιβάλλον.

«Σήμερα, οργανισμοί σε όλο τον κόσμο εκτιμούν το συγκριτικό πλεονέκτημα που δίνουν τα άρτια εφαρμοσμένα προγράμματα δημοσίων σχέσεων και επικοινωνίας», εξηγεί ο Raymond L. Kotcher, Senior Partner και CEO, Ketchum. «Οι πελάτες αναζητούν από την εταιρεία επικοινωνίας τους αποτελεσματικές και αποδοτικές υπηρεσίες, τόσο σε τοπικό όσο και σε διεθνές επίπεδο, που μπορούν να ενσωματωθούν με συνέπεια και συνέχεια σε διαφορετικές κουλτούρες, οπουδήποτε στον κόσμο. Στο σημερινό πολύπλοκο περιβάλλον, οι πελάτες αναζητούν εξειδικευμένες συμβουλές και καινοτόμες λύσεις ώστε να αντιμετωπίσουν τις προκλήσεις και να αξιοποιήσουν τις ευκαιρίες. Συνδυάζοντας τις λειτουργίες μας, δημιουργούμε μια πλατφόρμα που εξασφαλίζει ότι θα συνεχίσουμε να παρέχουμε σήμερα και στο μέλλον ευαπόδεικτη αξία στους πελάτες μας οπουδήποτε και αν δραστηριοποιούνται».

Κάθε εταιρεία προσδίδει ιδιαίτερα χαρακτηριστικά στη συγχώνευση:

* Η Ketchum ιδρύθηκε το 1923 και θεωρείται από της σημαντικότερες εταιρείες διαμόρφωσης εταιρικής ταυτότητας και εταιρικής φήμης. Η Ketchum είναι επίσης γνωστή για την επαγγελματική κατάρτιση και ανάπτυξη των στελεχών της και είναι ευρέως αναγνωρισμένη για την κουλτούρα συνεργασίας και τη δημιουργικότητά της, υλοποιώντας βραβευμένα προγράμματα για τους πελάτες της. Ενδεικτικά, η Ketchum έχει κερδίσει 112 βραβεία Silver Anvils από την Public Relations Society of America, περισσότερα από οποιαδήποτε άλλη εταιρεία δημοσίων σχέσεων στην ιστορία. Τα βραβεία Silver Anvils αποτελούν ύψιστη διάκριση στο χώρο των δημοσίων σχέσεων.

* Από την εποχή που ιδρύθηκε το 1988 ως Kohtes & Klewes, και σήμερα ως Pleon Europe, η εταιρεία έχει αναγνωριστεί για την εξειδίκευσή της στην εταιρική επικοινωνία, ενσωματώνοντας τη βαθιά γνώση για τις επιχειρήσεις και το πολιτικό και κοινωνικό περιβάλλον σε λύσεις για τους πελάτες της. Η Pleon αποτελεί μια δυνατή και αξιόπιστη επιχείρηση με σταθερή ανάπτυξη, ενώ πρόσφατα αναδείχθηκε σε "European Consultancy of the Year" από το Holmes Group.

«Η συνδυασμένη εξειδίκευσή μας παρέχει στους ευρωπαίους πελάτες μας ασυναγώνιστο ταλέντο ενώ παράλληλα προσφέρει στους πολυεθνικούς πελάτες μας που εδρεύουν στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, ένα από τα πιο ισχυρά διεθνή δίκτυα επικοινωνίας» είπε ο Timo Sieg, Senior Partner και CEO Europe, Ketchum Pleon. «Βασισμένοι σε μια εταιρική κουλτούρα που θα μεγιστοποιεί τη συλλογική μας επιτυχία, μαζί θα μετασχηματίσουμε τις επιχειρήσεις μας και θα οικοδομήσουμε μια ενιαία εταιρεία».

Η εταιρεία θα λειτουργεί ως Ketchum παγκοσμίως και ως Ketchum Pleon στην Ευρώπη.

Η CIVITAS είναι ο αποκλειστικός εκπρόσωπος της Ketchum Pleon στην Ελλάδα, στη Βουλγαρία, στη Ρουμανία και στην Κύπρο κεφαλαιοποιώντας την τεχνογνωσία και τους πόρους του πανίσχυρου νέου δικτύου ώστε να προσφέρει υψηλού επιπέδου υπηρεσίες στους πελάτες της.


Τετάρτη, 2 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Σχεδόν ένα χρόνο μετά από τη δημοσίευση αυτού του άρθρου, παραμένει επίκαιρο. Προσπεράστε το κλισέ και δείτε ποια trends πράγματι ισχύουν σήμερα.

Forget the silliness. It's time to get serious in 2009

We've gone off on too many ridiculous diversions, says an adviser on future trends. We need to adopt a Blitz mentality

This is a tricky time to be a futurist; the world is changing so quickly that predictions can be out of date almost as soon as they are made. But when our lives are in a scary state of flux, this is precisely when we want to have some idea about what's going to happen next.

Enter Richard Watson, a brave man who has been persuaded to make ten predictions for 2009. As a futurist, Watson makes a living by advising big companies on future trends. A Brit of 47 with a background in advertising, design, headhunting and publishing, he lives in Sydney but commutes regularly to London, which gives him plenty of air miles in which to read every report that's available and look for patterns.

“You work out where the drivers come from and try to group things, talk to people and look for connections,” he explains. “When there's so much uncertainty, volatility and anxiety it's harder to identify trends. You're not so much trying to predict the future as trying to create a conversation about where the future might go. Most of the time you're illuminating the present.
“Personally, I don't think that what's going on is all bad because it reminds us that actions have consequences. Things had swung too far and have been brought back again. If we got rid of Heston Blumenthal and his molecular cuisine, and things such as organic water, I would be so happy.

“We've gone off on so many ridiculous diversions and we don't need a lot of this silliness. It's good to be serious again. We have suffered from too much choice and there will be less. People will be more self-reliant and they will learn to say no, which is a big shift. Family and community will be pushed back together - it's almost a Blitz mentality. We just need to keep calm and carry on.”

Eco-cynics

Are you getting hot and bothered about global warming? Does a cup of carbon-neutral cappuccino or a packet of environmentally friendly crisps make you go environ-mental? If so, you could be suffering from environmental exhaustion. When the economy is in a mess we've got more immediate things to worry about; we're worried about now.

People are getting fed up with being told how to behave, especially by hypocritical politicians and celebrities who drive a Toyota Prius one minute and hop on a private jet the next. Not that acting on behalf of the environment is a bad thing, but in many instances environmental consciousness is nothing more than cynical marketing or stealth taxation - and the hotel habit of asking you to re-use bath towels while the air-conditioning is on full blast is just tokenism. People won't fall for it any more; sales of organic food will continue to nosedive.
The risk is that in refusing to be manipulated by green claims, people will ignore the need to use fewer materials, avoid pollution and so on. There's a balance to be struck here.

Seriousness

In times of economic upheaval and anxiety people can resort either to escape (everything from movies to virtual worlds) or find out what's going on. Those with a taste for seriousness will seek out analysis of complex issues and ideas in the media and in books, and they'll debate philosophy in the pub.

Dress-down Fridays will disappear (to be replaced by No e-mail Mondays) and the distinction will return between the formal business suit of the office and clothes for playing out at the weekend. Hemlines will go down, hairlines will go up: if you want to hang on to your job or get a new one, you'd better have a smart suit and a decent haircut. And your business card will say Head of Policy, not Head of Imagination. No more pretentious job titles. For students, expect a swing away from doctorates in Emmerdale to the mainstream, especially science and engineering.

Unplugging

Digital technology has reduced the need for face-to-face contact. But as those who boast of having 150 “friends” realise that most of them are merely digital acquaintances, they are starting to crave the real thing. With this comes the understanding that you can be too connected, and that it's time to unplug.

This means that people will start to edit and unwire their lives, removing unwanted “friends” and dropping out of social networks as they reclaim personal or family time. There is an aspirational element here, too - just as owning a mobile phone was once seen as a mark of sophistication, not owning one (or using one sparingly) is becoming a signal that a person has sorted out their priorities or has staff to take mundane calls. Hence the new phrase “digital diets”, and an interest in analogue products: fountain pens, wet-film photography and vinyl records.

Ditch the debt

The piggy bank is back. The era of cheap borrowing is over and individuals and institutions are reining in their spending and getting rid of debt as fast as they can. Think of the 1950s and the savings culture; it's not clever to hold debt any more.

For individuals this means paying off credit cards and overdrafts, though selling their largest asset (or debt) is problematic because they usually live in it. The only real strategy is to spend less by cutting back on non-essentials. This means fixing things rather than throwing them away, getting rid of the second car, getting a smaller car and possibly renting rather than buying.
Expect to see downsizing and second homes on the market while people stay in their main homes rather than move. They will also try to stay in their jobs rather than look for a move, though the nasty end of this is that businesses will be cutting their head counts.

Authenticity

When life around us is uncertain, we want authenticity to give us a sense of safety and control. Authentic people, authentic, uncomplicated products, tradition and nothing flash. Forget designer water; it's tap or, if you must, local. Showing off is dead, provenance and patina are cool; flawed doesn't mean imperfect, it means interesting.

It will be acceptable to drive around in a car with scratches and dents because you don't want it to stand out. If you have a really old car, don't over-restore it - cracked leather speaks of its history and will give it a higher value than an old car made pristine. If you have a new Lamborghini, you'll keep it in the garage. It's not the sort of signal that you want to send out. At home you will lust after an original, if battered, Edwardian fireplace, things that show their age and character. Shabby chic will be back.

The same goes for faces. Cover images of celebrities whose eyes are too tight to smile will no longer sell magazines. The taste will be for being true to yourself, rather than the same as everyone else - crinkly like Paul Newman with lines that tell a story, rather than stiff with Botox and impossibly white-toothed like American newsreaders. As the population ages and money is tight, interest in plastic surgery will wane.

Imbys

Nimbys are people who object to things happening in their local area (Not in My Back Yard); Imbys (In My Back Yard) are the opposite. They want things to happen locally because they support local production and consumption, and they will campaign to get their way.

Their motives are social, economic, ethical and environmental. They're interested in anything made by hand, and will support a small family business or a village shop rather than a national or global brand. Expect a renaissance in arts and crafts, home-based hobbies, do-it-yourself and self-assembly kits. The litmus test for this trend will be how much space the big supermarket chains give to local producers, or whether fashion retailers allow the sale of products created by local customers. Good news for farmers' markets and British manufacturers; Imbys won't buy Chinese.

We not me

To get through this mess, we will have to stick together, and that means a new emphasis on the wellbeing of the family, the team, neighbours, the community, the common good and looking after each other rather than being a selfish individual. People will withdraw from the wider world and do whatever needs to be done with their own guys.

You are trying to regain control, and this takes you back to the familiar. You are less likely to deal with people you don't know because you don't trust them; you are not in the mood to experiment. Organisations will respond by becoming increasingly driven by values as they recognise that it is people's experience they are buying or selling, not just their time. Newly reinvigorated trade unions may mean that we see a demand for salary and profit caps in some industries.

Delayed gratification
We have had 20 years of instant gratification, and as the mood changes, incomes drop and values shift, some aspects of life will become slower. This chimes with the trend for tradition, home-made, simplicity; in some ways, after years of being overloaded with complexity and too much choice, we're returning to the 1950s.

Expect to see a resurgence of home cooking because it's cheap, and a stressrelieving activity that pulls the family together. You will eat comfort food because it makes you feel safe and warm, and there will be none of that frying the batter separately and serving it on top of the fish. Basics will replace frills, treats will be little things - a tiny box of chocolates - not grand gestures.

Delayed gratification will also hit money. Today's youth are famous for their inability to wait for anything, and for the first time some of them are going to be told, “No, you can't have that”, first by their parents, then by the bank manager. If they want something, they'll have to save up for it, and they'll stay in education for longer because it's safer.

Fear and loathing
We are living in nervous times and the result is a new age of insecurity. Things are out of our control, and someone, somewhere, is to blame. Anxiety and resentment breed fear, and this means that people are looking for scapegoats. If you are immune to the economic downturn, you're unlikely to be popular, and if you're perceived as being in some way responsible - a banker, a high-earning CEO - then you are regarded as loathsome. This kind of resentment will get worse before it gets better.

Fear also means that people will need to protect themselves. Economic protection means doing everything they can to hang on to their jobs. If the boss wants you there until 8pm, you'll stay, and if that makes employers more powerful than they have been recently, this is not the climate in which to complain. It's time to keep your head below the parapet.

Anger

We are entering a nasty period, possibly as much as a decade, in which economic uncertainty will become a catalyst for some unpleasant attitudinal and behavioural shifts. Just as racism and patriotism grew in the wake of the 1930s Depression in the US, economic issues will bring nationalist attitudes (and the BNP) to the fore.

This is the downside of the instinct to look after our own during a crisis. If jobs have been lost locally and a neighbour buys something from China, some people will get upset. There will be a backlash against immigrants - not to the extent of Enoch Powell's apocalyptic warning of the social consequences in his 1968 “Rivers of Blood” speech, but a contemporary Alf Garnett could be popular. People will want to keep jobs in the community.

Expect to see rising levels of racism, more verbal abuse and physical attacks. As tension grows, there will be more opportunistic street crime targeting wealthy-looking individuals, especially in big cities, where wealth is in close proximity to poverty. Resentment will come out and even grumpy old men will have flashes of real anger.


Richard Watson is the author of Future Files, published by Nicholas Brealey.