Retrograde 2.0: The hidden trend


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Retrograde 2.0, one of the Trends Research Institute’s top trends for 2015, postulated that millennials, more than any young generation before, were positioned to reach back to the distant past to reinvent the future.

In the winter Trends Journal, Gerald Celente wrote: “Listen to the millennials. What’s their vibe? Name that tune. It’s a scene-less scene. There has been nothing like it in generations. Hipsters at best, styleless at most.”

Millennials, raised in a digitally dominated and techno-consumed world, are not experiencing in real time the “vibe” and organic wellspring of past generations. But they are ideally positioned to reach way back to retrofit pieces of a more human, more engaged, more creative past to reinvent their generation.

The nostalgia that appeals to millennials today — 1980-90s music and TV shows, and the hipster bars, beards, plaid shirts and jeans — is more fad driven and media manufactured than substantive.  

French mathematician Jonathan Touboul, who recently published the findings of a study on hispters, concluded there’s really nothing fresh or unique about the hipster movement. Essentially, the uniquness proclaimed by hipsters is really just herd mentality at work creating the facade of individual uniqueness.

The Washington Post, in reporting on Touboul’s conclusions, summed it up this way:

“So basically, hipsters are hipsters because they’re too slow to spot things that are truly out of the mainstream. By the time most nonconformists find the hot new thing no one has ever heard of, lots of other people are discovering it as well.”

TREND FORECAST: Touboul’s mathematical equation supports our earlier forecast:

“Qualitatively and quantitatively, old-school values of integrity, retrofitted for the future — not attitude and hype ― provide boundless opportunities to replace the bottom-line-focused marketplace and lowest-common-denominator media mindset that now prevail. While those “days gone by” cannot return, they can be retrofitted for Retrograde 2.0.”

Those who see that gap, identify the opportunities and seize the untapped potential, will reap the financial rewards, while enhancing cultural and social norms.

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