Briefs: Values + Attitudes

Millennials and Parenting: New Approaches in the Digital Age

Flickr_Michael Coghlan

The Millennial generation has delayed such traditional milestones as getting married and having children. Yet over the last decade, more than 20 million Millennials have become parents. And in the coming 10 to 15 years, tens of millions more will join them, leading to perhaps the biggest parenting generation in US history.

Soon to become the largest cohort of adults in the United States, the 80 million Millennials have been shaped by an array of forces — including the digital age, the lingering recession, and the unemployment of their teens or early adulthood — that earlier generations did not experience.

Read more…

Digital Payment Futures

Moneyby _J_D_R_

There is a push underway to digitize consumer payments, led by those seeking to make the mobile phone and other personal devices into digital wallets.

To help monitor this trend and the evolving opinions about its future, we analyzed the results of a recent survey about the future of device-based payment systems conducted by the Pew Research Center. This brief presents some of the key themes that emerged from the Pew survey and synthesizes them with material from other sources to explore the future of digital money and explore implications for businesses and other organizations.

Read more…

Rising Giants: Companies Welcome

Gabriel White flickr

The landscape of global business is changing. While World 1 economies still dominate the global business landscape, more and more companies based in World 2 and even World 3 are making their presence known on a worldwide scale.

These rising giants are not only serving — and in some cases dominating — their home markets, but they also are increasingly seeking to expand into other markets, both from other emerging economies and from developed economies. The growth and expansion of companies from emerging economies will dramatically transform the global business landscape in the next two decades.

Read more…

Is Average Over?

Brandon Martin-Anderson

Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University and a popular economics blogger, made waves with his bestseller Average Is Over, a controversial and compelling forecast that maintains that the modern world is on the cusp of a sea change, brought on largely by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

“The basic look of our lives … hasn’t been revolutionized all that much in 40 to 50 years,” Cowen writes. “That’s about to change.”

Read more…

Ethiopia’s Consumer Market: Is It Worth Getting In Now?

Image: David Stanley
Flickr, creative commons for commercial use

The 14th largest country in the world by population, Ethiopia is an emerging economy that has demonstrated impressive growth throughout the past decade, growth sustained through the global recession. Ethiopia is currently the fifth largest economy in Africa and is projected to become the third largest within a decade, making it an inviting target for multinationals seeking to establish a presence in Africa.1

Despite its attractions, however, Ethiopia does not offer a certain—or even a relatively clear—road to prosperity for multinationals looking to do business there. The great promise the Ethiopian market presents is counterbalanced by the many drawbacks and challenges that will have to be overcome.

Read more…

Conflict-Free Products: Ethics in the Marketplace

Image: MauroCateb
Flickr, creative commons for commercial use

The idea of “conflict-free” products is spreading. Originating in the role of mineral industries in Africa, it centers on the concept that some products are ethically questionable because their ingredients or inputs are sourced from areas facing armed conflict, thereby contributing to instability and war.

To date, the idea of conflict products has mostly been applied to select, high-profile conflicts, but this could change. Activists and governments are moving to increase consumer awareness of the issue, reduce the trade in such goods, and change business behaviors.

Read more…

Australian Reinvention: A Lifestyle Remodeling


Australia’s 20 million people face the usual pressures of life in World 1, from fast-paced urban living to aging and obesity.

In response, they are turning to four lifestyle trends which increasingly are driving consumer behaviors: personal makeovers, attention to wellness, home makeovers, and “sea change” towards the simple life. Together, these trends offer clues to future directions for Australian lifestyles.

Read more…

Top Global Risks: Is the World Riskier?


The world is slightly more at risk in 2013 than it was in 2012, according to Global Risks 2013, the eighth annual edition of this authoritative series on global risk from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

According to the 1,000-plus experts surveyed by WEF, almost all of the top 50 global risks identified in 2012 are deemed more likely to manifest in the next 10 years than they were in 2012. Many were seen as having greater potential impact than a year ago as well.

Read more…

Taking It Slow: Understanding the Slowness Movement

michael pollak slow flickr

Life is moving too fast. In our always-on culture, more and more people are saying that they feel overwhelmed: too much to do, too much information, too many responsibilities, and, above all, not enough time. These feelings have sparked a growing movement to slow down the pace of life.

Read more…