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A-Z Culture
Glossary

2016

The Trends You Need to Know
to be Relevant
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
CULTURAL ACCURACY
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
83%accuracy of A-Z Culture Glossary 2015
As “superforecasters” we measure the accuracy of our predictions. We
also make predictions that can be measured. Trend analytics and
performance metrics are an important part of what we do.
Using social listening tools, we measured the accuracy of our A-Z
Culture Glossary 2015, and we are pleased to share that our prediction
accuracy last year was 83%.
We’re aiming to improve our prediction skills to 85% accuracy in 2016.
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
CULTURAL LITERACY STARTS HERE!
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
To help the “curious class” stay relevant in 2016, we’ve assembled an A-Z
glossary of what we predict to be 100 must-know terms and concepts of 2016.
We hope this cultural crib sheet will help prepare you for the year ahead.
Enjoy!
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
HOW TO READ THIS REPORT
Moving at the speed of culture and staying relevant is challenging
for brands and people alike. We all want to be culturally in sync in
2015. However, with so many trend reports, lists, and predictions
this time of year, it can be hard to separate the signals from the
noise. To help the “curious class”, we’ve assembled an A-Z
glossary of the top must-know terms to be aware of to stay
culturally relevant in 2016. This A-to-Z-of-culture contains all the
key words, concepts, and trends that will be topical in 2015 and
can serve as a cultural crib sheet (and conversation starter) as
you enter the new year. Read on and instantly increase your
Cultural IQ. Enjoy!
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
A
MEDIA
TECH/SCIENCE
AESTHETICS
IDEOLOGY
HUMANITY
DEFINITION
A simple definition of the must-know terms, with a brief
explanation of why it’s important to know
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Tricks, tips, and exercises so you can develop your knowledge
in this area (we do not endorse the content, we’re merely pointing it out)
ELEMENT OF CULTURE CATEGORY
sparks & honey uses a taxonomy of trends called the Elements
of Culture to organize signals; all trends fall into 5 major
categories
AGENCY OF RELEVANCEE
EH

Empathy

Emotional Support Pets

F
Fan Activism

Farm-to-Phone

Fashion Tech

Female Gamers

FOLO

Frictionless Design 

Funky Socks

G
Geek Parenting

Genderless Dressing

Gluten-Free Art 

Goosebumps Revival

Graphene Obsession

H
Hot Desking

Hoverboards

I
Image ASMR 

Insta-Fashion

Introverts

Intuitive Apps
J
Jackfruit

JIBO 

K
Kaomoji

L
Library Reinvention

Localizing Water

M
Material Innovation

MFA, not MBA

Microbial Cloud

Mircrodosing

Modified Class

Mood Marketing

N
Nanny State

Nanosensors

Neutrals

No Vaping Signs

O
Open OS

Olifactory Tech

P
Penmanship Porn

Phone Doctors

Plywood

Poetry Slams

Prisoner Assimilation

Q
Quarter Life Crisis

R
Raw Life-Streaming
Redhead Idolization

Rental Mom

Retail Dining 

S
Scientific Serendipity
Sensorial Urbanism

Silicon Smart

Slacklining

Solo Travel

T
Tailored Sweatsuits

Theme Park Dystopia

Tomato Crush

Twitch.tv

Typographic
Neuroscience
U
Uber Dating 

Ultrasonic Sciences

V
Vicarious Robotics

Visual Search

VR Daytrips

W
Waste Positive
Weederies

Wi-Fi Auras

Wireless Energy

Work Capsule Homes

X
Xenophobia

Y
Yeast

Young Money

Z
Zero Gravity

Other
1950s

3D IP

4D Paper

A
App Security

Africa Rising 

Aging Mobility

Anti-Artisanalism

Atomic Renaissance

B
BCI

Biased Algorithms 

Biohacking 

Blockchain

Boomer Design

Breathing Education

C
Cardistry

Cellphone Bugging

Coloring Books 

Content Attachments 

CRISPR

D
Darty

Demisexual

Device Mesh 

Digital Divorce 

DNA Makeup

Dorm Lifestyles

Drone Pets

Dubsmashing

MEDIA TECH/SCIENCEAESTHETICS IDEOLOGY HUMANITY
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
TRENDS A-Z, DELIVERED TO YOUR POCKET DAILY.
Download now and enjoy
a free 30 day trial!
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
APP SECURITY
Bigger investments will be made by IT into all phases of
the security lifecycle in 2016. Apps will experience more
data breaches and in return will put greater emphasis on
protecting their user’s data. App users will scrutinize
their app’s data protection policies more closely, driving
increased interest (and innovations) in the way Terms
and Conditions are presented.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
What level of access do your
apps have on your phone?
Check your phone’s settings to
see which apps are tracking your
location or have access to your
camera and microphone.
A
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: deepadesigns / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
AFRICA RISING
With BRIC nations economically unstable, investment
and manufacturing attention is turning to Africa, as a
continent full of potential, albeit also threats. Ethiopia in
particular is Africa’s fastest growing economy, but the
nation is also undergoing a record-breaking drought and
famine that will continue into 2016, causing a world
humanitarian crisis. Expect more media coverage on
Africa (and Ethiopia) next year, as well as interest in
business, study and cultural exchanges.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Read more about Ethiopia’s
severe drought caused by El Niño
in a World Health Organization
(WHO) report. What opportunities
does this create that can be
addressed while still pushing the
nation forward?
A
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: Aleksandar Mijatovic / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
AGING MOBILITY
With the number of Boomers in the U.S. approaching
76 million, and the first Gen Xers turning 50 years old,
there will be a surge of interest in senior mobility — from
innovative communities to design features to
autonomous cars to exoskeletons to new medications.
We will see a growing number of companies helping
Boomers create solutions that allow them to remain
mobile in their later years.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Read this inspiring story of a 90-
year-old IDEO designer who
wants to make things easier for
people her age. What other user
experiences can you take into
consideration?
A
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: Photographee.eu / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
ANTI-ARTISANALISM
The artisanal trend seems to have peaked because anti-
artisanal parodies are on the rise. This trend is
questioning an obsession with authenticity,
premiumization, bespoke and handcrafting, suggesting
we’ve gone too far. In 2016 we expect a lot of poking
fun at the artisanal hipster movement. What started with
the hipsters of Portlandia, has blossomed into numerous
videos making fun at all things artisanal, such as
artisanal firewood, artisanal water, artisanal ice cubes,
and even artisanal plungers.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Thirsty? Watch this video
featuring The Timmy Brothers,
the bespoke water makers.
A
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: Kjetil Kolbjornsrud / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
ATOMIC RENAISSANCE
We’re entering the next Atomic Age. The number of
global nuclear reactors is set to double within the next
decade. Nuclear waste startups are trying to rebrand
atomic energy. Silicon Valley is focused on atomic
innovation. Companies like Transatomic Power, with
new science and technology that allows for cleaner and
safer atomic energy, are reopening the atomic energy
discourse. We expect to see more atomic energy
projects to come online in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Read Transatomic’s explanation
of the science behind nuclear
energy. Does it assuage any
concerns you might have with
using this method of energy?A
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: Zdenek Venclik / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
BCI (BRAIN-COMPUTER-INTERFACE)
Imagine a collaboration between a brain and a device, like
a computer, where signals from the brain directs the
device simply by the power of thought. Imagine brain-to-
brain communication as well, such as implanting
memories from one brain to another. Well, it’s here in the
form of BCI. From controlling a video game by thought, to
allowing a frail or disabled person to function
independently. We anticipate leaps in BCI technologies in
2016 to make headlines.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
OpenBCI is a Brooklyn-based
company bringing brain
computer interfaces to the
masses. How would you best
make use of BCI technology?B
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: Sergey Nivens / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
BIASED ALGORITHIMS
Do algorithms discriminate? They do if the person who
write the code is biased. Software is written by people
and algorithms can reinforce human prejudices.
Carnegie Mellon University researchers found out that
Google showed more ads for high income jobs to men
than women, simply from a algorithmic bias. We expect
more debate around the ethical implications of coding,
and backlash to algorithms in favor of humanism, in
2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Read a discussion with a
Microsoft Research computer
scientist about how algorithms
can learn to discriminate. Take
this opportunity to self-reflect,
identifying any hidden biases of
your own.
B
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: Bloomua / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
BIOHACKING
If we can hack a computer, then why not hack the
body? Biohackers like Silicon Valley’s BioCurious and
Berkeley Biolabs are exploring the building blocks of life
and biology, and finding that organisms can be hacked
like a computer. Of course some decry Biohacking (after
all who wants a tomato that grows 24 hours a day?),
but medical breakthroughs are resulting from this DIY-
maker-meets-medicine approach. We expect the
debate around Biohacking to get more heated in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
What ethical issues need to be
taken into consideration around
bio hacking? Does the good
outweigh the bad? What kind of
experiment would you be
interested in conducting?
B
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: TarikVision / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
B
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: Bloomua / SHUTTERSTOCK
BLOCKCHAIN
Most know of Blockchain as the self-generative software
driving Bitcoin, but Blockchain has many other uses.
Blockchain is an efficient, secure and instantaneous
mechanism for managing transactions between parties.
It provides verification of the “buyer” and “seller” of any
transaction and thus can be used for package deliveries
and data transfers and secure communications). In
2016 we expect to see Blockchain appear as a security
feature of products and services.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch this video about
Blockchain that simply explains
how it works.
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
BOOMER DESIGN
Designing with older consumers in mind is still a blind
spot for the UX industry, but with Baby Boomers
controlling 70% of the U.S.’s disposable income and
71% using a social networking site daily, this
demographic will no longer be ignored. In 2016 we
anticipate new focus on easier navigation, text size and
physical usability, as well as privacy and security
concerns.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Have you ever had to help
someone from this age group
navigate technology? What were
the most frequently asked
questions? Are you a Boomer?
What improvements would you
make to UX design to better suit
your needs?
B
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

image: racorn / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
BREATHING EDUCATION
Most humans take 20,000 to 30,000 breaths daily, but
most don’t know how to do it properly. Now modern
science is saying that breathing (like drinking water and
getting a good night’s sleep) can help lower blood
pressure, boost immunity, reduce stress and fight
obesity. Breathing retreats and workshops featuring
belly breathing, conscious breathing and yogic breathing
are on the rise. We will see more attention to breathing
as a psychotherapeutic tool in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Try to find and attend a breathing
class where you live. How did
you feel afterward? Let us know
what you think!
B
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: Kite_rin / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
CARDISTRY
Cardistry is artistically manipulating playing cards like a
croupier on steroids. It’s considered an art form (even a
“sport”) that comes in many genres: two-handed cuts,
spread, fanning, aerials, springs, and more. This awe-
inspiring pastime is gaining popularity, and reflects a
cultural appreciation of mastery and a need for mental
focus/relaxation. Look out for Cardistry in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch a five-time cardistry
champion in action. What other
skill-based activities would make
for impressive, yet meditative,
content?C
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: spiller / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
CELLPHONE BUGGING
The modern version of Watergate is Cellphone Bugging
via apps that cater to jealous lovers and overprotective
parents. TheTruthSpy and TrackMyPhones let you look
at all the SMS sent or received via the target phone, and
spying victims are fighting back with CyberDust,
CoverMe, and Wickr, a platform for military-style
encryption and self-destructing messages. Expect to
see much more buzz around bugging and anti-bugging
apps in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
How does the presence of these
apps affect your behavior? What
best practices will you develop to
avoid falling victim to cellphone
bugging?C
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Mascha Tace/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
COLORING BOOKS
Coloring can be de-stressing and digitally detoxing art
therapy. Adult coloring books like “Splendid Cities: Color
Your Way to Calm” and “The Mindfulness Coloring
Book” are flying off the shelves. Retailers like Target
launched the “Pattern Play” coloring book for adults,
while brands like Oreos have introduced Color-In
Packaging. As people seek more opportunities for
creative unplugged play, expect to see more adult
coloring books in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch an artist speed color, as
she takes the practice to a
higher level. What other
accessible activities can lend
themselves to both creativity and
mindful relaxation?
C
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: tomertu / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
CONTENT ATTACHMENTS
These days products need more than just great
packaging and clever ads to get our attention. Today
we’re seeing physical objects paired with music and
videos, so physical products are augmented with digital
content. Cup Noodles in Japan offers a video companion
for “virtual dates” to dine with solo noodle eaters. Brands
are creating content — and attaching content — to
products luring offline and online experiences with a
product. In 2016 we anticipate to see more examples of
this new wave of product/content mashup.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Try coming up with an idea for
applying a digital layer to a
physical product. How does it
improve the product or overall
experience?C
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: Zaid Saadallah / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
CRISPR
Clustered Regularly-Interspaced Short Palindromic
Repeats (CRISPR) is a gene-editing technique that will
likely transform the world. CRISPR makes it easy,
cheap, and fast to move and combine genes around —
even genes from bacteria to people. Researchers have
already reversed mutations that cause blindness,
stopped cancer cells from multiplying, and made cells
impervious to the virus that causes AIDS. Expect to
learn more about CRISPR in 2016, and witness the
accelerating debate about rules for the life sciences.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
MIT makes Genome Editing with
CRISPR easier for you to
understand in this YouTube
video.
C
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: science photo/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
DARTY (DAY PARTY)
Darties are simply day parties…day-long drinking
binges. A Darty typically consists of drinking on a patio
between 12-6, preferably on a Saturday or Sunday. The
Darty is an example of Millennials extending college life
into young-adulthood. While not very different from
regular parties, we expect to see more tips about the
perfect outfit (ehm, you shouldn’t wear dark colors) and
themes for Darties in 2016 as brands jump on board.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
What was the most creative
party you ever went to or hosted
back in college? How does darty
compare?
D
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: Halfpoint/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
DEMISEXUAL
A Demisexual is someone who can only experience
sexual attraction if a deep emotional connection has
been formed in advance. The Demisexual label is an
example of a trend towards the proliferation of micro-
tribes and labeling. While some are against labeling
people, others feel “naming it” helps people who feel
alienated. In 2016 expect to see more conversation
around asexuality, celibacy, and likewise, more micro-
tribes surface.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Do you feel that it’s a legitimate
and needed new term? Take this
test to find out where you stand.
D
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: Photographee.eu/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
DEVICE MESH
The Device Mesh is the connective tissue between
mobile, wearable, consumer, home and automotive
devices that make up the IoT (Internet of Things). With
sensors embedded everywhere, we will see devices
working better together, providing marketers with richer
insights on our daily habits. Expect significant
development in wearables and augmented reality
leading to an unprecedented surge in innovation in
2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Read this Silicon Labs paper
about the seamless
communication of connected
devices:
D
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: Wasan Ritthawon/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
DIGITAL DIVORCE
The cruel part of the Internet is its memory: while things
were good, couples shared thousands of happy pictures
together on Facebook, but once the relationship ends
the timeline reminders can be haunting. New services
and features are enabling people to erase or block
specific pieces of their history and digital footprint. In
fact, Digital Divorce and Digital Death management this
is becoming an entirely new industry, which will get more
attention in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Do you know any happy couples
that never post any pictures
together or of each other on
Facebook? For those who do,
see how Facebook is helping
them when they digitally divorce.
D
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: Blablo101/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
DNA MAKEUP
DNA testing can guide a skin care regime, identifying
clues as to how one’s skin will likely age. This is part of a
made-for-me beauty trend, from players like GeneU
($940 testing) to Skinshift ($99 testing). We expect more
beauty companies leveraging DNA testing to predict and
mitigate future beauty issues. 2016 could be a break-
out year for DNA makeup and beauty products.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Would you want to know how
you are going to age? Would you
try to be in control? Does this
offer sound appealing?
D
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: wavebreakmedia/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
DORM LIFESTYLES
Dorm living is not just for college students anymore. This
co-living (“Millennial Commune”) model makes sense for
a society where people are delaying marriage and living
with roommates longer. Micro-living units are built
around a shared living space for cooking, eating, and
hanging out. Roommates can be alone, but never lonely
- a must for social Gen Y. Watch the surge in Dorm
Lifestyles in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
What are the pros and cons of
such a living solution? Can you
see yourself fitting in? Check out
how one city is pushing back
against dorm lifestyles.D
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: nenetus/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
DRONE PETS
Think of it as a friendly drone on a leash. Swiss company
Fotokite created a drone pet for taking aerial photographs
of family parties, weddings and other events. It can be
launched and working in under one minute; because it’s
on a leash, it’s classified as a kite and thus not impacted
by tightening laws around drone use. In 2016, beyond
Drone Pets, we will have new uses for drones: forest fire
prevention drones, missing pet drones, protest-cam
drones, even subliminal advertising drones.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
What would be your preferred
use of drones? Take a break with
these gorgeous images of the
best drone photography:
D
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: Mila Supinskaya/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
DUBSMASHING
The lip-syncing app Dubsmash allows smartphone
users to recreate movie scenes and dub music videos.
Collective creation is on the rise, along with singing-as-
entertainment (for example the Accapella app). It’s
certainly fun to lip-sync, but is it legal? According to
intellectual property lawyers, posting dubbed-over
videos to social media is illegal. Cultural tension will
mount in 2016 around original versus re-mixed arts.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
If you wanted to try it, what
would be your first soundtrack of
choice? Here’s a dubsmashing
compilation for inspiration.
D
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: antoniodiaz/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
EH (ELECTROMAGNETIC
HYPERSENSITIVITY SYNDROME)
EH (electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome),
otherwise called “Wi-Fi Allergies,” is a real thing.
Sufferers experience a physical reaction to electricity
and frequencies, such as nausea, headaches,
palpitations, fatigue, and rashes/other dermatological
problems. Recently a teenager committed suicide
because she couldn’t live with the pain or escape the
Wi-Fi. In 2016, there will be more debate and research
around this ailment prompting Wi-Fi Free Zones.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Do you believe this controversial
diagnosis is a real condition?
How does technology affect your
health? What are the real
consequences of our being so
dependent on it? Have you ever
tried digital detox? What did you
think?
E
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: HomeArt/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
EMPATHY
Some scientists believe societies are losing their
empathy from the numbing of media. Others say that
social media and new technologies that enable people
to experience new perspectives are improving empathy.
As crises such as immigration, terrorist attacks, and
natural disasters continue, survival will require more
empathetic behavior. Expect Empathy to be at the heart
of media, education, and research in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Do you believe this controversial
diagnosis is a real condition?
How does technology affect your
health? What are the real
consequences of our being so
dependent on it? Have you ever
tried digital detox? What did you
think?
E
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: wk1003mike/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT PETS
Emotional stability and emotional health are considered
to be an important aspect of overall health and
wellbeing. In light of this, people (especially Singletons)
are turning to pets for emotional support. New science
suggests that Emotional Support Pets are effective. As a
result we anticipate a rise in the Emotional Support Pet
population, as well as “cheaters” who just want the
delight of bringing their pet to work, shops, events, and
restaurants. Watch out, the Emotional Support Pet
Police will be on high alert in 2016!
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
The New York Times helps us
get empathetic with Virtual
Reality journalism.
E
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: blurAZ/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
FAN ACTIVISM
Fan Activism happens when the passion of fans is
turned into action. The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA)
showed the way: one local HPA chapter galvanized to
source prom dresses for poor families, another chapter
came up with a campaign addressing economic
inequality in Europe. Meanwhile a Game of Thrones fan
group has spawned a literacy campaign. We expect to
see much more of this as an antidote to lazy activism –
slacktivism — in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch the “Superman is an
Immigrant” video to get a sense
of what today’s mighty fans can
do:
F
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: r.nagy/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
FARM-TO-PHONE
Farmigo helps people get food directly from local farmers;
Sprig delivers sustainable meals and VegOut! recently
launched a program inspiring people to eat 30 veggies in
30 days. New Farm-to-Phone apps encourage behavior
change by creating a network comprised of consumers
interested in improving their diets, local farmers, and tech
entrepreneurs. As smartphone ownership rises, expect to
see more programs that facilitate healthier eating,
improved produce distribution and local sourcing in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Check out a local farmers’
market. Would you be tempted
to replace this with buying via an
app? Consider how widespread
it will become among people
with no easy access to farmers’
markets, and what this adoption
would depend on.
F
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: CykOtie/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
FASHION TECH
We’ve been expecting techtonic shifts in fashion as the
tech and apparel industries collide. Up until recently,
wearable tech was still paying more attention to functions
and features, while fashion purists focused on form and
aesthetics. But now wearable tech is getting more
sophisticated, with the likes of The Crated – a design and
engineering studio focused on textile circuits – developing
UV responsive garments. We expect to see more fashion
tech in 2016 as the industries blur.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
What are some of the items in
your wardrobe that you’d never
want to go the way of wearable
tech and why? What mainstream
clothing companies would be
among the first to venture into
this space? Check out one
designer who helped a star light
up the red carpet.
F
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

Image: Catwalk Photos/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
FEMALE GAMERS
150 million Americans (that’s over 59%) play games.
48% of gamers are female. 52% of the gamers in the
UK are women, and we are likely to see the same in
the U.S. very soon. Mobile and casual gaming were
primary contributors to the steady rise in female
gaming, but more than half of female gamers say they
play on a console and online. Women play games, but
few women design games. We expect to see the
number of female game designers surpass its current
22% mark in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Listen to six gaming podcasts
produced by women for women.
F
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
Image: elwynn/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
FOLO (FEAR OF LIVING OFFLINE)
FOLO is the fear of living life offline. People deliberately
present their best selves online and browse other people’s
lives with the unfortunate side effect of feeling isolated and
worthless. Instagram envy and “Facebook depression” are
likely symptoms. New science is labelling the affliction,
leading to therapies and books focused solely on “how to
live offline.” 2016 will be a year full of buzz around digitally
detoxing.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Next time you travel, leave all
your devices in your hotel room
and just enjoy the sites.
F
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
Image: Yulia Mayorova/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
FRICTIONLESS DESIGN
Frictionless Design blends physical, virtual and electronic
environments. Connected devices are becoming smarter
by learning to synchronize and collaborate with each
other. When the devices naturally align and communicate
we don’t notice them doing their magic, making our lives
easier. However, some are building “intentional
friction” (e.g., you have to input a password to pay for
something) into products and services. Detractors of
Frictionless Design say that it diminishes control. Expect
products to tout both sides of the argument in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Tweet us some connected
devices ideas that will make your
life easier.
F
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

Image: JMiks / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
FUNKY SOCKS
Funky statement socks abound this Winter, but come
this Spring and Summer the socks and sandals trend for
men and women isn’t going anywhere. Companies like
BlueQ are coming up with creative product lines: Art
Collection Socks, Super Heroes, and Comics Socks.
Socks will be a lighthearted fashion accessory in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Check out Jimmy Lion’s
Instagram to get inspiration on
your 2016 fashion statement.
F
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
Image: Samuil Levich/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
GEEK PARENTING
The Geek Parenting style of Millennials is raising the next
generation of digital natives. Geek Parents are becoming
skilled at preparing their kids for life in the world filled
with screens. They’re not taking away technology, but
teaching kids how to use it, from coding to setting up
beacons. In 2016 expect to see more research on how
families manage technology (including reverse
mentorship, where kids teach parents and
grandparents) and manuals for parents to help their kids
navigate the digital world.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Experiment with a new app or
technology with your child and
see what you can learn from
him/her.
G
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
Image: Halfpoint/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
GENDERLESS DRESSING
Fashion’s new future might not be gender-specific. The
rage of the runway in 2015, the genderless and
androgynous fashion trend is on fire, with more and
more brands challenging the notion of what is masculine
and feminine, giving people an opportunity to simply
wear what looks and feels right to them. In 2016 we will
see more Genderless fashion.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Check out Selfridges’ Agender
campaign, which aimed to
encourage its shoppers to
transcend traditional notions of
male and female dress to find
their perfect fit.
G
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: FashionStock.com/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
GLUTEN-FREE ART
We can – and do - rewrite history: from constant editing
of Wikipedia entries to the newfound ability to get rid of
our exes’ photos from Facebook timeline. A virtual
gallery that removed all the gluten items from famous
paintings is an example of how art imitates life. Gluten-
Free Art is a metaphor for sanitizing our lifestyles and re-
writing history to suit our needs. The trend we predict in
2016 is less about the art, and more about discourse
around this behavior.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Enjoy famous artworks re-
imaged as gluten-free by visiting
this tumblr. What might be the
next things ‘to go’ from the
history of art, or beyond?G
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Tupungato/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
GOOSEBUMPS REVIVAL
If titles like “Welcome to the Dead House” or “Revenge
of the Lawn Gnomes” mean anything to you, you’re
likely a Millennial who grew up reading “Goosebumps,”
R.L Stine’s series of kids horror books that sold 400
million copies worldwide. Millennials love horror which
feeds their search for extrasensory experiences; the
Goosebumps movie is expected to fan Millennial
nostalgia in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Check out the official
Goosebumps trailer. Tweet us
what other 90’s classics would
you like to see revived?
G
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 

image: Arman Zhenikeyev/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
GRAPHENE OBSESSION
Graphene has many extraordinary properties: it’s roughly
207 times stronger than steel by weight, conducts heat
and electricity efficiently and is nearly transparent.
Graphene could be revolutionary for bioengineering,
water industry, and more. Designers and engineers’
communities will be paying increasing attention to
graphene in 2016 in the quest for stronger, lighter and
smarter materials.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch this Ted Talk and learn
about graphene.
G
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: BONNINSTUDIO/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
HOT DESKING
Hot Desking is a work space sharing model in which
there are more employees than desks. We’ve long
known that cubicles kill creativity. Companies that want
to recruit and retain top talent and encourage greater
collaboration and innovation are redesigning their offices
in open formats, but in the Hot Desk model, employees
are untethered and encouraged to “roam free,”
switching between open tables, couches and
workstations. Hot Desking will be hot in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Re-imagine your work space to
spark your creativity. Try working
from the common area or a
different workstation.
H
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: bikeriderlondon/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
HOVERBOARDS
Remember the levitating board from Back to the Future
II? Suddenly, Hoverboards are everywhere. New
manufacturers and vendors seem to pop up every day.
Lexus and other big players are unveiling new
generations of their product with prices ranging from
$350 to $4000. We anticipate city streets to be filled
with this eco-friendly and fun new form of personal
transportation in 2016, replacing the ubiquitous scooter.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
What can you do on a
hoverboard? These guys
performed a choreographed
dance on hoverboards.
H
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image: 1000 Words/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
IMAGE ASMR
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a
fancy term for a “braingasm” and tingle-inducing
stimulus. For example, the Hi-Def sound of hair brushing
and whispering can make the hair on your arms stand
up. The “Sounds That Feel Good" community on Reddit
has 88,000 subscribers, while some top ASMR YouTube
videos have >7 million views. In 2016 expect more
marketing using ASMR techniques, like Dove chocolate
did in China.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Experience “braingasm” with this
image ASMR video.
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Sukhonosova Anastasia/ SHUTTERSTOCK
I
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
INSTAFASHION
Some of the big designer names are changing the way
they create fashion by factoring in what their clothes
would look like on Instagram. Proenza Schouler’s
designers admitted that they take Instagram into
consideration when designing clothes: they think about
how clothes are constructed and colored for social
media. This is a metaphor for what we expect in 2016 to
be increasing “Instagram-ability” requirements of
businesses.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Given that colors “translate” to
Instagram better, do you think
we’ll see more people wear
colorful clothes? What about
food? Look through your photo
feeds and pay attention to color
and the impact it may have.
I
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Kseniia Perminova/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
INTROVERTS
Introverts have been under appreciated for years, but
thanks to introvert-celebrating books like Susan Cain’s
“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t
Stop Talking,” TED talks and HBR articles, introverts are
getting noticed…and appreciated. In 2016 we will
continue to see more inquiries into the interplay between
mindfulness, alone time, and innovative thinking.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Try acting like a introvert for a
week. You might find a different
perspective.
I
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Ollyy/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
INTUITIVE APPS
Intuitive Apps allow users to perform tasks without
requiring access to a native application. For example,
Uber eliminates the need to confirm decisions multiple
times. An Intuitive App can recognize a bill is due,
automatically check your bank account, send an alert
that it can pay the bill for you with just one click. As
more businesses are seeking ways to cut down on
“mental bandwidth,” they will be introducing Intuitive
Apps and features in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Go through the apps on your
smartphone and find intuitive
links that will cut down on your
“mental bandwidth.”
I
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: LOFTFLOW SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
JACKFRUIT
Jackfruit is a hot new vegan ingredient from Southeast
Asia. It’s high in fiber and low in calories, and its texture
is similar to that of pulled pork. Some companies are
offering it in ready-to-eat formats: Upton’s Naturals
produces barbecue and chili lime varieties of seasoned
Jackfruit as a convincing meat substitute. In 2016
expect to see more Jackfruit on menus, and Jackfruit
derivatives, such as juices, puree, and soups.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
People argue that when cooked,
Jackfruit has a similar
consistency to other meats, and
is a popular substation. They
also argue that it tastes better.
Try this recipe for Pulled BBQ
Jackfruit and see if you agree!
J
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Aggie 11/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
JIBO (SOCIAL ROBOTICS)
JIBO is just one example of a Social Robot which is an
autonomous robot that interacts and communicates
with humans by following social behaviors and rules
attached to its role. They care companion robots, or
“family robots.” This new breed of robot which is more
focused on relationships and companionship, than on
tasks, are especially effective with Singletons, the sick
and elderly. We anticipate an increase in social robot
sales in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Companion robots are becoming
more advanced. Check out this
video to see Alpha 2, the new
family robot that is able to
perform a variety of human
interactions and tasks. Do you
see yourself integrating a family
robot into your life? Why or why
not?
J
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Wichy/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
KAOMOJI
Kaomoji are Japanese-style emoticons that first made it
to the U.S. via anime forum posters. They’re more
sophisticated, more expressive, and also more practical:
you don’t need to tilt your head in order to read them. In
2016 we will move beyond the basic Kaomoji of the
shruggie ¯_(ツ)_/¯, the crying face (;_;), the happy face
(^_^), and graduate to the next level of Kaomoji that
includes Flower Girl (◕‿◕✿) and Kissy Face (* ̄3 ̄)♥.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Check this video out if you’re
tempted to install it on your
iPhone right now!
K
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Mid0ri/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
LIBRARY REINVENTION
From Texas’s first all-digital library (aptly named
BiblioTech) to University of Michigan’s bookless libraries,
the Library is being disrupted. Libraries have been a
pillar of society, but as society and culture change,
libraries have to keep up with the times. Libraries are
getting ready for life beyond the book, and many are
transforming into learning centers and maker studios.
Expect Library Innovation to continue through 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Do you see this development as
a scary future, a necessary step
or the best thing ever? Do you
still read printed books and
magazines? What do you think
about ebooks? Take a video tour
of the BiblioTech here:
L
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
Image:P. Chinnapong/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
LOCALIZING WATER
Nearly 20% of California’s electricity and more than 30%
of its natural gas is used to treat and deliver water to
users. California has been taking cues from the food
movement’s “food miles” in order to reduce “water
miles” to reduce energy needed to pump water long
distances. California Water Reuse is now reusing water
multiple times at a local level. We predict that localizing
water, and other utilities and commodities, will be a
conversation topic in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Do you pay attention to ‘food
miles’ when you shop? The
answer is probably not. When you
next go grocery shopping, try to
challenge yourself to be conscious
of ‘food miles’ by checking here to
calculate your cumulative miles.
How will your results affect your
shopping habits?
L
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Aaron Kohr/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
MATERIAL INNOVATION
Material Innovation, especially as it pertains to 3D printer
materials, is a hot focus of R&D. Companies like
Stratasys are driving 3D printer material invention,
resulting in new material composites with a wide range
of physical properties, from metals to plastics to rubbers
to mud. In addition, flexible textiles, and fuzzy fabrics
can be 3D printed. In 2016, material innovation in 3D
printing is expected to explode.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Already we have seen 3D
printing materials create hair,
fabric, clay houses, and figures
made from coffee grounds?
What do you predict will be the
next big 3D printed material?
Could you see yourself living in a
3D printed environment?
M
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
Image: enmyo/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
MFA, NOT MBA
As the business world applies Design Thinking to all
aspects of business, from product development to
marketing to leadership, Human Resource managers
seek talent that can “think outside the box.” There is
renewed interest in creative thinkers. Makers, who are
pragmatic creatives, and artists who are able to apply
Design Thinking are coveted and students of the
Humanities are sought. In 2016 many of us will still be
wondering if a MFA is the new MBA.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Consider signing up for free MBA
and MFA classes online and see
how one affects the other if at all.
Do you think one affected the
other? Do you agree that an MFA
will become the new MBA?
M
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: spot-h/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
MICROBIAL CLOUD
Science has discovered that we all have a colony of
bacteria and microbes growing in our mouth, gut and on
our hair and skin…and this micro biome also swirls in
the air around us in a “cloud” that differs from person to
person and is as unique as a fingerprint. Individual
personal microbial clouds could become the foundation
of personal bio-aerosols and bio-tracking. We anticipate
more research, discoveries and new uses for our
Microbial Clouds in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Listen to this story about your
personal microbial cloud to get a
better understanding of what a
microbial cloud is, and how we
can use them in the future.M
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Turovsky/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
MICRODOSING
Microdosing is just that: tiny doses of a substance. In
the drug world it means ingesting minute doses of a
drug that creates a small or alternative effect.
Microdosing LSD, for example, is the drug craze du jour
in Silicon Valley to enhance performance and creativity.
The tech industry is experimenting with super-small
doses of psychedelic drugs to reach new levels of
performance. We expect Microdosing, and its pros and
cons, to be a hot conversation topic (and pastime) in
2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Listen to this podcast to see how
microdoses of LSD positively or
negatively affect people’s
productivity and mental states. 


M
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AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
MODIFIED CLASS
Prosthetics have changed the lives of people all over the
world, and industrial designers are making beautiful
prosthetic limbs that look like pieces of art. Groups like
Beautiful Prosthetics are focused on prosthetic pride
and drawing positive attention to disability. But, this is
raising the question “is a class of people emerging that
is simply the Modified Class”? The welcoming and
celebration of the Modified Class will continue in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Check out Viktoria Modesta, a
British singer-songwriter, staring
in the new music video
"Prototype" wearing a variety of
eccentric prosthetics on her left
leg.
M
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AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
MOOD MARKETING
The era of marketing to mood states is upon us. UMood
is a wearable headset that tracks brainwaves as you
unconsciously react to images of apparel. This headset
collects data about your interest level, stress,
concentration, etc. and lets Uniqlo help you pick a
T- shirt to match your mood. With Mood Marketing
technologies and approaches, in 2016 the convergence
of extreme personalization and neuroscience will
transform retail.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Consider going to a UniQlo and
trying out their UMood devices.
Do you think it is accurate? Did
the machine correctly capture
your preferences based on your
brain activity? How do you think
this will affect the future of
consumer experience in retail?
M
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Nikita Starichenko/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
NANNY STATE
Many feel that freedom of speech in the US is under
attack, and some are trying to reclaim their right to
offend. Universities are adopting “trigger warnings” to
flag all possible sensitive topics in classic literature. From
the militarization of the police to providing caloric and
salt content on menus point to growing government
intervention. The US is turning into a Nanny State
determined to protect citizens from danger, debate, hurt
feelings, and bad choices. Watch this space in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Political Correctness is a growing
movment. Check out this list of
language deemed to be
politically incorrect and see if you
agree or disagree with the list.
Do you think you will change
your language based on this
trend? Or do you think we are
becoming too hypersensitive?
N
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Sean Donohue Photo / SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
NANOSENSORS
Nanosensors are tiny biological, chemical or mechanical
sensors that operate at the microscopic level. In the
recent James Bond film Spectre, Bond had “Smart
Blood” pumping through his veins: that’s an example of
Nanosensors in fiction. Nanosensor use ranges from
medicinal (identifying cells or delivering drugs at the
cellular level) to fashion. In 2016 we expect to see more
products incorporate nanosensors to add value and
gather data.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
How can you incorporate
nanosensors into your products
or services that provide a
tangible benefit to consumers,
while leveraging data in
compelling and insightful ways?
N
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: ptnphoto/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
NEUTRALS
Neutral and pastel colors are trending, and they reflect a
[desired] state of mind: calm, simple, universal, un-
offensive and natural. If what we wear influences our
well-being, then monochrome neutral and washed-out
colors signal relaxation and peace. Expect a lot of
neutrals and pastels in the shops in 2016, in both the
fashion and home decor departments.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Pantone just released its two
colors for 2016: Rose Quartz
and Serenity. How do these
colors make you feel? Try
incorporating these tones into
your wardrobe and reflect on the
emotions each color evokes.
N
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Sarah Noda/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
NO VAPING SIGNS
No Vaping Signs are now starting to appear, with some
“no smoking” signs being retro-fitted in movie theaters
and public transportation, like San Francisco’s BART.
Amazon now sells “no smoking and no vaping” signage
in response to the cultural shift regarding electronic
smoking and vaping. Vaping is also being prohibited in
public spaces, like airplanes, and in many offices.
Expect a pro-vapers and anti-vapers clash in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Do you agree with having “No
Vaping” signs? What do you
predict is the next sign that will
be put up in public spaces?
Where would you place a no
vaping sign?
N
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Shiffarigum/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
OPEN OS
Open Operating System (OS) is the evolution of the
collaborative and sharing economy, aka the “access
economy.” Open systems allow people anywhere and at
anytime to communicate and collaborate resulting in
greater innovation. Openness, collaboration, and
transparency is the future, but since Open OS connotes
data sharing, it raises questions about privacy and IP
protection, which will surely generate debate in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Use one of the sharing economy
services you haven’t tried before,
or introduce one of these to your
colleagues. What were the pros
and cons? Do you have any
business ideas of your own for
this space?
O
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: helllbilly/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
OLFACTORY TECH
Advances in the science of scent and smell is exploding
with Proustian delight. New technologies are leveraging
the power of smell, such as OPhone/Le Laboratoire
which lets you send “smell SMS” from a menu of 365
scents contained in “Ochips.” We expect to see more in
the field of of aromatic communications in 2016, as well
as new smelly forms of content and packaging that
cater to our quest for extrasensory titillation.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Warning: watching this video will
make you very, very hungry:
O
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Pavel Ignatov/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
PENMANSHIP PORN
With keyboards and voice recognition, pen, paper and
handwriting skills are under threat. Ironically, we are
seeing growing interest in penmanship and handwriting
as art form. Nostalgic videos of calligraphy and people
writing sentences, mastering upstrokes, downstrokes,
hooks, slants, and flourishes (i.e., Penmanship Porn) are
exploding on the Internet. We anticipate Penmanship
Porn to continue in 2016, as it’s delightfully rare in a
world of mass communications.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
What other old and somewhat
forgotten skills do you see
coming back into the spotlight?
Watch this to decide if you find it
interesting, soothing or annoying:P
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: therealtakeone/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
PHONE DOCTORS
More people are choosing to video chat with doctors on
their mobile devices; 39% of adults would be willing to
have an appointment with a physician via smartphone.
E-doctor visits can be as efficient as a 17-minute
consultation via webcam costing only $50. We
anticipate that Telehealth will continue to disrupt the
healthcare industry in 2016, with insurance providers
finally recognizing this novel form of consultation.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Do you see this innovation as
totally positive, or do some
aspects of it leave you
perplexed? If cost and
convenience were not an issue,
would you still prefer to see a
‘real’ doctor? See for yourself
with this app.
P
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Mascha Tace/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
PLYWOOD
Plywood is a hot material in our DIY era. Natural
materials at home are a sign of great taste; they’re also
eco-friendly and durable. This unrefined material makes
other items shine. New, low-cost, laser cutters, saws,
and woodworking tools are melding digital fabrication
and open-source construction, enabling anyone to build
in plywood. In 2016 we expect to see many more
plywood projects, big and small, amateur and
professional, using classic Plywood.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Choose your favorite plywood
creation here:
P
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Halfpoint/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
POETRY SLAMS
The genre of poetry is getting a new life. From young
writers offering to type (and sell) you a poem on the
street to computers that compose poetry, we see poetry
revamped for today’s age. Some suggest poetry as the
most secure password option, while others write poetry
based on their phone numbers just for fun. It doesn’t
have to be a 140-character Haiku, but we predict a
continuation of poetry fever in 2016 for both practical
and aesthetic reasons.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Read more about poetry and try
to come up with your own poetic
password
P
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Markgraf/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
PRISONERS ASSIMILATION
The US is over 100% capacity when it comes to prison
overcrowding, with over 2.4 million people locked up.
Overcrowding is a fiscal and humanitarian issue. Next
year the Justice Department is set to release about
6,000 inmates [early] from prison in an effort to reduce
overcrowding. Expect in 2016 debate around safety and
ways to address an expected surge of homelessness
and ex-con re-skilling and assimilation.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Get ready for the debate with
this
P
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: sakhorn/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
QUARTER LIFE CRISIS
Many twenty-somethings these days are feeling lost,
burnt out or depressed. Gen Y is transitioning from
carefree post-graduates to working adults and parents,
resulting in anxiety that comes with increased
responsibility and lifestyle shifts. We anticipate increased
attention on a wave of Millennials in a Quarter Life Crisis
in 2016, and the impact on society.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Here’s to bringing humor to the
difficult quarter-life crisis
Q
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
iamge: |uxorphoto/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
RAW LIFE-STREAMING
Sharing unfiltered, uncut and unstaged life moments in
real-time defines Raw Life-Streaming. Capitalizing on
this trend is Beme, an app that allows you to record and
share raw footage of your life. The result is a real-time,
un-doctored short video that disappears once it is
viewed. People are cynical about the content on social
media as so much of it is idealized. We anticipate more
platforms for Raw Life-Streaming to be introduced in
2016, as well as backlash to social images filters
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Download Beme and use it for a
week. Who do you think is more
likely to win on social media in
the long run, proponents of
authenticity or lovers of all things
absolutely perfect?
R
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
iamge: millann/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
REDHEAD IDOLIZATION
Redheads make up only 1% of the worldwide
population; Scotland is the world leader with 13% of the
population being “gingers.” Gingers already have their
own emoji and festivals where gingers congregate are
getting bigger, such as Redhead Day UK. Like other
minority groups, redheads are “in,” thanks to technology
that brings them together and a culture of celebrating
differences. Redheads will be front and center in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Immerse yourself in ginger
beauty here:
R
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Evgeny Bakharev/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
RENTAL MOM
We’ve seen the rise of the surrogate (everything) and
rental (anything), and now for $40 Millennials can rent a
mom-like-person for an hour. Rental Moms offer a
shoulder to cry on, help polishing a resume or buying
gifts and solid life advice. With families spread out
across long distances, Rental Moms fill an immediate
local need for human connection and parenting. Expect
more rental services, like Rental Moms, to be introduced
in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Is it more quirky than useful? Do
you have your own ‘Rent a
_____’ idea? Brainstorm a few,
or try out your own Rent a Mom.
R
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Lopolo/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
RETAIL DINING
As sales increasingly migrate online, retailers are looking
for ways to attract customers to their brick-and-mortar
locations. Tommy Bahama, J.C. Penney and Gap are
serving anything from fancy cocktails to lamb merguez.
Most recently, Urban Outfitters started partnering with
star-quality chefs to open stylish restaurants in its
stores. Putting restaurants inside stores is an old trend:
in the 20th century, many U.S. department stores ran
restaurants and tea rooms. We anticipate Retail Dining
to explode in 2016 as a 3rd Place mashup innovation.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Come up with a menu for your
favorite retailer. What store
should never ever try anything
like this? If this is your favorite
retailer, then you’re already set!R
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: totojang1977/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
SCIENTIFIC SERENDIPITY
What do high-speed super-conductors, Viagra, and
velcro all have in common? They were all accidental
discoveries made by alert scientists who were looking
for one thing and found another. Serendipity has always
played a big role in science and it is now becoming a
formal discovery methodology. As a result, planned
serendipity from apps land mail order surprises like
Birchbox will be trending in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Take a moment to explore other
scientific discoveries and prepare
to be surprised by what
scientists where looking for.
Famous Accidential DiscoveriesS
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Oxy_gen/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
SENSORIAL URBANISM
Smell experts and data scientists are working with
architects, environmentalists and commercial
companies to create “smellscapes” within cities,
studying how urban odors help guide better city design.
Experts in Kansas City and Shanghai are creating smells
that capture a city’s diversity, and data scientists in
Cambridge (UK) are creating maps pointing to areas
most in need of green spaces. As attention turns to
olfactory science and tech, Sensorial Urbanism will likely
become more top of mind in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Close your eyes and think of
your 3 favorite cities in the world.
What do they smell like? This
map could help guide you.
S
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: PEPPERSMINT/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
SILICON SMART
Competitive advantage has moved from “street smart”
to “book smart” and now to Silicon Smart, which means
leveraging data and artificial intelligences and being able
to code and build devices with sensors. The skills and
personality traits needed to succeed in Silicon Valley are
being introduced to education, and educational
sciences are studying what it means to be Silicon
Smart. The year of 2016 will see new theories and
criticisms of current educational practices.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Choose your favorite startup
from the 38 companies here:
S
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Oxy_gen/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
SLACKLINING
Slacklining is a new sport that combines tight-rope
walking, trampoline, jump rope and gymnastics.
Slacklines pulled taught in the wilderness or in urban
areas become playgrounds for slackliners. Businesses
like Gibbon are offering a wide range of slackline gear.
Other companies have camps and workshops.
Slacklining helps to build balance (core) skills, and its
intense focus creates peace and mindfulness.The
Globetrotter World Slackline Masters Competition in
2016 bring mass attention to this new sport.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch the Globetrotter’s
Slackline Competition and see if
this is tempting.
S
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Matej Kastelic/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
SOLO TRAVEL
“Alone” doesn’t mean “lonely”: traveling alone, especially
among women, is on the rise, and women feel very
good about it. 66% of US women polled by
Booking.com have vacationed without their partner. The
travel and hospitality industries will be focusing more on
single, financially independent women and learn how to
accommodate their specific needs in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Allow Vicky FlipFlop inspire you
to travel to 20 countries in one
year on your own.
S
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Anchiy/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
TAILORED SWEATSUITS
No need to call the fashion police if you see someone
wearing a Tailored Sweatsuit. Taking inspiration from the
athleisure trend, the business suit is being redefined in
fleece sweatshirt material. In fact, there have been
several iterations on the business suit classic, such as
the surfer wetsuit business and the onesie business suit.
This is challenging traditional ideas around what luxury
and business casual means. Don’t roll your eyes when
you seen Tailored Sweatsuits in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Check out the trend and ask
yourself, would you buy into this
new fashion trend?
T
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Svetlana Zhukova/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
THEME PARK DYSTOPIA
Far from the idyllic fairytale fantasy depicted by Disney, a
new breed of theme parks is moving to the fore, as
evidenced by Banksy’s Dismaland mock theme park
and the upcoming Hunger Games theme park.
Dystopian films, literature, and video games have been
hugely successful in recent years, and now people are
looking to be immersed in these apocalyptic worlds.
Why not visit a Theme Park Dystopia near you in 2016?
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
How can you flip a common
trope on its head to provide a
novel experience?
Watch the trailer for Banksy’s
Dismaland for inspiration.T
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: BasPhoto/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
TOMATO CRUSH
Foodies have a Tomato Crush. Tomato is an “it
ingredient.” Tomatoes — heirloom to GMOs — are
being offered in a wide variety of new forms, such as dry
tomato pulp, which adds color, texture and fiber to
foods. Tomato as an ingredient may also be an ideal
clean-label replacement for starch. And, the tomato is
making its way into beauty products, with new
discoveries of its anti-aging properties. We anticipate
tomato hype to continue into 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Did you know you could use
tomato as a Tuna substitute in
sushi? Don’t believe us? Try this
recipe.
T
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
Image: Mila chinnachote/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
TWITCH.TV
With over 100 million unique viewers per month,
Twitch.tv is the world’s leading social video platform and
community for gamers. It’s disrupting the industry and
changing developers’ strategies: the barrier of entry is
low, so that nearly anyone can share recordings or
streams of their gameplay on Twitch.tv. In 2016 we’ll see
more Twitch-casters and more brands using Twitch.tv as
a new broadcast platform, like Taco Bell and Old Spice
have done. 2016, we predict, will be a breakout year for
Twich.tv.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Did you think it was only about
games? Watch Bob Ross paint
and see for yourself just how
addictive Twitch could be!
T
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Biro Emoke/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
TYPOGRAPHIC NEUROSCIENCE
Serif or sans-serif? A new scientific discovery has found
that typography can impact sensory perception, such as
taste. Brain imaging studies reveal that multiple areas of
the brain become activated from typography.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Join the Type Tasting Panel to
learn how typography impacts
your senses.
T
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Romiana Lee/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
UBER DATING
Using UberPool is the new blind date: people share a
ride with a stranger going the same direction, splitting
the cost and enjoying each other’s company in the
intimate setting of a car. Many people find this method
more personable and serendipitous than online dating.
Airbnb hosts and guests are also using the Airbnb
ecosystem matchmaking. We expect more dating/
sharing economy mashups in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Where else can you create
chance encounters and
serendipity to surprise and
delight consumers?
U
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: oneinchpunch/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
ULTRASONIC SCIENCES
Trying to suspend objects in mid-air using acoustic
levitation isn’t new, but recently a team of Japanese
engineers have managed to move objects around a
space with sound waves. Sound waves are also being
used cosmetically (non-invasive face lifts) and in
medicine (ultrasound to administer chemotherapy). We
are just starting to understand the power of ultrasound,
but expect Ultrasonic Sciences to roar in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch this video about levitation
from your upright sitting position
in a chair.
U
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: VIGE.CO/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
VICARIOUS ROBOTICS
In South Korea, supporters who can’t attend events in
person can send a “fanbot” in their place. Fanbots are
Vicarious Robots that enable live 2-way streaming
between fans and athletes. The robots keep stadiums
full and energy high. This concept also extends to
creating robot “avatars” for telecommuters. Many more
applications to leverage the dynamic experiences that
telepresence robots offer are anticipated in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch this video to get a glimpse
of how Cisco’s telepresence
robot could revolutionize
telecommuting.
V
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Yury Velikanov/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
VISUAL SEARCH
If we increasingly think in images, it’s about time we
should be able to search in them, too. Pinterest has
rolled out visual search tool that lets you “find those
things you don’t have the words to describe.” When you
see something you want to learn more about, tap the
search tool, select the part of the Pin you’re interested
in, and you’ll see more Pins like this. If you zoom in,
you’ll know what it’s called and where you can find it.
Here’s to many happy ads and sales thanks to this tool
in 2016!
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Play with Pinterest’s visual search
tool for 15 minutes and see how
many new names for things you
didn’t know you can learn.
V © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image 1 : Bon Appetit/ SHUTTERSTOCK
image 2 : Bon Appetit/ SHUTTERSTOCK
image 3 : Bon Appetit/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
VR DAYTRIPS
Be an armchair explorer and take a “vacation” via Virtual
Reality (VR). Beyond escapism, VR Daytrips can
transport kids to Ancient Rome during history class, or
give kids an opportunity to “shadow” a professional for a
“day in the life.” Google is facilitating these sorts of
daytrips through its Expeditions Pioneer Program, with
other companies and industries likely to follow suit in
2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Experience the View-Master from
your childhood, but with 2016
VR capabilities thanks to the new
and improved View-Master VR
Experience Packs.V
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: microvector/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
WASTE POSITIVE
Waste Positive means using waste (like sewer water, or
coffee grinds) as a material for manufacturing something
useful. The circular economy—incorporating recycling
every step of the way—is becoming more common,
with companies like Seventh Generation and Method
using recycled plastic in every product, or GoLite and
Patagonia using “environmentally preferred materials.” In
2016 more companies will launch initiatives like product-
take-back programs, which will gradually become the
norm.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Grab a bite at Saucy by Nature,
a restaurant in New York that has
a #zerowaste policy, using
surplus ingredients from their
catering service.W
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: mtkang/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
WEEDERIES
Wineries and breweries might soon become passe’ as
Weederies popularize. Colorado is getting its first luxury,
upscale “Weedery” in 2016. Cannabis Ranch and
Amphitheater will give visitors the opportunity to tour the
cultivation facility, visit a marijuana dispensary, listen to
live music, enjoy a meal with sweeping views over the
Rocky Mountains. Proof that this trend is only likely to
get more serious: this $35 million project is a brainchild
of a former real-estate executive. Big money will be
looking into big weed in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Would you invest in such a
business? What are the next
States that would welcome such
businesses?
W
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: sezer66/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
WI-FI AURA
MIT researchers have developed technology (RF-
Capture) that uses wireless signals to see a person’s
silhouette through a wall (i.e., their Wi-Fi Aura), like X-
Ray glasses. Privacy is, of course, a big concern, and
the MIT team is designing blockers, and creating
regulations that will dictate when these devices can be
used. Using Wi-Fi for “x-ray vision” will likely be a hot
topic in 2016.
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Dive deeper into the research
here.
W
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: DeoSum/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
WIRELESS ENERGY
In March Mitsubishi succeeded in transmitting energy
wirelessly, opening the door to solar energy in space
and more clean energy options. Wires are often
inconvenient and hazardous, and sometimes
impossible. In order to advance technologically, we need
innovation in batteries and energy storage. Microwaves,
lasers, and radio frequencies are being explored to
transmit energy wirelessly. Tesla is utilizing
electromagnetic fields to charge its electric cars, and we
expect more innovation around wireless energy in 2016.
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
Image: foxbat/ SHUTTERSTOCK
W
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch Mitsubishi’s amazing
wireless energy science
explained in 52 seconds.
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
WORK CAPSULE HOMES
Some Silicon Valley start-up professionals are choosing
to live at work…literally! In RVs, shipping containers,
tents, mini vans, and in capsule pods. While they can
afford an apartment, the intensity of start-ups require
24/7 on-site attention. With WeWork developing WeLive
co-living spaces and furniture designers creating nap-
desks for work, work-life balance will take on new
meaning in 2016.
W
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Dragon Images/ SHUTTERSTOCK
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Can you see a situation where
you might live at your place of
work and give up your home?
Read this for more details about
WeLive co-living work spaces.
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
XENOPHOBIA
Are we ready to start building walls? From Europe's
migrant crisis and Paris’ attacks to the American
immigration debate (a critical topic in the US Presidential
election), immigration is definitely going to be top of
mind in 2016. 41% of Americans polled in a recent Pew
Research survey said immigrants "burden the country
by taking jobs, housing, and health care." The debate
between Xenophobes and Xenophiles will surely be
heated in 2016.
X
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Do you feel that America will
remain different from the rest of
the world when it comes to
accepting the “other”? This NPR
podcast paints a picture of
American xenophobia.
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: infinity21/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
YEAST
The future of flavor is being redesigned thanks to…
Yeast. New “designer yeast” and “artisanal yeast” are
being cultivated to change the flavor of foods and add
nutrients to foods. Gingko BioWorks is one of the
companies redesigning yeast to replicate fragrance and
flavors, which can be labeled “natural.” Fermentation
and yeast are trending. Let there be yeast in 2016!
Y
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Listen to this episode of
Gastropod to understand how
molecular biologists are creating
the tastes of the future.
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Mirko Sobotta/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
YOUNG MONEY
Today’s young financiers (from Silicon Valley start-up
wealth) are creating “young money” investment firms
focused on sustainability. For example, Clean Power
Finance creates smart cities and communities by
providing solar professionals with access to solar
financing and software. In 2016 we expect (and hope) to
see more players getting into sustainable energy,
pursuing financial, social, and environmental gains.
Y
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch this YouTube video to
understand what Clean Power
Finance is all about.
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Federico Rostagno/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
ZERO GRAVITY
An exciting new frontier is space, and many products
are differentiating via leveraging the physics of space
and Zero Gravity. Suntory, producer of Yamazaki (named
best whisky in the world in 2014), sent its whiskey into
space to age in a Zero Gravity and temperature-stable
environment. The first samples will return to Earth in
2016. We anticipate more products will be “tested” in
space in 2016, as Zero Gravity may one day be a
common part of manufacturing processes.
Z
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch this NASA video to learn
how to use an iPad in zero
gravity in outer space. Fine
motor skills are more difficult in
space.
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Jag_cz/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
1950s
From TV shows and movies to fashion magazines, the
1950s will be in our psyche in 2016. Half hats. Flaming
red lips. Cropped coats. Pencil skirts. The era’s
elegance symbolized the end of rationing and the dawn
of the atomic age. Boomers have nostalgia for the Rock
n’ Roll era where they came of age. The Betty Crocker
Cookbook is chic again. Expect to see the 1950s
reflected in all aspects of 2016 life.
5
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Which of these 1950s fashions
would you wear?
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Yoko Design/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
3D IP
3D Intellectual Property (IP) rights is a modern dilemma.
Disputes over copyright law are exploding in a world of
open-source software resulting in blurred ownership. With
new smartphone technologies that are essentially point-
and-scan (copy cats) for 3D printing, we expect to see
more discussions about the boundaries of copyright
protection and ownership. We anticipate 3D IP guidance
being offered to those looking to launch open source
projects in 2016.
3
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Have fun perusing the Thinkivser
platform of open 3D IP.
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Sira Anamwong/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
4D PAPER
Imagine paper that can fold itself and even “walk”
across the table? Georgia Institute of Technology and
the Singapore University of Technology and Design
(SUTD) has invented smart paper. Shape-memory
materials can fold and move when exposed to light,
sound, heat or touch. This could create space
structures, deployable medical devices, robots and toys.
We expect that smart materials will keep getting smarter
in 2016.
4
CULTURAL CHALLENGE
Watch a video of 4D Paper in
action here.
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
image: Poprotskiy Alexey/ SHUTTERSTOCK
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 | image: Yoko Design/ SHUTTERSTOCK
Want to explore the
business
implications of these
2016 trends?
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
SCANNING THE WORLD FOR CULTURE
Join us. Every day from 12-1pm EST we hold a Culture Briefing in our NYC
offices to discuss the day’s most important 30-40 cultural signals (culled from
10,000 signals from all over the world). We spend the hour connecting the signals
to our client’s business — i.e., how does the signal impact strategy, innovation
and content? The rigor of doing this every day allows us to see patterns and
make horizontal connections (think: cultural “muscle memory”) which enables
us to formulate an informed POV on where the world is headed, and why.
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
TRENDS A-Z, DELIVERED TO YOUR POCKET DAILY.
Download now and enjoy
a free 30 day trial!
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
- Social & Cultural Listening
- Competitive Intelligence & War Gaming
- Segment Analysis & Tracking
- Topic Deep Dives
- Event Tracking
- Issue Monitoring
- Real-time Burst Identification
- Channel Analysis
- Content & Influencer Strategy
- Editorial & Cultural Calendars
- Macro Trend Identification &
Quantification
- Projecting Segments into the Future
(Consumers of the Future)
- Product, Service & Packaging
Development
- Business Model Design &
Reimagination
- Business Context Analysis
- Futurism
- Whitespace Identification
- Brand/Partner & Acquisition
Recommendations
- Pre-Planned (70/30) Content
Production - Online and Offline
- Real-Time Content Production
- Real-Time Commerce
- Social Media Content (short and
long form) - posts, tweets,
vines, videos, blogs, etc.
- Community Management
- Influencer Outreach
- Channel Optimization & Fan
Base Development
- Analytics & Measurement
- Real-Time Media Amplification
CULTURAL
INTELLIGENCE
INNOVATION
CONTENT &
DISTRIBUTION
Agency of relevance:

strategy at the core
© SPARKS & HONEY 2015
Sign up on our website to receive updates and future reports:
www.sparksandhoney.com
For more information:
212.894.5100
info@sparksandhoney.com
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© SPARKS & HONEY 2015

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2016 A-Z Culture Glossary

  • 1. A-Z Culture Glossary
 2016
 The Trends You Need to Know to be Relevant
  • 2. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CULTURAL ACCURACY © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 83%accuracy of A-Z Culture Glossary 2015 As “superforecasters” we measure the accuracy of our predictions. We also make predictions that can be measured. Trend analytics and performance metrics are an important part of what we do. Using social listening tools, we measured the accuracy of our A-Z Culture Glossary 2015, and we are pleased to share that our prediction accuracy last year was 83%. We’re aiming to improve our prediction skills to 85% accuracy in 2016.
  • 3. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CULTURAL LITERACY STARTS HERE! © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 To help the “curious class” stay relevant in 2016, we’ve assembled an A-Z glossary of what we predict to be 100 must-know terms and concepts of 2016. We hope this cultural crib sheet will help prepare you for the year ahead. Enjoy!
  • 4. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE HOW TO READ THIS REPORT Moving at the speed of culture and staying relevant is challenging for brands and people alike. We all want to be culturally in sync in 2015. However, with so many trend reports, lists, and predictions this time of year, it can be hard to separate the signals from the noise. To help the “curious class”, we’ve assembled an A-Z glossary of the top must-know terms to be aware of to stay culturally relevant in 2016. This A-to-Z-of-culture contains all the key words, concepts, and trends that will be topical in 2015 and can serve as a cultural crib sheet (and conversation starter) as you enter the new year. Read on and instantly increase your Cultural IQ. Enjoy! © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 A MEDIA TECH/SCIENCE AESTHETICS IDEOLOGY HUMANITY DEFINITION A simple definition of the must-know terms, with a brief explanation of why it’s important to know CULTURAL CHALLENGE Tricks, tips, and exercises so you can develop your knowledge in this area (we do not endorse the content, we’re merely pointing it out) ELEMENT OF CULTURE CATEGORY sparks & honey uses a taxonomy of trends called the Elements of Culture to organize signals; all trends fall into 5 major categories
  • 5. AGENCY OF RELEVANCEE EH Empathy Emotional Support Pets F Fan Activism Farm-to-Phone
 Fashion Tech Female Gamers FOLO
 Frictionless Design Funky Socks G Geek Parenting Genderless Dressing Gluten-Free Art Goosebumps Revival Graphene Obsession H Hot Desking Hoverboards I Image ASMR Insta-Fashion Introverts Intuitive Apps J Jackfruit JIBO K Kaomoji L Library Reinvention Localizing Water M Material Innovation MFA, not MBA Microbial Cloud Mircrodosing Modified Class Mood Marketing N Nanny State Nanosensors Neutrals No Vaping Signs O Open OS Olifactory Tech P Penmanship Porn Phone Doctors Plywood Poetry Slams Prisoner Assimilation Q Quarter Life Crisis R Raw Life-Streaming Redhead Idolization Rental Mom Retail Dining S Scientific Serendipity Sensorial Urbanism Silicon Smart Slacklining Solo Travel T Tailored Sweatsuits Theme Park Dystopia Tomato Crush Twitch.tv Typographic Neuroscience U Uber Dating Ultrasonic Sciences V Vicarious Robotics Visual Search VR Daytrips W Waste Positive Weederies Wi-Fi Auras Wireless Energy Work Capsule Homes X Xenophobia
 Y Yeast Young Money Z Zero Gravity Other 1950s 3D IP 4D Paper A App Security Africa Rising Aging Mobility Anti-Artisanalism Atomic Renaissance B BCI Biased Algorithms Biohacking Blockchain Boomer Design Breathing Education C Cardistry Cellphone Bugging Coloring Books Content Attachments CRISPR D Darty Demisexual Device Mesh Digital Divorce DNA Makeup Dorm Lifestyles Drone Pets Dubsmashing MEDIA TECH/SCIENCEAESTHETICS IDEOLOGY HUMANITY
  • 6. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE TRENDS A-Z, DELIVERED TO YOUR POCKET DAILY. Download now and enjoy a free 30 day trial! © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
  • 7. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE APP SECURITY Bigger investments will be made by IT into all phases of the security lifecycle in 2016. Apps will experience more data breaches and in return will put greater emphasis on protecting their user’s data. App users will scrutinize their app’s data protection policies more closely, driving increased interest (and innovations) in the way Terms and Conditions are presented. CULTURAL CHALLENGE What level of access do your apps have on your phone? Check your phone’s settings to see which apps are tracking your location or have access to your camera and microphone. A © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
 Image: deepadesigns / SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 8. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE AFRICA RISING With BRIC nations economically unstable, investment and manufacturing attention is turning to Africa, as a continent full of potential, albeit also threats. Ethiopia in particular is Africa’s fastest growing economy, but the nation is also undergoing a record-breaking drought and famine that will continue into 2016, causing a world humanitarian crisis. Expect more media coverage on Africa (and Ethiopia) next year, as well as interest in business, study and cultural exchanges. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read more about Ethiopia’s severe drought caused by El Niño in a World Health Organization (WHO) report. What opportunities does this create that can be addressed while still pushing the nation forward? A © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
 Image: Aleksandar Mijatovic / SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 9. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE AGING MOBILITY With the number of Boomers in the U.S. approaching 76 million, and the first Gen Xers turning 50 years old, there will be a surge of interest in senior mobility — from innovative communities to design features to autonomous cars to exoskeletons to new medications. We will see a growing number of companies helping Boomers create solutions that allow them to remain mobile in their later years. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read this inspiring story of a 90- year-old IDEO designer who wants to make things easier for people her age. What other user experiences can you take into consideration? A © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
 Image: Photographee.eu / SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 10. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ANTI-ARTISANALISM The artisanal trend seems to have peaked because anti- artisanal parodies are on the rise. This trend is questioning an obsession with authenticity, premiumization, bespoke and handcrafting, suggesting we’ve gone too far. In 2016 we expect a lot of poking fun at the artisanal hipster movement. What started with the hipsters of Portlandia, has blossomed into numerous videos making fun at all things artisanal, such as artisanal firewood, artisanal water, artisanal ice cubes, and even artisanal plungers. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Thirsty? Watch this video featuring The Timmy Brothers, the bespoke water makers. A © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 11. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ATOMIC RENAISSANCE We’re entering the next Atomic Age. The number of global nuclear reactors is set to double within the next decade. Nuclear waste startups are trying to rebrand atomic energy. Silicon Valley is focused on atomic innovation. Companies like Transatomic Power, with new science and technology that allows for cleaner and safer atomic energy, are reopening the atomic energy discourse. We expect to see more atomic energy projects to come online in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read Transatomic’s explanation of the science behind nuclear energy. Does it assuage any concerns you might have with using this method of energy?A © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 12. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE BCI (BRAIN-COMPUTER-INTERFACE) Imagine a collaboration between a brain and a device, like a computer, where signals from the brain directs the device simply by the power of thought. Imagine brain-to- brain communication as well, such as implanting memories from one brain to another. Well, it’s here in the form of BCI. From controlling a video game by thought, to allowing a frail or disabled person to function independently. We anticipate leaps in BCI technologies in 2016 to make headlines. CULTURAL CHALLENGE OpenBCI is a Brooklyn-based company bringing brain computer interfaces to the masses. How would you best make use of BCI technology?B © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 13. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE BIASED ALGORITHIMS Do algorithms discriminate? They do if the person who write the code is biased. Software is written by people and algorithms can reinforce human prejudices. Carnegie Mellon University researchers found out that Google showed more ads for high income jobs to men than women, simply from a algorithmic bias. We expect more debate around the ethical implications of coding, and backlash to algorithms in favor of humanism, in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read a discussion with a Microsoft Research computer scientist about how algorithms can learn to discriminate. Take this opportunity to self-reflect, identifying any hidden biases of your own. B © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 14. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE BIOHACKING If we can hack a computer, then why not hack the body? Biohackers like Silicon Valley’s BioCurious and Berkeley Biolabs are exploring the building blocks of life and biology, and finding that organisms can be hacked like a computer. Of course some decry Biohacking (after all who wants a tomato that grows 24 hours a day?), but medical breakthroughs are resulting from this DIY- maker-meets-medicine approach. We expect the debate around Biohacking to get more heated in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE What ethical issues need to be taken into consideration around bio hacking? Does the good outweigh the bad? What kind of experiment would you be interested in conducting? B © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 15. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE B © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
 Image: Bloomua / SHUTTERSTOCK BLOCKCHAIN Most know of Blockchain as the self-generative software driving Bitcoin, but Blockchain has many other uses. Blockchain is an efficient, secure and instantaneous mechanism for managing transactions between parties. It provides verification of the “buyer” and “seller” of any transaction and thus can be used for package deliveries and data transfers and secure communications). In 2016 we expect to see Blockchain appear as a security feature of products and services. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this video about Blockchain that simply explains how it works.
  • 16. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE BOOMER DESIGN Designing with older consumers in mind is still a blind spot for the UX industry, but with Baby Boomers controlling 70% of the U.S.’s disposable income and 71% using a social networking site daily, this demographic will no longer be ignored. In 2016 we anticipate new focus on easier navigation, text size and physical usability, as well as privacy and security concerns. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Have you ever had to help someone from this age group navigate technology? What were the most frequently asked questions? Are you a Boomer? What improvements would you make to UX design to better suit your needs? B © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 17. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE BREATHING EDUCATION Most humans take 20,000 to 30,000 breaths daily, but most don’t know how to do it properly. Now modern science is saying that breathing (like drinking water and getting a good night’s sleep) can help lower blood pressure, boost immunity, reduce stress and fight obesity. Breathing retreats and workshops featuring belly breathing, conscious breathing and yogic breathing are on the rise. We will see more attention to breathing as a psychotherapeutic tool in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Try to find and attend a breathing class where you live. How did you feel afterward? Let us know what you think! B © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 18. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CARDISTRY Cardistry is artistically manipulating playing cards like a croupier on steroids. It’s considered an art form (even a “sport”) that comes in many genres: two-handed cuts, spread, fanning, aerials, springs, and more. This awe- inspiring pastime is gaining popularity, and reflects a cultural appreciation of mastery and a need for mental focus/relaxation. Look out for Cardistry in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch a five-time cardistry champion in action. What other skill-based activities would make for impressive, yet meditative, content?C © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 19. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CELLPHONE BUGGING The modern version of Watergate is Cellphone Bugging via apps that cater to jealous lovers and overprotective parents. TheTruthSpy and TrackMyPhones let you look at all the SMS sent or received via the target phone, and spying victims are fighting back with CyberDust, CoverMe, and Wickr, a platform for military-style encryption and self-destructing messages. Expect to see much more buzz around bugging and anti-bugging apps in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE How does the presence of these apps affect your behavior? What best practices will you develop to avoid falling victim to cellphone bugging?C © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 20. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE COLORING BOOKS Coloring can be de-stressing and digitally detoxing art therapy. Adult coloring books like “Splendid Cities: Color Your Way to Calm” and “The Mindfulness Coloring Book” are flying off the shelves. Retailers like Target launched the “Pattern Play” coloring book for adults, while brands like Oreos have introduced Color-In Packaging. As people seek more opportunities for creative unplugged play, expect to see more adult coloring books in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch an artist speed color, as she takes the practice to a higher level. What other accessible activities can lend themselves to both creativity and mindful relaxation? C © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 21. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CONTENT ATTACHMENTS These days products need more than just great packaging and clever ads to get our attention. Today we’re seeing physical objects paired with music and videos, so physical products are augmented with digital content. Cup Noodles in Japan offers a video companion for “virtual dates” to dine with solo noodle eaters. Brands are creating content — and attaching content — to products luring offline and online experiences with a product. In 2016 we anticipate to see more examples of this new wave of product/content mashup. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Try coming up with an idea for applying a digital layer to a physical product. How does it improve the product or overall experience?C © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 22. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CRISPR Clustered Regularly-Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) is a gene-editing technique that will likely transform the world. CRISPR makes it easy, cheap, and fast to move and combine genes around — even genes from bacteria to people. Researchers have already reversed mutations that cause blindness, stopped cancer cells from multiplying, and made cells impervious to the virus that causes AIDS. Expect to learn more about CRISPR in 2016, and witness the accelerating debate about rules for the life sciences. CULTURAL CHALLENGE MIT makes Genome Editing with CRISPR easier for you to understand in this YouTube video. C © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 23. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DARTY (DAY PARTY) Darties are simply day parties…day-long drinking binges. A Darty typically consists of drinking on a patio between 12-6, preferably on a Saturday or Sunday. The Darty is an example of Millennials extending college life into young-adulthood. While not very different from regular parties, we expect to see more tips about the perfect outfit (ehm, you shouldn’t wear dark colors) and themes for Darties in 2016 as brands jump on board. CULTURAL CHALLENGE What was the most creative party you ever went to or hosted back in college? How does darty compare? D © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 24. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DEMISEXUAL A Demisexual is someone who can only experience sexual attraction if a deep emotional connection has been formed in advance. The Demisexual label is an example of a trend towards the proliferation of micro- tribes and labeling. While some are against labeling people, others feel “naming it” helps people who feel alienated. In 2016 expect to see more conversation around asexuality, celibacy, and likewise, more micro- tribes surface. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Do you feel that it’s a legitimate and needed new term? Take this test to find out where you stand. D © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 25. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DEVICE MESH The Device Mesh is the connective tissue between mobile, wearable, consumer, home and automotive devices that make up the IoT (Internet of Things). With sensors embedded everywhere, we will see devices working better together, providing marketers with richer insights on our daily habits. Expect significant development in wearables and augmented reality leading to an unprecedented surge in innovation in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read this Silicon Labs paper about the seamless communication of connected devices: D © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 26. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DIGITAL DIVORCE The cruel part of the Internet is its memory: while things were good, couples shared thousands of happy pictures together on Facebook, but once the relationship ends the timeline reminders can be haunting. New services and features are enabling people to erase or block specific pieces of their history and digital footprint. In fact, Digital Divorce and Digital Death management this is becoming an entirely new industry, which will get more attention in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Do you know any happy couples that never post any pictures together or of each other on Facebook? For those who do, see how Facebook is helping them when they digitally divorce. D © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 27. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DNA MAKEUP DNA testing can guide a skin care regime, identifying clues as to how one’s skin will likely age. This is part of a made-for-me beauty trend, from players like GeneU ($940 testing) to Skinshift ($99 testing). We expect more beauty companies leveraging DNA testing to predict and mitigate future beauty issues. 2016 could be a break- out year for DNA makeup and beauty products. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Would you want to know how you are going to age? Would you try to be in control? Does this offer sound appealing? D © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 28. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DORM LIFESTYLES Dorm living is not just for college students anymore. This co-living (“Millennial Commune”) model makes sense for a society where people are delaying marriage and living with roommates longer. Micro-living units are built around a shared living space for cooking, eating, and hanging out. Roommates can be alone, but never lonely - a must for social Gen Y. Watch the surge in Dorm Lifestyles in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE What are the pros and cons of such a living solution? Can you see yourself fitting in? Check out how one city is pushing back against dorm lifestyles.D © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 29. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DRONE PETS Think of it as a friendly drone on a leash. Swiss company Fotokite created a drone pet for taking aerial photographs of family parties, weddings and other events. It can be launched and working in under one minute; because it’s on a leash, it’s classified as a kite and thus not impacted by tightening laws around drone use. In 2016, beyond Drone Pets, we will have new uses for drones: forest fire prevention drones, missing pet drones, protest-cam drones, even subliminal advertising drones. CULTURAL CHALLENGE What would be your preferred use of drones? Take a break with these gorgeous images of the best drone photography: D © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 30. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DUBSMASHING The lip-syncing app Dubsmash allows smartphone users to recreate movie scenes and dub music videos. Collective creation is on the rise, along with singing-as- entertainment (for example the Accapella app). It’s certainly fun to lip-sync, but is it legal? According to intellectual property lawyers, posting dubbed-over videos to social media is illegal. Cultural tension will mount in 2016 around original versus re-mixed arts. CULTURAL CHALLENGE If you wanted to try it, what would be your first soundtrack of choice? Here’s a dubsmashing compilation for inspiration. D © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 31. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE EH (ELECTROMAGNETIC HYPERSENSITIVITY SYNDROME) EH (electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome), otherwise called “Wi-Fi Allergies,” is a real thing. Sufferers experience a physical reaction to electricity and frequencies, such as nausea, headaches, palpitations, fatigue, and rashes/other dermatological problems. Recently a teenager committed suicide because she couldn’t live with the pain or escape the Wi-Fi. In 2016, there will be more debate and research around this ailment prompting Wi-Fi Free Zones. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Do you believe this controversial diagnosis is a real condition? How does technology affect your health? What are the real consequences of our being so dependent on it? Have you ever tried digital detox? What did you think? E © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 32. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE EMPATHY Some scientists believe societies are losing their empathy from the numbing of media. Others say that social media and new technologies that enable people to experience new perspectives are improving empathy. As crises such as immigration, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters continue, survival will require more empathetic behavior. Expect Empathy to be at the heart of media, education, and research in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Do you believe this controversial diagnosis is a real condition? How does technology affect your health? What are the real consequences of our being so dependent on it? Have you ever tried digital detox? What did you think? E © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 33. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT PETS Emotional stability and emotional health are considered to be an important aspect of overall health and wellbeing. In light of this, people (especially Singletons) are turning to pets for emotional support. New science suggests that Emotional Support Pets are effective. As a result we anticipate a rise in the Emotional Support Pet population, as well as “cheaters” who just want the delight of bringing their pet to work, shops, events, and restaurants. Watch out, the Emotional Support Pet Police will be on high alert in 2016! CULTURAL CHALLENGE The New York Times helps us get empathetic with Virtual Reality journalism. E © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 34. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FAN ACTIVISM Fan Activism happens when the passion of fans is turned into action. The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) showed the way: one local HPA chapter galvanized to source prom dresses for poor families, another chapter came up with a campaign addressing economic inequality in Europe. Meanwhile a Game of Thrones fan group has spawned a literacy campaign. We expect to see much more of this as an antidote to lazy activism – slacktivism — in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch the “Superman is an Immigrant” video to get a sense of what today’s mighty fans can do: F © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 35. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FARM-TO-PHONE Farmigo helps people get food directly from local farmers; Sprig delivers sustainable meals and VegOut! recently launched a program inspiring people to eat 30 veggies in 30 days. New Farm-to-Phone apps encourage behavior change by creating a network comprised of consumers interested in improving their diets, local farmers, and tech entrepreneurs. As smartphone ownership rises, expect to see more programs that facilitate healthier eating, improved produce distribution and local sourcing in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check out a local farmers’ market. Would you be tempted to replace this with buying via an app? Consider how widespread it will become among people with no easy access to farmers’ markets, and what this adoption would depend on. F © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 36. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FASHION TECH We’ve been expecting techtonic shifts in fashion as the tech and apparel industries collide. Up until recently, wearable tech was still paying more attention to functions and features, while fashion purists focused on form and aesthetics. But now wearable tech is getting more sophisticated, with the likes of The Crated – a design and engineering studio focused on textile circuits – developing UV responsive garments. We expect to see more fashion tech in 2016 as the industries blur. CULTURAL CHALLENGE What are some of the items in your wardrobe that you’d never want to go the way of wearable tech and why? What mainstream clothing companies would be among the first to venture into this space? Check out one designer who helped a star light up the red carpet. F © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
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  • 37. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FEMALE GAMERS 150 million Americans (that’s over 59%) play games. 48% of gamers are female. 52% of the gamers in the UK are women, and we are likely to see the same in the U.S. very soon. Mobile and casual gaming were primary contributors to the steady rise in female gaming, but more than half of female gamers say they play on a console and online. Women play games, but few women design games. We expect to see the number of female game designers surpass its current 22% mark in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Listen to six gaming podcasts produced by women for women. F © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 Image: elwynn/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 38. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FOLO (FEAR OF LIVING OFFLINE) FOLO is the fear of living life offline. People deliberately present their best selves online and browse other people’s lives with the unfortunate side effect of feeling isolated and worthless. Instagram envy and “Facebook depression” are likely symptoms. New science is labelling the affliction, leading to therapies and books focused solely on “how to live offline.” 2016 will be a year full of buzz around digitally detoxing. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Next time you travel, leave all your devices in your hotel room and just enjoy the sites. F © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 Image: Yulia Mayorova/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 39. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FRICTIONLESS DESIGN Frictionless Design blends physical, virtual and electronic environments. Connected devices are becoming smarter by learning to synchronize and collaborate with each other. When the devices naturally align and communicate we don’t notice them doing their magic, making our lives easier. However, some are building “intentional friction” (e.g., you have to input a password to pay for something) into products and services. Detractors of Frictionless Design say that it diminishes control. Expect products to tout both sides of the argument in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Tweet us some connected devices ideas that will make your life easier. F © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 40. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FUNKY SOCKS Funky statement socks abound this Winter, but come this Spring and Summer the socks and sandals trend for men and women isn’t going anywhere. Companies like BlueQ are coming up with creative product lines: Art Collection Socks, Super Heroes, and Comics Socks. Socks will be a lighthearted fashion accessory in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check out Jimmy Lion’s Instagram to get inspiration on your 2016 fashion statement. F © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 Image: Samuil Levich/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 41. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE GEEK PARENTING The Geek Parenting style of Millennials is raising the next generation of digital natives. Geek Parents are becoming skilled at preparing their kids for life in the world filled with screens. They’re not taking away technology, but teaching kids how to use it, from coding to setting up beacons. In 2016 expect to see more research on how families manage technology (including reverse mentorship, where kids teach parents and grandparents) and manuals for parents to help their kids navigate the digital world. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Experiment with a new app or technology with your child and see what you can learn from him/her. G © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 Image: Halfpoint/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 42. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE GENDERLESS DRESSING Fashion’s new future might not be gender-specific. The rage of the runway in 2015, the genderless and androgynous fashion trend is on fire, with more and more brands challenging the notion of what is masculine and feminine, giving people an opportunity to simply wear what looks and feels right to them. In 2016 we will see more Genderless fashion. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check out Selfridges’ Agender campaign, which aimed to encourage its shoppers to transcend traditional notions of male and female dress to find their perfect fit. G © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: FashionStock.com/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 43. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE GLUTEN-FREE ART We can – and do - rewrite history: from constant editing of Wikipedia entries to the newfound ability to get rid of our exes’ photos from Facebook timeline. A virtual gallery that removed all the gluten items from famous paintings is an example of how art imitates life. Gluten- Free Art is a metaphor for sanitizing our lifestyles and re- writing history to suit our needs. The trend we predict in 2016 is less about the art, and more about discourse around this behavior. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Enjoy famous artworks re- imaged as gluten-free by visiting this tumblr. What might be the next things ‘to go’ from the history of art, or beyond?G © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Tupungato/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 44. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE GOOSEBUMPS REVIVAL If titles like “Welcome to the Dead House” or “Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes” mean anything to you, you’re likely a Millennial who grew up reading “Goosebumps,” R.L Stine’s series of kids horror books that sold 400 million copies worldwide. Millennials love horror which feeds their search for extrasensory experiences; the Goosebumps movie is expected to fan Millennial nostalgia in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check out the official Goosebumps trailer. Tweet us what other 90’s classics would you like to see revived? G © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
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  • 45. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE GRAPHENE OBSESSION Graphene has many extraordinary properties: it’s roughly 207 times stronger than steel by weight, conducts heat and electricity efficiently and is nearly transparent. Graphene could be revolutionary for bioengineering, water industry, and more. Designers and engineers’ communities will be paying increasing attention to graphene in 2016 in the quest for stronger, lighter and smarter materials. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this Ted Talk and learn about graphene. G © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: BONNINSTUDIO/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 46. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE HOT DESKING Hot Desking is a work space sharing model in which there are more employees than desks. We’ve long known that cubicles kill creativity. Companies that want to recruit and retain top talent and encourage greater collaboration and innovation are redesigning their offices in open formats, but in the Hot Desk model, employees are untethered and encouraged to “roam free,” switching between open tables, couches and workstations. Hot Desking will be hot in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Re-imagine your work space to spark your creativity. Try working from the common area or a different workstation. H © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: bikeriderlondon/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 47. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE HOVERBOARDS Remember the levitating board from Back to the Future II? Suddenly, Hoverboards are everywhere. New manufacturers and vendors seem to pop up every day. Lexus and other big players are unveiling new generations of their product with prices ranging from $350 to $4000. We anticipate city streets to be filled with this eco-friendly and fun new form of personal transportation in 2016, replacing the ubiquitous scooter. CULTURAL CHALLENGE What can you do on a hoverboard? These guys performed a choreographed dance on hoverboards. H © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: 1000 Words/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 48. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE IMAGE ASMR Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a fancy term for a “braingasm” and tingle-inducing stimulus. For example, the Hi-Def sound of hair brushing and whispering can make the hair on your arms stand up. The “Sounds That Feel Good" community on Reddit has 88,000 subscribers, while some top ASMR YouTube videos have >7 million views. In 2016 expect more marketing using ASMR techniques, like Dove chocolate did in China. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Experience “braingasm” with this image ASMR video. © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Sukhonosova Anastasia/ SHUTTERSTOCK I
  • 49. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE INSTAFASHION Some of the big designer names are changing the way they create fashion by factoring in what their clothes would look like on Instagram. Proenza Schouler’s designers admitted that they take Instagram into consideration when designing clothes: they think about how clothes are constructed and colored for social media. This is a metaphor for what we expect in 2016 to be increasing “Instagram-ability” requirements of businesses. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Given that colors “translate” to Instagram better, do you think we’ll see more people wear colorful clothes? What about food? Look through your photo feeds and pay attention to color and the impact it may have. I © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Kseniia Perminova/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 50. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE INTROVERTS Introverts have been under appreciated for years, but thanks to introvert-celebrating books like Susan Cain’s “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” TED talks and HBR articles, introverts are getting noticed…and appreciated. In 2016 we will continue to see more inquiries into the interplay between mindfulness, alone time, and innovative thinking. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Try acting like a introvert for a week. You might find a different perspective. I © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Ollyy/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 51. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE INTUITIVE APPS Intuitive Apps allow users to perform tasks without requiring access to a native application. For example, Uber eliminates the need to confirm decisions multiple times. An Intuitive App can recognize a bill is due, automatically check your bank account, send an alert that it can pay the bill for you with just one click. As more businesses are seeking ways to cut down on “mental bandwidth,” they will be introducing Intuitive Apps and features in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Go through the apps on your smartphone and find intuitive links that will cut down on your “mental bandwidth.” I © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: LOFTFLOW SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 52. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE JACKFRUIT Jackfruit is a hot new vegan ingredient from Southeast Asia. It’s high in fiber and low in calories, and its texture is similar to that of pulled pork. Some companies are offering it in ready-to-eat formats: Upton’s Naturals produces barbecue and chili lime varieties of seasoned Jackfruit as a convincing meat substitute. In 2016 expect to see more Jackfruit on menus, and Jackfruit derivatives, such as juices, puree, and soups. CULTURAL CHALLENGE People argue that when cooked, Jackfruit has a similar consistency to other meats, and is a popular substation. They also argue that it tastes better. Try this recipe for Pulled BBQ Jackfruit and see if you agree! J © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Aggie 11/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 53. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE JIBO (SOCIAL ROBOTICS) JIBO is just one example of a Social Robot which is an autonomous robot that interacts and communicates with humans by following social behaviors and rules attached to its role. They care companion robots, or “family robots.” This new breed of robot which is more focused on relationships and companionship, than on tasks, are especially effective with Singletons, the sick and elderly. We anticipate an increase in social robot sales in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Companion robots are becoming more advanced. Check out this video to see Alpha 2, the new family robot that is able to perform a variety of human interactions and tasks. Do you see yourself integrating a family robot into your life? Why or why not? J © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Wichy/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 54. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE KAOMOJI Kaomoji are Japanese-style emoticons that first made it to the U.S. via anime forum posters. They’re more sophisticated, more expressive, and also more practical: you don’t need to tilt your head in order to read them. In 2016 we will move beyond the basic Kaomoji of the shruggie ¯_(ツ)_/¯, the crying face (;_;), the happy face (^_^), and graduate to the next level of Kaomoji that includes Flower Girl (◕‿◕✿) and Kissy Face (* ̄3 ̄)♥. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check this video out if you’re tempted to install it on your iPhone right now! K © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Mid0ri/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 55. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE LIBRARY REINVENTION From Texas’s first all-digital library (aptly named BiblioTech) to University of Michigan’s bookless libraries, the Library is being disrupted. Libraries have been a pillar of society, but as society and culture change, libraries have to keep up with the times. Libraries are getting ready for life beyond the book, and many are transforming into learning centers and maker studios. Expect Library Innovation to continue through 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Do you see this development as a scary future, a necessary step or the best thing ever? Do you still read printed books and magazines? What do you think about ebooks? Take a video tour of the BiblioTech here: L © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 Image:P. Chinnapong/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 56. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE LOCALIZING WATER Nearly 20% of California’s electricity and more than 30% of its natural gas is used to treat and deliver water to users. California has been taking cues from the food movement’s “food miles” in order to reduce “water miles” to reduce energy needed to pump water long distances. California Water Reuse is now reusing water multiple times at a local level. We predict that localizing water, and other utilities and commodities, will be a conversation topic in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Do you pay attention to ‘food miles’ when you shop? The answer is probably not. When you next go grocery shopping, try to challenge yourself to be conscious of ‘food miles’ by checking here to calculate your cumulative miles. How will your results affect your shopping habits? L © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Aaron Kohr/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 57. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MATERIAL INNOVATION Material Innovation, especially as it pertains to 3D printer materials, is a hot focus of R&D. Companies like Stratasys are driving 3D printer material invention, resulting in new material composites with a wide range of physical properties, from metals to plastics to rubbers to mud. In addition, flexible textiles, and fuzzy fabrics can be 3D printed. In 2016, material innovation in 3D printing is expected to explode. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Already we have seen 3D printing materials create hair, fabric, clay houses, and figures made from coffee grounds? What do you predict will be the next big 3D printed material? Could you see yourself living in a 3D printed environment? M © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 Image: enmyo/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 58. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MFA, NOT MBA As the business world applies Design Thinking to all aspects of business, from product development to marketing to leadership, Human Resource managers seek talent that can “think outside the box.” There is renewed interest in creative thinkers. Makers, who are pragmatic creatives, and artists who are able to apply Design Thinking are coveted and students of the Humanities are sought. In 2016 many of us will still be wondering if a MFA is the new MBA. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Consider signing up for free MBA and MFA classes online and see how one affects the other if at all. Do you think one affected the other? Do you agree that an MFA will become the new MBA? M © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: spot-h/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 59. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MICROBIAL CLOUD Science has discovered that we all have a colony of bacteria and microbes growing in our mouth, gut and on our hair and skin…and this micro biome also swirls in the air around us in a “cloud” that differs from person to person and is as unique as a fingerprint. Individual personal microbial clouds could become the foundation of personal bio-aerosols and bio-tracking. We anticipate more research, discoveries and new uses for our Microbial Clouds in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Listen to this story about your personal microbial cloud to get a better understanding of what a microbial cloud is, and how we can use them in the future.M © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Turovsky/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 60. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MICRODOSING Microdosing is just that: tiny doses of a substance. In the drug world it means ingesting minute doses of a drug that creates a small or alternative effect. Microdosing LSD, for example, is the drug craze du jour in Silicon Valley to enhance performance and creativity. The tech industry is experimenting with super-small doses of psychedelic drugs to reach new levels of performance. We expect Microdosing, and its pros and cons, to be a hot conversation topic (and pastime) in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Listen to this podcast to see how microdoses of LSD positively or negatively affect people’s productivity and mental states. 
 
M © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Kuda/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 61. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MODIFIED CLASS Prosthetics have changed the lives of people all over the world, and industrial designers are making beautiful prosthetic limbs that look like pieces of art. Groups like Beautiful Prosthetics are focused on prosthetic pride and drawing positive attention to disability. But, this is raising the question “is a class of people emerging that is simply the Modified Class”? The welcoming and celebration of the Modified Class will continue in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check out Viktoria Modesta, a British singer-songwriter, staring in the new music video "Prototype" wearing a variety of eccentric prosthetics on her left leg. M © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: sportpoint/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 62. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MOOD MARKETING The era of marketing to mood states is upon us. UMood is a wearable headset that tracks brainwaves as you unconsciously react to images of apparel. This headset collects data about your interest level, stress, concentration, etc. and lets Uniqlo help you pick a T- shirt to match your mood. With Mood Marketing technologies and approaches, in 2016 the convergence of extreme personalization and neuroscience will transform retail. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Consider going to a UniQlo and trying out their UMood devices. Do you think it is accurate? Did the machine correctly capture your preferences based on your brain activity? How do you think this will affect the future of consumer experience in retail? M © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Nikita Starichenko/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 63. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE NANNY STATE Many feel that freedom of speech in the US is under attack, and some are trying to reclaim their right to offend. Universities are adopting “trigger warnings” to flag all possible sensitive topics in classic literature. From the militarization of the police to providing caloric and salt content on menus point to growing government intervention. The US is turning into a Nanny State determined to protect citizens from danger, debate, hurt feelings, and bad choices. Watch this space in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Political Correctness is a growing movment. Check out this list of language deemed to be politically incorrect and see if you agree or disagree with the list. Do you think you will change your language based on this trend? Or do you think we are becoming too hypersensitive? N © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Sean Donohue Photo / SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 64. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE NANOSENSORS Nanosensors are tiny biological, chemical or mechanical sensors that operate at the microscopic level. In the recent James Bond film Spectre, Bond had “Smart Blood” pumping through his veins: that’s an example of Nanosensors in fiction. Nanosensor use ranges from medicinal (identifying cells or delivering drugs at the cellular level) to fashion. In 2016 we expect to see more products incorporate nanosensors to add value and gather data. CULTURAL CHALLENGE How can you incorporate nanosensors into your products or services that provide a tangible benefit to consumers, while leveraging data in compelling and insightful ways? N © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: ptnphoto/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 65. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE NEUTRALS Neutral and pastel colors are trending, and they reflect a [desired] state of mind: calm, simple, universal, un- offensive and natural. If what we wear influences our well-being, then monochrome neutral and washed-out colors signal relaxation and peace. Expect a lot of neutrals and pastels in the shops in 2016, in both the fashion and home decor departments. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Pantone just released its two colors for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity. How do these colors make you feel? Try incorporating these tones into your wardrobe and reflect on the emotions each color evokes. N © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Sarah Noda/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 66. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE NO VAPING SIGNS No Vaping Signs are now starting to appear, with some “no smoking” signs being retro-fitted in movie theaters and public transportation, like San Francisco’s BART. Amazon now sells “no smoking and no vaping” signage in response to the cultural shift regarding electronic smoking and vaping. Vaping is also being prohibited in public spaces, like airplanes, and in many offices. Expect a pro-vapers and anti-vapers clash in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Do you agree with having “No Vaping” signs? What do you predict is the next sign that will be put up in public spaces? Where would you place a no vaping sign? N © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Shiffarigum/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 67. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE OPEN OS Open Operating System (OS) is the evolution of the collaborative and sharing economy, aka the “access economy.” Open systems allow people anywhere and at anytime to communicate and collaborate resulting in greater innovation. Openness, collaboration, and transparency is the future, but since Open OS connotes data sharing, it raises questions about privacy and IP protection, which will surely generate debate in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Use one of the sharing economy services you haven’t tried before, or introduce one of these to your colleagues. What were the pros and cons? Do you have any business ideas of your own for this space? O © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: helllbilly/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 68. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE OLFACTORY TECH Advances in the science of scent and smell is exploding with Proustian delight. New technologies are leveraging the power of smell, such as OPhone/Le Laboratoire which lets you send “smell SMS” from a menu of 365 scents contained in “Ochips.” We expect to see more in the field of of aromatic communications in 2016, as well as new smelly forms of content and packaging that cater to our quest for extrasensory titillation. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Warning: watching this video will make you very, very hungry: O © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Pavel Ignatov/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 69. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE PENMANSHIP PORN With keyboards and voice recognition, pen, paper and handwriting skills are under threat. Ironically, we are seeing growing interest in penmanship and handwriting as art form. Nostalgic videos of calligraphy and people writing sentences, mastering upstrokes, downstrokes, hooks, slants, and flourishes (i.e., Penmanship Porn) are exploding on the Internet. We anticipate Penmanship Porn to continue in 2016, as it’s delightfully rare in a world of mass communications. CULTURAL CHALLENGE What other old and somewhat forgotten skills do you see coming back into the spotlight? Watch this to decide if you find it interesting, soothing or annoying:P © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: therealtakeone/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 70. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE PHONE DOCTORS More people are choosing to video chat with doctors on their mobile devices; 39% of adults would be willing to have an appointment with a physician via smartphone. E-doctor visits can be as efficient as a 17-minute consultation via webcam costing only $50. We anticipate that Telehealth will continue to disrupt the healthcare industry in 2016, with insurance providers finally recognizing this novel form of consultation. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Do you see this innovation as totally positive, or do some aspects of it leave you perplexed? If cost and convenience were not an issue, would you still prefer to see a ‘real’ doctor? See for yourself with this app. P © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Mascha Tace/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 71. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE PLYWOOD Plywood is a hot material in our DIY era. Natural materials at home are a sign of great taste; they’re also eco-friendly and durable. This unrefined material makes other items shine. New, low-cost, laser cutters, saws, and woodworking tools are melding digital fabrication and open-source construction, enabling anyone to build in plywood. In 2016 we expect to see many more plywood projects, big and small, amateur and professional, using classic Plywood. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Choose your favorite plywood creation here: P © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Halfpoint/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 72. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE POETRY SLAMS The genre of poetry is getting a new life. From young writers offering to type (and sell) you a poem on the street to computers that compose poetry, we see poetry revamped for today’s age. Some suggest poetry as the most secure password option, while others write poetry based on their phone numbers just for fun. It doesn’t have to be a 140-character Haiku, but we predict a continuation of poetry fever in 2016 for both practical and aesthetic reasons. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read more about poetry and try to come up with your own poetic password P © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Markgraf/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 73. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE PRISONERS ASSIMILATION The US is over 100% capacity when it comes to prison overcrowding, with over 2.4 million people locked up. Overcrowding is a fiscal and humanitarian issue. Next year the Justice Department is set to release about 6,000 inmates [early] from prison in an effort to reduce overcrowding. Expect in 2016 debate around safety and ways to address an expected surge of homelessness and ex-con re-skilling and assimilation. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Get ready for the debate with this P © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: sakhorn/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 74. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE QUARTER LIFE CRISIS Many twenty-somethings these days are feeling lost, burnt out or depressed. Gen Y is transitioning from carefree post-graduates to working adults and parents, resulting in anxiety that comes with increased responsibility and lifestyle shifts. We anticipate increased attention on a wave of Millennials in a Quarter Life Crisis in 2016, and the impact on society. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Here’s to bringing humor to the difficult quarter-life crisis Q © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 iamge: |uxorphoto/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 75. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE RAW LIFE-STREAMING Sharing unfiltered, uncut and unstaged life moments in real-time defines Raw Life-Streaming. Capitalizing on this trend is Beme, an app that allows you to record and share raw footage of your life. The result is a real-time, un-doctored short video that disappears once it is viewed. People are cynical about the content on social media as so much of it is idealized. We anticipate more platforms for Raw Life-Streaming to be introduced in 2016, as well as backlash to social images filters CULTURAL CHALLENGE Download Beme and use it for a week. Who do you think is more likely to win on social media in the long run, proponents of authenticity or lovers of all things absolutely perfect? R © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 iamge: millann/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 76. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE REDHEAD IDOLIZATION Redheads make up only 1% of the worldwide population; Scotland is the world leader with 13% of the population being “gingers.” Gingers already have their own emoji and festivals where gingers congregate are getting bigger, such as Redhead Day UK. Like other minority groups, redheads are “in,” thanks to technology that brings them together and a culture of celebrating differences. Redheads will be front and center in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Immerse yourself in ginger beauty here: R © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Evgeny Bakharev/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 77. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE RENTAL MOM We’ve seen the rise of the surrogate (everything) and rental (anything), and now for $40 Millennials can rent a mom-like-person for an hour. Rental Moms offer a shoulder to cry on, help polishing a resume or buying gifts and solid life advice. With families spread out across long distances, Rental Moms fill an immediate local need for human connection and parenting. Expect more rental services, like Rental Moms, to be introduced in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Is it more quirky than useful? Do you have your own ‘Rent a _____’ idea? Brainstorm a few, or try out your own Rent a Mom. R © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Lopolo/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 78. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE RETAIL DINING As sales increasingly migrate online, retailers are looking for ways to attract customers to their brick-and-mortar locations. Tommy Bahama, J.C. Penney and Gap are serving anything from fancy cocktails to lamb merguez. Most recently, Urban Outfitters started partnering with star-quality chefs to open stylish restaurants in its stores. Putting restaurants inside stores is an old trend: in the 20th century, many U.S. department stores ran restaurants and tea rooms. We anticipate Retail Dining to explode in 2016 as a 3rd Place mashup innovation. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Come up with a menu for your favorite retailer. What store should never ever try anything like this? If this is your favorite retailer, then you’re already set!R © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: totojang1977/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 79. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SCIENTIFIC SERENDIPITY What do high-speed super-conductors, Viagra, and velcro all have in common? They were all accidental discoveries made by alert scientists who were looking for one thing and found another. Serendipity has always played a big role in science and it is now becoming a formal discovery methodology. As a result, planned serendipity from apps land mail order surprises like Birchbox will be trending in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Take a moment to explore other scientific discoveries and prepare to be surprised by what scientists where looking for. Famous Accidential DiscoveriesS © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Oxy_gen/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 80. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SENSORIAL URBANISM Smell experts and data scientists are working with architects, environmentalists and commercial companies to create “smellscapes” within cities, studying how urban odors help guide better city design. Experts in Kansas City and Shanghai are creating smells that capture a city’s diversity, and data scientists in Cambridge (UK) are creating maps pointing to areas most in need of green spaces. As attention turns to olfactory science and tech, Sensorial Urbanism will likely become more top of mind in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Close your eyes and think of your 3 favorite cities in the world. What do they smell like? This map could help guide you. S © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: PEPPERSMINT/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 81. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SILICON SMART Competitive advantage has moved from “street smart” to “book smart” and now to Silicon Smart, which means leveraging data and artificial intelligences and being able to code and build devices with sensors. The skills and personality traits needed to succeed in Silicon Valley are being introduced to education, and educational sciences are studying what it means to be Silicon Smart. The year of 2016 will see new theories and criticisms of current educational practices. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Choose your favorite startup from the 38 companies here: S © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Oxy_gen/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 82. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SLACKLINING Slacklining is a new sport that combines tight-rope walking, trampoline, jump rope and gymnastics. Slacklines pulled taught in the wilderness or in urban areas become playgrounds for slackliners. Businesses like Gibbon are offering a wide range of slackline gear. Other companies have camps and workshops. Slacklining helps to build balance (core) skills, and its intense focus creates peace and mindfulness.The Globetrotter World Slackline Masters Competition in 2016 bring mass attention to this new sport. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch the Globetrotter’s Slackline Competition and see if this is tempting. S © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Matej Kastelic/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 83. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SOLO TRAVEL “Alone” doesn’t mean “lonely”: traveling alone, especially among women, is on the rise, and women feel very good about it. 66% of US women polled by Booking.com have vacationed without their partner. The travel and hospitality industries will be focusing more on single, financially independent women and learn how to accommodate their specific needs in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Allow Vicky FlipFlop inspire you to travel to 20 countries in one year on your own. S © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Anchiy/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 84. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE TAILORED SWEATSUITS No need to call the fashion police if you see someone wearing a Tailored Sweatsuit. Taking inspiration from the athleisure trend, the business suit is being redefined in fleece sweatshirt material. In fact, there have been several iterations on the business suit classic, such as the surfer wetsuit business and the onesie business suit. This is challenging traditional ideas around what luxury and business casual means. Don’t roll your eyes when you seen Tailored Sweatsuits in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check out the trend and ask yourself, would you buy into this new fashion trend? T © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Svetlana Zhukova/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 85. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE THEME PARK DYSTOPIA Far from the idyllic fairytale fantasy depicted by Disney, a new breed of theme parks is moving to the fore, as evidenced by Banksy’s Dismaland mock theme park and the upcoming Hunger Games theme park. Dystopian films, literature, and video games have been hugely successful in recent years, and now people are looking to be immersed in these apocalyptic worlds. Why not visit a Theme Park Dystopia near you in 2016? CULTURAL CHALLENGE How can you flip a common trope on its head to provide a novel experience? Watch the trailer for Banksy’s Dismaland for inspiration.T © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: BasPhoto/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 86. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE TOMATO CRUSH Foodies have a Tomato Crush. Tomato is an “it ingredient.” Tomatoes — heirloom to GMOs — are being offered in a wide variety of new forms, such as dry tomato pulp, which adds color, texture and fiber to foods. Tomato as an ingredient may also be an ideal clean-label replacement for starch. And, the tomato is making its way into beauty products, with new discoveries of its anti-aging properties. We anticipate tomato hype to continue into 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Did you know you could use tomato as a Tuna substitute in sushi? Don’t believe us? Try this recipe. T © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 Image: Mila chinnachote/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 87. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE TWITCH.TV With over 100 million unique viewers per month, Twitch.tv is the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers. It’s disrupting the industry and changing developers’ strategies: the barrier of entry is low, so that nearly anyone can share recordings or streams of their gameplay on Twitch.tv. In 2016 we’ll see more Twitch-casters and more brands using Twitch.tv as a new broadcast platform, like Taco Bell and Old Spice have done. 2016, we predict, will be a breakout year for Twich.tv. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Did you think it was only about games? Watch Bob Ross paint and see for yourself just how addictive Twitch could be! T © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Biro Emoke/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 88. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE TYPOGRAPHIC NEUROSCIENCE Serif or sans-serif? A new scientific discovery has found that typography can impact sensory perception, such as taste. Brain imaging studies reveal that multiple areas of the brain become activated from typography. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Join the Type Tasting Panel to learn how typography impacts your senses. T © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Romiana Lee/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 89. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE UBER DATING Using UberPool is the new blind date: people share a ride with a stranger going the same direction, splitting the cost and enjoying each other’s company in the intimate setting of a car. Many people find this method more personable and serendipitous than online dating. Airbnb hosts and guests are also using the Airbnb ecosystem matchmaking. We expect more dating/ sharing economy mashups in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Where else can you create chance encounters and serendipity to surprise and delight consumers? U © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: oneinchpunch/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 90. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ULTRASONIC SCIENCES Trying to suspend objects in mid-air using acoustic levitation isn’t new, but recently a team of Japanese engineers have managed to move objects around a space with sound waves. Sound waves are also being used cosmetically (non-invasive face lifts) and in medicine (ultrasound to administer chemotherapy). We are just starting to understand the power of ultrasound, but expect Ultrasonic Sciences to roar in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this video about levitation from your upright sitting position in a chair. U © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: VIGE.CO/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 91. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE VICARIOUS ROBOTICS In South Korea, supporters who can’t attend events in person can send a “fanbot” in their place. Fanbots are Vicarious Robots that enable live 2-way streaming between fans and athletes. The robots keep stadiums full and energy high. This concept also extends to creating robot “avatars” for telecommuters. Many more applications to leverage the dynamic experiences that telepresence robots offer are anticipated in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this video to get a glimpse of how Cisco’s telepresence robot could revolutionize telecommuting. V © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Yury Velikanov/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 92. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE VISUAL SEARCH If we increasingly think in images, it’s about time we should be able to search in them, too. Pinterest has rolled out visual search tool that lets you “find those things you don’t have the words to describe.” When you see something you want to learn more about, tap the search tool, select the part of the Pin you’re interested in, and you’ll see more Pins like this. If you zoom in, you’ll know what it’s called and where you can find it. Here’s to many happy ads and sales thanks to this tool in 2016! CULTURAL CHALLENGE Play with Pinterest’s visual search tool for 15 minutes and see how many new names for things you didn’t know you can learn. V © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image 1 : Bon Appetit/ SHUTTERSTOCK image 2 : Bon Appetit/ SHUTTERSTOCK image 3 : Bon Appetit/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 93. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE VR DAYTRIPS Be an armchair explorer and take a “vacation” via Virtual Reality (VR). Beyond escapism, VR Daytrips can transport kids to Ancient Rome during history class, or give kids an opportunity to “shadow” a professional for a “day in the life.” Google is facilitating these sorts of daytrips through its Expeditions Pioneer Program, with other companies and industries likely to follow suit in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Experience the View-Master from your childhood, but with 2016 VR capabilities thanks to the new and improved View-Master VR Experience Packs.V © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: microvector/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 94. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE WASTE POSITIVE Waste Positive means using waste (like sewer water, or coffee grinds) as a material for manufacturing something useful. The circular economy—incorporating recycling every step of the way—is becoming more common, with companies like Seventh Generation and Method using recycled plastic in every product, or GoLite and Patagonia using “environmentally preferred materials.” In 2016 more companies will launch initiatives like product- take-back programs, which will gradually become the norm. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Grab a bite at Saucy by Nature, a restaurant in New York that has a #zerowaste policy, using surplus ingredients from their catering service.W © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: mtkang/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 95. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE WEEDERIES Wineries and breweries might soon become passe’ as Weederies popularize. Colorado is getting its first luxury, upscale “Weedery” in 2016. Cannabis Ranch and Amphitheater will give visitors the opportunity to tour the cultivation facility, visit a marijuana dispensary, listen to live music, enjoy a meal with sweeping views over the Rocky Mountains. Proof that this trend is only likely to get more serious: this $35 million project is a brainchild of a former real-estate executive. Big money will be looking into big weed in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Would you invest in such a business? What are the next States that would welcome such businesses? W © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: sezer66/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 96. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE WI-FI AURA MIT researchers have developed technology (RF- Capture) that uses wireless signals to see a person’s silhouette through a wall (i.e., their Wi-Fi Aura), like X- Ray glasses. Privacy is, of course, a big concern, and the MIT team is designing blockers, and creating regulations that will dictate when these devices can be used. Using Wi-Fi for “x-ray vision” will likely be a hot topic in 2016. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Dive deeper into the research here. W © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: DeoSum/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 97. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE WIRELESS ENERGY In March Mitsubishi succeeded in transmitting energy wirelessly, opening the door to solar energy in space and more clean energy options. Wires are often inconvenient and hazardous, and sometimes impossible. In order to advance technologically, we need innovation in batteries and energy storage. Microwaves, lasers, and radio frequencies are being explored to transmit energy wirelessly. Tesla is utilizing electromagnetic fields to charge its electric cars, and we expect more innovation around wireless energy in 2016. © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 Image: foxbat/ SHUTTERSTOCK W CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch Mitsubishi’s amazing wireless energy science explained in 52 seconds.
  • 98. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE WORK CAPSULE HOMES Some Silicon Valley start-up professionals are choosing to live at work…literally! In RVs, shipping containers, tents, mini vans, and in capsule pods. While they can afford an apartment, the intensity of start-ups require 24/7 on-site attention. With WeWork developing WeLive co-living spaces and furniture designers creating nap- desks for work, work-life balance will take on new meaning in 2016. W © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Dragon Images/ SHUTTERSTOCK CULTURAL CHALLENGE Can you see a situation where you might live at your place of work and give up your home? Read this for more details about WeLive co-living work spaces.
  • 99. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE XENOPHOBIA Are we ready to start building walls? From Europe's migrant crisis and Paris’ attacks to the American immigration debate (a critical topic in the US Presidential election), immigration is definitely going to be top of mind in 2016. 41% of Americans polled in a recent Pew Research survey said immigrants "burden the country by taking jobs, housing, and health care." The debate between Xenophobes and Xenophiles will surely be heated in 2016. X CULTURAL CHALLENGE Do you feel that America will remain different from the rest of the world when it comes to accepting the “other”? This NPR podcast paints a picture of American xenophobia. © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: infinity21/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 100. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE YEAST The future of flavor is being redesigned thanks to… Yeast. New “designer yeast” and “artisanal yeast” are being cultivated to change the flavor of foods and add nutrients to foods. Gingko BioWorks is one of the companies redesigning yeast to replicate fragrance and flavors, which can be labeled “natural.” Fermentation and yeast are trending. Let there be yeast in 2016! Y CULTURAL CHALLENGE Listen to this episode of Gastropod to understand how molecular biologists are creating the tastes of the future. © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Mirko Sobotta/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 101. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE YOUNG MONEY Today’s young financiers (from Silicon Valley start-up wealth) are creating “young money” investment firms focused on sustainability. For example, Clean Power Finance creates smart cities and communities by providing solar professionals with access to solar financing and software. In 2016 we expect (and hope) to see more players getting into sustainable energy, pursuing financial, social, and environmental gains. Y CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this YouTube video to understand what Clean Power Finance is all about. © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Federico Rostagno/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 102. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ZERO GRAVITY An exciting new frontier is space, and many products are differentiating via leveraging the physics of space and Zero Gravity. Suntory, producer of Yamazaki (named best whisky in the world in 2014), sent its whiskey into space to age in a Zero Gravity and temperature-stable environment. The first samples will return to Earth in 2016. We anticipate more products will be “tested” in space in 2016, as Zero Gravity may one day be a common part of manufacturing processes. Z CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this NASA video to learn how to use an iPad in zero gravity in outer space. Fine motor skills are more difficult in space. © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Jag_cz/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 103. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE 1950s From TV shows and movies to fashion magazines, the 1950s will be in our psyche in 2016. Half hats. Flaming red lips. Cropped coats. Pencil skirts. The era’s elegance symbolized the end of rationing and the dawn of the atomic age. Boomers have nostalgia for the Rock n’ Roll era where they came of age. The Betty Crocker Cookbook is chic again. Expect to see the 1950s reflected in all aspects of 2016 life. 5 CULTURAL CHALLENGE Which of these 1950s fashions would you wear? © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Yoko Design/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 104. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE 3D IP 3D Intellectual Property (IP) rights is a modern dilemma. Disputes over copyright law are exploding in a world of open-source software resulting in blurred ownership. With new smartphone technologies that are essentially point- and-scan (copy cats) for 3D printing, we expect to see more discussions about the boundaries of copyright protection and ownership. We anticipate 3D IP guidance being offered to those looking to launch open source projects in 2016. 3 CULTURAL CHALLENGE Have fun perusing the Thinkivser platform of open 3D IP. © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Sira Anamwong/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 105. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE 4D PAPER Imagine paper that can fold itself and even “walk” across the table? Georgia Institute of Technology and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has invented smart paper. Shape-memory materials can fold and move when exposed to light, sound, heat or touch. This could create space structures, deployable medical devices, robots and toys. We expect that smart materials will keep getting smarter in 2016. 4 CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch a video of 4D Paper in action here. © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 image: Poprotskiy Alexey/ SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 106. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE © SPARKS & HONEY 2015 | image: Yoko Design/ SHUTTERSTOCK Want to explore the business implications of these 2016 trends?
  • 107. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SCANNING THE WORLD FOR CULTURE Join us. Every day from 12-1pm EST we hold a Culture Briefing in our NYC offices to discuss the day’s most important 30-40 cultural signals (culled from 10,000 signals from all over the world). We spend the hour connecting the signals to our client’s business — i.e., how does the signal impact strategy, innovation and content? The rigor of doing this every day allows us to see patterns and make horizontal connections (think: cultural “muscle memory”) which enables us to formulate an informed POV on where the world is headed, and why. © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
  • 108. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE TRENDS A-Z, DELIVERED TO YOUR POCKET DAILY. Download now and enjoy a free 30 day trial! © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
  • 109. - Social & Cultural Listening - Competitive Intelligence & War Gaming - Segment Analysis & Tracking - Topic Deep Dives - Event Tracking - Issue Monitoring - Real-time Burst Identification - Channel Analysis - Content & Influencer Strategy - Editorial & Cultural Calendars - Macro Trend Identification & Quantification - Projecting Segments into the Future (Consumers of the Future) - Product, Service & Packaging Development - Business Model Design & Reimagination - Business Context Analysis - Futurism - Whitespace Identification - Brand/Partner & Acquisition Recommendations - Pre-Planned (70/30) Content Production - Online and Offline - Real-Time Content Production - Real-Time Commerce - Social Media Content (short and long form) - posts, tweets, vines, videos, blogs, etc. - Community Management - Influencer Outreach - Channel Optimization & Fan Base Development - Analytics & Measurement - Real-Time Media Amplification CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE INNOVATION CONTENT & DISTRIBUTION Agency of relevance:
 strategy at the core © SPARKS & HONEY 2015
  • 110. Sign up on our website to receive updates and future reports: www.sparksandhoney.com For more information: 212.894.5100 info@sparksandhoney.com @sparksandhoney facebook.com/sparksandhoney
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