January 14, 2011

Weekly Roundup: 7 billion strong, social networking in China and Japan, and a ‘road trip to the future’

Posted by: in North America

-Launching a yearlong series on population growth, National Geographic explores the implications of a planet that’s 7 billion strong (a number we’ll hit in 2011).

-A PwC report from the company’s “The World in 2050” series concludes that the financial crisis is accelerating a shift in economic power to emerging economies.

-Increased demand and bad weather are pushing up prices in the global food chain, prompting concerns about social unrest.

-Marking the 20th anniversary of “the new India,” writer Anand Giridharadasare outlines “five ideas that have done much to turn the new India new” in The New York Times. (Interested in Indian trends? See also see our report “Changing India: Trends for the Near Future,” which focuses on urban lifestyles.)

-McKinsey&Co.’s What Matters site asks “How big can cities get?” and includes a look at how China might tackle its urbanization boom.

-Fast Company spotlights how companies including Boeing, GE and Volvo are Retooling for an Aging World (one of our 10 Trends of 2010) as the first of the Boomers reaches retirement age.

-In its “2011 Predictions for Marketers,” Ad Age looks at what to expect in the personal care, food/beverages and retail categories.

-The FT takes a “road trip into the future,” looking at the latest in-car technologies demonstrated at the CES and the Auto Show in Detroit.

-China adds nearly 2,000 new cars to its roads daily, report Scientific American, asking, “Can China build the clean car of the future?”

-Africa is a “continent of new consumers,” declares The Wall Street Journal in a package of articles that looks at an emerging middle class “who can spend for more than the necessities.”

-America’s decline is for real this time, asserts Foreign Policy in a cover story that takes issue with standard arguments against why China will overtake the U.S. economically.

-The Economist highlights a study suggesting that consumer-determined pricing could be good for businesses, depending on the business.

-An eMarketer report on “Embracing Digital Touchpoints” analyzes how digital media technologies are altering the shopping experience.

-A study finds that today’s college students value a boost to their self-esteem over sex or money.

-In The New Yorker, David Brooks writes about “the new sciences of human nature,” focusing on the educated, worldly and fit “Composure Class” to explore how “the cognitive revolution of the past thirty years provides a different perspective on our lives.”

-Fast Company examines “The Facebooks of China,” as well as the country’s equivalents to Google, Amazon and Hulu, among others. And The New York Times looks at social networking in Japan, where people connect anonymously through homegrown portals rather than Facebook.

-Mashable asks six Web mavens what the future of the Internet will look like.

-Ad Age takes a look at Angry Birds and the casual-gaming phenomenon.

-The social gaming market in the U.S. will surpass $1 billion this year, eMarketer forecasts.

-Global Trends’ Briefing surveys “some of the more interesting and important trend forecasts and predictions for 2011,” including JWT’s “10 Trends for 2011.”

-NPR looks at how Barnes & Noble’s strategy with its Nook e-reader made for a successful holiday season, while Borders struggled with the digital onslaught.

-In the wake of the tragic shootings in Tucson and the rising concern over America’s heated political rhetoric, our sister site AnxietyIndex.com asks whether brands like Manhattan Mini Storage—which has a knack for humorous and occasionally provocative ads—should be addressing anxieties rather than adding to the divisiveness, even if lightheartedly.

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