How did our predictions from last year fare? Highlights from culture, technology and travel.

Our annual Future 100 report dives into the trends, innovation, and cultural changes that will drive the next year. How did last year’s predictions fare? Below, we look back at our most accurate predictions in culture, technology and travel.

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Reframing masculinity (#4)

A more accepting definition of masculinity is going mainstream.

  • GQ released a “New Masculinity” issue in November 2019, investigating how masculinity is evolving and introducing new perspectives. “There has just been a conversation around toxic masculinity and gender, and it became increasingly important to me to say something. The new masculinity is about knowing who you are and feeling free to express that,” explained Will Welch, GQ editor-in-chief.
  • Dazed Digital launched “Behind the Masc: Rethinking Masculinity” in August 2019, a new feature exploring what it means to be a man in 2019.
  • In April 2019, The New York Times profiled three new young adult novels that showcase “different tenors of young male vulnerability.”
  • In January 2019, Gillette tackled toxic masculinity in a spot titled “We Believe: the Best Men Can Be,” a reinterpretation of their classic slogan “a best a man can get.”
  • Men’s workshops like the Masculinity Action Project, Boys to Men and ManKind Project are gaining traction around the country to promote a more open and accepting dialogue around performing masculinity.
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BMW Iconic Sounds

Sound empires (#13)

As sound is increasingly elevated into a key channel alongside visual and televised content, brands are leaning into audio programming and sonic cues for a more personal and multi-sensory brand identity.

  • In October 2019, Marvel announced plans to expand its universe into audio with a slate of superhero-based podcasts being released in 2020 in partnership with SiriusXM and Pandora.
  • In spring 2019, BMW enlisted composer Hans Zimmer and acoustic engineer and sound designer Renzo Vitale to create a soundscape for BMW to address the “gap in the emotionality of the driving experience” when driving a silent electric car.
  • In June 2019, Pandora launched an audio consultancy called Studio Resonate to help “propel brands into the new era of audio,” Businesswire reports.
  • Also in June 2019,  iHeartMedia and WPP announced Project Listen, a new content and research service providing sonic branding.
  • Luminary, a subscription based podcast service dubbed the “Netflix of podcasts,” launched in April 2019 and came to Alexa devices in October 2019.
  • In early 2019, both HSBC and MasterCard unveiled new sonic identities to bridge the user experience across digital, physical and voice environments.
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Please Be Seated by Paul Cocksedge

Immersive public landmarks (#21)

Large-scale monuments are gaining popularity as an eye-catching way to encourage interactive and playful community engagement.

  • At the London Design Festival in September 2019, PATTERNITY’s Life Labyrinth was designed to encourage “creative contemplation, reconnection and positive intention amidst the hustle and bustle of London life.”
  • Also at the 2019 London Design Festival, Please Be Seated by Paul Cocksedge featured ribbons of wood that allow people to walk through, under or around it or even take a breath while sitting in its curves.
  • In June 2019, Yinka Ilori designed a playground for adults as an installation for Pinterest at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, inviting visitors to “tap into their inner child.”
  • The Color Palace, a technicolor open-air pavilion, was host to a month of events during the London Festival of Architecture in June 2019.

Main image of Life Labyrinth courtesy of PATTERNITY