Future Tense: JWT Spots 2007 Trends

It's the time of year when future predictions take center stage. And Marian Salzman, JWT's executive vice president and chief marketing officer of JWT Worldwide, has weighed in. She cites 70 products, services and trends that will define the new year.

"By examining what resonates with consumers, we can identify larger patterns that will shape our lives in the years to come," says Salzman, a trend-spotter who co-authored the newly released book "Next Now" with Ira Matathia.

Among her picks in the technology realm: Wii, Skype/VoIP and hydrogen fuel-cell technology. On the social front, she sees a rise in social networking, premium-drink bars and stem-cell research. While co-branding (think Nike plus Apple) made the list, so did companies going green, mobile video and Web-based microfinancing.

"As globalization continues to make our world seem smaller, localization will come to a head in 2007," predicts Ann Mack, director of trend-spotting at JWT.

"Decadent and excessive consumption will fall to the wayside as we stress quality, minimal environmental impact and support of local producers," she adds.

Perhaps that's why Barack Obama and Al Gore, both touted as presidential contenders in 2008, made the list. The future, according to JWT's team, may hold many surprises, including the impact of citizen journalism and reunions of donor-insemination siblings.

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