Our predictions for 2022
Our predictions for 2022
Senior Client Manager and Strategist
We wanted to channel that optimism into a list of 22 predictions for the coming year, and share what we expect and hope to see happen in 2022.
While the Pandemic is still rampant around the globe, it also feels like a shift has taken place compared to this time last year. People are accepting that it is here to stay and will just become a part of life that we need to live with, as opposed to something we need to continually fight and shut down our lives to beat. With this realisation has come an undercurrent of optimism that was clearly missing at the start of 2021. For us, we wanted to channel that optimisim into a list of 22 predictions for the coming year, and share what we expect and hope to see happen in 2022. We’ve broken these out into ten predictions from the team as a whole, as well as a further twelve from people who had something they specifically wanted to add to the list.
Flexible working will be cemented as the norm. We already saw this begin to take place through 2021, but as countries opened and people were able to return to work, reports continued to circulate of companies expecting their workers to be in the office a certain number of days a week. We hope to see this flexiblity shift to encompass what the employees want in a working day. If they want to be at home most days because of commitments to children, to save gas money, or because they elected to move out of the central city, we believe this should be normalised, and hope to see this come true in 2022.
Electric Vehicles will account for c. 30% of new car sales, globally. Already in countries like Norway, sales of electric vehicles have vastly outstripped those of internal combustion engines. It’s only a matter of time before EVs become mainstream, but in the meantime, we’re predicting that they account for ~30% of new vehicle sales by year-end.
Governments will finally acknowledge that we have to live with Covid. For most of us, we’ve come to terms with the fact that Covid is here to stay - those of us that believe it even exists, that is 😂. As we move into the third year of the pandemic, we hope to see governments worldwide begin to relax restrictions and work towards a reality closer to what we saw in 2019, albeit one that is infinitely more environmentally focused than before.
Global warming and climate change will continue exhibiting themselves in greater extremes. We know that the climate crisis is worsening; we’ve spoken about it enough. Unless people, businesses, and governments begin to prioritise climate over cash, the crisis is only going to get worse. We feel that 2022 is the year that something dramatic will happen in the climate change battle where the damage will outweigh the profits, and people begin waking up and realise that living with nature is infinitely better than living against it.
Digital will come under scrutiny for being environmentally unfriendly. With the increased/growing popularity of new digital concepts such as Metaverses, NFTs, Crypto, Web3, it is likely that digital offerings will come under greater scrutiny for their environmental impact. As a result, we believe that a movement will begin that will see digital businesses begin working to green the digital world. The potential benefits of these new technologies can already be seen in some areas. For example, through technologies such as those suggested in the Metaverse, combat and commercial pilots can train for the real deal without having to use a real plane, reducing unnecessary emissions with little impact on practical experience. Considering that the US Military is a bigger polluter than over 100 countries combined, this already offers huge promise when it comes to emission reductions.
Small businesses are prioritised locally. This is one that we would really like to see come to life in 2022. While the big brands and online retailers do a lot for convenience, they do little for community feel. We really want to see 2022 reopen with a realignment on supporting the smaller, local brands that add to the character and personality of our cities and towns, and have a much more engaging feel than delivery through the post.
Mental health will come to the forefront. As the pandemic is normalised, we feel that the underlying mental health issues that have begun to arise over the past two years will begin entering more and more into global dialogue, hopefully ushering in a new way of thinking about and addressing mental health issues globally.
GenZ will become a keystone generation in the economy. Already making headlines through the early 2020s, we believe that 2022 will be the year that GenZ’s begin to give Millenials a run for their money as the generation people talk about, both in terms of their impact on the economy (globally and locally), as well as the differences in their behaviour when compared to their older brethren.
People will start craving analogue experiences more. We already lead incredibly digital lives, made more digital by the pandemic. Having said this, I believe our digital reliance will be tempered by an increased desire for tactile experiences. Hobbies and boardgames have already seen a huge uptick in demand through the pandemic, and as we return to something resembling a pre-pandemic world (in some respects), I believe people will begin investing in analogue artefacts, like quality watches, physical books, pens, and other such items, over their digital counterparts.
Data (in any form) will continue to achieve astronomical growth and importance. Data observability, specialisation of different ETL layers, data exploration, and data security all thrived in 2021 and will continue to do so as users fill their databases with ever more information. At Wonderland, as an example, we use data to fuel the creative process to predict what “creative” route will work the best for our clients and their users/customers.
After our collective predictions, a few people from within the team wanted to add a few of their own predictions to the list;
People will wake up to the damage caused by fast fashion. From what I've seen in 2021, it seems like some companies are being held responsible (by the people at least) for overproducing clothes and green-washing their initiatives. People seem to be becoming more critical about where they get their clothes from and questioning if they really need it. It also feels like second-hand shopping / clothing is becoming more popular, and amongst multiple age groups! - Gwen, Jr. Developer.
A billionaire will commit or invest a significant proportion of their wealth into tech that fights climate change. People in the 1% can often have strong beliefs surrounding their legacy and family, so the risk of that legacy being negatively impacted by the current climate crisis, or that their family may not survive the impacts could lead to investment decisions that fight climate change. If technology is developed that could be both helpful in the climate change battle, and profitable, it is likely that a billionaire or two will invest. For instance, this could be a breakthrough in battery tech, where a cheaper, lighter, smaller, longer-lasting and more efficient type of battery is developed that could hold a charge from sustainable sources for longer periods of time, thus making energy from non-renewable sources obsolete and less profitable. - Molly, Jr. Data Scientist
The Creator Economy will catch its stride. More and more people are seeking alternative and additional income streams to cope with rising costs of living and to increase their financial freedom and flexibility. In the wake of Covid, with the Great Resignation in full swing, more and more people are reevaluating what they want in life and making changes accordingly for a more flexible future. - Silvie, Senior Designer
Companies will need to work harder to retain talent. Through the pandemic, people’s spending abilities were reduced, and at the same time, they evaluated both how their companies treated them as they were forced to work remotely, and how true to their missions they remained. In the wake of these changes, honesty and transparency are likely to become increasingly important in companies both big and small if they want to retain quality talent, especially among Millenials who have saved money through the pandemic and are willing to take the risk and leave so they can find a business that aligns with their own moral compass, and GenZers entering the workforce. - Joanna, Studio Lead.
Many more people will live a part of their lives in the virtual world. With VR headset prices expected to decrease, spending time in the virtual world will become more and more accessible to many. VR will blend into mainstream sectors such as fitness, fashion, e-commerce (virtual showrooms), and may even be an option in workplaces. With many people still working remotely in 2022, there’s a growing desire to connect with colleagues in a physical-like space. This is where VR can be utilised to connect remotely, communicate, and collaborate. This mass market adoption will likely be linked to Apple’s expected VR/AR device, rumoured to launch in late 2022 (or early-2023). - Michelle, Jr. Designer
The cryptocurrency and NFT scene will switch to a more sustainable creation process. People are now aware of the effects NFT's and cryptocurrencies have on the planet. Because of this, I believe the creators and miners of these digital items will search for more eco-conscious solutions to produce these items. - Jose, Developer
Plant-based diets will increase by 5%. As more information becomes available, and as more documentaries are produced exposing the meat/sea industries, many more people will adopt more sustainable plant-based diets to reduce their climactic footprint. - Megan, Designer
There will be a shift away from flying in favour of trains and cars. I believe that in 2022 the carbon cost of flying will become more of an issue and that in countries and continents like the EU where the rail network is so well connected, that people will begin opting for rail travel more and more. - Janina, Client Manager
Web3 will begin its growth towards dominance. Previous web iterations from content consumption to content production have both been normalised in society today. The next logical step - through Web3 - is the decentralisation of the web, and in 2022 it will provide a fundamental difference in how we interact with the online world. - Maarten, Sr. Developer
Climate change will have an even more significant influence on the immigration crisis. As global warming continues to climb to new levels, it will continue to disrupt fragile ecosystems and climate environments, leading to natural disasters such as drought, flooding, desertification, hurricanes, and wildfires. As these disasters occur, they will lead to an even greater number of climate refugees who’re forcibly displaced from their homes and immigrate with the hopes of greater climate security. - Daniela, Jr. Designer & Animator
Global spiritual and communication changes will happen and people will gather their vision. People understand that - in the current ecological context and after the events of the past years - the game is up, and our leaders have failed. At their level nobody listens anymore, everybody speaks. Nobody changes their mind and there are only sterile debates. The world's population has understood this and will unite to finally do the job. Personalities are rising up and offering leadership based on what the world really needs: communication, as well as moderate and thoughtful advice, delivering simple and affordable solutions. Outside of this governmental economic competition, groups of people are uniting around projects to make an impact on a local scale in terms of production, consumption and communication. Wellness is on the way. - Ted, Senior Designer
Virtual reality shopping will be normalised thanks to TikTok. With the amplification of online shopping due to Covid, we predict a shift in how this looks through 2022. Under the current model, we order clothes and then return what doesn’t fit or look right. But with TikTok’s meteoric rise in popularity, we predict the social platform leading the shift to VR fitting rooms replacing the try-and-return model, both from a sustainability perspective, and out of convenience. - My Kim, Brand Designer
After reading all this, what are your predictions for the coming year? Do you agree or disagree with what we've predicted for 2022, or do you think we missed a few? If so, we'd love to hear from you and see what else you would add to the list!