How Unearthing Trends

Reveal New Transformational Pathways

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From Retire to Rewire Trend CARD

How Unearthing Trends Reveal New Transformational Pathways

In a world that’s constantly evolving, understanding societal- & technological trends is more than just an advantage—it’s a necessity.

In my work as Transformation Coach for teams from very large corporates to smaller businesses, I have been through a lot of different innovation- and transformation processes (we like calling them Sprints due to the time limitation and high intensity level) many times in the past 8 years.

The most common objectives for these client Sprints usually involve building new capabilities and changing mindsets of organizations. Rapid upskilling, boosting the adaptability of the individuals and their teams and creating new innovative revenue streams for the years to come are always desirable outcome, regardless of which industry our clients play in.

A key aspect of achieving those outcomes and prepare for future scenarios for your business, both the desirable and the scary ones, is to conduct trend research. It also happens to be a stage of transformation processes that everyone gets very motivated by. We LOVE taking a break from the operations for some days to explore the hundreds of trends that are forming our future while we are busy doing other things.

I have had the privilege of experiencing first-hand when our participants in transformation Sprints have made their most impactful personal discoveries of trends, be it social trends, technological, economic, environmental or political, that significantly changed their initial perception of the world, challenged old beliefs and freaked out everyone who thought the future is still years away. It’s not!

...and freaked out everyone who thought the future is still years away. It’s not!

One such trend, that’s redefining our understanding of retirement is

“From Retire to Rewire”.

From Retire To Rewire


This trend sees an increasing number of senior citizens reskilling and returning to work, either by choice or necessity and it is a trend that always attract attention of clients both in the Education sector as well as in business. Let’s look at some of the implications of this particular trend, that have been studied by Sprint participants from many different sectors:

The Impact of “From Retire to Rewire”

This trend has profound implications for various sectors:

  • Educational Institutions: They need to offer flexible learning opportunities for seniors who wish to reskill. This could mean developing short-term courses or offering online learning options. The Gen Z will statistically have 18 different jobs across 6 different careers in their adult life, which is a lot of new careers that require reskilling. The same is of course the case for those with more gray hair. Yet government funding of formal education programs see only a very small percentage being allocated to people with many years of professional experience who now seek to re-educate. Our systems are designed to give us one education, to last a lifetime.
  • Business Owners and Leaders: They should recognize the value that experienced workers bring to their organizations. This might involve creating inclusive hiring practices or implementing mentorship programs where younger and older workers can learn from each other. Over two-thirds of companies in a Deloitte study of 10,000 companies, said they consider older age a competitive disadvantage. But by 2025, 25% of workers in the U.S., and the UK to be over the age of 55, which is also the fasted growing cohort of workers in almost every country. Know, that those over the age of 50 are three times more likely to create successful companies (
  • Individuals: We all need to rethink our career trajectories and lifelong learning paths. In the Educatefor.Life community, this is called #PATHWAYS. Life Retirement is no longer a full stop but a comma in our professional lives. This is easier said than done, as most of us form our self-identity based on our chosen profession. Can you ever NOT be a doctor or a carpenter anymore, if you have held on to that profession for years? Consider how easy or hard it would be for you to get into an entirely new career path.

So your trend research will easily reveal complex and world-changing patterns, that your business -or your educational institution (if you are an educator) must take seriously, to be able to navigate the rapid changes our world is going through. So what does it take to do your trend research successfully?

The Human Skills Needed for Effective Trend Research

Trend research is a multifaceted process that requires a unique blend of human skills. Here’s a deeper look into each of these skills:

  1. Cognitive Skills: These are the mental capabilities that enable us to learn, think, reason, and solve problems. In the context of trend research, cognitive skills allow us to analyze complex situations, identify patterns, and make logical connections. They help us understand the underlying factors driving a trend and predict its potential impacts.
  2. Digital Skills: In today’s digital age, many trends emerge online. Digital skills are therefore crucial for navigating the digital landscape, from using search engines effectively, to analyzing social media sentiment, to leveraging data analytics tools. These skills enable us to gather, interpret, and utilize digital data in our trend research. Of course the use of AI is part of your standard research toolbox by now, which adds to your AI literacy.
  3. Interpersonal Skills: Once we’ve conducted our research and drawn our conclusions, we need to communicate our findings to others. This is where interpersonal skills come in. They enable us to present our observations in a clear and compelling manner, engage in productive discussions, and persuade others to consider our perspective. Whether we’re writing a report, giving a presentation, or discussing our findings in a meeting, strong interpersonal skills are key. Imagine presenting to the leader of your company or a government official or politician, the implications we discussed in the previous section. You will likely need sharp communication skills and hard evidence to talk your organizations in a new direction.
  4. Self-leadership Skills: Trend research can be a long and complex process, requiring a high degree of self-motivation and focus. Self-leadership skills help us set clear goals, manage our time effectively, stay motivated, and maintain focus throughout the research process. They also enable us to handle setbacks constructively, learn from our mistakes, and continually improve our research methods.
  5. Adaptability Skills: Trends are all about change, and the ability to adapt to change is therefore a key skill in trend research. Adaptability skills enable us to stay open-minded, flexible, and resilient in the face of change. They help us adjust our research methods as needed, incorporate new information, and continually update our understanding of the trend. Fortunately, we can help you self-assess and further train your “Adaptability muscle”.


In conclusion, effective trend research requires a combination of cognitive, digital, interpersonal, self-leadership, and adaptability skills. By developing these skills, we can enhance our ability to research trends effectively, understand their implications, and communicate our findings to others.

effective trend research requires a combination of cognitive, digital, interpersonal, self-leadership, and adaptability skills. By developing these skills, we can enhance our ability to research trends effectively, understand their implications, and communicate our findings to others.

You can find more about the 60 human skills that help us thrive in the age of AI over here .

In conclusion, researching trends and understanding their implications is a skill that’s becoming increasingly important in our rapidly changing world. As the trend “From Retire to Rewire” shows, these shifts can have far-reaching impacts, offering challenges and opportunities in equal measure. By developing the right human skills, we can not only stay ahead of these trends but also leverage them for societal benefit.

My transformation work has been conducted in great partnerships with several important partners, such as , and . I owe my gratitute to so many fabulous transformation agents from these organizations and to clients, who made bold decisions to undergo desirable transformation (rather than wait and see what the next wave of change brings).

If you have appetite to explore more on researching trends, then jump over to to see the digital TREND CARDS we are now ready to offer you. They of course leverage AI research and the human curation done by our community.

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Additional resources: Explore this Masterclass on Researching Trends:



PS: What trends do you find most exciting, or concerning? Let me know in the comments, and do feel encouraged to share this post with someone who may find inspiration from it...

PPS: Are you someone who went through trend discoveries with me in a transformation Sprint or workshop, then I will be happy to hear from you. What did you discover that helped you navigate better?