Organisations must rethink fundamentals, reveals Fjord Trends 2020 from Accenture Interactive

  • London based Fjord’s 13th annual look at future of business, technology and design
  • Shift from ‘me’ to a ‘we’ mindset will prompt design to switch to ‘life-centred approach’


Fjord Trends 2020 examines seven emerging trends expected to shape the business of experience and how organisations can embrace the new era ahead.

FOLLOWING an unprecedented streak of fast-paced growth and profitability, businesses are beginning to feel the need for deep soul searching. As a new decade approaches, they must look inwards for a total re-examination of their purpose and place in the world, says a new report by Accenture. Now in its 13th year, Fjord Trends 2020 takes its annual look ahead to the future of business, technology and design, according to Fjord, design and innovation from Accenture Interactive, the marketing and design arm of Accenture which has been ranked the world’s largest digital agency for the fourth year in a row.

2019 has been a year of climate crisis activism, Big Tech accountability, the booms and busts of the gig economy, and the commitment of 181 top CEOs to redefine the Statement of Purpose of a Corporation. Changing mindsets, accelerated by rising digital adoption, have reached the C-suite, forcing leaders to reconsider the very principles their organisations are built on. The report notes that economics and politics, capitalism and resources, and technology and society have long been entwined, but only now have the consequences of their entanglement burst into the public consciousness.

“Protests about capitalism’s trajectory of endless growth defined by profit alone are moving from shouting in the streets to conversations in the boardroom. With this comes an imperative to find new ways to measure growth,” said Mark Curtis, cofounder and chief client officer at Fjord. “These new values may change how we perceive the meaning of business in the decade ahead. One thing is clear: winners will be those organisations with sustainable business models and a long-term view of themselves and their impact on the world.”

Brian Whipple, CEO, Accenture Interactive, added: “We’re starting to see our clients reorienting towards purposeful transformation. The decade ahead will see a challenging of fundamentals, which provides an opportunity for businesses to transform their offerings into something more mindful, meaningful and forward-thinking. The shift from a ‘me’ to a ‘we’ mindset will prompt a need for design to switch from a user-centred to a life-centred approach.”

Fjord Trends 2020 examines seven emerging trends expected to shape the business of experience and provides practical advice on how organisations can embrace the new era ahead.

  • Many faces of growth: Capitalism is facing a mid-life crisis. Success no longer solely equates to growth and organisations must start reassessing corporate purpose and recalibrate how they see their role in the world around them.
  • Money changers: How we perceive money and pay for things is rapidly changing. For instance, US$2 trillion worth of in-store and remote transations - via mobile biometrics are expected to be authenticated in 2023. These tectonic shifts create numerous opportunities for a host of new products and players.
  • Walking barcodes: This trend is about how our bodies are becoming our signature — effectively blending our digital and physical selves. It’s also about how living services — contextually-aware, sophisticated digital services — will segue from the digital world into the real world. Hyper-targeted customer experiences will become the norm in physical environments. In entertainment, Disney piloted an interactive movie poster with Accenture Interactive. The AI-powered experience used photography and emotion recognition to enable a poster for the movie Dumbo, which could display a version of the movie poster that corresponded with the expression on the face of the person looking at it.

    When it comes to facial and body recognition technology, what is the trade-off between privacy and convenience?


Advances in biometric tech and 5G are creating exciting opportunities for new products and services. As our physical features become increasingly machine-readable — just like human barcodes — brands will design new products and services that are more personalized than ever.

  • Liquid people: Consumption habits are changing as people perceive and define their identity in ever more liquid ways. Considerable opportunity exists in providing new experiences of consuming.
  • Designing intelligence: The human experience is growing increasingly complex. The next step for AI is to move beyond automation to designing systems that blend human and artificial intelligence and enhance the interplay between both.
  • Digital doubles: Make way for your digital double who works for you and knows what you want. Digital twins are evolving beyond industry and into our daily lives.
  • Life-centred design: The focus of desirability, viability, and feasibility is moving from “me” to “we.” Can design extend beyond its own ecosystem, shifting from a user-centred to a life-centred approach? 

Fjord Trends 2020 draws upon the collective thinking of Fjord’s 1,200+ designers and developers in 33 studios around the world. The annual crowdsourced report is based on first-hand observations, evidenced-based research and client work. This year, the contributions from Fjord’s new Tokyo studio and the acquisition INSITUM have added another 250 points of view from Japan and across Latin America, making this the most globally diverse set of Fjord Trends ever. 

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