As 2017 continues on its wild and unpredictable path, do you wonder what the world will bring us in 2018? Join the club! But rather than relying on guessing games and spurious speculation, we called on The Economist’s Daniel Franklin, one of the world’s most respected forecasters and commentators, to look into his crystal ball and tell us what he thinks will be dominating the headlines in the coming year.

As Executive Editor of The Economist and Editor of The World In, Daniel has spent 25 years observing, analysing and forecasting global developments and their impact on business. We arranged for Daniel to join us and a group of senior leaders from innovative and international brands to look ahead and discuss what will be hitting the headlines in 2018.

From the discussion that followed, it was clear that turning ideas into value in an unpredictable world is the main challenge – but one that brings huge opportunity for those willing to inspire, collaborate and innovate. Four key themes stood out from the discussion:

  1. Elections: in our more politically engaged, yet more politically divided world, Trump’s protectionist outlook versus Macron’s pro-collaborative stance, will come to bear next year. Elections in Mexico and Brazil, US mid-terms and the constant sub-plot of Brexit will continue to keep brands and consumers on their feet.
  2. Eyeballs on sport: the FIFA World Cup in Russia and the Winter Olympics in PyeongChan will attract the most eyeballs and presents vast opportunities for brand marketers. Both sporting events also present risk, for those attending these geo-politically charged areas of the world, but perhaps specifically for Russia in how they will market themselves to the rest of the globe.
  3. New economies: from driverless cars and drones to less obvious business models in the production of synthetic food via cell cultures and AI’s role in diagnosing illness and disease, emerging technologies are most definitely one area to watch out for next year. Most notable is the role of the private sector in space with Elon Musk’s SpaceX due to launch into orbit in 2018.
  4. Gender: while gender has certainly been hot topic this year, it will continue into 2018 and beyond. Gender parity and gender fluidity will be front of mind for senior leadership teams, with the education system’s role redressing imbalance raised around the table in relation to its impact on potential career paths.

This event was one of a series we run for our clients and new connections to tap into unique perspectives which can influence highly original communication programmes. Talking Franklin was a fascinating and thought-provoking evening which shed some light on what will be making waves in the new year and what that might mean for you and your business.

For more information on this debate and future events please contact Sarah Alexander at


Manage Cookie Preferences