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Technology, geopolitics and the digital world are some of the main themes that run through many of the trends impacting the future of the global economy, said Jeff Desjardins, editor-in-chief of Visual Capitalist, a data-driven content firm focused on global trends, technology, investment and the economy.
“Over the 27 trends that we have, probably six or seven of them are directly related to technology, but probably 10 to 15 of them are indirectly related to technology,” Desjardins said.
For instance, the ‘digital world’ which is a trend related to technology and included the geopolitical realm, demographics and society, financials and environment, “which is an area that is front and centre today as well,” he added.
Visual Capitalist’s book Signals: the 27 Trends Defining the Future of the Global Economy, which was published in 2020, discusses 27 key trends transforming the way we live, using its design-driven approach to explain these changes in a visual way. The book explores these trends through infographics, charts and other visual depictions of data, with the aim of making this information more accessible and digestible, particularly for visual learners.
“Our mission is to make data more accessible to people. And so we do this by using data visualisation and data storytelling,” Desjardins said. The world of data can be “quite a bewildering universe to the average person,” he said, adding that data based on its quantum and presentation can become skewed and biased.
“Our mission is to make data more accessible to people. And so we do this by using data visualisation and data storytelling” - Visual Capitalist editor-in-chief Jeff Desjardins
Visual Capitalist seeks to make this less daunting. “So, what Visual Capitalist tries to do is we try to take the trends and the things that we think are important, we try to visualise them in a way that’s memorable and shareable and that people can look at and hopefully, through that visual aspect.” About 65% of people are visual learners, he adds and therefore a large proportion of people can related to the firms graphics.
Though identifying the most important data within a broad topic like demographics and society, for example, may seem like a difficult task, Desjardins explained that Visual Capitalist looked at trends “in the most macro lens possible”, asking questions like “How is society made up? And not in terms of more subjective things, but like, where do people live? How are they living? What age are people? What are the trends of those ages? You know, are they living longer or shorter? What is the distribution of those people? And why does that matter?”
The data and trends Visual Capitalist identified are likely to impact “almost anybody in a professional pursuit or an investor with their portfolio”, according to Desjardins.
To hear more insights from Jeff Desjardins and Signals, listen to the full episode on Opto Sessions.
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