Exploring the streets as Expert Connector
Last December I attended a workshop in Trend Research and Design Thinking by Els Dragt and the Design Thinkers Academy. As a cultural researcher, I have a strong personal fascination for human behaviour, fashion, lifestyles and trends. Several questions come to my curious mind. What people do, but more interestingly, why do people do what they do? Why do people wear what they wear? Why do people massively practice yoga in 35 degrees? And so on. As a streetscaper, I’m strolling through the streets by making pictures, collecting flyers and observing people. Meanwhile, my phone is overloaded with images. My notebooks are full of notes. And my collection of flyers has reached the ceiling of my living room, kitchen, and hallway.
My observations range from fashion styles to striking commercials to new services. However, analysing the underlying human needs and wants is key to deeply understand any observation or sign of cultural change. By asking human-centred questions you are able to unravel needs and underlying motives that underpin new products, services or attitudes. So, understanding needs and changes in people’s behaviors, attitudes and expectations provides a better approach to create what people want, now and in the future.
This unravelling, analysing and identifying underlying needs and wants is precisely what triggers me in doing trend research. And last but not least: tracking and understanding give me the possibility to handle my legion of collected observations.
Spotting and connecting
As being part of the growing Expert Connector team of Fronteer, my personal fascination for scanning and analysing my surroundings and daily work activities as Expert Connector complement each other. On a daily basis, I’m looking for remarkable companies, fresh start-ups, new triggers and cool entrepreneurs within various industries and markets to involve in co-creation sessions. We find these thought-leaders and disruptors by doing extensive desk research as well as by visiting events, lectures and exhibitions as part of our field research.
Small, interesting but surprising innovators are as important to grasp as the biggest players within a certain industry. We dive deeply into various industries to select external experts. Whose experience, perspective and intuitive input will contribute to crack the challenge. Being an Expert Connector for me means being up-to-date and well-connected, being an explorer of the online and offline streets, across industries and categories. This way we understand what people do and why they do it, which leads us to select the right experts for co-creation sessions.
If you want to know more about being an Expert Connector, feel free to give us a call!