What trends will lead the future? Top 10 keywords for 2021 and 2022


Professor Hyung-Nam Moon Selected as a Web Development Research Institute

◆Top 10 Trend Keywords for 2021: Crisis, Opportunity, Worst, Financial Crisis, Innovation, Green, Hope, Conversion, Idea, Negative Growth

◆Top 10 trend keywords in 2022: ESG management, meta sapiens, agile, copity, authenticity, quick commerce, hyper-automation, web 3.0, serenity, velvet violet

Every year, as the end of the year approaches, books that predict trends for the next year pour out like a flood. There are so many trends, such as consumption trends, technology trends, business trends, lifestyle trends, cultural trends, and color trends, that it is also somewhat confusing. There are various trend books on the market by field, so it is difficult and confusing to see them all. Nevertheless, in order to secure competitiveness to win the competition, we must know and respond to trends well.

Hyung-Nam Moon, a professor at Sookmyung Women’s University’s Graduate School of Business, has been planning the forecast for the next year in the media for many years, and as a futurist, he has a lot of experience in trend research and book writing. Professor Moon announced the 10 keywords for 2021 in October last year together with the Web Development Research Institute, and this time he announced the 10 keywords for 2022. The top 10 keywords for 2021 announced in October of last year are the same as the top 10 keywords for 2009, 12 years ago.

The 10 keywords for 2009 and 2021 selected by Professor Hyungnam Moon and the Web Development Institute are “crisis, opportunity, worst, financial crisis, innovation, green, hope, transformation, idea, negative growth”. If he connects the 10 keywords, ‘crisis’ is ‘opportunity’. In order to overcome the ‘worst’ financial crisis, we need to prepare for a paradigm shift with hope through continuous ‘innovation’ and growth oriented toward a ‘green’ economy, and get out of ‘negative growth’ with a new ‘idea’.” emphasized.

Professor Moon and the Web Development Research Institute have derived ‘Top 10 Trend Keywords for 2022’ by synthesizing trend books and materials on the market and closely examining books and materials predicted for 2022. By field, 10 mega trends, 2 business trends, 2 life trends, 2 technology trends, and 2 cultural trends were selected as trend keywords for 2022.

First, ESG (Environmental Responsibility, Transparent Management) Management and Meta Sapiens were selected as Mega Trends. Second, Agile, Agility and Co-opetition were selected as Business Trends. Third, authenticity and Quick commerce were selected as Life Trends. Fourth, Hyperautomation and Web 3.0 were selected as Tech Trends. Fifth, Serenity (Calm) and Velvet Violet were selected as Culture Trends.

Among the trends in 2022, the biggest mega-trend is ESG management and meta sapiens. These two factors are expected to have a major impact on the overall political economy, society and culture at home and abroad in 2022 as well as in 2021. In the era of the 4th industrial revolution, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and metaverse are approaching as revolutionary changes comparable to the 4th industrial revolution. The media and the general public are very interested in ESG and the metaverse, but the awareness is low, so there are many cases where the content is misunderstood.

The professor said that most of the conceptual explanations about ESG were wrong. Almost all materials, such as the web, books, columns, and interviews, explain that “ESG refers to the environmental, social, and governance structures that are non-financial elements of a company.” This is true when looking at ESG in a narrow way from an investment point of view, but it is incorrect when viewed broadly. It is correct to explain that “ESG is the term for environment, responsibility, and transparent management that are elements of an organization’s sustainability.” Almost all media, except for one, misrepresent ESG as ‘environmental, social, and governance’.

In the meantime, the term phono sapiens has been widely used. ‘Phono sapiens’ is a compound word of ‘smartphone’ and ‘homo sapiens (humanity)’, and refers to a new generation that uses smartphones as part of the body. The term phono sapiens was first used by the British economic weekly The Economist on February 26, 2015. After that, a book called ‘Phono Sapiens’ came from abroad in 2016, and in Korea, a book called ‘Phono Sapiens’ came out in 2019 and was widely used for about 3 years. The term phono sapiens is now expected to be replaced by the term meta sapiens with the advent of the metaverse. “The new human race created by smartphones is called ‘Phono Sapiens'”, but it can be said that “the new human race created by the Metaverse is ‘Meta Sapiens'”.

A new human race in the metaverse era, the era of ‘meta sapiens’ is coming. Beyond the generation that uses smartphones as a part of the body, a new generation of metaverses in which metaverse has become a part of life is rapidly increasing. We have entered a period of evolution from Phono Sapiens to Meta Sapiens. Currently, most of us are phono sapiens, and whether or not we change quickly to meta sapiens may determine the future success or failure.

As a business trend, it is expected that Agile, Agility, which means ‘flexible’ and ‘agile’, will be used more widely these days. As a fixed organization as in the past cannot cope with the rapidly changing business environment, companies add flexible organizations.

As the latest business trend, copitition is expected to expand widely.

Co-opetition is a compound word of cooperation and competition. It is not a zero-sum competition in which winners and losers are clearly separated, but rather a method of promoting shared growth by sometimes cooperating or competing with competitors. It is a modern management strategy that maximizes mutual benefits, and it is ‘sleeping with the enemy’. The term “collaboration” was first introduced in 1944 in ‘Game Theory and Economic Behavior’, co-authored by American mathematician John von Neumann and Austrian economist Oskar Morgenstern.

Life trends include authenticity and quick commerce. The keyword of the young generation these days is called authenticity. The majority of people, not just the younger generation, constantly check whether the people they are interacting with are genuinely treating them. The quick commerce (short-distance delivery, fast delivery) market is growing due to the increase in single-person households and changes in consumption caused by COVID-19. As the delivery war intensified on an hourly basis beyond same-day delivery and early morning delivery, collaboration between industries as well as robot delivery services appeared. Quick commerce delivery items are also being segmented from coffee to luxury goods.

Among the technology trends, hyper-automation and Web 3.0 are expected to stand out the most. The era of hyper-automation beyond automation is approaching. Many companies in the post-corona era are moving towards ‘hyperautomation’ that automates all processes that can be automated beyond the automation of simple tasks. Companies aiming for hyper-automation are looking for solutions in ‘automation of automation’, that is, intelligent process discovery that automatically finds tasks to be automated through artificial intelligence (AI).

Web 3.0 refers to an intelligent web technology that allows a computer to understand the contents of a web page and provide personalized information using semantic web technology. It is an intelligent, personalized and customized web. Web 3.0 is a term mainly used to describe what the World Wide Web will look like in the future.

As cultural trends, serenity and velvet violet were selected. Those who have been exhausted by COVID-19 for two years and have suffered many difficulties in business will seek stability, tranquility, and healing. Also, among the color trends, velvet violet was selected. Shutterstock selected and announced Calming Coral, Velvet Violet, and Pacific Pink under the theme of serenity as the color trend for 2022. Velvet violet, similar to purple, subtly catches the eye with its provocative charm. However, it is said that velvet violet is the most daring color of the trend for 2022, and is expected to catch the eye without exaggerated glamour.

If you summarize the trends for 2022, dozens of keywords will come out, and among them, 10 were selected, including ESG, meta sapiens, agile, copity, authenticity, quick commerce, hyper-automation, web 3.0, serenity, and velvet violet. Professor Hyung-Nam Moon emphasized, “If you establish a 2022 plan for organizations and individuals by understanding and understanding the 10 keywords well, it will be very helpful in understanding politics, economy, society, and culture in 2022 and doing business.”


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