62 Trends that Impact the Future of Associations

Over the past few weeks, I have enjoyed participating in the ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership program called Association of the Future.

The process started with evaluating 149 trends and issues that could have a significant impact on the association community. Through a ranking process that we did, these trends were narrowed down to 62. Yesterday, I joined a team of association executives and consultants to explore the potential implications for associations from these trends.

I just asked for and received permission to share a copy of these 62 trends here on the blog. It is an extensive document, but thought provoking and well worth your time.

Let me know what you think are the five biggest trends that will impact associations. I will share the five trends that I think could have the biggest impact on the future for associations in an upcoming post. In the meantime, use this link to access the document.


Lindy Dreyer said...

My top five from this list are probably...

44. Increasing prevalence of ‘Freemium’ and other new business models (that's my top trend for the immediate future.)

30. Talent shortages to affect US industry as Baby Boomers retire (which goes along with the idea that workers are going to be asked to set new, unprecedented marks for productivity.)

34. Growing economic importance of global knowledge economy - 50% of US GDP by 2010 (since training is the grease that keeps the knowledge economy running. We're good at training;-)

10. Increasing political and economic impact of diversity - minorities one-third of US population (I'd roll the age issue into the diversity issue. Is that allowed? I think it all boils down to creating collaboration models that work no matter how different the players.)

62. Changing patterns of global governance/growing influence of non-state actors (At first glance, this seems like a win for advocacy...except when multi-national corporations exert influence on par with a small nation, they don't need the association machine.)

Tony Rossell said...

Lindy -- Great points. I am glad you have some extra time these days and can share your insights. Let's see if I get a couple of other posts and then I will share the "correct" answers :-). Tony

CindyAE said...

Some trends more relevant depending on industry. Some seem overly macro. My top five are ...

46. Growing financial market risks and uncertainty. (Economy has huge impacts for many industries, and solutions shift focus.)

19. Internet and social media continue to transform government, governance and business. (Everything from fundraising approaches, to grassroots involvement, to communications. Advocacy is primary reason why associations exist, in my opinion. Also concerned new "social media addicts" will be huge HR issue in the future as productivity impacted when more personal benefit/focus than organizational benefit.)

9. Extending personalization of products, communications, services and experiences. (It's all about "me" - so have to personalize.)

16. Evolution of trust. (From transparency in financial reports and clarity of processes; to knowing cell phone cameras ready to film you and stick it on You Tube.)

57. Emerging eco-literacy, 'green' practices and ethical consumption. (Less tolerance for waste. Agendas including legislative have more environmental focus.)

On a personal note, I liked the one about un-retirement. But the implications left out issue of CEO and other senior staff staying in their key roles longer than other staff may anticipate.

As always, thanks for sharing.

Tony Rossell said...

Cindy -- Thanks for your comments. You make some strong points. By the way, I really enjoy your blog. Your practical insights and wisdom are great. Your last post on the teenage daughters was a very good reminder. Tony

Chris Davis said...


Unfortunatly, I have not had a real chance to read through this, but I have printed all 85 pages out and intend to read them while traveling next week. Thanks for making this available to everyone.


Tony Rossell said...

Chris -- I think that you will find it a great read. These trends have the potential to impact every association, non-profit, and business. I will try and get my thoughts on the five biggest trends up this week. Tony