In order to chart the best way forward, you must understand emerging trends: what they are, what they aren’t, and how they operate. Such trends are more than shiny objects; they’re manifestations of sustained changes within an industry sector, society, or human behavior. Trends are a way of seeing and interpreting our current reality, providing a useful framework to organize our thinking, especially when we’re hunting for the unknown. Fads pass. Trends help us forecast the future.