Trend forecaster Dion Chang on what inspires him

Dion Chang, renowned trend spotter, futurist, business strategist and founder of Flux Trends, shares seven things that spark his creativity

12 February 2017 - 02:00 By Roberta Thatcher
Dion Chang, founder of Flux Trends.
Dion Chang, founder of Flux Trends.
Image: Supplied

1) My Cats

My Facebook friends and Instagram followers know that I refer to myself as a "cat butler". I brush my cats regularly, not only to groom them but also as a tactile and mindful exercise for myself. It's like a balm and an excuse to step away from the machines.

2) Instagram

Instagram is "my social media weapon of choice". I enjoy communicating visually, and out of all the social media platforms I find it the most benign. I also subscribe to the Gen Z concept of "digital intimacy": the fact that technology connects people, rather than disconnects.

I'm amazed at the range of people I follow globally, those who also follow me and the cyber friendships that grow from that. For the Luddites, I always have to point out that it's the same as having pen pals, but in a digital age.

3) Gen Mai Cha

On my travels I seek out specialist tea shops and stock up on this Japanese green tea, which is mixed with brown rice kernels and has a nutty, roasted flavour. Having a cuppa is like hitting the pause button during a hectic day. It allows my mind to wander.

4) Future Technology (obviously)

As a futurist it's my job to keep track of what's on the cutting edge of change, and while most people are wary of the exponential speed of how technology is reshaping our lives, I'm able to see both the commercial aspects of tech, as well as tech being used for greater good. It gives me hope.

5) Travel

My parents introduced me to travel at a young age, and the bug bit deep and hard. Travelling not only inspires me; it teaches me, recalibrates the soul and reboots the brain. The Dalai Lama suggests you travel to a place you've never been to before every year, and that's become my mantra.

6) Food

"Touring with my taste buds" brings two of my favourite things together: travel and food, and provides deeper insights to new destinations and cultures. One of the things I love doing when new in a foreign city is exploring the aisles of a supermarket.

7) People who speak truth to power

In a post-truth world of "alternative facts" and a cyber world inhibited by trolls, it's becoming harder to know what's real and who you can trust. The brave individuals, like former public protector Thuli Madonsela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, have become our guiding lights, and the bullets they take in order to stand up and be counted inspires me.

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