CHARTING MY PATH
A shift is happening. In an uncertain and transforming world, people are reclaiming control.
Today, there's a prevailing trend toward making intentional choices. 77% of adults globally agree with the statement, "Prioritizing myself gives me a sense of stability in a world that feels unpredictable." As society prepares for an AI-driven future, people are hopeful that it may take some of the burden off their shoulders, allowing them to focus on more fulfilling endeavors. By making deliberate decisions in their relationships, careers, and personal growth, they're striving for lives filled with purpose and satisfaction. In this process, people not only welcome the possibilities of the future but also inspire others to embark on their own meaningful journeys, one intentional step at a time.
Jen Brace, Chief Futurist and Ford's Global Trends + Futuring Team
- Ford Motor Company
Greater life control and mental readiness for the future
Percent who agree
Investing in Me
People everywhere are feeling anxious, struggling to adjust to a changing world that feels out of their control. Eight in 10 people surveyed have come to recognize the importance of finding inner peace in an uncertain world. The question then arises: How will they embark on this journey towards serenity? Many of them have made the deliberate decision to prioritize connecting with others, let go of toxic relationships, and embrace the outdoors. They are eager to disconnect from their screens and redirect their energy towards what really matters — themselves.
Working For Balance
Workers are reassessing what's important. They are opting to step away from the constant hustle of career advancement and are willing to accept the potential sacrifices that come with prioritizing their own well-being. In fact, half of the global workforce would accept a 20% pay cut in favor of prioritizing their quality of life. But that doesn't mean they don't care about their jobs. The majority report feeling connected to their roles at work but acknowledge that a stressful job simply isn't worth it. Looking to the future provides hope, with technology being the key. Most feel that AI will contribute to a better work-life balance, and may even guide them to their next job.
We are in a period of transformation. AI and ChatGPT have become household words, with individuals and businesses alike seeking to leverage their capabilities. While most people anticipate that AI will become integral to their lives in the near future, there's an increased sense of uncertainty and confusion compared to a few years ago. The rapid pace of change has led to concerns about the potential impact of AI on others — even more so than on themselves. Nevertheless, there is a consensus that AI is here to stay and will continue to play an increasingly significant role in our daily lives.
The Trust Algorithm
As generative AI and other technologies continue to become more deeply ingrained in our society, there is a growing concern about our ability to separate fact from fiction. Recognizing the importance of transparency, over eight in 10 people believe that companies should openly disclose their use of AI. This drive toward transparency doesn't signify a complete reluctance to embrace the technology; in fact, many envision AI as an integral, trusted support system within the next five years, serving various roles such as personal shopper, doctor, therapist, career advisor, and travel planner.
There's a global consensus on the urgency of addressing climate change, with many claiming to be modifying their personal habits to be more environmentally friendly. But people want a seamless integration of sustainable solutions into their everyday routines. They seek simplicity where products, services, and experiences allow them to make positive contributions to the environment without disrupting their lifestyle. While the future of transportation is moving towards electricity, some are hesitant to adopt electric vehicles (EVs) over concerns about insufficient infrastructure making charging a challenge. It will be up to companies to make sustainability an easy, convenient choice if consumers are expected to embrace it.
The concept of family is undergoing a significant transformation, as the conventional norms of marriage and parenthood are no longer considered mandatory. In the next decade, family life might include more fur babies than human ones, as many say they would choose to have pets over kids. Society finds itself at a tipping point, maintaining a delicate balance between tradition and progress. While two-thirds of respondents acknowledge the stability offered by traditional family roles, they equally advocate for societal support for non-traditional family dynamics. People are redefining what a family is, creating the family they want—moving beyond the traditional definition and into Family 2.0.
Curious about past trends?
Explore our previous trend books below.
The results for the Ford Trends 2024 survey are based on 16,086 online interviews across 16 countries. The survey was conducted among the general population, ages 18 years and older in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. Respondents from United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were required to be nationals of their respective countries.
While the data within countries were weighted to be representative, the overall sample of 16,086 was not weighted across countries. That is, we do not claim that aggregated data is representative based on country population sizes across the participating countries.
We have defined generational cohorts as follows: Gen Z (18-26 years of age), Millennials (27-42 years of age), Gen X (43-58 years of age), Boomers (59-77 years of age).
All fieldwork for this survey took place between August 11 and September 1, 2023. The survey was 15 minutes in length, on average, with sample sizes per country as follows:
|Middle East (nationals only)
|Middle East (nationals only)