Keynote speaker

Dion Chang

Flux Trends

Dion Chang, Flux Trends

Dion Chang is an innovator, creative thinker, a walking ideas bank and professional cage rattler. He is one of South Africa’s most respected trend analysts and takes the unique view of “trends as business strategy”. While his feet remain firmly planted on African soil, he uses a global perspective to gauge the zeitgeist, and track ahead-of-the-curve trends to identify shifting business templates. In a world struggling to adapt to a new world order, his trends analysis company – Flux Trends – specialises in understanding consumer mind-set and identifying unexpected business opportunities within shifting trends, ensuring global trends have relevance when translated for African, and South African, businesses.

Chang has 20 years’ experience in the magazine industry, as a journalist and media spokesman, which enables him to provide insights into the ever-changing relationship between brands, consumers and the communication channels that bind them.

He has devised and hosted three trend conferences and published three trend books (the last being New Urban Tribes of South Africa). Flux Trends currently releases industry-specific trend reports every quarter. Apart from being an information source for cross-industry trends for many journalists, he also writes columns for City Press, SAA’s Sawubona magazine, Acumen (a C-suite business quarterly for GIBS) and has a monthly radio slot on MetroFM, and contributes to eBizRadio, an online podcast portal.

He lectures a “trends as business strategy” module for executives and senior management at various business schools, including UCT’s Graduate School of Business, GIBS and Duke CE. He specialises as a disruption management consultant and is passionate about embedding a culture of innovation into corporate operating systems. He has a deep affiliation for youth trends and subcultures, their impact and influence on our new world order, as well as innovative ideas for greater good.

Dion Chang will be speaking on the following topic:

09:10
Thought-leadership: State we are in: dazed and disorientated, the impact of being 'woke'

Tracking disruptive forces changing and moulding the business world since 2012 in the last two years that disruption – and the sense of unease it brings – has spread. Most people don't or can't embrace change, and change on this scale is visceral. What's next?

  • Brand activism moving from a sales-based mentality to a value-based one.
  • The presentation plays with the concept of being 'woke' in terms of technology. The machines have risen and now users are trying to understand the language of the machines (AI, deep learning, etc, which manifest in tools like Chabot).
  • The presentation also brings home just how close we are to "futuristic tends" like driverless cars, co-bots (aka service bots), algorithmic management (vs human management), and illustrates why the most frequently asked question Chang receives (as a futurist) is: "What's going to happen to our jobs when the machines take over?" This gives rise to the term, and follow-on discussion about, "The Great Displacement".