Trends for 2015 are a mix of social trends, demographic shifts and technological change.

Here are the top five that will shape 2015, which will mark the mid-point in this iconic decade of change that began with the iPad and apps, and will end in 2020.

1. Reflective country

While Australia views itself as the lucky country, 2015 will be a year of our nation being a reflective country. We will see the centenary of the ANZAC landings track record attendance at ANZAC services as well as the big events at Gallipoli, but not only will April 25 be big in the calendar the entire year will have centenary reflections of Australians involvement with WW1 throughout the year causing us to reflect on sacrifice, loss, duty and the makings of modern Australia.

“2015 will see Australia being unusually reflective. Self-analysis is not part of our national psyche yet the year ahead will see us looking back, looking in, and remembering. This final month of 2014 has been an emotional time for the nation and in some ways it has set the theme for the year ahead. It will not be a year of sadness- just sombreness- the “no worries” attitude subdued for a while. Australians love a celebration and this land of the long-weekend is good at enjoying the journey- but the year ahead will bring some heaviness to the journey, and some healthy introspection as well.”

Mark McCrindle

2. Downageing

2015 marks significant milestones for Australia’s generations. Gen Y hit their mid-30’s, Gen X hit mid-life at 50 and the baby boomers approach the 70 year milestone. Each of these generations is living younger than their years would suggest, and the year ahead will see growth in nostalgia industries, adventure tourism, marathons, Kokoda treks and Antarctica expeditions etc. will boom as will products facilitating mobility in a time of ageing.

“Never before have the generations been as detached from their age as we’re seeing with the Boomers and Gen Xers. Age is just a number for the Gen Xers who were shaped by Commodore 64 computers, Atari games systems and grunge music yet begin turning 50 in 2015. And the original post war Baby Boomers who then ushered in the separate life stage of teenager hood and popularised rock ‘n roll are now closing in on 70 and redefining retirement and the seniors’ life stage.”

Mark McCrindle

3. Generation glass

The emerging generation have been shaped in the last few years which has finessed glass as the new medium of content delivery. Glass that we carried (smartphones and tablets), glass that we wear (apple watch, google glass, fit bits) will be further expanded with glass that we interact with all around us, from multi-touch glass work surfaces to interactive display walls from virtual fitting rooms in stores to head up displays becoming mainstream in cars to interactive display walls in car show rooms. 2015 will see glass coming to life all around us.

“We’ve had to wait almost 600 years for a new medium to be transformed for mass, portable, popular communication and it is happening now. In 1439 Johannes Gutenberg transformed paper to be usable for mass communication when his printing press enabled books and brochures to become mainstream. As radical a transformation is taking place now with glass being reinvented to be the new, portable mass communication device- glass that we look at not just look through, glass that we carry, wear and touch.”

Mark McCrindle

4. Vertical communities

With record population growth comes increase densification in our larger capitals and now Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin and Canberra all have more new home approvals that are units and townhouses compared to detached homes. 2015 will be the year where infill developments continue and where we see more emphasis on households even those raising children’s, living up, not out. Everything from small grocery store format to shared community spaces in buildings rather than parks flow in a society where we move to high density living.

“2015 will see Australia’s population reach 24 million and amidst the record birth, longevity and migration growth is the growing population density of our major cities. The Aussie dream is more likely a unit near public transport than a home with a backyard and a shed. As urban growth changes from a sprawl out to building up we will see “walkable communities”, shared spaces, café connections and more local shopping thrive.”

Mark McCrindle

5. Digital comes to life

2015 will further the expansion of the digital becoming actual through increasing access to 3D printing technology, the internet of things becoming more practical (light bulbs and cameras being monitored from smart phone apps etc.), and virtual reality becoming a useful business tool (new Oculus 3D headsets increasingly being used beyond gaming to being utilised for design, real-estate and planning applications).

“The ‘virtual’ in ‘virtual reality’ is becoming harder to define. 2015 will see further blurring between the digital and the actual as printers go 3D, in-store fitting rooms go hi-tech and conferences and classrooms go video-based, virtual and global. From VR headsets to interactive display walls we’re increasingly going to find it difficult to find where the bricks and mortar meet the bits and bytes.”

Mark McCrindle