March 25, 2024

Read time: 7min

Nextatlas CEO Luca Morena on AI, trend forecasting, and social listening

Market Logic Team

Interview with Nextatlas CEO Luca Morena

Hot on the heels of our partnership announcement with Nextatlas — a pioneer in AI-driven trend forecasting and consumer insights — we sat down with Nextatlas Co-founder and CEO Luca Morena.

Market Logic’s collaboration with Nextatlas aims to revolutionize how businesses harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to access deeper insights into market trends and consumer behaviors. So naturally, we were excited to learn more about trend forecasting, what it entails, how the tech works — and how this offering helps organizations while complementing market insights.

We asked Luca a few questions on Nextatlas, trend forecasting via generative AI, and consumer trends. Read his fascinating answers below.

Luca Morena, Co-Founder & CEO of Nextatlas

Luca is the Co-Founder and CEO of Nextatlas and a frequent speaker at events centered around AI and future trends. His work at Nextatlas has garnered recognition in prestigious outlets such as Wired US, BBC, Mashable, WWD, Vogue, Vogue Business, Forbes, Mail Online, Glamour, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, Repubblica, and Il Sole 24 Ore. 

Luca Morena holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Bologna and has served as a Postdoc at the Laboratory of Ontology at the University of Turin. His primary research interests now lie in the philosophy of technology, algorithmic culture, and AI.

Luca Morena on AI and AI trends

Luca Morena, Nextatlas: At Nextatlas, we’ve deeply integrated AI and generative AI into our core processes, focusing on precise objectives to guide our technology application. This involves leveraging high-quality, relevant data as the foundation for our AI models, which allows us to discern emerging trends with great accuracy. A key aspect of our approach is the seamless collaboration between our technology and our team. This partnership ensures that our insights are not only data-driven but also deeply infused with human intuition and creativity, making our trend forecasts uniquely comprehensive and actionable.

A key learning is the importance of clear goals and high-quality data. Emphasizing continuous innovation and learning within our team has also been pivotal.”

Luca Morena, CEO of Nextatlas on learnings from integration AI into processes and worflows

The collaboration between human creativity and AI at Nextatlas is fundamental to our approach. AI excels in handling the quantitative analysis of vast datasets, identifying patterns and trends that might not be immediately visible. However, it’s the human element—our team’s ability to interpret these patterns within the broader context of societal and cultural shifts—that transforms raw data into nuanced insights.

This synergy between human insight and AI’s analytical prowess enables us to provide our clients with forecasts that are not only accurate but also richly contextualized. Looking forward, we anticipate an era where AI and human collaboration drive forward not only innovation but also a new understanding of the world, opening up unprecedented possibilities for insight and creativity. 

Deep dive into the Nextatlas product

The genesis of Nextatlas was deeply influenced by my philosophical exploration into the nature of human behavior and societal evolution.”

Luca Morena on the inception of Nextatlas

With a passion for understanding the undercurrents that drive societal change, I was inspired to harness AI’s potential to map out these dynamics on a global scale. Nextatlas was conceived from this vision, aiming to empower clients with a profound understanding of the future, grounded in data-driven insights and a philosophical appreciation of human complexity. 

In social listening, “Weak Signals” are the early, subtle hints of emerging trends or shifts in public opinion that are not yet widely recognized. These signals are the whispers of change, and our task is to detect and interpret them. Our approach combines the use of finely tuned AI algorithms to sift through the cacophony of digital noise and identify these emerging signals with the deep expertise of our team, who translate these data points into compelling narratives. This process begins with collecting extensive data from a myriad of digital sources. We then apply advanced AI and machine learning algorithms to analyze this data, looking for patterns or outliers that signal emerging trends. It’s crucial to consider these signals within their broader societal and cultural context to fully understand their potential impact and relevance. 

By synthesizing these insights, we forecast future trends, transforming the weak signals into powerful indicators of what’s next. This method allows us not just to observe changes but to anticipate them, providing valuable foresight in a rapidly evolving landscape. 

To outpace traditional market research providers we utilize real-time data analysis and AI-driven algorithms to quickly identify and disseminate emerging trends. This approach ensures our users receive the most current insights faster, allowing them to act on this information ahead of the curve.

Identifying and analyzing weak signals is another critical component of our work at Nextatlas. We employ advanced AI algorithms designed to sift through vast amounts of data, filtering out the noise to spotlight these early indicators of change. Our team then steps in to interpret these signals, leveraging their expertise to place them within a broader narrative. 

Our methodology leverages advanced AI to identify the most innovative consumers by analyzing their online behaviors, preferences, and patterns. We employ a prediction scoring system that evaluates users based on their historical foresight in trendsetting, allowing us to focus on insights from real pioneers in various sectors. This process ensures our data remains cutting-edge, with a dynamic AI that continually refines our community, keeping our dataset fresh and reflective of genuine trendsetters.”

Luca Morena on using AI for prioritizing the most relevant insights for clients

By prioritizing these insights, we maintain a 93% accuracy rate in our trend predictions, ensuring our clients receive actionable and precise forecasts. Our approach is both adaptive and rigorous, designed to provide clear and forward-looking insights into emerging consumer behaviors, enabling our clients to stay ahead of the curve. 

The partnership with Market Logic excites us tremendously. It’s a potent combination of Nextatlas’s trend-spotting acumen with Market Logic’s comprehensive insights management. The fusion of our capabilities promises to transform how businesses access and utilize market intelligence, offering an integrated, comprehensive toolkit for navigating the complexities of the modern market landscape. We’re not just excited about the potential of this partnership; we’re convinced it will unlock new levels of strategic decision-making for our clients.”

Luca Morena on Nextatlas’ partnership with Market Logic Software

Exploring trend-forecasting

Looking towards 2024, we’re particularly focused on trends like “Little Treat Culture,” “Age of Messiness,” and “Postreal Curation.” These trends highlight a societal pivot towards mindful indulgence, authenticity, and a more complex interplay between AI and human creativity.

The potential impact of these trends is vast, affecting everything from product development to marketing strategies, urging businesses to adapt to a landscape where “micro-dosing gratification” and authenticity are paramount. You can read more about them in our annual trend report.  

One of the most intriguing consumer trends we’ve observed is the rise of “AI tastemaking” in fashion and design. This concept underscores how generative AI tools are poised to transform consumer preferences significantly.

As people become more integrated with technology, their tastes evolve based on the content they encounter on their social media feeds. This trend highlights the profound impact AI has on shaping consumer behavior, suggesting a future where technology and taste intersect in unprecedented ways. 

Want to learn more about how AI is being leveraged in the consumer insights space? Join Nextatlas’ Managing Director Mario Coletti and Market Logic’s CIPO Olaf Lenzmann, plus a panel of AI leaders at our upcoming webinar “Developing consumer insights with AI” on April 23.

Sign up for the free session now and stay ahead to the curve for driving innovation and informed decision-making.