It’s In To Be Out! A Look Back at My Outdoor Predictions from 2004!


And today, suddenly, it’s springtime in Ontario!

And so with a little bit of warmth, while working out on the deck, I started thinking back to one of my favorite projects of all time – “It’s In to Be Out!”

Here’s the backstory: in 2004, I was busy transitioning my focus as a futurist – up until that time, from the time I began around 1990, I was mostly covering tech. But I realized I was researching, talking, and focussing on much more than tech as a broadened my coverage into a vast array of different topics – agriculture, retail, healthcare, insurance. And, sunshine!


And so today, while I sit out on my deck in glorious 17C weather in Canada, with a hint of springtime in the air, I thought I would revisit one of my favorite projects – It’s “In” to Be “Out!”

At the time, I was engaged by the Banana Boat suntan lotion company by a New York PR firm; the idea was that I would come in and speak to outdoor trends, and they would talk about their new line of outdoor protection products. i.e. more time outdoors was leading to a greater need for outdoor protection!

I did a tremendous amount of original research with the project, resulting in a fantastic presentation and fun little document, It’s In To be Out: 10 Trends that Will Rock the World in 2005. Click on the image for the full PDF or here.

The entire day was fantastic; I spoke for the editors of O (Oprah Magazine), Elle, Family Circle, Parenting, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Working Mother, American Baby, Soap Opera Weekly, Woman’s Day, Glamor, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle and about 40 other national trade magazines, in New York City. There was an entire team that put the whole day together – huge fun! It was February in NYC but we had huge warmth in the room!

In preparing, I undertook detailed research and analysis of leading lifestyle, demographic, social, and cultural trends, to put into perspective what we can expect in terms of active, outdoor living in the future. Consider, for example, how I got into the issue of ‘the great resignation’ and ‘work/life balance as the next generation takes their lives outdoors, enabled by technology.

Research feeds into topics, and so for years to come, I would cover bits and pieces of the presentation in other keynotes. for example, here’s a clip from my keynote for the National Recreation and Parks Association where I’m talking about the sport of Zorbing – which I covered in my It’s In To Be Out! piece.

Playtex and Banana Boat thought this was such a fun project with great insight that just a few months later, they brought me in for a repeat performance for the annual Playtex sales meeting. And from that, I’ve got a grainy little video. Check out the shirt!

Here’s the thing about working with a futurist – most of the trends I identified in this piece became very real, very true, and very significant!


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.