PSFK Conference Asia Speaker Achara Masoodi
- 9 september 2008
We’re looking forward to to hearing from Achara Masoodi, ‘The Scout’ for MindShare Asia-Pacific, joining us in Singapore at PSFK Conference Asia to discuss the latest in Asian youth trends. We asked her to share a little bit about herself with us.
First, who are you and what do you do?
I’m known as The Scout for MindShare Asia-Pacific, but I realize that doesn’t clarify much. Basically, I lead qualitative youth- and trend-related research initiatives around the region. My main project is managing the Asia Scout Network, a group of trend scouts around the region who contribute reports on the latest trends happening in their markets in youth lifestyle, covering areas like fashion, gaming, health, causes, etc…
You’ll be sharing your ideas about trends within Asian youth culture and how they impact business. In one paragraph, can you explain what themes and trends you’ve been noticing in the region and how it has begun making a global impact?
The most apparent trend is the emergence of Asian pride. Asian youth are beginning to feel that luxury, progress, and sophistication can be homegrown and not necessarily sourced from the West. Across the region, the tech-savvy, critical, and empowered youth are cultivating their own community of local artists and entrepreneurs who has incorporated local flavors with a distinctive style. Western recognition is viewed as a bonus but no longer a requisite for acceptance. In place of that, we see protectionism in symbols that connect Asian youth to their cultural identity. A recent example would be how Chinese youth were putting up red hearts on the MSN names in support of the Beijing Olympics when the games became the target for human rights protesters. Asian pride even goes beyond the ‘cool’ areas of fashion, art, and design. In wellness, for example, many are beginning to turn to traditional medicine for physical wellbeing, and seeking spiritual calm through Buddhism, Zen, or other ancient philosophies. The impact is that it will become harder for multinational conglomerates to market their goods with a ‘bigger, faster, stronger’ approach, riding on the assumption that Asian youth will view Western/global best-practices as best.
Five sites that provide you with inspiration?
If you want to learn more from Achara, be sure to get your tickets to PSFK Conference Asia.