Fiftyfive5’s Cultural Forecasting practice, led by director Michelle Newton has welcomed Dr Klara De Wit and Yianni Giovanoglou to enhance their capability to deliver growth opportunities through strategic foresight practices and bring new skills to trend forecasting.

Using methodologies such as AI-driven cultural analysis and trend sizing, the team focusses on the identification, prioritisation and tangible application of trends.

Dr Klara De Wit, with academic training in semiotics and a Doctor of Philosophy, brings a wealth of expertise working on forecasting across various local and global clients. Yianni Giovanoglou recently joined the team as a trend specialist, with 10 years at global trend forecaster WGSN.

Having worked with some of Australia and New Zealand’s largest clients across FMCG, interiors, fashion and tech, Giovanoglou brings a deep understanding of culture and the cultural shifts impacting brand communications, innovations and future strategies. Michelle Newton has over 20 years of local and global forecasting experience, a decade in New York where she worked with renowned futurist Faith Popcorn with client such as Nike, Pepsi and KFC.

Newton commented: “There are a myriad of trend offers today; we are taking it further, translating the consumer and cultural forces of change into prioritised, tangible, commercial actions that can be built into strategy for our clients.”

CEO and founding partner Mark Sundquist added, “After significant and continued disruption across most categories, our clients are looking to get ahead of the headwinds or tailwinds that will shape their businesses into the future. The forecasting capability we are building and investing in helps them identify and understand these forces and prioritise and focus on the ones that matter to their business.”