The Forecast #11 2021

The Forecast issue 2021, January

At the front

  • Tyler Brûlé on why 2021 should be the year when we leave no one behindMonocle’s editor in chief on the year ahead.
  • Peoples and placesAs society adapts and businesses pivot in order to survive as a result of a tumultuous 2020, we survey the smart moves in gastronomy, travel, infrastructure and hospitality that have fostered success and take the pulse of where the world is heading next.


  • Turning headsFrom Belarus to Hong Kong, political uprisings were a feature of 2020. But 10 years on from the Arab Spring, it is clear that these heated movements don’t always result in real change. So what is the secret to success? And what can we expect in 2021?
  • Preparing for the worstWhether you’re faced with an accident, a fire or a less expected natural catastrophe, it pays to have a plan. Meet the experts who are laying the groundwork to keep us safe and sound.
  • How to be a modern spyAs digital footprints have become easier to follow, the espionage game has changed. We track where it’s heading.
  • Shape of things to comeAlthough 2020 proved that some developments just cannot be foreseen, certain voices are better placed than most to predict the likely direction of the year ahead. We asked 10 experts in international and geopolitical affairs to stick their necks out and tell us which way the world will turn in 2021.
  • Streets aheadTalk of a pandemic-induced exodus from city living has been overegged but there’s always room for improvement in even our most-treasured urban areas. Here we spotlight 10 initiatives from around the globe that could help to kick-start a fresh civic renaissance.
  • Changing of the guardA new generation of bright and brave politicians, activists and educators are seeking to shake up those parts of Africa long beset by corruption, conflict and rank inequality. We cross the continent to meet five pioneers who are determined to transform their countries for good.
  • Think againThe world looks profoundly different from a year ago, so what can the roaring 1920s teach us about the decade to come, why are populists still popular, should Denmark rule the world and is it too soon to laugh at the trouble we’re all in? 


  • View from the topEvents of the past year have posed many questions as to how we move forward as a society. At Monocle’s The Chiefs conference – held in the Swiss Alps with special partner UBS – entrepreneurs and creatives came together to offer their take.
  • Cleared for takeoffWhile many airlines panicked during the pandemic, others stood firm and respected passengers by sticking to schedules or even extending their networks. We flag up the carriers that are best placed to ride out the turbulence.
  • All in placeThinking of relocating? Then head to an area offering fresh opportunities. That might mean anything from a building boom that enables architects to get creative to a well-connected rural community where entrepreneurs support each other. So where will your next move take you?


  • Art and soulSmart collectors follow their taste and inclinations when they’re buying but they also have the nose to expand and explore new fields. We speak to four insiders about where the market is heading – and what sectors are piquing their interest.
  • Hot off the pressIn Italy’s crowded media landscape, two new national newspapers – and one youthful stalwart – are playing against type to prove that print can still be a powerful and popular medium for journalists and public alike.


  • Work in progressFifty years ago architects started to reimagine the office, wondering how it could become a more inspiring, democratic environment. Half a century later, as we prepare for another shake-up of the workplace, we look at the ideas that stood the test of time – and visit the German company rethinking open-plan.
  • Made in milanThe city is no longer just a backdrop for the world’s design talent during the annual Salone del Mobile. It has reinvented itself as a place where young creatives can work, make and play. We meet the leaders of the pack.

Food and travel

  • Home comfortsWhile large hotels in city centres are suffering, some smaller, more rural outposts are thriving – and offering those running them a fulfilling time too. So could you pack in the job and run a small guesthouse? Here’s how it’s done, with advice from those operating outposts in the US, Lebanon, Finland and France.
  • Knives outIt has been a bad year for restaurants but a food charity in Sydney has teamed up with top chefs to offer sustenance to the vulnerable. Here’s how Australia is thinking outside the box when it comes to feeding the needy.

Fashion and retail

  • Go northFrom exceptionally well-crafted eyewear and on-point tailoring to heritage brand Marimekko, we meet the company leaders who reveal the values, traditions and standards they all rely on to nurture their Nordic brands – and why they are businesses fit for 2021 and beyond.
  • Outside the boxThe year for making your move is upon us – 2021 will be kind to those who get out and get on their way. Wearing the clothes to keep you smart and comfortable is the first step towards a prosperous 12 months.


  • Bright lights, small cityIf, like many recently, you’ve considered downsizing from the metropolis to a more manageable municipality, our second annual Small Cities Index will point you to the compact civic spots that offer rich culture, varied careers and progressive planning alongside plenty of room to breathe.


  • The Monocle ShopTackle the year to come head-on. The Monocle Shop is brimming with fresh collaborations and fetching favourites to help keep you organised and forging ahead.
  • Sound bitesDespite the nuanced advice contained within this edition of ‘The Forecast’, you might still feel that the best way to improve your prospects is to simply believe what you read in a fortune cookie. So we’ve come up with some appropriate aphorisms for our times.

Status grow

  • There’s still space on the high street for cultivating optimism.