Every year, Edelman UK hosts the Crystal Ball Breakfast, in which a panel of notable individuals in fields ranging from technology to economics come together to predict what the coming year will hold. Now in its 7th year, this year on 3rd December an impressive range of speakers including The Times columnist Caitlin Moran, Economics Editor at The Sunday Times David Smith, Labour politician and Shadow Minister Tristram Hunt MP, broadcaster Kirsty Wark, Decoded’s founder Kathryn Parsons, along with our own UK CEO Ed Williams joined us to give their thoughts on the stories and trends that will make the headlines next year.

The event began with a review of the predictions from last year’s Crystal Ball. Upon reflection, some predictions were surprisingly spot on, such as ‘Scotland will not vote for independence’, while others were comedic in their inaccuracy.

The hot topics at this year’s breakfast included the upheaval of UK politics, the cost of living, the need for technological de-clutter, the move towards greater diversity in the media and popular culture, and the revival of traditional media. A prediction around Kim Kardashian’s bottom also provided a few laughs.

Here’s a full list of the predictions made by our panellists:

  • Significant political upheaval in 2015 with impact of Scottish referendum, new leaders, and new political parties
  • UK economy will continue to experience decent growth and stability, EU will also fare well but will struggle a bit more to initiate and maintain growth
  • High cost of living in London, particularly property, will push a notable proportion of young people to cities outside London, will create new cultural hubs
  • Apprenticeships will trump unpaid work experience
  • There will be a significant push for tech to be simplified and de-cluttered, particularly email
  • Tech savvy of population will rise, in some cases for good (coding and use of tech in schools), in some cases for worse, like hacking
  • The worst is over for traditional media, newspapers will bounce back, stabilise (but only strong, high quality companies)
  • Old fashioned is going to become fashionable, craftsmanship, traditional skills, concept of quality over quantity will prevail
  • Charter negotiation of BBC will begin, but will be very tough
  • Minorities will come to the forefront in media, more diversity of main characters in movies, TV shows, etc.
  • People will become bored of perfect faces due to the over-use of photo editing in the media
  • A new political party will be established to challenge the mainstream parties
  • The polls in the run up to the General Election will show some surprising results


  • Caitlin Moran, Author, Broadcaster and Columnist, The Times
  • Tristram Hunt MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education
  • David Smith, Economics Editor, The Sunday Times
  • Kathryn Parsons, Co-Founder & CEO, Decoded
  • Ed Williams, CEO, Edelman

The discussion was moderated by broadcaster Kirsty Wark.

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