catalyzing ripples

2023 Narrative Predictions

Graphic comparing 2022 Narrative predictions on the left and the 2023 Narrative Predictions on the right

Last year ReFrame launched our inaugural Through the Looking Glass: 2022 Narrative Predictions report, forecasting narrative battles that would shape 2022's significant conversations, stories, and messages. We explored narrative trends surrounding democracy, the economy, law and order, and culture. Through the course of 2022, these narratives shaped common sense of the January 6th commission hearings, the role of LGBTQIA+ people in public life, Beyoncé singing "you won't break my soul," stories about quiet quitting, the Great Resignation, and so much more. As we take stock of the narrative landscape, mapping the similarities and differences from last year, anticipating what will transform, ebb and flow, we remember that narratives have long and enduring lives. 

In 2023, we will feel the ripple effect of narratives from 2022 as they wash into the new year, impacting the conversations and stories in the year ahead that shape 2023, but their flavor has changed. This year's report, Catalyzing Ripples: 2023 Narrative Predictions, displays the perpetual narrative contests present across political, economic, and cultural life in the United States that grapple with ideas and values about identity and institutions, polarity and possibility, and, ultimately, point to the multiverse in which narratives operate. We explore the tension between narratives about American identity and personal identity, the ongoing erosion of trust in institutions and a lack of certainty about the future, narratives about precarity and safety, and the type of experiences we are dreaming about in our communities and our lives. If 2022 was the year to envision our collective future, 2023 could be the year we put those dreams into action. 

Dynamic data visualization in this year's report represents the volume of conversations over time and is a critical tool in our narrative analysis. You can read more about how to interact with these visuals and their data sources on our methodology page. Please let us know if you have questions, feedback, or thoughts on this report. 

Our communities do pivotal work to shape the narrative arena, continuing to contend for space and joyfully capturing opportunities before us. Our predictions and insights will guide you in building narrative power in service of liberation and justice as we all navigate the ripple effects of the year ahead. Sign up here if you want to follow along this year for more narrative research and updates on our predictions, upcoming training, and strategy forums.

Rather listen to the report?

the predictions

Collage; aerial shot of a busy crosswalk in the background, an older man in a suit reading on the left, a trio of people laughing in the middle, and an indigenous woman performing a ceremony on the right

All are accented with a deep purple and fuschia color
identity crisis
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of Trust
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image of four globes aligned across the middle of an image accented with fushia and ReFrame Orange

the center left globe shows Asia - with China prominent - accented with ReFrame Orange

the center right globe shows Central and South America accented with fuschia
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Collage with tiled images of an iBook and an new iPhone.  A woman looking at a cellphone is on  the screen of the iBook with a gradient of red and orange behind her
Big tech lives,
big tech dies
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Collage image 
Left image has utility bills and light bulbs with a gradient of orange and fuschia. Center image is a mom sitting at a desk trying to do work from home with children on her lap. Right image is of people's hands, tightly grasped in the shape of a circle
for stability
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Collage image of people experiencing life. Within the image are a cluster of friends laughing, concert tickets, A person in a VR headset, and a woman using a sound bowl with flowers behind her
experience + authenticity
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Miguel Andrade
Shaira Chaer
Hermelinda Cortés
laura dunn
Liz Hynes
Bia Jackson
Ivie Osaghae
Jess St. Louis
esther wang
Picture of a telephone with a half-tone stylized overlay

Signals is a visionary project fueled by wit, imagination, fortitude, and caffeine. We ingest, digest, and dissect social, cultural, and political conversations of the moment and across time and space. We use the hard skills of grassroots organizing and strategic communications, the thinking of designers and futurists, the technology of big listening, and the wisdom of our ancestors. Signals is brought to you by ReFrame.

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