About us

Welcome to Illume Stories!


Curated by a unique team of trend spotters at consumer insight agency Join the Dots. The team specialise in decoding and interpreting cultural insights and consumer trends for commercial advantage.

We’re fortunate to have a window into the lives of thousands of consumers from across the world via our ongoing research communities, meaning we’re able to spot trends which emerge as needs in people’s lives.

In combination with the universal framework we’ve developed based on Positive Psychology, and our network of Illume Guides, we’re able to get beyond macro trends and global perspectives to connect trend indicators at a human, actionable level.

We call it trend spotting from the consumers’ world.

Here on Illume Stories we share and compare some of those trends as we see them emerging across markets; providing a local perspective on global trends.

We hope you enjoy it.


For more information or to get in touch with the team, email us at cultureandtrends@jointhedotsmr.com

About the authors

Alice Mathews

Culture + Trends Editor


A lover of the written word and all things lifestyle, Alice worked as a content writer for a number of editorial publications before joining the Culture and Trends team. As our Culture and Trends Editor, Alice now specialises in lifestyle brands leading on accounts across fashion, food and travel.

Caroline Brierley

Culture + Trends Consultant


Caroline spearheads our Culture and Trends commercial semiotics offer. With a background in design strategy, she has worked on a multitude of global innovations within FMCG. At Join the Dots she utilizes commercial semiotics and trend-led insight to inform innovation plans and NPD.

Cherry Huang

Culture Coordinator


Cherry manages our Illume Network, helping to connect our clients with leading-edge perspectives from the consumer world. She has a degree in International Trade from Shanghai University, along with a Masters in Human Resource Management, bringing a global understanding of people.

Kate Skivington

Culture + Trends Strategist


Kate’s background is in psychology and qualitative research, so has a natural curiosity for understanding people. Kate works with our global clients, unlocking brand potential in local markets through a deeper analysis of the values and drivers that underpin a culture and its people.

Kelly McKnight

Head of Culture + Trends


Kelly has a background in consultancy, working for cultural organisations across the globe. Passionate about people and what makes them happy, at Join the Dots she has pioneered using positive psychology to understand consumer motivation and predict changing needs.

Kimberley Howard

Culture + Trends Consultant


Bringing with her experience in the design sector and a degree in English literature, Kim is a creative communicator who brings clarity to everything she does. During her time with us Kim has put her skills to good use, acting as our lead consultant for clients including Unilever and Co-op.

Lily Charnock

Senior Culture + Trends Consultant


With a degree in anthropology and a background in digital design, Lily loves uncovering the underlying needs of people and applying them to modern problems and contexts. Lily heads up our account management team and acts as lead consultant on a number of our global accounts.

Peter Latham

Culture + Trends Consultant


Peter has a passion for technology and is an early adopter of all things digital, from gaming and social media to ad-blocking and ecommerce. He uses his trend mapping skills to help clients and researchers stay on the forefront of emerging behaviours in the consumer world.

Rosie Booth

Culture + Trends Consultant


Rosie has ten years’ experience in project management and event production across industries including music, politics and the arts. She uses her well-honed skills in research and trend spotting to help her clients navigate commercial challenges and changes in their industries.