Of the 80 things that will dominate the nation’s consciousness in 2008, foreign investments and development in Africa top the list, according to predictions by JWT advertising. And if that’s the case, then interest in frontier emerging markets funds could continue to build, in spite of recent analysis that emerging markets funds might soon run their course.

Other financially oriented themes for the coming year include continued foreign government investment in U.S. companies (#25), humbling of hedge fund managers who were overexposed to subprime loans (#34), outsourcing to the Ukraine and other Eastern European countries (#50), social network service brand communities (#65) and the weak dollar and strong euro (#79).

The list certainly is varied, with Keira Knightley coming in at number seven, followed further down the list by climate sightseeing, e-clutter consultants, eco-fatigue, Facebook suicides, mobile technology explosion, radical transparency, smart cars and virtual gifting.

“These people, products, places, services and shifts will help to define 2008,” said Ann Mack, director of trendspotting at JWT.

“Love it or hate it, technology continues to be a common thread on our list,” she added. “It drives the serendipitous randomness that throws up chance connections, groundbreaking discoveries and great business ideas.”

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