Always in the scope of "emerging issues", now in electro-mechanical engineering, I'm looking for statistical techniques for predicting failure occurences. I'm currently investigation logistic regressions on repeated measures and survival analysis. If you have any suggestion, feel free. ;-)
Have you looked at any of the information visualization stuff on "emerging issues". You might start at Chaomei Chen's homepage: http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~cc345/
The (2004) book listed 1st "...: Beyond the Horizon" has the final chapter on methods for detecting emerging trends. (I reviewed this book briefly in the "Library of Babel" group on this site - please stop by &/or join).
Also the attached paper (from following a link on Chen's page) might be interesting or give a look at this approach/discipline.
Also, as you probably know detecting emerging trends has been one of the 1st commercial apps to come out of social network analysis techniques. You might want to poke around on the "Cymfony" site: http://www.cymfony.com/