News 26.02.2024

Need to Know

Agency for Nature turns to humour to reconnect youth and nature, Mozilla alerts on the dangers of romantic AI chatbots and why Gen X are planning on working longer.

Agency for Nature begins creative campaigns to reconnect youth with nature

Girls Just Wanna Grow Plants by Leo Burnett for Agency for Nature, UK
Seed Saga by Wieden+Kennedy for Agency for Nature, UK
The Slow Brew by Lisa Aoyama and Catarina Neves for Agency for Nature, UK

UK – A collaboration between climate-driven creative nonprofits Glimpse and Purpose Disruptors, Agency for Nature has unveiled five inventive campaigns to address the emotional disconnect between young people and nature. The projects, created by rising talents from renowned creative agencies such as Weiden+Kennedy, The&Partnership, Amplify, Leo Burnett and OLIVER aim to inspire a love for nature among the younger generation.

One campaign is Girls Just Wanna Grow Plants, a high-fashion endeavour by Leo Burnett, presenting nature as a respite from the pressures of a fast-paced lifestyle. Other projects include Nature: The Original Trip, which is a psychedelic billboard campaign; The Slow Brew, an experiential adventure encouraging urban nature exploration; and Seed Saga, where gamers can grow real-world plants from the virtual realm of Guild Wars 2.

Research by the Agency for Nature conducted by YouGov reveals that 77% of individuals aged 18-35 in the UK express a desire to be more connected to nature, emphasising the need for innovative approaches to bridge this emotional gap. In our Subversive Sustainability Ads microtrend report, we forecast how brands are opting out of binary messages of climate doom to embrace rebellious humour.

Strategic opportunity

Rather than resorting to fear-mongering, climate doom or overtly optimistic tactics, satirical campaigns have a higher chance of speaking to consumers in their own language and encouraging better behaviours

Foræva is bringing coding to catwalks

Europe – Foræva, a design lab founded by fashion designer Lana Dumitru and architect Vlad Tenu, has released a collection that redefines ancient traditions through contemporary technologies.

Working in collaboration with the 3D printing company Stratasys, Foræva has launched Heritage Re:Coded, a line of clothing adorned by what appear to be embroidered flowers and figures holding hands. However, on closer inspection, they are intricate patterns of 3D-printed code and micro-human forms.

The patterns are inspired by traditional Romanian folklore, decoded and reinvented through computational design to create a new form of visual language.

Revealed at Milan Design Week, the initial designs of the Heritage Re:Coded collection were also showcased at New York Fashion Week 2024, bringing innovative 3D designs to the catwalk.

Weaving tradition into conscious 3D printing was one of the standout themes in our Material Matters 2023: Designing Tomorrow’s Narratives report on LS:N Global last year, as we identified a growing pattern of material innovators using technology to reinvent and preserve heritage craftsmanship for the modern day.

Heritage RE:Coded by FORÆVA at Romanian Cultural Institute, New York, US

Strategic opportunity

Consider how your brand can merge traditional craftsmanship with modern technologies to create a more sustainable manufacturing process and final product

Mozilla alerts on AI chatbots' privacy red flags

Mozilla, US Mozilla, US

Global – Mozilla – creator of the open-source web browser Firefox – has published an investigation into the privacy concerns around using popular AI-relationship chatbots such as Replika, Chai and Eva.

Published as part of the company’s *Privacy Not Included buyers’ guide series, the investigation found that 10 out of the 11 chatbots studied failed to meet Mozilla’s Minimum Security Standards, such as requiring strong passwords. Mozilla also discovered at least 24,354 data trackers within one minute of using the romantic AI apps, which sent data to third parties such as Facebook and other advertising companies.

The chatbots’ privacy policies were found to have minimal information on how they use the content of users’ conversations to train their artificial intelligence. Users were found to have little to no control over their data and most of the companies did not provide users with the choice of opting out of having their intimate chats used to train AI models.

Artificial intelligence may be emerging as a solution to the growing loneliness crisis, but as Mozilla’s report demonstrates, consumers should be conscious of the ethics and safety concerns surrounding the AI Companionship Market before using AI-relationship chatbots.

Strategic opporutnity

Prioritise ethical considerations not only in AI companion design but also in all of your AI ventures. Ensure that interactions are safe, respectful and do not promote unethical behaviours

Stat: Gen X expect to keep working longer than they planned

Toi Toi Toi Creative Studio for Contentful. Photography by Koy+Winkel, Germany Toi Toi Toi Creative Studio for Contentful. Photography by Koy+Winkel, Germany

US – Retirement expectations in America are undergoing a seismic shift, with Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) becoming the first cohort to navigate retirement under a new paradigm. As Baby Boomers benefit from traditional pension plans, Gen Xers grapple with the shift towards defined contribution plans, a fundamental change that places the responsibility of retirement savings squarely on individual shoulders.

The Schroders 2023 US Retirement Survey reveals that Gen X expect to keep working longer. Some 61% express a lack of confidence in achieving their dream retirement. This compares to 49% of Millennials and 53% of non-retired Baby Boomers. With concerns about social security running out of funds and a significant savings gap, 84% of Gen Xers fear that they won’t receive regular paychecks, while 45% admit to not engaging in any retirement planning.

The stark reality is that Gen Xers, the first American generation without the safety net of corporate pension plans, face a lower margin for error. As retirement looms, their financial security appears uncertain. The decisions made by Gen X will set a precedent for generations to come. Our upcoming Generations: Now and Next 2024–2025 report will portray Gen X's changing behaviours towards money, love and work, among other topics.

Strategic opportunity

Employers should recognise the trend of Gen Xers planning to work longer and explore flexible solutions, such as remote working options or part-time arrangements, to accommodate their evolving needs and preferences

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