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Slowness gains momentum in a world tired of moving too fast

14 : 01 : 2015 The World Institute Of Slowness : Slow Thinking : Re-enlightenment Rising
  • Geir Berthelsen, founder of Slowness and slow thinking, will help brands to grow in the long term
  • A key principle of slowness is that brands must start treating customers like people, not consumers
  • Products and services should give people relief from a fast world by enabling them to slow down

Norway – The World Institute of Slowness, a movement advocating the benefits of slowness and slow-thinking, is inviting brands to slow down, take their time and understand the long-term impact of their businesses. 

The think tank, founded in 1999 by former physicist Geir Berthelsen, has since diversified into a range of business tools designed to change existing corporate mindsets that are ‘long on quantity and short on quality’.

Slowness, which the institute describes as ‘non-linear time’, is the opposite of normal chronological time. Whereas chronological time frantically pulls us forward into a future that never seems to arrive, slowness enables us to live in the moment and to experience the here and now. According to Berthelsen, embracing slowness will allow brands to spend ‘time and love’ when creating products and services, ensuring long-term growth.

Slowness is a departure from conventional brand leadership, and SlowConsulting, the practical arm of the institute, aims to inspire change that focuses on people, not consumers. Creating a background story around products and services in which people want to engage is key to this change.

When asked whether some brands may be afraid of slowness, Berthelsen says this is only a problem for brands with weak stories that people may not like to know about. ‘Some brands are, and will be, afraid of slowness because they realise that their product or service is not a story their consumer would like to know about,’ he tells LS:N Global.

The World Institute of Slowness touches on much of what LS:N Global covered in our macrotrend The New Sublimity. People are becoming tired of life in the fast lane and are increasingly interested in slowing down to engage with the here and now.