Global Futures Forum: Disruptors – One year on

18.10.2017 Gaming : Technology : Wellness

At our first Global Futures Forum, 20 disruptors offered their vision of the future. Five of them explain how their work has developed over the past year.

Vollebak: Adventure sportswear brand

Nano Meter 555 Midlayer campaign by Vollebak

Vollebak re-invents clothing using science and technology to make sportswear like no other.

What projects have you been involved with since Global Futures Forum 2016?

One year ago, we only had our two launch products – a hoodie designed to lower your pulse and a jacket that can survive falls of up to 120 kilometres per hour. Since then we have launched 20 new designs, including a hoodie that is designed to last 100 years, the world’s first Solar Charged Jacket and a t-shirt that hides blood, sweat and dirt.

Have you encountered any challenges over the past year? If so, how have you overcome them?

Making clothes that are on the very edge of what is scientifically possible is always going to be a technical and difficult process. The real challenge isn’t in coming up with the ideas, it’s about not letting them die during the production process. Luckily, 15 years’ experience in advertising has taught us a lot about how to keep ideas alive with flexible and lateral thinking.

Making clothes that are on the very edge of what is scientifically possible is always going to be a technical and difficult process.

Vollebak

How do you envisage your work evolving in the next year?

We will continue to use science and technology to design sports gear that feels like it is from the future. The products we have out now are just the start. We are working on ideas that will go live in 2019 and even 2020. In 2018, we hope that people will start to understand the scale of our ambition.

Pamm Hong: UX designer and artist

Parera Elsewhere by Pamm Hong Perera Elsewhere by Pamm Hong
Parera Elsewhere by Pamm Hong Perera Elsewhere by Pamm Hong
Pamm Hong Pamm Hong

Pamm Hong brings art, science and technology together through UX, moving image and digital platforms.

What projects have you been involved with since Global Futures Forum 2016?

The Global Futures Forum provided a viable platform for my creative data work with Watermelon Sugar to effectively communicate unique user experiences driven by big data.

Since then I’ve partnered with Kering and Holition on a data visualisation project that uses existing material migration data to form new narratives that showcase brand transparency. Much like OPEN, a project I worked on at the start of 2017 with The Future Laboratory, it showcases how brands are increasingly conscious about their internal decisions regarding public access.

Because I’m out here in the UK on my own, I’ve had to learn to stand on my own two feet, support myself and push the limits of my abilities – all on borrowed time because of visa limitations.

Pamm Hong

Have you encountered any challenges over the past year? If so, how have you overcome them?

I have learned from hard lessons about how to navigate difficult situations in business, risk management and decision-making. Because I’m out here in the UK on my own, I’ve had to learn to stand on my own two feet, support myself and push the limits of my abilities – all on borrowed time because of visa limitations.

How do you envisage your work evolving in the next year?

I see my work evolving into more relevant, consumer-facing projects because of my new position as a UX design strategist. I also have a series of personal projects in the pipeline that will grow multiple aspects of my practice, not just in design but in visual art and music, and I’m endlessly excited about this.

Arctic Shores: Game-based recruitment

Arctic Shores Arctic Shores

Arctic Shores is a global provider of game-based assessments that deliver meaningful, job-relevant insights for recruiters.

What projects have you been involved with since Global Futures Forum 2016?

It’s been an exciting year. Our list of clients has grown from 30 to more than 60 and our platform is now used by companies in more than 20 countries. We have doubled in size and are about to open a new office in Singapore. One of our most exciting projects has been a collaboration with Siemens, which has seen a 60% improvement in its quality of hire following the implementation of our platform into its recruitment process.

Have you encountered any challenges over the past year? If so, how have you overcome them?

We have encountered all sorts of challenges, including how to expand internationally from the UK into 20 countries in a short period of time. We have been able to address the challenge this posed largely through the exceptional and dedicated team we have built at Arctic Shores. Other learnings concerning the use of our platform have come directly from applicants. We maintain an agile development process to ensure that we can quickly address any suggestions for improvements we receive, especially those that are related to the user interface.

How do you envisage Arctic Shores evolving in the next year?

We have several new product releases in the pipeline and will continue to expand internationally. To achieve this we need to align our company structure, but we already have plans around this.

Pavegen: Energy-capturing technology

Pavegen Pavegen

Pavegen captures the energy generated by footsteps and converts it into electricity.

What projects have you been involved with since Global Futures Forum 2016?

We have launched the world’s first Smart Street – a sustainable future retail environment – in partnership with Transport for London and New West End Company. We have also launched three walkways in Washington DC, providing a seamless way for pedestrians to contribute renewable power to the local grid.

Have you encountered any challenges over the past year? If so, how have you overcome them?

There is great uncertainty in the world now. But there are also great leaps as businesses diversify their value proposition. Despite marketing budgets becoming smaller, it is clear that there is a shift towards sustained engagement among employees and stakeholders to position their businesses to survive in the long term. This has opened a growing sector for us as forward-thinking companies begin to understand that marketing, sustainability (or that dead word CSR) and operations are interlinked and not independent of one another.

How do you see Pavegen evolving in the next year?

We have a three-phase business plan at Pavegen – Play, Work/Travel and Live. We will continue to build on the events we create around the world in the Play phase, but shift our focus within the Work/Travel sphere to deploy permanent installations at locations such as transport hubs, stores and schools. In support of these permanent installations, we will develop our digital platform to provide businesses with relationship data that will help them to understand what people care about and like, and enable them to offer desirable reward schemes.

Biocol Labs: Post-chemical pharmacy

Biocol Labs Biocol Labs
Biocol Labs Biocol Labs

Biocol Labs creates plant-based, doctor-approved and straight-talking health solutions focused on the demands of modern life.

What projects have you been involved with since Global Futures Forum 2016?

In the past year we have collaborated with some amazing brands including Topshop and Wanderfuel. Two projects that stand out are Boots and Design Hotels. We were invited to the Boots Future of Health forum, where we presented our take on the brands of the future. We are currently in negotiations with Boots to launch our products in its stores in January 2018.

For Design Hotels, we are about to launch a ‘Hotel Farm-acy’ in a selection of its hotels. Guests will be offered an in-room menu that features products designed to fix their health problems. We will also launch a travel kit called Something for the Jetsetters, which contains products designed to fix the health issues faced by travellers.

Our goal is to have our products in non-traditional channels such as hotels, airports and aeroplanes, and Uber cars.

Biocol Labs

Have you encountered any challenges over the past year? If so, how have you overcome them?

Our biggest challenge has been getting people to understand what we do. We get the impression that the market is not yet ready for our products. Finding the right channel has been another challenge. The majority of traditional pharmacies are not ready for change.

How do you envisage Biocol Labs evolving in the next year?

At the moment we are mainly focusing on the UK and Germany. Our goal is to have our products in non-traditional channels such as hotels, airports and aeroplanes, and Uber cars. We think that there is a big market that has not been explored, and there is a need and demand for health and wellness.

Global Futures Forum 2017

Today, we are opening up our Elder Street headquarters for an intimate day of discussion, deep thinking and debate.

Our second Global Futures Forum will examine why the relationship between businesses and their employees, consumers and the community must be at the top of any CEO’s agenda as we move into the 2020s. Those who do not invest in being a conscious employer and strive to make real emotional connections will lose out – both in terms of relevance and their bottom line.

Check our Twitter for updates on the event as we explore brands’ internal working culture, the needs of tomorrow’s consumer and what experience will mean in 2020. We will also reveal the next generation of disruptors who will transform a variety of industries in 2017.

If you cannot make this year’s event and would like to book an in-house presentation of the Global Futures Forum, please visit our shop.

Luxury Futures Forum 2017 at The Future Laboratory, London