Need to Know
26 : 04 : 18

26.04.2018 Travel : Retail : Finance

Irregular Labs launches finance classes with boss women, Airbnb encourages travel to rural communities, Doppel changes your mood with a heartbeat rhythm.

1. Irregular Labs wants to teach girls financial independence

Dolla Dolla World by Irregular Labs

US – The Generation Z think tank has launched Dolla Dolla World, a new brand that will promote free financial literacy and professional development classes for young women.

The initiative, which is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter, is a programme offering classes and coaching from over 30 boss women including Ariana Huffington, the co-founder of The Huffington Post. The programme will cover topics such as credit, saving, budgeting, investing, student loans and financial pitfalls, as well as more nuanced subjects such as entrepreneurship, philanthropy, financing and ethical investment.

‘With US women set to control over two-thirds of the nation’s wealth by 2020 but only 12% of girls feeling confident in their financial skills, we can no longer afford not to actively and aggressively support young women in their pursuit of financial knowledge and professional opportunities,’ explains Molly Logan, Dolla Dolla World founder and Irregular Labs co-founder.

As we begin to understand how women’s approach to spending and finance differs from men, brands must adapt their services in order to provide a financial landscape better suited to them.

2. Airbnb sets its sights on rural regeneration

Office of Healthy Tourism by Airbnb Office of Healthy Tourism by Airbnb
Civita, photography by Piotr Niepsuj. Office of Healthy Tourism by Airbnb Civita, photography by Piotr Niepsuj. Office of Healthy Tourism by Airbnb
The Yoshino Cedar House, Office of Healthy Tourism, Airbnb The Yoshino Cedar House, Office of Healthy Tourism, Airbnb

Global – Airbnb is launching an Office of Healthy Tourism that aims to combat issues of over-tourism and also economically empower rural communities. The initiative will drive sustainable tourism to lesser-known cities and countries.

‘With travel and tourism growing faster than most of the rest of the economy, it is critical that as many people as possible are benefiting – and now not all tourism is created equal,’ Chris Lehane, Airbnb global head of policy, said in a statement. ‘To democratise the benefits of travel, Airbnb offers a healthy alternative to the mass travel that has plagued cities for decades.’

The new office will enable communities to work with Airbnb through partnerships, programmes and events.

As the home-sharing platform becomes more mainstream, it is recognising its responsibility to educate around conscious travel and reduce crowding in concentrated areas.

3. Start-up launches mood-enhancing wearable

Global – Doppel is a wearable device that naturally adapts to a person’s mood.

Worn on the wrist, the device creates silent vibrations that mimic a heartbeat, which results in a psychological response from the wearer. Doppel applies research from neuroscience and psychology, which has found that faster rhythms help a person feel more focused while slower rhythms are calming. Users can also manually regulate the rhythm to control their mood by tapping or stroking the device. Similar to other wearable devices, the product requires an accompanying app that records data such as the user’s personal rhythm.

Initially announced in 2015, Doppel has only recently started shipping to investors who supported their journey on Kickstarter. The company hopes to bring the products to the public market soon.

Doppel represents the next generation of Calm Tech, which aims to help users achieve a calm state of mind. For more, read our macrotrend The Optimised Self.

Wearable device by Doppel Wearable device by Doppel

4. Amazon will deliver to your car

Amazon In-Car Delivery, US

US – Following the launch of Amazon Key, which brought delivery services inside the home, the e-commerce giant is expanding its services to offer free delivery directly to Prime members’ cars. The new service is a result of a collaboration with automotive brands General Motors (GM) and Volvo.

In an effort to increase participation in Amazon Key, the new service enables couriers to securely access a vehicle for delivery purposes, whether it is parked at home, work or any of the recognised locations provided by the brand. Users of the service, available solely to Amazon Prime members, must have the Amazon Key app installed in order to add their vehicle details. The couriers are then granted access to the vehicle using keyless technology provided in GM and Volvo vehicles.

It is a further iteration of Reach-in Retail, something we explored in our macrotrend Subconcsious Commerce, which examined how brands are crossing the line between public and private spaces in the name of convenience.

5. The world’s wealthiest expect to become centenarians

A new study by UBS found that high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) – most commonly defined as having at least £1m in investable assets – expect to live to 100 years old, despite the life expectancy in most developed countries averaging about 80.

With longer life expectancy, investors are becoming concerned about their future financial situations. Nine out of 10 are changing their financial plans and spending habits in anticipation of living longer. The top worry among the respondents was the rising costs of healthcare, with 52% listing this as an issue.

As part of our continuing collaboration, The Future Laboratory and UBS teamed up to explore the prospect of living longer due to technological and biological optimisation.

6. Thought-starter: Is this the era of New Luddism?

The Future Laboratory co-founder Martin Raymond questions whether today’s consumers are overly concerned with their relationship with technology.

We’ve seen it at the Facebook hearings in Washington, the Uber protests in Paris, even in recent newspaper headlines warning us about how technology is damaging everything from our health and democracy to our ability to concentrate and think. In each instance, there is an underlying sense that the direction technology is taking is making us redundant.

But as Steven Pinker suggests in his latest book, Enlightenment Now, these fears are part of a bigger shift in which consumers are expressing disdain and contempt for all things scientific and progressive, and which favour a more connected and open world. This is often referred to as The New Luddism.

Despite this, we have witnessed immense technological developments over time, that will probably advance our species. But there is still work to be done. We need to be clear: progress isn’t a smorgasbord you can pick or choose from. It’s an all-or-nothing journey that requires us to take risks, make mistakes, ask questions, certainly, but not to shy away from said answers when those answers require us to think faster and commit quicker.

Read the full opinion here.

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