Need to Know
23 : 07 : 18

Minecraft creators contribute designs to help regrow coral, Personals brings back text-based dating, a futuristic plaster that dispenses medicine.

Minecraft crowdsourced coral-saving sculpture designs

Minecraft Aquatic Update

Global – Creators on Minecraft were challenged to design a series of sculptures that could help regrow coral on the coast of Mexico.

With the world’s oceans continuously suffering as a result of pollution and climate change, the company committed to installing six Biorock structures, which are designed to promote coral growth. Users were asked to design these sculptures in the form of Minecraft blocks and the winning designs would be transformed into real-life structures on the coast of Cozumel, Mexico.

The competition served as a way for Minecraft not only to showcase its civic-mindedness but also to educate its community base of the environmental danger posed to coral reefs. For more on how businesses are taking corporate social responsibility to new depths, see our Civic Brands macro trend.

Personals connects individuals through old-school ads

Personals app Personals app

US – Dedicated to LGBTQIA women and non-binary people, Personals is a dating and community that mimics the form of newspaper personal ads.

The platform currently exists as an Instagram profile connecting individuals through text-based posts. Users can submit a short advert noting their interests and preferences, which will be uploaded to the community page. Each listing will be accompanied by the user’s Instagram tag.

Currently it has almost 40,000 followers on Instagram, but founder Kelly Rakowski hopes to build a dedicated dating platform outside of Instagram and has just finished a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to do just that. The app will function much as it has on Instagram, allowing users to post text-based ads and then message people within the app.

It comes at a time when people have become more disillusioned with dating apps such as Tinder. For more, read our Courtship Crisis microtrend.

A smart bandage that provides medical treatment

Boston – Researchers at Tufts University have engineered a smart bandage that can deliver drug treatments and monitor wounds.

When attached to the surface of a person’s skin, the small device can determine how the wound is healing and deliver the appropriate quantity of drug treatment to encourage the injury to heal faster. The bandage uses pH sensors to detect biological signs of healing such as exposure to oxygen and reduced inflammation. A micro-electronic device, that is connected to an app via Bluetooth, reads the data and triggers the medication to be released.

At present, the smart patch is only a prototype, but a paper published in the journal Small suggests the device has applications in bed sores, burns and surgical wounds. As such, it could enable doctors to monitor a patient’s condition, while actively treating it.

The discovery is an example of how technology is reshaping the types of medical aid we could receive in the future. For more, see our Certified Wellness macrotrend.

Smart Bandage, Tufts University, Boston Smart Bandage, Tufts University, Boston

The Assemblage expands into the co-living space

The Assemblage Co-Living space, New York, photography by Mikiko Kikuyama The Assemblage Co-Living space, New York, photography by Mikiko Kikuyama
The Assemblage Co-Living space, New York, photography by Mikiko Kikuyama The Assemblage Co-Living space, New York, photography by Mikiko Kikuyama
The Assemblage Co-Living space, New York, photography by Mikiko Kikuyama The Assemblage Co-Living space, New York, photography by Mikiko Kikuyama

New York – The members' club has extended its offering beyond co-working spaces to accommodate guests for longer stays.

The new location, situated in the Financial District, will include five floors of working space and a 79-room hotel. Long-term guests will have access to the same programmes as the club’s members, such as yoga and meditation, as well as additional benefits including a complimentary breakfast and nightly events.

The original concept of The Assemblage was to create a member’s club dedicated to self-care, a theme that continues throughout its second location. Beth Tufekcic, general manager of The Assemblage John Street, explains, ‘The John Street House is designed to allow our members and overnight guests a space for maximum productivity during the work day in an environment that promotes and encourages interconnectedness, coupled with enriching experiences benefitting the mind, body and soul’.

The Assemblage is part of the next generation of private members’ clubs that move beyond simply networking to offer meaningful experiences and connection.

Stat: Consumers combine skincare and cosmetics

A new report by market research firm NPD suggests that consumers prefer to use make-up products that can improve their skin. Despite the majority of respondents (90%) using cosmetics with skincare benefits, the usage of these products doesn’t replace their skincare routine, as two-thirds of women stated they use these products in addition to separate skincare offerings.

‘The consumer mindset today places greater emphasis on taking care of the skin in order to prevent flaws, rather than covering up flaws as they appear,’ says Larissa Jensen,executive director and beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group. ‘Consumer expectations of makeup products have heightened as a result of skincare’s influence on format and efficacy.’

For more on how beauty is becoming a holistic practice, see our Total Beauty markets.

Thought-starter: Can young South Koreans create a better future for themselves?

Foresight writer Rhiannon McGregor explores how Generation Z in South Korea are handling economic uncertainty and battling traditionalism in the latest from our Emerging Youth series.

South Korea’s youth are fighting against economic hardship. With more over-60s currently in work than 20-somethings, the younger generation is channelling its discontent into proactively creating new social, cultural and financial systems that promise them a more secure future.

One aspect where they are challenging the status quo is in gender roles. Once considered the ‘dirty F-word’, feminism is being adopted by young South Korean women as they stand up to the gender violence and discrimination that is so entrenched in society. In light of this, a new generation of women is coming together to effect change in this oppressively patriarchal society. In Seoul, Kim Ryeo-il has founded Doing Cafe as a ‘cultural home of feminism’ where women can explore the feminist literature provided and grow a sense of themselves as feminists.

For more on the attitudes of this market, the full report here.

BTS, South Korea BTS, South Korea
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