Need to Know
15 : 11 : 22

Stormzy and Adidas team up to promote diversity in football, a futuristic café with a vertical farm, and art and culture bring benefits to office environments.

Stormzy and Adidas team up to promote diversity in football

#Merky FC by adidas and Stormzy, UK

UK – German athletics brand Adidas and British rapper Stormzy are launching #Merky FC, a programme to grant access to mentoring and off-pitch football (soccer) career opportunities for young people in the UK who identify as Black or mixed Black heritage.

Starting in January 2023, the programme will provide participating youth with paid work placements in 10 partner companies in the football industry, including Manchester United, Sky Sports and LADBible. This comes as recent research commissioned by Adidas revealed that while football may seem inclusive when looking at players – 39% of Premier League players identify as Black – diversity is lacking off the pitch.

‘Just 6.7% of senior roles in football are taken by someone who identifies as Black or mixed Black heritage. We barely see any Black team managers, coaches, sports presenters – the list goes on, nor are many of us even aware of the vast roles available within the football industry,’ explains Stormzy.

Where some football clubs already act as Civic Brands, the #Merky FC initiative aims to inspire deeper change and support racial equality across the industry.

Strategic opportunity

Take inspiration from Adidas and Stormzy’s venture – are your business and industry committing to diversity beyond surface level?

Unseenbird’s Mars-themed café has its own vertical farm

Sik Mul Sung designed by Unseenbird, South Korea Sik Mul Sung designed by Unseenbird, South Korea
Sik Mul Sung designed by Unseenbird, South Korea Sik Mul Sung designed by Unseenbird, South Korea

Seoul Sik Mul Sung is a café incorporating glass-front cultivation tanks where fresh produce can be grown and harvested, before being served to customers via conveyor belts. Launched by agritech start-up N Thing, which operates a vertical farm on the edge of the city, the space brings the company’s efforts to life for customers in an experiential and tangible way.

Designed by South Korean studio Unseenbird, the café’s sleek futuristic interior features sheets of stainless steel throughout, contrasting with red rocks referencing the company’s ambitions to take vertical farming to Mars.

The concept allows customers to witness at first hand the processes involved in operating a vertical farm, from seeing the vegetables being grown (without soil or sunlight) to cooking and eating, all in one place, while the ultra-modern setting helps to cement the image of this future-facing food tech solution.Customers can feel the values and dreams of the company together by experiencing cultivation, harvesting, processing and consumption here,’ says Unseenbird.

We continue to track the evolution of new urban farms as companies find new ways to develop the relationship between consumers and fresh produce.

Strategic opportunity

How can you bring forward-thinking food tech innovations to life for customers in a hyperphysical retail environment?

A free database is helping designers make sustainable packaging choices

US – Design studio Guacamole Airplane has launched an updated version of its Sustainable Packaging Supplier Guide – a robust resource intended to help brands and designers access information on sustainable materials and suppliers, and make greener packaging decisions.

Originally created in 2017 by the studio’s founder Ian Montgomery, the guide became one of the most comprehensive databases listing sustainable materials. Free and easy to navigate, the educational hub uses the studio’s expertise to inform packaging decisions across a variety of categories from polybags for garments to Styrofoam alternatives.

Redesigned and more user-friendly, the reviewed version has over 140 new entries, along with more detailed descriptions of each material’s features – the look and feel, sustainability credentials, design considerations and how to dispose of it after use.

‘With the rise of ESG and environmental awareness, there are just too few comprehensive lists out there that allow you to compare, explore and learn about sustainable packaging options,’ says Montgomery.

Such open-source and free resources have the potential to help bring bio and re-usable packaging alternatives to the masses.

Sustainable Packaging Supplier Guide by Guacamole Airplane, US

Strategic opportunity

Giving your teams easy-to-access, practical tools and knowledge is key to advance the adoption of sustainable practices across product design, shipping, supply chains and beyond

Stat: Art and culture have a positive influence in the workplace

Anton Alvarez. Featured in the The Art of the Workplace Report commissioned by Brookfield Properties in partnership with The School of Life, UK Anton Alvarez. Featured in the The Art of the Workplace Report commissioned by Brookfield Properties in partnership with The School of Life, UK

New research has measured the positive influence that art and culture can have in the workplace. In a survey of 3,000 office workers in the UK, 63% of 18–29-year-olds said they prefer working in the office to working from home, rising to 75% for those who work in an office with lots of art.

Commissioned by Brookfield Properties in conjunction with The School of Life, the Art of the Workplace report shows that there is a desire for culture- and wellness-enriched workplaces that promote learning, creativity and contentment as well as a sense of pride, and that this is especially important for younger workers.

The report explores the reasons for offices being happier and more productive places to work, examining motivations for younger employees and the ways that companies can improve their wellbeing in the office. Some 64% say that cultural and social events help them work more effectively, while 67% say a wellbeing app connecting them to cultural events in the office would be beneficial.

As the impact of Covid-19 continues to cause disruption to working patterns, companies are re-evaluating their working environments and employee preferences. As this research shows, Fulfilment Furnishings can have a major impact on office spaces as well as in the home.

Strategic opportunity

While flexible working continues to be a key requirement for employees, consider the impact of culture and setting to creating a happier and more productive office environment

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