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The Future Laboratory unveils Global Drivers 2030, Vollebak and BIG create self-sufficient off-grid island residence and why cash payments are back in fashion among Gen Z.

The Future Laboratory unveils Global Drivers 2030

UK – The Future Laboratory has released a 2024 refresh of its global drivers, a core part of its methodology. The global drivers represent a set of influential and pervasive forces that will reshape society over the next decade. They are accelerating technologies, climate crisis and resource scarcity, evolving demographics, fragmenting societies, micro-globalisation and urbanising world.

‘On a 10+ year horizon, the global drivers represent the sociocultural, technological, environmental, economic and political eventualities shaping the world we live in,’ said Rachele Simms, director of strategy and planning at The Future Laboratory. 'These fact-based drivers provide the objective and critical foresight needed for companies seeking long-term success.’

An executive summary introducing the six key global drivers is now available to download. Brands and businesses questioning their purpose and direction as we move towards 2030 can also book an in-house or virtual presentation with our team to deliver the drivers in depth and explore how they will reshape your sector or business in 10+ years.

Vollebak and BIG create self-sufficient off-grid island residence

Vollebak Island by Bjarke Ingels Group, Canada Vollebak Island by Bjarke Ingels Group, Canada
Vollebak Island by Bjarke Ingels Group, Canada Vollebak Island by Bjarke Ingels Group, Canada

Canada – Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the Copenhagen- and New York-based architectural firm, has teamed up with clothing brand Vollebak to create the ‘home of adventure’, a self-sufficient off-grid residential island in Nova Scotia, Canada. In partnership with local architecture firm FBM, it will be made from natural and manufactured materials, including seaweed, hempcrete and 3D-printed concrete. The island will be auctioned via Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions on 8 June.

The 11-acre island is a quarter of a mile off the Nova Scotia mainland. It will be fully powered by carbon-neutral energy including offshore wind, geothermal energy and solar power – with the energy stored in Tesla power walls. The island will include the 597-square-metre Earth House, consisting of nine interconnected buildings, and an 88-square-metre Wood House, a stand-alone garden suite on the island’s eastern shoreline.

Vollebak’s entry into the housing market aligns with other luxury fashion brands stepping into the home. It is also an example of cross-sector brands entering the property market, as seen in Automotive Accommodation.

Strategic opportunity

Self-sustained eco-systems will form the main foundation for housing projects in the future. How are you as a business preparing to cater for these requirements? Can you offer your clients 100% carbon-neutral energy, for example?

Artnet lets luxury collectors borrow against their timepieces

Germany – A Birkin bag has long been considered a sound investment. Now, owners can use their collectible pieces as loan collateral thanks to Artnet’s new finance service.

The art market platform has partnered with Luxury Asset Capital, an alternative finance provider, to develop the Art Secured Lending Brokerage programme. The new liquidity option allows Artnet’s audience of over 2m global monthly users to borrow against the market value of fine art and other luxury belongings, such as luxury bags or watches.

For users, the scheme provides convenient and quick access to capital with the option to get loans totalling between £20,165 ($25,000, €23,380) and £4m ($5m, €4.6m). After enquiring online, art asset underwriters follow up with a quote based on Artnet’s price database. The borrower’s asset is then insured and stored in a secure facility, only retrieved when the loan is repaid.

The programme is an example of the diversifying landscape of investment and asset management, and the growing interest in capitalising luxury assets among collectors.

MetaBirkins by Mason Rothschild

Strategic opportunity

Consumers see luxury purchases as life-long investments. Businesses can tap into this mindset in many ways – from authentication and after care services to Artnet’s scheme capitalising on the value of assets to accrue loans

Stat: Gen Z are going back to cash payments to budget and save money

Envisaging Fintech Futures by Playful for The Future Laboratory Envisaging Fintech Futures by Playful for The Future Laboratory

US – A study released in May 2023 by personal finance company Credit Karma reveals that 69% of Gen Z are using cash more now than 12 months ago – and 23% say they use cash for most of their purchases. By comparison, 47% of Gen X and 37% of Boomers surveyed say they have used cash more in the same period.

Among the Gen Zers who say they use cash to pay for purchases, 59% do so to budget their money, and 64% report spending less when they pay with cash. Credit Karma found that the group are attempting to budget and save money via personal finance techniques learned online such as cash stuffing, which is setting aside physical cash for different spending categories at the beginning of each month to be used throughout the month.

In Budget Bots, we previously highlighted consumers’ interest in financial apps and services that automatically streamline their spending. Returning to cash could be one of the many ways for Gen Z to improve their mental and physical health as part of a bigger movement towards financial wellness.

Strategic opportunity

Retailers should rethink their approach to card-only stores given the surge in interest in cash payments among Gen Z. How can you improve your till system to make all processes, such as in-app or online orders, available for store pick-up and cash payments?

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