Innovation Debrief 2023–2024 report goes live
Global – Our Innovation Debrief 2023–2024 report is now live, and this year it captures the 50 best brands, campaigns and ideas from the past six months that push the human limits of knowledge, creativity and curiosity. From a business producing pasta from discarded wheat stalks to a carbon-neutral balloon that can take tourists for a trip to the stratosphere, our team of experts celebrate the ingenuity of the creators behind these next-gen innovations.
While sifting through the best of our news coverage to select our 50 key players, a few common themes emerged across the board that we believe testify to the spirit of innovation that will shape the future: doing good for the planet and for people. The trailblazers included in this report weren’t only chosen for having unique products or services but also because of their commitment to holistic practices that focus on kindness, inclusivity and community.
The report also includes relevant statistics and exclusive insights from our in-house foresight experts alongside trends we predict will shape industry. In addition, we have highlighted inspiring thought-starters from our Futures 100 network of industry leaders who are driven to create meaningful change.
Japan Airlines and Sumitomo introduce Any Wear, Anywhere
Japan – Japan Airlines and Sumitomo have teamed up to launch a new initiative that allows tourists and business travellers visiting Japan to rent clothing for their trips. This service aims to promote sustainable tourism while providing convenience for travellers.
Passengers can select rental apparel based on their size and seasonal needs through a dedicated website before boarding a Japan Airlines-operated flight. The trial service will be available until August 2024.
With entry restrictions lifted and the summer holiday season commencing, Japanese airlines, hotels and restaurants are preparing to welcome more visitors. In May, the number of tourists reached 1.9m, accounting for almost 70% of pre-pandemic levels in the same month in 2019, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.
Travellers will be able to rent one set of clothing for £22–39 (¥4,000–7,000, $28–50, €25–45) and have the option to rent up to eight outfits for a maximum of two weeks. The clothing will be available in three sizes: small, medium and large, and in various styles, including smart, smart casual and mixed. The chosen apparel will be delivered to the traveller’s designated hotel.
To minimise waste, the rental clothing will be sourced from overstocked products. Japan Airlines will calculate the carbon emissions reduction based on the aircraft’s saved weight and inform customers accordingly.
In Travel-proofing beauty and wellness rituals, we previously analysed how innovators in the beauty industry are answering modern travellers’ demands with new packaging making packing up and airport checks much easier. Airlines themselves are now seeing a business opportunity to help travellers pack lighter.
As seen here with Japan Airlines and Sumitomo, sustainability practices can be synonymous with making consumers’ lives easier – and speeding up bag checks at airports. Consider how your brand could expand to more conscious alternatives that could have high adoption rates thanks to their time-saving nature
Stat: Uncomfortably hot days due to climate change will hit Europe most
Global – New academic research speculates about how a 2°C warming of the planet would affect 19 countries, revealing that northern Europe and the UK are the most vulnerable and unprepared.
The target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C is looking increasingly out of reach, and scientists have studied consequences that will come with a 2-degree warming in a paper published in Nature Sustainability. The regions expected to suffer most are not in the southern hemisphere, but in the UK and northern Europe, where housing is generally designed to retain heat. This means Europe will endure the highest increase in ‘uncomfortably hot days’, defined as days where additional measures are needed to help people cool down.
Scientists deplore how cooling has not been a priority in policymaking, and that excessive air conditioning used to cope with the heat only makes the situation worse. Urban planning solutions and lifestyle adjustments, including better ventilation, cooling paint, green roofs or changed working hours will be key for designing resilient Equilibrium Cities for the future.
At business level, there are actions you can take to alleviate this issue. Consider where you can use smart cooling solutions that break the vicious cycle instead of making it worse, and how best to accommodate staff with flexible working during heat waves