News 02.02.2024

Need to Know

An exhibition dedicated to all things longevity, foresight analyst Simar Deol’s Foresight Friday and the worryingly deepening gender divide among Gen Z.

Longevity takes centre stage in the Living Looonger exhibition

Living Looonger campaign by Nemo Science Museum, The Netherlands

The Netherlands – Living Looonger, the new exhibition presented in the Studio of Nemo Science Museum, explores mortality, ageing and longevity and how far we are willing to go to stay youthful.

Nemo enlisted Amsterdam-based agency KesselsKramer to create a campaign promoting the exhibition. The result is a series of thought-provoking videos, posters, online shorts, a radio commercial and illustrations sharing science-backed life hacks people can adopt to extend their life. Think taking frequent naps or avoiding risks, but also less obvious tips like eating turmeric and male castration.

The campaign examines the balance between length and quality of life, a notion we explore in our Longevity Lifestyles macrotrend. Here, the absurd nature of some of the hacks is a nod to the sometimes drastic measures humans are willing to take in order to extend life. ‘The life hacks in the exhibition are based on scientific research,’ explains Nemo’s exhibition maker Claire van Haren. ‘But some some life hacks are meant more as a joke. The life hacks are mainly there to make you think about what you might want or be able to do to live a longer healthy life.’

Strategic opportunity

Nemo’s subversive life hacks are a reminder that the desire to grow old healthily isn’t exclusive to the 1%, yet many life-extending solutions now available are. How can longevity-boosting products and services better serve consumers?

Meltee introduces vegan candles bringing phytoncides home

Nature’s Healing by Meltee, UK Nature’s Healing by Meltee, UK
Nature’s Healing by Meltee, UK Nature’s Healing by Meltee, UK

UK – Indulge in the serenity of nature without leaving your home; that is the promise of Meltee’s Nature’s Healing collection. Combining scents like rosemary, leaves, green stems, lily, bluebell and cedarwood, the brand brings a calming ambience to daily life with candles and wax melts made from soy and reed diffusers.

The collection harnesses the power of phytoncide technology, the organic compounds found in plants, particularly in leaves, bark and needles, that offer therapeutic benefits of walking outside in nature. Research indicates that exposure to phytoncides lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones and boosts the immune system, promoting mental wellbeing.

Meltee’s innovative approach enables consumers to enjoy the rewards of nature’s wonders sustainably and without leaving the house. Amid climate change and resource scarcity, access to phytoncides could be in jeopardy; hence, innovations like Meltee’s Nature’s Healing collection hint at various possibilities to get a nature fix from home. Head to our Sustainability topic for more innovations preparing us to live through climate change.

Strategic opportunity

Explore opportunities to expand product lines with sustainable and nature-inspired offerings, tapping into the growing market demand for wellness and eco-conscious living

Foresight Friday: Simar Deol, foresight analyst

Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory

Every Friday, The Future Laboratory team offer an end-of-week wrap-up of the topics, issues, ideas and virals we’re all talking about. This week, foresight analyst Simar Deol looks at the three Ts: trends, TikTok and Taylor (Swift).

: Cultural theorist Matt Klein has published his annual META Trends 2024 report, an analysis of the most reported trends of the year. To everyone’s surprise, his research revealed that trends he reported on in 2018 are almost entirely identical to those in 2024. Is our culture stagnant? Or have we simply lost the ability to let a trend mature as we get caught up in the ultra-rapid cycle of TikTok trends? The report is a timely reminder of why embedding A Foresight Manifesto into a brand’s DNA is essential.

: Talking about TikTok, Dr Natasha Degan, professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, wonders when the marketing of a cultural product became more significant than the product itself in her essay for The New York Times. She shares how platforms like TikTok propel films that critics review as mediocre – cue: Saltburn – to make them the most ‘talked about film of the year’.

: And while Saltburn fans are creating dance videos and cocktail recipes, Taylor Swift’s army is busy doing maths. Swifties have taken to whiteboards and PowerPoint presentations to work out if their queen can perform in Tokyo, catch a red-eye flight and make her NFL boyfriend Travis Kelce’s Super Bowl finale in one day. New York magazine has a comprehensive guide to Swifties’ Super Bowl theories, teaching us how digital fandom is a perfect marriage of maths, science and faith.

Quote of the week

‘The marketing guys frankly have invaded the companies’

– Sidney Toledano, CEO of LVMH Fashion Group

Stat: Stark gender divisions open up among Gen Z worldwide

Goldwin’s SS24, Japan Goldwin’s SS24, Japan

US – In a new analysis released in January 2024, the Financial Times reveals a growing ideology gap between Gen Z women and men in the US. According to data from the Survey Center on American Life and Gallup, women aged 18–30 in the US are 30 percentage points more liberal than their male contemporaries. What’s more, that gap took just six years to open up.

A growing ideological chasm between young men and women is also emerging in Europe, with Germany displaying a 30-point gap and the UK showing a 25-point difference. In Poland, almost half of young men supported the hard-right Confederation party in 2023, compared to only a sixth of their women counterparts. Beyond the West, stark divisions are also evident in South Korea, China and Tunisia.

Gen Z South Koreans were particularly polarised during the local presidential elections in 2022. This societal split has led to plummeting marriage rates and a record-low birth rate of 0.78 births per woman in 2022. The #MeToo movement played a pivotal role, fostering feminist values among young women empowered to speak out against injustices.

Young women are advocating for change beyond sexual harassment. In the US, the UK and Germany, they are more liberal on immigration and racial justice. In our analysis of Gen Z in Nigeria, we highlighted how young women with progressive ideals are building feminist spaces to empower their peers.

Strategic opportunity

When targeting Gen Z women consumers, consider tailoring marketing campaigns to align with their progressive values in areas such as feminist ideals and racial justice without falling into the fake activism trap – Gen Z will recognise woke-washing immediately

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