News 16.04.2024

Need to Know

The Future Laboratory brings back Network Evenings, a journalist releases an AI chatbot designed for TikTok scripts and why UK ethical shopping continues to surge amid the cost of living crisis.

The Future Laboratory revives its Network Evening

The Future Laboratory Network Evening
The Future Laboratory Network Evening
The Future Laboratory Network Evening
The Future Laboratory Network Evening

UK – On Thursday, 11 April, The Future Laboratory brought back its members’ and clients’ Network Evening. Hosted at its wonderful Waugh Thistleton office rooftop, the evening was an opportunity for LS:N Global’s foresight team to present findings from its recently launched Generations: Now and Next 2024–2025 macrotrend report.

The evening kicked off with an insightful introduction to the report from The Future Laboratory’s co-founders Chris Sanderson and Martin Raymond. Together, they explained the importance of understanding generational behaviours and new modes of ageing. Deputy creative foresight editor Olivia Houghton, foresight analyst Alice Crossley and deputy foresight editor Dan Hastings presented key drivers, insights and thought-starters across each generation, from Boomers to Gen Alpha – and revealed how these evolving attitudes affect technology, work, finance and more.

An engaging Q&A section concluded the Generations presentation, after which guests enjoyed canapés and wine courtesy of The Future Laboratory’s neighbour, Towpath Café. It was a perfect summer evening spent catching up with our members. To keep up with our series of inspiring online events, video presentations, guest speaker panels and live Q&A sessions, download our 2024 events calendar.

Learn more

To access our exclusive macrotrend reports and attend our next members-only event, become an LS:N Global member now

Dazed and Ikea’s Catalogue!!! zine explores the meaning of home to young creatives

Catalogue!!! by Dazed and Ikea, UK Catalogue!!! by Dazed and Ikea, UK
Catalogue!!! by Dazed and Ikea, UK Catalogue!!! by Dazed and Ikea, UK

Italy – Dazed magazine and Ikea have partnered to publish Catalogue!!!, a 30-page physical poster zine exploring the intersection of youth culture and the home.

Produced by Dazed Studio and launched exclusively at Ikea’s 1st exhibition at Milan Design Week 2024, the zine was born out of conversations between Jefferson Hack, Dazed Media’s co-founder, and Marcus Engman, creative director at Ingka Group (Ikea Retail).

Featuring four covers, exclusive pull-out posters and editorials, the zine celebrates design, identity and expression in contemporary living spaces, while drawing visual inspiration from Ikea’s archival imagery from the early 2000s.

The zine questions what the home means to young creatives in 2024 through editorials unpacking the relationship between food and the home, an exploration of the home through the objects we choose to live with, and a reflection on the pursuit of identity within the ever-evolving definition of home by young creatives.

Catalogue!!! confirms a shift we first identified in our 2023 macrotrend report, Home States Futures; hybrid working and the loss of third spaces are driving a cross-generational rethink of the home, its meaning and its function.

Strategic opportunity

How can you establish brand partnerships for cross-promotional campaigns that mutually amplify your reach while facilitating Elastic Brand behaviour by enabling you to experiment with new mediums

Sophia Smith Galer unveils AI-powered TikTok script tool

UK – Award-winning journalist, author and Futures 100 Innovators nominee Sophia Smith Galer unveiled her own AI-powered video script assistant in March 2024. A BBC World Service and Vice alumni, the video journalist is best known on TikTok, where she accumulated a following of over 530,000 followers between 2019 and 2024. With hundreds of videos published on the platform on everything from languages to sexual health and news explainers, Galer built expertise in short-form video script writing – a skill that she has now made available to anyone thanks to AI.

‘Not only is ChatGPT poor at writing TikTok scripts – we have no idea who it’s imitating,’ she wrote in a thread on X (formerly Twitter). ‘I wanted to build a tool where you could source its creativity and write a script people would actually watch.’ Enters Sophina (little Sophia), a new AI chatbot tool created by the journalist in collaboration with BotStacks, a San Francisco-based start-up aiming to 'empower teams and organisations to plan, build and launch custom AI assistants’.

Sophia Smith Galer trained the AI tool using all her viral video scripts and help from a large language model (LLM) called Claude. Sophina is now able to chat with the user and help them rework their research, article or message into a script optimised for viral vertical video. She will even provide a script with word length and a caption adapted to a platform like TikTok, Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts.

Anyone can subscribe to Sophina for £10 per month ($12.45, €11.70) and each paid subscription will automatically fund a free subscription for a fact-checker who wishes to present their work on Instagram and TikTok. ‘As a reporter, I’ve seen how hard it is making debunk videos go as viral as the original misinformation or disinformation,’ explains Galer.

For more insight on AI, head to our artificial intelligence topic.

Sophia Smith Galer, UK

Strategic opportunity

Consider how your expertise could be turned into your own BrandGPT and bring additional streams of revenue while asserting your place as a leader in your field

Stat: UK ethical shopping surges despite cost of living crisis

Wholesome, Australia Wholesome, Australia

UK – Despite the UK facing its sharpest increase in living costs in four decades, ethical shopping continues to rise, reflecting consumers’ concerns for the environment and workers’ welfare. The Fairtrade Foundation’s income in the UK surged to £13m ($16.2m, €15.2m) in 2023, slightly surpassing the £12.8m ($16m, €15m) in 2022. Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation, notes that consumers are still prioritising ethical products despite economic challenges.

Businesses can obtain a licence to use the Fairtrade logo on approved products for a fee, contributing to the Foundation’s income as sales increase. Fairtrade ensures producers receive a minimum price and bonuses for community projects. The Foundation urged shoppers to continue supporting certified products amid fears of a race to the bottom during the cost of living crisis.

The climate crisis further heightens concerns about the future of farming, with projections suggesting significant land loss for coffee and cocoa production by 2050 due to changing weather patterns, underlining the importance of sustainable consumer choices even during a cost of living crisis.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses in the sustainability sector should take note of shifting consumer values and adapt brand communications accordingly. Emphasising your brand’s focus on ethical values will help it stand out among more cost-driven competitors

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