Monthly Archives: April 2013

SXSW Interactive : The best bits

27 : 04 : 2013

Researchers from our consultancy division Joanna and Bella went to SXSW earlier this month to sample delights and bring back the insights, here’s what they discovered:

After returning from Austin, Texas and sifting through our collection of promotional goodies, technological t-shirts and stickers, we have rounded up our best bits from SXSW Interactive. The four days were inspiring, engaging and exciting, full of inspirational talks and discussions, and a great place to talk to some fascinating people.

Ideas that came out of the talks reflected some of the trends we have reported here at The Future Laboratory, and it was great to hear other opinions and analysis too.

Here are some of the best things we saw :

: A full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope was on display, which is due to be launched in 2018 as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, 100 times more powerful and able to scan planet atmospheres for signs of life. Demonstrations of Microsoft’s interactive World Wide Telescope also showed how Webb will inspire to push the boundaries of science and technology.

For more information on how science is inspiring consumers, see our Re-Enlightenment Rising trend, explored at this month’s Trend Briefing event

Ed Hunsinger presented report-creating software Splunkstorm and showed its ability to create reports of all the data you collect on mobile health-tracking apps including RunKeeper, Zeo, LastFM and Fitbit all in one place.

To read more about Self-Quantifiers see our Personal Information Economy trend

Toby Shapshak and Gareth Knight discussed how innovation is born out of necessity in Africa, and the strength of its mobile payment industry. A Focus on East Africa showed that the region accounts for about 80% of the world’s mobile money transactions, and these are projected to grow to $617bn by 2016. First used in Kenya, text messaging is used to send digital money through the M-Pesa payment system, which has led to half of Kenya’s GDP now moving through mobile money.

Read more about Africa’s mobile banking revolution here .

: Founder of MakerBot Bre Pettis launched the Digitizer, a 3D scanner that turns objects into a digital CAD file that can then be modified and replicated on a 3D printer – bringing product design to the general public.

For more on domestic 3D printing see our Home Factory trend

Douglas Rushkoff discussed Present Shock, the idea that we no longer have a sense of a future, goals or direction as we live in an always-on culture ‘where the priorities of this moment seem to be everything’. This is the concept covered in his latest book, alongside the idea that information overload is not too much information or too much stuff, it is having multiple instances of ourselves across social platforms.

To read more about information overload, read our New Sublimity trend

Eat Together: Street Food Fiesta

26 : 04 : 2013

Every few months we clear the company’s afternoon diary and sit down to eat together – hence the name for the occasion.

For last week’s Eat Together the Consultancy team were the hosts. The menu and theme were kept a surprise until lunchtime, but once the Afro-Caribbean beats started pumping out of the workshop it was clear a street party had come to The Future Laboratory complete with chicken wings, mac and cheese and a tasty homage to the Gourmet Junk food movement. There were no complaints.

A lively lunch was followed by an appropriate round of party games that involved a competitive session of musical chairs in which our finance controller ousted our managing director for the final chair. To leave the lunch, staff had to limbo their way out. We’re not sure whether it was the music, the party poppers or all the sugar, but it was certainly our most inventive, animated Eat Together to date.

Who will be next in line to host and how will they follow up the Gourmet Junk-a-thon?

Click here and here to check out some hilarious Vine videos from the festivities and check out our Instagram:@TheFutureLaboratory.

Introducing Sara Galán, The Future Laboratory’s quant consultant

23 : 04 : 2013

 

 

 

What does a day in the life of a quant consultant entail?
Data, data, data… managing relationships with the fieldwork providers, and establishing ways of working and necessary processes to ensure expectations about input and output are met. Quant research is about interpreting numbers and identifying themes that answer clients’ questions, and it is very important not to get lost in the data, so having key questions to answer before looking at it is crucial. People often find spreadsheets and charts boring, but I am trying to make them more interesting to look at, less monotonous to run through and easier to interpret. My aim is to show numbers in a meaningful and visual way so that we all feel more confident and proud to talk and sell.

What led you to study sociology?
It was a combination of things. With sociology you become a more rounded and knowledgeable person as it involves a mix of disciplines, from social structure to economics, politics, history and philosophy. I also wanted to study advertising or media, which link well with sociology, so I applied and was accepted to study sociology at Granada University in Spain, a legendary place to live and study, and an ideal destination for a student life, so that drove me and it was an easy decision. Besides, I always loved Andalucía, so it was a win-win situation. In the final year I received an Erasmus/Socrates grant to study abroad for a year and that is when I came to the UK. I stayed for a few more years to complete another degree that allowed me to combine sociology with media – something you could not do in Spain – and perfect for my career choice. And I’ve been here ever since…

Where have you worked in the past and in what roles?
I have done loads of different things, from serving pizza in an Italian restaurant, to scout monitoring and guiding at summer camps, to working as an acting translator to the UK ambassadors to Spain when they visited my home town for the wine festivals (a very interesting experience).

In terms of more professional roles, I worked as a research journalist for IT Europa, writing company profiles for the IT market. This was my first job after university and it entailed conducting telephone interviews with stakeholders and writing up different channel reports about the European IT market – having languages was mandatory. I then decided to study for an MA in consumer and promotional culture as I wanted to work in advertising (this was a dream for me) and working with brands doing research seemed a good fit.

After I finished my MA, I worked as a research analyst for a media and digital research agency that had been bought by Millward Brown, so it held promise. I was measuring in-market digital campaign effectiveness via cookie tracking (something not many people were doing at the time) for brands that had launched online campaigns. My clients were often media agencies and included Carat, Mindshare, Razorfish, OMD among many others, and media owners and publishers such as MSN, Yahoo! and The Guardian. Back then, nobody worked with Facebook or Google, and they would bring clients from all sorts of industries on an ad-hoc basis, from luxury to FMCGs to utilities. After a few years, I was seconded to work in client services in the Brand and Communications practice at Millward Brown. I was excited because they hold strong relationships with clients and I worked with a set number of accounts so I got to know the brands, their advertising and strategy, and established direct relationships with the biggest brands. After my six-month secondment they asked me to stay and that is where I have been for the past four years before joining The Future Laboratory. I have worked with clients such as Levi’s, Orange, New Look, Nestlé, Vodafone, Coca-Cola, Purina and Nationwide.

When you are not at work, where are you most likely to be?
At home with my husband and two-and-a-half year-old daughter who I adore, so I try to make up for the time I am not with her during the week. Being a full-time working mum without family around requires being very good at multi-tasking and making the most of every single spare minute. With a toddler in the city there is a lot of going on park and playground tours, staying in and travelling to either Spain or Greece (where my husband is from) for holiday breaks in summer and at Christmas. I am the youngest of four, and each of us has kids, so I am used to big family reunions surrounded by good Spanish food and wine, and children making noise and never sitting all at once at the table. It sounds crazy but it is fun and great for Alexandra to play with her cousins and get in touch with her Spanish roots.

What is your favourite holiday destination?
I would say Bali, because it is paradise, or Santorini because the colours and buildings are so perfect. The blue sea you get there does not exist anywhere in the world. Rome is another favourite, and somewhere I could see myself living. I love the Mediterranean attitude, lifestyle, architecture and history, not to mention the good food, wine, coffee and fashion.

What is your favourite part of London?
I have to say Hampstead Village and the Heath – its little streets and cottages. I don’t live too far from there, and walk to Hampstead almost every weekend. I like how it makes you feel that you are in a little country village and yet in London.

Introducing James Maiki, LS:N Global Video Journalist

19 : 04 : 2013

 

 

 

Did you always want to get into film production?
I have always been interested in film production. I thought acting was my calling until I tried it and realised how awful I was in front of the camera. I decided I should stay behind the camera and focus on making other people look good instead.

Tell us about your role at LS:N Global
It involves researching what is new and next across the lifestyle industries and translating this into film. I will also be interviewing inspirational thought-leaders, compiling in-house films and visiting innovative design studios, brands and events.

Where have you worked previously and in what roles?
I worked for more than four years at the Apple store in Regent Street as a Mac specialist, lead Mac specialist and Mac genius. Before joining LS:N Global I was shooting and editing short documentaries for Monocle.

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Venezuela to Lebanese parents in a very tropical environment, so we spent a lot of time outdoors, especially in places with swimming pools and little islands in the Caribbean. My family then relocated to Lebanon during my teenage years and I attended high school in Beirut. This was a big change, as you can imagine, but looking back now, I see how lucky I was to have had that opportunity.

Who is your favourite film director?
I would never pick just one, it depends which genre. I love Pedro Almodóvar and what he did for Spanish cinema. And, of course, Steven Spielberg for creating such iconic, unforgettable childhood characters. There are far too many people in the industry that I truly admire.

What is your favourite holiday destination?
All I need is sun, beautiful people and a cold drink to have a good time. Mykonos, Beirut and Barcelona are top of my list.

Here are James’s tips for his favourite cities:

Mykonos
For drinks: Cavo Paradiso – watch 180-degree views of the sunrise on the Aegean while listening to house beats.
For dining: Interni restaurant in a courtyard painted Cycladic white.

Beirut
Beirut’s nightlife is second to none.
For drinks: Skybar offers amazing views of the city and the Mediterranean.
For dining: Trendy Lebanese cuisine at Leila restaurant.
Great home-made Lebanese dishes at Tawlet.

Barcelona
For drinks: Cool outdoors club near Sitges, Atlàntida, by the sea of course.
For dining: La Santa Maria in Sitges makes a killer paella.

Where would we find you on a sunny day in London?
Having fun with mates in a park somewhere – at outdoor music events or concerts or simply stuffing myself at a BBQ in someone’s garden.

Do you cook? If so, what is your signature dish?
I can cook but I don’t like to unless it’s for a group of people. I can make mean chicken fajitas though.

Introducing Helena Balls, LS:N Global Account Manager

11 : 04 : 2013

 

 

Q: Describe your role here at The Future Laboratory
I work as a sales and account manager for LS:N Global. My job is to spread the LS:N Global message to potential new clients and to work with our other account manager, Trish, to make sure existing members have everything they need and to support them throughout their membership.

Q: What’s the best part about being an account manager?
Getting to know the members, understanding how LS:N Global can help their businesses and making their day a little easier. It’s also really varied as you can get requests from clients to help with anything from recommending content for pitch preparation to training them on how to make the most of the network.

Q: Where have you worked and in what roles in the past?
I worked for WGSN in a similar role for a long time, so I’m no rookie in the trend forecasting business. But more recently I have also worked with Nielsen Online, heading their client service department, and just before joining LS:N Global I worked at Melcrum as a key account manager supporting companies’ internal communication functions.

Q: When you are not at work, where are you most likely to be?
I’ve rediscovered the gym, so I spend a lot of time there at the moment. But I like the pub as well, so I’m hoping they even each other out. I also have a really annoying shopping habit and I probably spend way too much time browsing stores and buying stuff.

Q: What is your favourite part of London?
I’ve lived almost everywhere, but mostly in Southwest London. I love a good stroll along the King’s Road, a pub lunch along the river in Putney or having a picnic in Battersea Park. But apart from Southwest London, and as a true Swede, my favourite little gems in London are Scandinavian Kitchen on Great Titchfield Street or Nordic Bakery in Marylebone.

Q: What is your favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere that is sunny, but I go to Portugal a lot. I was married in St Lucia so that will always be extra special.

Q: What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
I think it was The Hobbit or Life of Pi. I am childishly fond of watching movies in 3D at the moment so if it wasn’t one of the above it was something else in 3D.

What happened at STRANGE DAYS : LS:N Global Trend Briefing Spring/Summer 2013 : London

08 : 04 : 2013

Video editor: James Maiki
Music: Joe Ashworth

Click here to watch the short clip we produced to capture our seminal Trend Briefing event for Spring/Summer 2013. Hear what attendees from Marks & Spencer, Innocent, It’s Nice That and more thought of the day.

To get in early and book your place for our Autumn/Winter 2013 trend Briefing in October, click here.

The Grocer – Generation I – the successor to the digital native

LS:N Global journalist and resident Gen-I guru, Peter Firth spoke to The Grocer about the changes in who influences buying decisions in households with kids born after 2002. Firth says ‘These kids have access to unbridled information on hand-me-down smartphones, so they are well placed to say ‘we should have this, because’.’

The Grocer also quoted a selection of stats from our UK Consumer Attitude Audit:

  • three-quarters of parents say their Generation I kids are effectively holding the household purse-strings when it comes to purchasing decisions.
  • A whopping 47% say their under 10s are choosing their own clothes, 40% say they’re taking a major role in deciding where the family goes on holiday and 39% say the kids decide which brands go in the trolley at the supermarket.
  • Crucially, when it comes to technology, one in five parents say they pick their little one’s brain before buying items such as a new iPad and 62% ask their child for the green light before actually forking out for : one.
  • Finally, almost half of parents still need to ask the kids how to work Facebook or send a tweet.

If you subscribe to The Grocer you can read the full article in their 6 April 2013 issue on page 40-41, or online here

The Grocer – Generation I – the successor to the digital native

LS:N Global journalist and resident Gen-I guru, Peter Firth spoke to The Grocer about the changes in who influences buying decisions in households with kids born after 2002. Firth says ‘These kids have access to unbridled information on hand-me-down smartphones, so they are well placed to say ‘we should have this, because’.’

The Grocer also quoted a selection of stats from our UK Consumer Attitude Audit:

  • three-quarters of parents say their Generation I kids are effectively holding the household purse-strings when it comes to purchasing decisions.
  • A whopping 47% say their under 10s are choosing their own clothes, 40% say they’re taking a major role in deciding where the family goes on holiday and 39% say the kids decide which brands go in the trolley at the supermarket.
  • Crucially, when it comes to technology, one in five parents say they pick their little one’s brain before buying items such as a new iPad and 62% ask their child for the green light before actually forking out for : one.
  • Finally, almost half of parents still need to ask the kids how to work Facebook or send a tweet.

If you subscribe to The Grocer you can read the full article in their 6 April 2013 issue on page 40-41, or online here

The Grocer – Generation I – the successor to the digital native

LS:N Global journalist and resident Gen-I guru, Peter Firth spoke to The Grocer about the changes in who influences buying decisions in households with kids born after 2002. Firth says ‘These kids have access to unbridled information on hand-me-down smartphones, so they are well placed to say ‘we should have this, because’.’

The Grocer also quoted a selection of stats from our UK Consumer Attitude Audit:

  • three-quarters of parents say their Generation I kids are effectively holding the household purse-strings when it comes to purchasing decisions.
  • A whopping 47% say their under 10s are choosing their own clothes, 40% say they’re taking a major role in deciding where the family goes on holiday and 39% say the kids decide which brands go in the trolley at the supermarket.
  • Crucially, when it comes to technology, one in five parents say they pick their little one’s brain before buying items such as a new iPad and 62% ask their child for the green light before actually forking out for : one.
  • Finally, almost half of parents still need to ask the kids how to work Facebook or send a tweet.

If you subscribe to The Grocer you can read the full article in their 6 April 2013 issue on page 40-41, or online here

The Grocer – Generation I – the successor to the digital native

LS:N Global journalist and resident Gen-I guru, Peter Firth spoke to The Grocer about the changes in who influences buying decisions in households with kids born after 2002. Firth says ‘These kids have access to unbridled information on hand-me-down smartphones, so they are well placed to say ‘we should have this, because’.’

The Grocer also quoted a selection of stats from our UK Consumer Attitude Audit:

  • three-quarters of parents say their Generation I kids are effectively holding the household purse-strings when it comes to purchasing decisions.
  • A whopping 47% say their under 10s are choosing their own clothes, 40% say they’re taking a major role in deciding where the family goes on holiday and 39% say the kids decide which brands go in the trolley at the supermarket.
  • Crucially, when it comes to technology, one in five parents say they pick their little one’s brain before buying items such as a new iPad and 62% ask their child for the green light before actually forking out for : one.
  • Finally, almost half of parents still need to ask the kids how to work Facebook or send a tweet.

If you subscribe to The Grocer you can read the full article in their 6 April 2013 issue on page 40-41, or online here