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Silence is gold

The last straw?

Data minimalism

Ahead of the curb

The inclusivity paradox

Space odyssey

Synthetic realities

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Our annual Trends report the demand on two other Digital is facing a big the shift from monoliths
is here, born from plenty of precious human resources – spring-cleaning: a time to ecosystems, providing
Post-it notes, more coffee our time and attention. As a when we decide whether hyper-relevance to people
than we care to mention, lots result, employees, consumers something still has value and going beyond the labels
of healthy debate and quite a and organizations are doing and relevance to our lives. of customers, consumers,
few laughs. Trends is always some serious soul-searching This is a question about the commuters and citizens.
a labor of love, crowdsourced about where they stand with it long term, not just the sugar
from Fjordians (all 1,000 of all, which leads us to our meta high of instant gratification. Success lies in providing
us) from around the world – theme for 2019: the search value relevant not only to
from San Francisco to Berlin, for value and relevance. As you read through the individual contexts, but also
Hong Kong to Johannesburg, Trends, you will see that they to the world. This requires
Dubai to São Paulo and raise plenty of fundamental a mindset shift that feels
Value and relevance
22 other places in between.​ questions. Does the brand counterintuitive: Be quiet,
Digital is now so widely deserve a space in my life don’t shout. Be relevant
This process results in the
adopted that its novelty and in the world? Is the or don’t be there at all.
trends we expect to affect
has worn off. We are at an value exchange two-way? Know your customers, but
business, technology and
innovation plateau – a flat Is it doing something more only on their terms – not
design in the year ahead.
point in the S-curve before than straining the planet? yours. Do less, not more.
new products and services If the answer is no, then
Today, we stand at a
become mainstream. Some unsubscribe or delete. It has Value creation will not come
technological, political and
will be powered by artificial never been easier to do so. from simply growing bigger,
environmental inflection
intelligence, such as hyper- but by being better. In busy
point. Two decades of rapid
personal Living Services; The plateau is an opportunity, lives and on a crowded planet,
technology growth and
others will be driven by a shift though, to get our houses in only the relevant will remain.
innovation have generated
to the circular economy and order. Once the pace picks
enormous physical and digital
new cultural norms around up again, the winners will be Happy reading!
clutter. The steep demand on
data, identity and well-being. organizations that navigated
the planet’s resources mirrors

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Silence is gold

We’re seeing a dramatic escalation in the rate at which

people disconnect, unsubscribe and opt out to stem the
barrage of content and messages that clutter daily life.
As consumers, we’ve come to realize that it’s no longer
simply a lifestyle choice, but a serious mental health
issue. As we put up more barriers between ourselves and
digital technologies, organizations must learn how to
offer value to users who crave quiet in a noisy world.

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What’s going on?
We predicted Digital Dieting Arguably the most enlightened
back in our 2015 Trends, which about the risks for children,
looked at how our behaviors Silicon Valley parents are
were evolving because of the increasingly obsessed with
growing tension between our keeping their kids away from
reliance on digital and our need screens – so much so that many
to focus on the unmediated real are changing their nannies’
world. In 2018, the rise of alerts, contracts to include a promise to
notifications and voice services hide phones, tablets, computers
built on this thinking, directing our and TVs. There’s also a divide born
attention toward fears that digital of privilege and wealth that is
technologies could have a lasting revealing in itself: Research shows
negative influence on our mental lower-income American teenagers
health, especially for children. spend an average of eight hours
and seven minutes per day using
A diverse array of organizations screens for entertainment, while
from around the world have their more affluent peers spend
voiced their concern. In five hours and 42 minutes. And
October 2018, the first ever as China makes efforts to tackle
Global Ministerial Mental Health gaming addiction, especially
Summit discussed ways to among children, gaming giant
address the damaging impact Tencent is tightening checks
of digital technologies, and the on the age of online players.
British government recently
asked medical experts to draw On the employee side, China’s
up guidelines for children and Hangzhou Zhongheng Electric
young people’s social media use Co., Ltd., is one of a growing Worker wearing brain monitor for research into stress.
to protect their mental health. number of organizations using
Kids themselves are also pushing brain surveillance devices to
back. More than half (63 percent) help them redesign workflows
of British schoolchildren now say with the aim of reducing
they would be happy if social employees’ mental stress.
media had never been invented,
and half of the UK’s Generation Z – Perhaps most striking has been
a group that grew up online – have the backlash within the tech
quit or are considering quitting at industry itself. The Center for
least one social media platform. Humane Technology (a group

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of Silicon Valley technologists exposure to digital technology.
who were early employees at big The Light Phone, for example, is a
tech firms) is now so alarmed by minimalist smartphone designed
the ill effects of social networks to reduce daily mobile use.
and smartphones, it’s working to There’s clearly demand for such
build awareness of the danger endeavours: When entrepreneurs
of technology “hijacking our Ivan Cash and Scott Blew
minds and society” and our launched their Kickstarter
need to realign technology with campaign for screen-blocking
humanity’s best interests. IRL Glasses – spectacles that
blank-out the light wavelengths
The growth of recovery programs from LED and LCD screens – they
for digital technology addicts surpassed their funding goal
and “right to disconnect” laws in just three days. There are
designed to create boundaries even 12-step recovery programs
between work and home put for social media addiction.
further pressure on tech giants,
which are rightly responding by All-capable devices with screens
redesigning user experiences have made us distracted and
around the principles of depressed. It’s perhaps inevitable,
control and restriction. therefore, that simpler, less
attention-seeking tech is enjoying
Apple and Google have a resurgence. In 2018, Sony
introduced well-being tools that brought back its 25-year-old
limit screen time. Meanwhile, PlayStation Classic, and PDA
Microsoft has increased pioneer Palm Inc., creator of the
product features to minimize iconic PalmPilot, was reborn.
distraction, and alongside
tech companies like Amazon The values users seek from
and Cisco, it’s backing Mindful the products, services and
Technology, a business focused organizations we choose to
on developing technology interact with are shifting.
with respect for people’s Where once we celebrated
time, attention and privacy. novelty, excitement and
instant gratification, we now
Beyond user experiences, reject organizations that
companies are also designing shout to get our attention.
physical products that give the
user more control over their

The new Palm - smaller and

10 simpler than most phones.
What’s next?
Mindful design is fast rising In 2017, we talked about
up on the agenda for big tech Unintended Consequences
firms. Other organizations – specifically, organizations’
must follow their lead but, to need to focus more closely on
do so, they’ll need to learn new their social experience (as well
ways to build relationships as customer and employee
and loyalty with consumers experience) to remove or
that now respond badly to mitigate any unintended
the shouty approach of old. consequences of their actions.

Rather than being big, bold In 2019, the unintended

and noisy, to avoid being consequence of organizations’
ignored – or worse, abandoned – activities will be customers feeling
organizations need to pipe down. inundated and overwhelmed;
It’ll be difficult for many to break organizations must embrace
long-established behavior, but a new design ethos that puts
it’s crucial. Their focus should human value back at the
be on designing products that center of their innovations. The
meet customers’ holistic needs, designers who undertake this
shaped to sit favorably within work have a responsibility to
the ecosystem of other products take a more ethical approach Families are realizing the value of reduced
competing for attention. They’ll by not making things people screen time and less digital noise.

also need to rethink the metrics don’t need. Think of it as the

they use to measure success, Hippocratic Oath for designers.
prioritizing long-term value, for
example, above usage time.

“More than half (63 percent) of British

schoolchildren now say they would be happy
if social media had never been invented.”

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“The move toward “slimline” digital
consumption will only get faster.”

We should also consider how best more with digital at work than at
to design to exploit boredom. As home. To strike the right balance,
Manoush Zomorodi has argued organizations will need to take
so eloquently, boredom breeds a holistic view, including other
thought that leads to ideas and products, services and users.
creativity that can be put to great
use. By building opportunities to Consumers want to be heard and
pause and think into the paths understood as whole people, not
and interfaces they develop, simply as receivers of isolated
organizations can turn users into services. It will be critical for all
proactive, engaged and genuine organizations to consider not
partners in this digital mix. just their own product but the
wider ecosystem in which their
The move toward “slimline” digital product sits. It’s this consideration
consumption will only get faster. and respect for individuals’
Customers will define their own context that will become the
boundaries, and these may vary pillars of the long-term, value-
as they move from place to place added, meaningful relationships
– for example, they might interact on which organizations’ future
business success will depend.

The minimalist Light Phone

14 is designed to be used less.
Fjord suggests

01 02 03 04
Be quieter Radically simplify your Invest in content design Measure the cognitive effort
feedback surveys that you expect from your

Take a lack of responsiveness Listen to the changing needs When the number of interactions Recognize the attention and
as a hint to be quieter, not of your customers and make you have with your consumers effort your service expects from
noisier. Rethink your metrics, providing feedback as easy and is minimal, each one of them its users and demand it only
and find new ways of measuring instant as possible. Pay attention counts. Change the language when it’s useful to people.
performance of your services to the online reviews – customers of your messaging, and do it
that are not purely engagement- are probably already telling you frequently. It’s not just about
related. what you need to know. what you say but how you say it.

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The last straw?

Our climate is changing and so is the way we’re thinking

about it. Our concerns about global warming, pollution and
sustainability have experienced a cultural shift. Where once it
was “too big to do anything about,” now it’s personal. In 2019,
it won’t be enough for companies to simply acknowledge
environmental concerns; consumers will expect commitment
to be proven through action. Organizations will need to
redesign their systems and business models to fit the
“circular economy,” where consumers are active participants,
and sustainability is built into their products and services.

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Cigarette butts Straws
7% 11%
Plastic bags
Plastic bottles/cups

What’s going on?

In 2018, people’s growing oceans on David Attenborough’s
anxiety and anger about the “Blue Planet II” TV series fired 17%
environmental impact of up the public and media debate
plastics was vented at the worst on single-use plastics.
culprits. The sources of single-
use shopping bags, bottles, In September, California became
coffee cups and drinking straws the first US state to ban the use
were held to account by the of plastic straws in restaurants,
public and mainstream media. unless customers ask for them. In 1%
Collins Dictionary even made England, where 4.7 billion plastic
“single-use” its word of the straws, 316 million plastic stirrers Styrofoam

year, saying that it describes and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed

“items whose unchecked cotton buds are used each
proliferation are blamed for year, the environment secretary Glass Other plastics
damaging the environment and launched a consultation into the
affecting the food chain.” proposals to ban plastic straws 1% 12%
and cotton buds within 12 months.
Last year, we highlighted the rise Then in October, the European
of the Ethics Economy, with more Parliament voted for a complete The types of waste that plague our oceans –
organizations taking political and ban on a range of single-use a visual guide created by Making Oceans Plastic Free.

ethical stances that are above plastics across the union by 2021.
and beyond their own bottom line
concerns. In the 12 months since, Considerable attention is being
the environment hasn’t left the given to microplastics, tiny
headlines. A series of extreme pieces ranging from 5 millimeters
weather events were partly down to 100 nanometers in
blamed on climate change. China diameter. They are now found
stopped importing and disposing throughout our oceans, working
of international waste as it their ways into the creatures
couldn’t cope with any more. And that inhabit them, the food chain
horrific scenes of plastic strewn and ultimately, our bodies. In
one recent sampling survey

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conducted in 21 countries in PepsiCo, Unilever and H&M,
Europe, the Americas, Africa will team up with governments
and Asia, microplastics were to boost recycling and end the
found in 90 percent of table flow of plastic into oceans.
salt. Microplastics were also
found in human stool for the In fashion, Make Fashion
first time in history in 2018. Circular is driving collaboration
between industry leaders and
And British and US scientists are other key stakeholders. It aims
engineering an enzyme that eats to create a textiles economy
plastic, a major breakthrough with new business models
in the fight against pollution. that increase the use of safe
and renewable materials and
Most countries are now working to turn old clothes into new.
define national strategies for their
transition to a circular economy, Everlane recently debuted a
a move which could bring an collection made from recycled
estimated savings of £523 plastic bottles. H&M is working
billion for European companies toward shifting from its current
alone. Applying circular linear model to one that is
economy principles at scale 100 percent circular and
in China’s cities would deliver renewable by 2030. It is building
significant benefits, according circularity into every stage of
to a report launched at the the value chain, including the
World Economic Forum’s Annual products designed and made,
Meeting of the New Champions the materials and processes
in October. It would make used, and how customers care
cities more livable and goods for and dispose of them.
and services more affordable
by reducing emissions of fine Nike has undergone profound
particle matter by 50 percent, change, helping to lead the
greenhouse gas emissions by 23 way on sustainable design
percent and traffic congestion and materials. Their Flyknit
by 47 percent, by 2040. shoes reduce waste by about
60 percent. Meanwhile, Ikea
Consumers aren’t just receptive is working towards being a
to change, they now demand it – net exporter of renewable
as illustrated by a groundswell energy by 2020.
of industry-wide and company-
specific initiatives. The Ellen To reduce waste and litter,
MacArthur Foundation has city marketing organization
organized a pledge whereby Iamsterdam, designer Explicit
250 companies, including Wear, and sustainability company

Producing the Nike Flyknit generates

60% less waste than normal trainers. 23
Gumdrop have collaborated to In one recent study, 71 percent
design a shoe called Gumshoe, of people said they care more
which is made from gum scraped about the impact a brand could
off the streets of Amsterdam. have on them and on society
than they do about the brand’s
In tech, at the launch of the products or services. This figure
iPhone XS, Apple announced rises to nearly 80 percent for
that all its facilities are running Millennials and post-Millennials.
on 100 percent renewables — a
huge piece of news that would Organizations that have put their
not have been a consideration green credentials front and center
10 or even five years ago. And are already reaping the rewards.
many Apple suppliers have At Unilever, sustainable brands
now signed a pledge to get have seen on average 30 percent
to 100 percent renewable faster growth than Unilever brands
energy for the Apple-related that aren’t. In fact, sustainable
proportion of their business. brands are now delivering 70
percent of Unilever’s growth.
More and more companies and ASOS has begun sustainable
people are also trying to put as fashion training for its designers
much back into society as they to encourage environmentally Global garbage pollution is more serious and visible than ever.
take out, by creating “net positive” conscious business practices.
strategies. Dell is one such
company embracing recycling by Many companies have already
design, developing products with started to build ethics into their
an eye to eventually recycling business mission statements
as many parts as efficiently and propositions. Now they
possible. Richard Branson has must put their words into
created the Global Cooling actions and prepare for a new
Prize, a $3 million competition wave of regulations regarding
to spur on new technology to sustainability and climate “Everyone should be putting in place
create more sustainable air change. Anyone who ignores
conditioners. And the Finnish this will be left behind – even a circular economy strategy as part
government has set a strategic those who are starting to
of their consumer-driven mapping.”
target to become a forerunner address it now are already
in the circular economy. playing catch-up. Everyone
should be building a circular
economy strategy as part of their
consumer-driven mapping.

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What’s next?
Globally, the circular economy for manufacturing, we have
could unlock $4.5 trillion of real alternatives to using
economic growth, according to a virgin materials and traditional
recent Accenture estimate. New production methods.
business models will emerge
with reuse and the circular As governments start to put
economy in mind – realizing value policies in place forcing wholesale
where it was not seen before by industry change around waste,
rethinking the traditional linear reuse and recycling targets,
model of “take, make waste.” businesses must quickly
make changes. This presents
Businesses will move past opportunities for new innovative
the concepts of the sharing players to collaborate with big
Climate change probably contributed to the California wildfires. economy, to new models of business and support innovation
ownership and value. They will at a large scale, while providing
be designing for a different set them with an opportunity to
of considerations and a different scale and share their message.
set of associated costs. We’ll These businesses are seeing
see more emphasis on reverse the opportunity in CE (the
logistics, repair, maintenance, certificate of health, safety
disassembly, end of life, and environment standards in
collection, hygiene and labelling. Europe) and waste targets.
“Now that we have the ability to use materials
We will shift the way we make Power will shift to the grassroots
and processes that were never previously goods, as a result of materials and communities to drive change

considered to be resources for manufacturing, innovation and advanced as individuals impatient for
manufacturing and production. legislative change take action
we have real alternatives to using virgin Now that we have the ability to from the bottom up. There will
use materials and processes also be more choice than ever for
materials and traditional production methods.” that were never previously people to do things themselves
considered to be resources through open-source innovation.

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“Designing for ecosystems must
be at the heart of rethinking how
organizations approach the circular
economy and supply chain.”

Designing for ecosystems must While it may be some time before

be at the heart of rethinking consumers are prepared to
how organizations approach the shift personal habits to a more
circular economy and supply sustainable lifestyle – like strictly
chain. This means putting the limiting their meat consumption
user in the middle, rather than – organizations must be ready for
considering them merely as the tornado effect we have now
the recipient at the end and seen around plastics. It could be
making the user’s journey more repeated for other environmental
circular. It’s about approaching issues with surprising speed.
sustainability not as an add-on
or something to retrofit, but as a
service integral to your product.

Everlane’s Reversible Hooded Puffer is

made from recycled plastic bottles. 29
Fjord suggests

01 02 03 04
Redesign everything Collaborate to get ahead Tell your stories Turn waste into wealth

Focus on the experience of Think beyond your brand Brands must tell stories around Think about how to monetize and
making a difference. Make the and business to industry traceability, sourcing and impact extract value from something that
experience of refilling, borrowing, opportunities, and shift to cut through and differentiate. is no longer wanted, as well as
returning or disposing as great together with your peers or Help consumers navigate how to create new value where
as the experience of buying. even competitors. Join forces the complexity of promises, it was previously nonexistent.
To remove potential barriers to with others to solve problems certifications, and what’s “real” View sustainability as a measure
behavior change, make your collectively. versus what’s “greenwashing.” of impact and value alongside
sustainable products as desirable, financial results.
affordable and convenient as
non-sustainable alternatives.

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Data minimalism

Data’s headline appearances throughout 2018 distorted

people’s understanding of the value exchange between
data owner (you) and data user (organizations).
Expectations around how much people’s personal data is
worth became falsely inflated, and the mystery surrounding
how it’s used became a cause for concern. Moving
forward, organizations must design for transparency, so
that consumers can trust that they’re pursuing only the
data they need to build new products and services, and
that they’re using and storing that data responsibly.

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What’s going on?
When the EU introduced the trust that company to protect
new General Data Protection their data, while 60 percent
Regulation (GDPR) last May, the ranked a potential war less
flood of permission requests concerning than cybersecurity.
inundating people’s inboxes
revealed the extent to which Organizations’ struggle to
they were generating and implement new data regulations
sharing data with organizations further stoked concern. Four
they engaged with. With the months after the GDPR came
Cambridge Analytica scandal into force, nearly 70 percent
headlines fresh in their minds, of companies around the
people were suddenly worried world had failed to comply
about data misuse and therefore with addressing requests from
became more selective individuals to obtain a copy
about sharing their data. of their personal data within
the one-month time limit.
Customers’ trust in organizations
gathering and using their data Cracks started to appear in
was already dented. But last the long-held assumption that
year’s events left unprecedented customers happily share data
numbers of people feeling with the organizations they
exploited and vulnerable. In deal with so long as they get
a survey for IBM, 75 percent better and more personalized
of respondents said they products and services in return.
will not buy a product from Others suggested that people
a company – no matter how were tired of organizations
great the product – if they don’t promising (and failing to
deliver) greater personalization
in exchange for data.

Augmented Mundanity OS lets you interact with

your computer as you would in the physical world.
“While many people assume their
individual data set is desirable in its
own right, organizations actually want it
most when it’s part of aggregated data.”

Yet, while organizations’ appetite and B2C businesses can reach

for data gathering, warehousing, target customers. Health Wizz,
analytics and related services meanwhile, enables patients to
continued unabated, a host of securely aggregate, organize
new entrants saw an opportunity and share their medical
to get involved in the fast- records and is one of a new
growing data-trading marketplace generation of new niche data
by meeting people’s growing marketplace platform players.
demand for ways to better
control and monetize their data. By the close of 2018, such
developments had overinflated
CyberVein, for example, has people’s understanding of their
developed a blockchain- personal data’s value, meaning
based system enabling that their understanding of the
people to sell their own data, data value exchange was out
joining the growing number of sync with organizations’.
of other companies already While many people assume their
doing the same, including individual data set is desirable
Wibson and Ocean Protocol. in its own right, organizations
BehaviourExchange is running actually want it most when it’s
a mutual back-scratching part of aggregated data.
digital platform where people
can turn their data into money

Ocean Protocol is giving people

more power over their own data. 37
What’s next?
In 2019, organizations must Transparent design means clearly
clearly show the payback for demonstrating the value both
users sharing their data, drawing data owner and data user can
a straight line from the act of gain and designing products and
sharing to receiving relevant services to give the individual
products and services in return. greater control. Some are already
They’ll need to demonstrate doing it well, like Augmented
what’s in it for the customer, Mundanity OS, a project that
ensuring that the data value envisions a new kind of operating
exchange is fair to them. system that makes it simpler
to understand and use privacy
Trust and transparency will tools. New York City’s Open Data
offer a competitive advantage for All initiative is another great
to those who maintain it, example. Its aim is to improve
opening up new opportunities the accessibility, transparency
to attach “trustability” scores and accountability of NYC
to all sources of data and government. By publishing all of
information. Trustworthy brands the data sets produced by the
are inherently more meaningful city’s agencies and organizations,
and outperform the stock market it helps New Yorkers use,
by an estimated 206 percent. learn about and ultimately
benefit from the city data.
The objective must be for
both parties – individual Expect a shift from “data
and organization – to get maximalism” to “data minimalism,”
maximum value over the as organizations strive toward
long term. If organizations gathering only the data they need
design for transparency, they for their products and services.
will be able to rebuild trust, Minimal viable data will be the
allowing individuals to have new trend in product design.
faith that their relationships
with those organizations
are mutually beneficial.

The Health Wizz app lets you take

control of your own medical records. 39
People will no longer accept Accenture is already taking the
mediocre rewards in exchange for first steps in this direction, having
their data; they will expect more developed an algorithmic fairness
from services, so organizations tool that quickly evaluates
will be forced to do more to whether your data creates fair
ensure customers can clearly outcomes. It uses statistical
see what’s in it for them and fully methods to identify when groups
understand what consent really of people are treated unfairly
means. They can build trust by by an algorithm –defining
giving customers the tools to unfairness as predictive parity,
not only make informed choices meaning that the algorithm is
about what they share and with equally likely to be correct or
whom but also the chance to incorrect for each group.
correct inaccurate data. This
will also improve the quality Organizations will need to
of the data shared, which, in continue to address data leaks
Wibson lets you use blockchain to sell your own data. turn, can be used to improve with much more rigor, treating
algorithms and design out biases. them as the oil leaks of our
time. Clean-up teams will be
Algorithmic fairness will essential to help companies
continue to be an issue of understand what’s been lost
utmost importance. As virtually and how it affects users.
all organizations will continue
to rely on algorithms for key It won’t be long before companies
business decisions, they must start habitually sharing data, and
work even harder to guard there will be a move to create data
against algorithmic bias. exchanges, or open data APIs, as
“Consumers increasingly regard their personal Public transparency won’t be has happened in open banking.
enough – they’ll also need Once accustomed to sharing
data as an asset that they can use to their to develop tools that open data, businesses will then form

advantage in data exchanges with organizations.” up the artificial intelligence around these larger data sets.
“black box” to investigate
potential bias in data sources.

40 41

01 02 03
Set expectations and Embrace “data minimalism” Champion trust
live up to them

Empower people to know how, Ensure your data strategy follows Allow people to act when data
where and why their data was the minimal viable data pattern about them is wrong by designing
used in your personalization and collects only what’s needed transparency and enabling people
framework, and make clear what to drive the service. Closely align to recalibrate algorithms. Prove
they will get in return. Gone your data collection strategy that what you get out of using
are the days when consumers to your business objectives. their data doesn’t outweigh the
would willingly hand over all their Collection, measurement value they get from sharing it.
information without clear reason and tailoring of services are
or payback. intrinsically linked.

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Ahead of

the curb

Our cities are changing. Around the globe, lines are blurring
between public and private transport, passenger transit
and item delivery. The problem is that cities aren’t keeping
up, so insufficient regulation and lack of central planning
has resulted in a free-for-all that’s leading to urban mobile
service clutter and a fragmented user experience. In 2019,
organizations must start to consolidate mobility services
within a single, coherent ecosystem built on real-time needs.

44 45
What’s going on?
Transport in cities used to be new models and services. But
simple. Everyone knew their the sheer volume of interest
place: There was delivery, and the lack of any centralized
private transport for individuals mobility systems resulted in Dockless scooter operator Bird help us get around, but can
and public transport to move mobility providers hacking old clutter sidewalks and become obstacles for pedestrians.

the masses. Now, a rapidly models. In stepped new, private

expanding and diverse array players to grasp the resulting
of mobility players are moving opportunities, and suddenly
in lots of directions, fast. our cities were overwhelmed.

It’s all driven (pardon the pun) The streets of Paris have become
by a shift in population from cluttered with hundreds of
rural to urban areas. According electric scooters from Californian Bike-sharing service Mobike is now in 200 cities worldwide.
to the United Nations, the operators Lime and Bird,
number of people living in cities competing with Chinese-run
could double to 6.5 billion by dockless bicycle-sharing schemes
2050. By 2030, we’re expecting and city-operated bike scheme
over 9 percent of the world’s Vélib’. Sidewalks have become
population will live in just 41 so crowded and dangerous as a
megacities (those with more result, the French government
than 10 million inhabitants), banned scooters in October.
but city infrastructures are
struggling to keep up. In the US, a recent study
suggests that new, on-
Different transport modes were demand car services aren’t
starting to overlap or become just compounding congestion
cross-purpose when cities began – they’re stepping up driving,
publishing their APIs, creating a cannibalizing transit trips and
playground for anyone interested critically increasing traffic deaths
in meeting growing demand for by 2 to 3 percent nationally.

46 47
We’re also seeing many and Shanghai; in Shanghai, the
companies branch out from company is also developing
operating in just one transport an intelligent transfer system
mode. Delivery companies UPS, that integrates stations with
DHL and FedEx, for example, are popular bike-parking spots. One
building up fleets of electric cars of their rivals, Chinese-owned
on the ground, and transportation bike-sharing service Mobike,
firms like Rolls-Royce, Uber and has branched out to 200 cities
“Vahana” is a self-flying taxi pioneered by Airbus. Airbus are racing to pioneer flying in 15 countries worldwide.
cars. Automotive manufacturers
like Daimler, which is already Those who’ve historically
offering car-sharing, are starting worked outside the mobility
to explore integrated transport market are starting to muscle
ticketing, while transit app in, too. Nike, for example, has
Citymapper is running a hybrid introduced a curb-side pick-up
taxi-bus fleet in London. service as part of its new Nike by
Melrose concept store in LA.
The expansion doesn’t stop
there. Organizations that started A flood of next-generation
out in one region or country are products, services and business
extending their reach nationally models are coming to market
UPS is building a fleet of electric vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions. or internationally. Take Chinese- around the world. In Singapore,
owned bike-sharing company Finnish startup MaaS Global has
Hellobike, for instance, which teamed up with local transport
rebranded as Hello TransTech and giant ComfortDelGro to launch
then started a taxi-hailing service an app for commuters to use
with partners in Chengdu, Nanjing across taxis, buses, trains, rental

48 49
cars and bicycles. In Germany, In an attempt to address the
Siemens has launched the clutter and confusion, a group
world’s first autonomous tram. of diverse and influential
And in the UK, Bristol-based transport stakeholders launched
Vertical Aerospace recently the Sustainable Mobility for All
unveiled details of its own initiative after the Climate Action
solution: the eVTOL flying taxi. Summit of 2016. They’re now
working to develop a strategic
As online retail continues to initiative to transform the
flourish, so does opportunity for transport sector globally. With a
“last mile” solutions, bridging vision for access to free mobility,
the gap between delivery depot they’re looking to set the rules
and a customer’s front door. In of engagement for the imminent
the US, Amazon’s Flex program battle for mobility dominance.
pays ordinary people to deliver
packages in their own vehicles Despite such efforts, mobility
in specific markets. Amazon is in cities is still a fragmented
also developing its own shipping ecosystem of private companies,
service. In China, tech company individuals and government is testing delivery drones – often unregulated and
and recruiting locals to deliver universally unorganized.
packages to their neighbors.

The “Nike by Melrose” store in LA

has a curbside pickup service. 51
What’s next?
Over the next year, we’ll People will want unified, seamless
see a race for clarity and transit experiences, and the big
dominance in the fragmented winners will be those who provide
city mobility ecosystem. them by consolidating and
commodifying mobility services.
By 2021, we can expect public
and individual transport to fully In March 2019, a driverless shuttle
merge, and we’ll likely sense an bus designed by minimalist
attitude shift as travelers come Japanese retailer Muji, in
to think simply of getting from collaboration with Sensible 4, will
A to B, rather than ruminating appear on the streets of Helsinki.
over their mode of transport. This is an early example of
Multimodal and intermodal something we can expect to see
services and platforms will a lot more: brands with no history
grow commonplace, as will in mobility integrating it into their
mobility planning tools. Services primary service layer. Eventually,
will integrate across multiple we could even see private players
modes of transportation and offering free alternatives to
offer subscription-based challenge the traditional public
payment models, including and private paid-for models.
a flat fee across all options.
Future payment systems will be New city data and new
integrated, spanning multiple partnerships will shape the
operators and providers. future of mobility, which will be a
balance of existing systems and
Companies should be looking new initiatives. Services will be
for ways to design for changing integrated, and infrastructures
mindsets in changing contexts – for different transport modes,
and the stakes are high. Customer payment and ticketing systems
experience will be more than will become shared.
just a differentiator. It’ll be a
prerequisite to compete.

The world’s first driverless tram by Siemens. 53

Digital offers the most immediate In the US alone, the number of
possibilities for improving legacy packages delivered annually is
transport systems. Compared expected to rise to 16 billion by
with the slow creep of public 2020 from 11 billion in 2018.
infrastructure projects, it’s fast As we all use online shopping
and relatively cheap, and it options more and more, “last
offers countless ways to improve mile” delivery services will
existing transport systems and need to innovate to tackle the
enhance future projects. It also challenges of traffic congestion
offers a way to connect and unite and failed deliveries when
incoherent parts to create an recipients aren’t home. Deliveries
integrated transport ecosystem. will become branded experiences.

We can start to get excited There will be many contenders

when city planning and design trying to dominate the mobility
Muji and Sensible 4 designed this driverless shuttlebus. takes a more agile approach, market. For now, it’s unclear
resulting in systems that respond who will be in the best position:
to real-time data and citizens’ those providing seamless
changing needs. Already, we’ve experiences or those providing
seen some parties actively the most integrated end-to-end
starting to source and share experiences. We’ll need single
data to improve urban planning. access points, which will come
For instance, through the Uber through consolidation and
“Digital offers the most immediate Movement website, Uber freely acquisition – and whoever wins
shares data around traffic flow in here will be in pole position to
possibilities for improving legacy cities where it operates with city win the future of mobility.

transport systems. Compared with planners and researchers looking

for ways to improve. As others
the slow creep of public infrastructure follow suit, we’ll start to build the
data required to create a single,
projects, it’s fast and relatively cheap, accountable mobility ecosystem.

and it offers countless ways to

improve existing transport systems
and enhance future projects.”

54 55
Fjord suggests

01 02 03 04
Design for moving Go for gains, not pains Remember the last mile Partners trump platforms
from A to B

People will soon stop thinking You don’t have to be a transport As mobility becomes an Many mobility needs are currently
about transport mode and provider today to embed mobility ecosystem, many aspects unmet, but anyone can remedy
instead start thinking about in your service. Consider new will connect or merge. At this this with the right partner. The
simply getting from point A to business models that capitalize point, the main economic and critical mass required to deliver
B. Allow for customers’ needs on the benefits of adding mobility social value lies in smart system a working ecosystem will require
that ebb and flow depending on into your service layer. management. It’ll be critical collaboration and white-label
context and over time. Provide to link this mobility system to platforms, API consolidations and
hassle-free pick-and-choose existing infrastructures, manage partnerships, both public and
services. Think beyond classic access to it and allow seamless private.
market segmentation, and connections to other adjacent
address regional archetypes and service areas.
places sharing the same mobility
characteristics – beyond borders.

56 57
The inclusivity


People expect organizations to see and engage with them

as individuals. But there is a risk that by trying to be more
inclusive, organizations inadvertently exclude others.
And by trying to speak to the individual, organizations
risk saying something not quite right. Eventually,
artificial intelligence will help overcome this paradox of
inclusivity. Until then, organizations must evolve their
approach beyond stale segmentation to meaningful
mindsets if they’re to meet developing expectations.

58 59
What’s going on?
2018 has been a big year to hear when people have unwarranted
– and include – more voices. faith in those models, they can
Underrepresented voices that end up making worse decisions
have previously been ignored than if they’d used no model at all.
by mainstream media now use
digital technologies to unite and The UK’s House of Lords recently
be heard through grassroots asked the polling industry to “get
activity, opening the door its act together” after it failed to
for organizations wanting to predict the outcomes of the 2015
connect with them. But while we and 2017 general elections and
can now quantify the voices of the 2016 EU referendum vote.
those who have chosen to rally When pollsters miss the mark,
on city streets, red carpets and it’s not because they don’t have
around hashtags, how do we enough voter data; it’s because
quantify those still hiding in the filter bubbles blind them to
shadows of uncollected data? voters’ real-world context.
The House of Lords has asked the polling industry to “get its act together.”
At the same time, too many We’re also becoming increasingly
organizations still shape the aware of the potential for
design and development of algorithmic bias to lead to
mass-scale products and services people being treated unfairly,
based on quantitative insights or worse, excluded altogether.
and demographic sameness (and New York City Council passed
the assumptions they produce). a bill in December 2017 to set
While numbers may not lie, they up a task force to come up with
don’t always tell the full story recommendations on how to
because they’re blind to human publicly share information about “Inclusivity is both an opportunity and
behaviors in context. As Nassim algorithms and investigate
Nicholas Taleb points out in his them for bias. French President challenge for a diverse range of organizations
book “Fooled by Randomness: Emmanuel Macron recently
from national governments to start-ups.”
The Hidden Role of Chance in Life insisted all algorithms the French
and in the Markets,” few people government uses will be open,
understand the limits of the while the British government has
statistical models they create, and called for those working with
data in the public sector to be
transparent and accountable.

60 61
We no longer define consumption Inclusivity is both an opportunity
patterns by traditional and challenge for a diverse range
demographic segments like of organizations, from national
age, gender, location, income governments to startups. Hotels.
or family status. Now, we’re in com is among brand owners
a world of “post-demographic using tech firm Persado’s artificial
consumerism,” where we place intelligence platform to fine-tune
more importance on lifestyles and the emotional components of
mindsets, and brands are under the marketing language it uses
pressure to reinvent themselves to tailor what it says and how it
to maintain their appeal. says it to different customers.

According to one recent study, The first thing any organization

the hottest consumers that does with customer data is use
brands should now be targeting it to validate a hypothesis. Next,
are “transformists.” This new they identify patterns of customer
Some fashion companies need to better understand group cuts across age groups and behavior to hone products,
that Muslim women are not one homogeneous group. backgrounds and is populated by services or strategy – and this is
driven, curious and connected the stage many are at today. The
people who make a habit of third step is the most advanced:
engaging with brands. They using data to create individually
don’t just use tech for fun but to personalized interactions between
better their lives and support their organization and customer.
values and causes – from social
issues to professional goals. Many organizations feel
“Organizations will demand a more qualitative overwhelmed by the task of
One relatable example of mounting a response that will
understanding of what people’s data really unintended exclusivity is how have a strong enough impact

tells us within the context of their lives. major fashion brands have in the face of growing calls
struggled to crack the $254 for inclusivity. Until AI can
We’ll move on from using traditional market billion Muslim fashion market. solve the inclusivity paradox,
While major players have created tomorrow’s winners will be
segmentation to defining mindsets that lines to appeal to Muslim women, those who don’t settle for

indicate individuals’ behaviors and attitudes their efforts have attracted traditional demographics but
criticism for working on the take the time to understand
to design personalized products and services.” assumption that Muslim women individual mindsets, their value
are a single, homogenous group. in the present, and how – over
time and in different contexts
– they can shift and grow.

62 63
What’s next?
A major challenge in the year them to achieve inclusivity. For
ahead will be working out how example, Hewlett-Packard has
best to design to be inclusive been working on and rolling out
at a mass scale – not just for a “Reinvent Mindsets” campaign
the underrepresented groups that celebrates inclusion and
speaking out, but for others who highlights unconscious bias that
haven’t yet raised their voices. It’s affects both the corporate world
one thing to hear diverse voices and society at large. The wisest
and another to design products among them will interrogate the
and services that include them. “why?” behind data and work
to achieve a true, 360-degree
As consumers increasingly customer view, resulting in the
crave products and services data landscape becoming richer Those who speak out can be quantified, but
that feel tailored to their wants as it evolves. We’ll see new what about the silent among uncollected data?

and needs, people will become frameworks emerging, blending

less tolerant of those that big data (quantitative), thick data
only partly fulfill their needs (qualitative) and wide data (liquid
and don’t solve an issue. That expectations, trends, contextual
means organizations will have to insights and industry insights).
reevaluate their brand heritage
within a context in which new Organizations will demand a
racial, social, cultural and sexual more qualitative understanding
norms have become established. of what people’s data really tells “Too many organizations still shape the
us within the context of their
More organizations will realize lives. To design personalized design and development of mass-scale
that statistical modelling has products and services, we’ll
products and services based on quantitative
limitations and will switch move on from using traditional
to models that actively help market segmentation to defining insights and demographic sameness
(and the assumptions they produce).”

64 65
mindsets that indicate individuals’ Large tech companies will
behaviors and attitudes, with start to produce tools to
design research playing an simplify hyper-personalization.
increasingly powerful role. This is Organizations will also evolve
true of what Fjord and Volkswagen simpler, more effective targeting
found in “The Future of Mobility” for communications until such
study, which revealed the time as technologies’ editorial
complexities behind what people powers become so sophisticated
want, expect and need when that they can generate fully
they’re commuting and traveling. personalized content.
The study merged both market
and economic factors as well as Companies will need to
people’s personal preferences to take greater care when it
define six overarching mindsets, comes to personalization
which could be broken down and microtargeting to avoid
into 21 human themes. “uncanny valley” unease. The
uncanny valley is the paradox
We’ll come to expect the in robotics, in which the more
psychology of behavioral science human-like robots become, the
to become part of the design more our empathy increases, but
skillset. Organizations must also once they’re too realistic, our
draw inspiration from foreign or positive feelings quickly turn to
disparate demographics, and revulsion. Personalization and
mine smaller niches of interest microtargeting pose a similar risk,
rather than circumstance. as the more an organization gets
We’ll start to look for new ways personal, the more impersonal it’ll
to measure how successful seem when it misses the mark.
products and services are in
terms of inclusion and impact. Organizations must aim to design
meaningful interactions for all
It’ll no longer be a question of customers that bring tangible
choosing between qualitative or long-term value, both to users
quantitative research, but how and to the organization’s bottom
best to achieve a scalable balance line. Inclusive design is a powerful
of the two. The organizations tool for achieving this, but its
that can integrate qualitative effective deployment depends
and quantitative data well will on capturing the realities – and
have a clear competitive edge. complexities – of modern life.

Not everyone fits into obsolete

66 demographics and behavior types.

01 02 03
Marry quant and qual Focus on mindsets over Become a Living Business

When designing services, Move away from traditional Living Services are personalized
carefully mix human insights marketing approaches that treat services that adapt to user needs
with data to breathe more color people as a homogenized group in real-time context. To be able to
into facts that are often black according to their demographics. deliver them, you need to rewire
and white. Learn the differences Instead, focus on the mindsets your business by putting humans
between qualitative insights and that group people together based at the center and strive for
quantitative statistics at scale on their motivations, attitudes ultimate customer relevance – you
and how each can make the other and behaviors. need to become a Living Business.
more powerful.

68 69
Space odyssey

First, digital drove us to our screens. Then, physical

fought back. Both dramatically changed our expectations
of the physical world – first in retail, then in the workplace
and soon in public spaces. Now, as digital and physical
intertwine, organizations must find ways to seamlessly
interconnect digital and physical experiences. This
will require a fundamental rethink of the approaches
and tools for designing spaces in order to meet users’
expectations of greater flexibility and personalization.

70 71
What’s going on?
In our 2018 Trends, we predicted Convenience powered by
Physical Fights Back against seamless connectivity depends
digital with a shift in emphasis on data, and there has been a
away from screens to physical further shift among retailers Your face is your bank card at Hema supermarket.
spaces. For years it had been to gather, use and act on
assumed that digital would customer data both more
lead to more of us working effectively and creatively.
and shopping remotely from
home. Then, physical space was China’s Hema supermarket chain
acknowledged as a powerful way is a fusion between supermarket
to engage audiences, talent and and fulfillment center, where
communities. Our point was that everything happens via an app,
physical was becoming frontstage powered by data and payments
in the experiences we design. facilitated with facial recognition.
Its owner, Chinese retail giant
Next, a further shift occurred. Alibaba, calls this “New Retail.”
People became more global,
on-demand, social and holistic, In November 2018, Nike’s new
blurring the boundaries flagship store opened in New York
between work and play. The City. The design makes shopping
resulting digital data powered in a physical store as convenient
a race to better quantify human as shopping online, wooing
experiences in physical spaces people who hate shopping in
and meet their increasingly real life. The space contains two
personalized demands by customization studios, one-
creating new ones. Across retail on-one shoe consultation and
and work, there was a switch a sneaker center, which has
from focusing on designing displays showing how shoes are
space for technologies to designed, prototyped, and built. Herman Miller’s research-based “living
designing space for humans But the store was also designed office discovery process” for client

in order to elevate the minds for people who prize convenience

and experiences of its users. above all else with a special
“Speed Shop” embedded inside.
Now, however, the emergence
of an increasingly integrated Kohl’s, also in the US, is deploying
approach to digital and physical learnings from its digital business
space is becoming evident, to meet customers’ demands
led by the retail environment for localization. To reduce
and followed by work. shipping time, Kohl’s is using its

stores as part of its fulfilment they want and ensure it’s more
of online orders, partitioning its tailored, responsive and flexible to
online orders geographically to their needs. This reflects a shift to
inform in-store product choice. catering for today’s needs rather
Just over 95 percent of the than processes and technologies
company’s store assortment from a previous era, as many
is now localized by store. legacy workspaces do today.

As evidenced by these examples, Meanwhile, CapitaLand, one

the future of retail is positive and of Asia’s largest retail estate
diverse. Imaginative, experience- companies, recently acquired
led retailers are recognizing Singapore-based coworking
this and adopting a variety company Collective Works to
Amazon 4-star is a new physical store where only of different ways to disrupt create and implement a new
products with 4-star reviews or above are stocked. and differentiate in a rapidly generation of hybrid work space
changing industry. At Fjord, models. Its aim is to develop
we’ve identified these ways as community-driven, tech-
the new “seven shapes” of retail. enabled workspaces for tenants
by integrating conventional
In the workplace, WeWork office space with flexible
focused, until recently, on space to create an innovation
offering individuals and small workplace ecosystem.
businesses physical coworking
spaces. Now, it’s augmenting At Fjord, we’ve started receiving
its physical space offer with briefs to redesign workspaces
digital information gathered as a buildout of changing
from its 268,000 members in 287 employee experience.
locations across 23 countries.
Nike’s new flagship NYC store replicates the online experience. WeWork uses this data to give Workspace is also being
real-time recommendations rethought at a district and city
to big corporations on how to level. World-renowned architects
get more out of their spaces such as Tatiana Bilbao, Alejandro
and reduce employee churn. Aravena and Balkrishna Doshi
envision humane cities and evoke
US-based office furniture- local culture in their affordable
maker Herman Miller is using a housing schemes. Urban
proprietary, research-based “living planners are seeking new ways
office discovery process” to help to reinvigorate dying business
clients better envision the office districts and local communities.

74 75
What’s next?
The intertwining of digital and together to develop two-
physical will continue to deepen way tracking conversion that
in 2019. A wave of change, driven transcends the digital world to
by retail and office environments, finally connect offline behavior
will hit all our spaces, from the and digital marketing. Many
most industrial to the least fixed. will emulate Alibaba and others
like it, building on a seamless
Growing competition to build connection between the digital
customer and employee loyalty and physical experience.
and retention will make space an
increasingly powerful way to make Just as the business purpose,
an impact. Physical experience format and expectations of spaces
with meaning and value will also will continue to evolve, so too will
be used to meet individuals’ the way designers create them.
growing desire for mindful design Going forward, organizations must
– in line with another of our tackle these design challenges
trends this year: Silence is Gold. with a different, more fluid
mindset and approach. Design
But the cost of space is rising, of spaces will become more
and there’s a race to differentiate holistic. Across both work and
through physical experience. retail spaces, digital and physical
There’s also the great potential will become fully entwined
of new technologies to create and influence each other more
more sustainable spaces. closely. It will become harder to
distinguish between permanent
Organizations will use their and moveable space, business- or
understanding of customers’ art-focused space, and publicly-
online behaviors to reshape or privately-owned space.
offline experiences and vice
versa, following the lead set by
companies such as Mastercard
and Google. They are working

WeWork uses insights from its 287

coworking spaces to advise corporations. 77
“Software will not replace all offline retail,
but will be used instead to transform
certain offline retail experiences.”

Increasingly, the physical and and transactions to create a richer

digital journey will be created understanding of how the design
as a single design informed by of the digital experience can
and focused on meeting the lead to greater in-store spend.
holistic needs of the users that an
organization most wants to attract Online activity will also more
and engage with. Organizations closely shape store format design.
will open up to ecosystems, Increasingly, physical retail
designing digital channels, stores, space will be tailored, honed
supply chain or communities and enhanced by data gathered
as part of an integrated to pre-empt the needs of those
whole. Towns and cities will using them. Greater focus will be
become more entrepreneurial. needed to align retailers’ in-store
Autonomous vehicles will allow employees with customers. “Being
spaces to move around. No Instagrammable” will become an
space will be left unutilized. aspect of architecture briefs.

In retail, the line between the Organizations that can’t afford

digital and physical store will fade, to either invest in work or retail
and the experiences of each will space or drive differentiation in
become one. Data collection from the physical environment will give
e-commerce journeys will merge up market share to those that can.
into store movement, interactions

Urban planners worldwide are seeking

78 ways to revive areas in decline.
Fjord suggests

01 02 03 04
Let online behaviours Mind the gaps Link space and Create a connected
inform offline business strategy ecosystem

People’s digital behavior can give The experience of seamlessly Define the productivity you want Look at the ecosystem of services
powerful insights to what people moving between digital and from your space, and design and experiences offered in your
want and value. Use those insights physical channels is evolving. around it. The business purpose space, and link those to your
where appropriate in a physical Explore the potential of new tech of space is changing, and that customers’ mindsets. This is what
environment, just like Amazon partnerships, such as the one needs to be reflected in your should drive your design decisions.
did with their four-star physical between Google and Mastercard, business strategy.
store that only stocks products to make it happen.
that have been given four stars or
more in their online reviews.

80 81


There’s a new kind of reality on the block. Generated and

mixed realities are blurring the boundaries of “truth” and
challenging how we value it. As synthetic realities become
more normalized in 2019, organizations should look past
the drama and fear associated with them. Instead, they
should hone new strategies to capitalize on their creative
potential and manage the risk of unwittingly being
featured in a synthetic reality created by someone else.

82 83
What’s going on?
We live in an age of mixed reality. When photography evolved
Not so long ago, this meant and Photoshop was invented,
virtual reality or augmented photographic images could
reality – versions of reality we no longer be assumed to be
accessed via a headset or screen. a reliable source of evidence.
But last year, synthetic reality, The same is now happening
most often generated by artificial with audio and video, thanks to
intelligence, reached new heights deep learning technologies.
of sophistication. This sparked
controversy and also fascination The technology behind face-
about its creative possibilities. swapping can now map any image The Adobe Project Cloak tool can remove people or objects from videos.
style to another. It is already
In April 2018, a video apparently able to generate moving faces,
showing former President bodies and objects from simple
Obama calling President Trump outline drawings. And it can swap
names went viral. It was part the characteristics of fruit or
of an explosion of scandalous animals, such as turning a video
photo manipulations created for of a horse into one of a zebra.
hoaxes and propaganda using
“deepfake,” an AI-powered, A new tool from MIT can erase
face-swapping technique. anything – or anyone – from
MIT’s Deep Angel software tool erased
old photos. Meanwhile, Adobe the astronaut from this image.
A month later, Google showed Research has developed a tool
off its Google Duplex technology. called Project Cloak, which can
Google Assistant made a remove unwanted objects from
synthetic voice phone call, videos, powered by deep learning
which generated extra interest algorithms. In November 2018,
because of how naturally the China’s state-run press agency
AI interacted with a human, Xinhua News Agency launched
even dropping a casual “mmm its first AI anchors – digital
hmm” into the conversation. composites created from footage
of human hosts that read news
using synthesized voices.

84 85
Unsurprisingly, a common scans have already been
response to the rise of synthetic successfully used to train other
realities has been one of serious machine learning models, with
concern. In September 2018, 14 percent better accuracy than
three US lawmakers sent a ones trained on actual data. And
letter to the director of national it doesn’t come with any privacy
intelligence asking him to issues because the data isn’t real.
assess the threat posed to
national security by this new In entertainment, a small but
form of fakery. The same month, growing number of actors are
California governor Jerry Brown digitally preserving themselves
signed regulations into law to to continue their careers beyond
The CGI-generated character “Lil Miquela” make it easier for Californians to the grave – inspired, perhaps,
has 1.5M followers on Instagram. know whether they are speaking by a de-aged Carrie Fisher and
to the synthesized voice of a bot. the on-screen resurrection
of Peter Cushing in “Rogue
While we must be vigilant One: A Star Wars Story.”
about potential pitfalls, we’re
also seeing a wide range of Art project come Instagram
positive applications of synthetic influencer, CGI-generated robot
realities across entertainment, Miquela has risen to fame on
health care, mobility, security, social media through her unique
automation, art and design. style and activism. Miquela
has made her way into fashion
Synthetically-generated brain scans are being used
to help analzyse real ones much more accurately. In medicine, researchers in the magazines and is a musician/
US have trained an AI generative songwriter whose first single
adversarial network (GAN) to was released in 2018. She is
generate synthetic abnormal following in the footsteps of
magnetic resonance images of Hatsune Miku, a patented “singing
the brain. These can be used to voice synthesizer” created by
augment a small data set or to Japanese music technology
train a deep learning algorithm. company Crypton Future Media
Synthetically generated brain Inc. Powered by Vocaloid,

86 87
the underlying technology, For Baby Dove’s UK advertising
Miku is a virtual pop idol that campaign, “Real Mum,”
performs as a 3D animation GAN technology was used
in front of huge crowds. to amalgamate unrealistic
depictions of motherhood in
In fashion, VueModel’s AI media and social networks. The
algorithms allow the user to AI system learned from the data
generate on-model fashion it was trained on, producing an
imagery at a quarter of the increasingly accurate sample of
cost – and five times the speed photorealistic images. The result
– of traditional photography. was a high-quality final picture
of a supposed “perfect mum.”
“Zone Out” is a short film that was
entirely generated by AI. Director Understandably, fear of
Oscar Sharp and AI researcher synthetic realities stems from
Ross Goodwin created an AI the fact that they break the link Dove advertising used AI to create a supposed “perfect mum”
algorithm called Benjamin, who between authenticity and truth, from unrealistic depictions of motherhood in the media.

handled the whole production, which is also fueled by broader

from script to imagery. concerns about the post-truth,
disinformation era in which they
In the art world, “Edmond are happening. While these are
de Belamy” is one of a series legitimate concerns that need to
of portraits of members of be dealt with and acknowledged,
the fictional Belamy family, the emergence of synthetic
produced by three Paris-based media is simply following the
collaborators, collectively same path as Photoshop and
known as Obvious. The CGI: First it was scary; next it was
painting was created using AI, familiar; then it was accepted.
and in October 2018, it sold We expect a similar path here,
at Christie’s for $432,500. once many of the questions and
concerns are properly managed.

88 89
What’s next?
We should be asking two Diesel tackled this head-on
questions: “What do synthetic last year when it launched
realities mean for authenticity its own “genuine fake” pop-
and truth?” as well as “As this up store selling “DEISEL”
is normalized, what are the bootlegs that it had made.
opportunities and consequences
for me?” These questions are If a celebrity endorsement
not mutually exclusive. can be convincingly faked,
what’s the point of having real
In 2019, organizations must ones anymore? If the fake is
understand the technology- as good as the real thing, why
enabling synthetic realities, buy the original, especially
how they can be used, and their when the fake might have
This AI-generated artwork sold for $432,500. potential abuses. It could blow more cachet than the original?
up in their faces if they do it How can and should a brand
wrong, as it did for The Émile assess the value of authenticity
Cohl art school in France. The when the fake might be more
school doctored publicity images interesting or just as valuable?
to make its students look more
diverse – and needless to say, Soon, customers will expect
it caused outrage. Conversely, brands to meet them halfway
“While we must be vigilant about rogue organizations should be aware to supplement the realities
and ready in case their images they desire. Next, they will
users, we’re also seeing a wide range of are doctored by someone else, expect reality to adapt to

positive applications of synthetic realities or they could have their own them in real time without any
public relations disaster. conscious request. The shift will
across entertainment, healthcare, mobility, be from being teleported into
Brand owners will need to mixed realities to becoming
security, automation, art and design.” consider what role a brand has, recipients of mixed realities
can have, or should have, in
a world in which we question
the authenticity of everything.

90 91
“Brand owners will need to consider
what role a brand has, can have, or
should have, in a world in which we
question the authenticity of everything.”

seamlessly teleported to us. available, such as generative

And the role of designers will graphics, photos, audio, video,
be to set the stage on which text, code and materials like
these experiences happen. 3D printing and CRISPR.

Most leading AI providers will In 2019, simulations will help

soon offer tools and libraries break further ground in research
for building AI-powered and development and offer
natural language generation, new ways to educate people
image manipulation and other and AI systems. And there will
generative use cases. This will be opportunities for synthetic
be in addition to those already reality to make us better
humans in the real world.

Miku is a virtual pop idol who performs as

92 a 3D animation in front of huge crowds.
Fjord suggests

01 02 03 04
Reframe “authentic” Be clear, be prepared Explore synthetic realities Harness the power of
as a creative tool AI-generated images for

In a world of synthetic realities, Continue to distinguish your Don’t be put off by the fear of Explore ways that this technology
authenticity – something brand by having a clear purpose being accused of bending the can be used to educate people
consumers value highly – and a platform that can be built truth. Audiences already accept and other AI systems in scenarios
will be more important than from, rather than an entity that CGI in film; soon people will that were previously not possible.
ever. Understand how to be can be copied and manipulated. accept synthetic realities in High-fidelity simulations offer a
authentic and communicate that Be prepared for when things do everyday life. Once it’s familiar, no whole new way to test and train.
authenticity effectively. go wrong, and have policies in one will call it new or different or
place to handle them quickly. scary anymore.

94 95
Silence is gold

Department of Health and Social Care, Gov.UK, “World’s first Manoush Zomorodi, TED, “How boredom can lead to your most Adele Peters, Fast Company, “250 organizations are joining Images
global ministerial mental health summit to be held in London,” brilliant ideas,” April 2017 forces to end plastic waste,” October 28, 2018
May 21, 2018 Waste Pie Chart. Credit: Making Oceans Plastic Free.
Images Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “Make Fashion Circular”
BBC News, “Social media guidelines for young people to be Nike Flyknit. Credit: NIKE News.
drawn up,” September 30, 2018 Electroencephalography (EEG). Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper’s Bazaar, “Everlane debuts new
Credit: NeuroCognitive Imaging Lab. collection made from recycled plastic bottles,” Paradise polluted by plastic. Credit: Dustan Woodhouse/
Sirin Kale, The Guardian, “Logged off: meet the teens who October 25, 2018 Unsplash.
refuse to use social media,” August 29, 2018 Palm. Credit: Palm.
H&M, “Our vision and strategy” California wildfire. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Nellie Bowles, The New York Times, “Silicon Valley nannies are Woman holding boy. Credit: M.T. ElGassier/Unsplash.
phone police for kids,” October 26, 2018 Antonia Gawel, World Economic Forum, “How trainers are Everlane ReNew. Credit: Everlane.
The Light Phone. Credit: Light. taking us a step closer to a circular economy,” June 16, 2016
Common Sense Media, “The common sense census:
Media use by tweens and teens.” Emma Howard, The Guardian, “Ikea vows to be net exporter of
renewable energy by 2020,” May 27, 2016
Data minimalism
Stephen Chen, South China Morning Post, “‘Forget the
The last straw?
Facebook leak’: China is mining data directly from workers’ Thuy Ong, The Verge, “These sneakers are made from recycled N. Y. Armonk, IBM, “New survey finds deep consumer anxiety
brains on an industrial scale,” April 29, 2018 Olivia Petter, The Independent, “’Single use’ officially named as chewing gum,” April 24, 2018 over data privacy and security,” April 16, 2018
word of the year,” November 7, 2018
Nellie Bowles, The New York Times, “Early Facebook and Google Alex Hern, The Guardian, “Apple launched iPhone XS, XS Max Dylan Bushell-Embling, Technology Decisions, “Most businesses
employees form coalition to fight what they built,” Sky News, “From droughts to deluges: and XR – as it happened,” September 12, 2018 failing to comply with GDPR,” September 14, 2018
February 4, 2018 A year of dangerous weather”
Apple, “A supply chain that empowers people and protects Michael Dill, AdWeek, “How brands are justifying an increased
Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed News, “Inside how a 12-step recovery Yen Nee Lee, CNBC, “The world is scrambling now that China is the planet,” 2018 need for consumer data,” April 16, 2018
program for social media addiction works,” October 5, 2018 refusing to be a trash dumping ground,” April 16, 2018
Renee Morad, Scientific American, “Recycling by design,” Gina Clarke, Forbes, “How to use blockchain as a marketplace
Richard Haridy, New Atlas, “The right to disconnect: BBC Media Centre, “BBC announces major initiative ‘Plastics December 20, 2017 to sell your own data,” September 17, 2018
The new laws banning after-hours work emails,” August 14, 2018 Watch’ following the global impact of Blue Planet II,”
June 23, 2018 Adele Peters, Fast Company, “Richard Branson has just
Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, “How do Apple’s screen time and launched a $3m prize for a better air conditioner,”
Google Digital Wellbeing stack up?,” June 5, 2018 Hillary Brueck, Business Insider, “California just became the first November 11, 2018
US state to ban plastic straws in restaurants – unless customers
Harry McCracken, Fast Company, “Microsoft retools its ask,” September 21, 2018 Global Cooling Prize Behaviour.Exchange/en/
productivity vision for the era of tech distraction,”
October 2, 2018 Mattha Busby, The Guardian, “Plastic straws and cotton buds Kirsi Sormunen and Kimmo Tiilikainen, The Guardian, “The
could be banned within a year,” October 22, 2018 circular economy enters the world stage, with Finland leading the way,” June 6, 2018 Greater Than Experience, “Designing for Trust: The Data
BBC News, “Single-use plastics ban approved by European Transparency Playbook,” 2018
Danny Paez, Inverse, “I spend seven days trying to go rogue Parliament,” October 24, 2018 Karmarama, “Brand Nirvana,” 2018
with a minimalistic phone,” October 10, 2018 Katharine Schwab, Fast Company, “This is the most interesting
Christina Thiele and Malcolm David Hudson, The Independent, Leonie Roderick, Marketing Week, “Unilever’s sustainable UI design of the year so far,” November 12, 2018
Arielle Pardes, Wired, “These magical sunglasses block all the “How you’re eating microplastics,” July 6, 2018 brands grow 50% faster than the rest of the business,”
screens around you,” October 7, 2018 May 18, 2017 Zack Quaintance, Government Technology, “How New York City
Laura Parker, National Geographic, “Microplastics found in 90% tells the story of its open data work,” October 3, 2018
Nick Statt, The Verge, “Sony is launching a PlayStation Classic of table salt,” October 17, 2018 Molly Fleming, Marketing Week, “Unilever’s sustainable brands
console this December loaded with 20 games,” now delivering 70% of its growth,” May 10, 2018 Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch, “Accenture wants to beat unfair AI
September 19, 2018 Laura Parker, National Geographic, “In a first, microplastics with a professional toolkit,” June 2018
found in human poop,” October 22, 2018 Danielle Fowler, Harper’s Bazaar, “ASOS launches sustainable
Harry McCracken, Fast Company, “Palm’s progress: fashion training programme for its designers,” June 30, 2018 Rob Haslingden, Experian, “16 weeks after Open Banking was
The rise, fall – and rebirth – of a legendary brand,” The Guardian, “Scientists explain how plastic-eating enzyme brought to market,” May 8, 2018
October 10, 2018 can help fight pollution,” April 18, 2018 Accenture, “The circular economy could unlock $4.5 trillion of
economic growth, finds new book by Accenture,”
Mark Wilson, Fast Company, “Designers: ‘Stop making crap!’,” Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “The circular economy opportunity September 28, 2015
October 26, 2018 for urban and industrial innovation in China,” September 2018

96 97
Images Ewan Roy, TradeReady, “Who’s knocking at your door? Analysing Elizabeth Segran, Fast Company, “Muslim fashion is a $254bn Nisha Ramchandani, Business Times, “CapitaLand joint venture
the future of last mile delivery,” January 16, 2018 market – but big brands can’t crack it,” April 26, 2018 acquires Collective Works’ co-working business,”
Augmented Mundanity OS. Credit: Nicole Marnati, Design October 4, 2018
Academy Eindhoven. Lara Ewen, Retail Dive, “Solving for the last mile is retail’s next Persado, “Say hello to AI that speaks you brand voice and tells
big disruption,” February 27, 2018 your story” Mark Bergen and Jennifer Surane, Bloomberg, “Google and
Ocean Protocol. Credit: Ocean Protocol. Mastercard cut a secret ad deal to track retail sales,”
Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, “How ecommerce is transforming Aubrey Blanche, Medium, “Diversity fatigue is real: Atlassian’s August 30, 2018
Health Wizz. Credit: Health Wizz. rural China,” July 23, 2018 State of Diversity Report 2018,” April 4, 2018
Matthew Boyle, Bloomberg, “Walmart and Target showcase
Wibson. Credit: Wibson in Hackernoon, a Medium publication. Sustainable Mobility for All,, “Dr Dweck’s discovery of fixed and growth retail’s ‘renaissance’,” August 22, 2018
mindsets have shaped our understanding of learning”
Melissa Locker, Fast Company, “Muji just made a driverless Amazon Day One blog, “Introducing Amazon 4-star,”
shuttle bus, and it’s a minimalist wonder on wheels,” Katie Richards, AdWeek, “HP furthers its commitment to September 26, 2018
Ahead of the curb October 31, 2018 diversity and inclusion with its latest LGBT-focused initiative,”
November 16, 2017 Images
Leanna Garfield, Business Insider, “11 billion-dollar mega-project Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch, “Uber debuts Movement,
that will transform the world’s greatest cities by 2035,” a new website offering access to its data,” 2016 Fjord, “The Future of Mobility” Hema Alibaba. Credit: Alizila, news from Alibaba group.
August 30, 2017
Tim Laseter, Andrew Tipping and Fred Duiven,, “Post-demographic imperatives” Setu chairs with AGL table. Credit: Herman Miller.
The Data Team, The Economist, “Bright lights, big cities,” Strategy+Business, “The rise of the last mile exchange,”
February 4, 2015 July 30, 2018 George Nott, Computer World, “Part of the brain that triggers Herman Miller “Living office.” Credit: Herman Miller.
‘uncanny valley’ unease pinpointed,” January 11, 2018
Reuters, “France to ban electric scooters from sidewalks,” Images Amazon 4-star. Credit: Associated Press/Mary Altaffer.
October 23, 2018 Adam Chasen, UX Design, “Inclusive design mindset,”
Bird. Credit: Sam Catanzaro/YoVenice! February 15, 2018 Nike NY flagship store. Credit: NIKE News.
Angie Schmitt, StreetsBlog USA, “Study: Uber and Lyft are
increasing traffic deaths,” October 24, 2018 Mobike. Credit: Mobike. Images WeWork. Credit: WeWork.

Andrew Winston, Harvard Business Review, “Inside UPS’ electric Airbus Vahana. Credit: Airbus. Palace of Westminster, London, UK. New York City. Credit: Oskars Sylwan/Unsplash.
vehicle strategy,” March 29, 2018 Credit: Michael D Beckwith/Unsplash.
UPS electric vans. Credit: UPS.
Mallory Locklear, Engadget, “Japan teams up with Uber, Airbus Fashionable Muslim woman.
and 19 others on flying taxi plan,” August 24, 2018 Nike Curb Service at Nike by Melrose. Credit: NIKE News. Credit: The Lazy Artist Gallery/Pexels. Synthetic realities

Christopher Marchant, Verdict, “Daimler’s Moovel opens Siemens Combino. Credit: Siemens AG. #MeToo. Credit: Mihai Surdu/Unsplash. Kaylee Fagan, Business Insider, “A viral video that appeared to
marketplace for bundled mobility passes,” September 19, 2018 show Obama calling Trump a ‘dips---’ shows a disturbing new
Muji shuttle bus. Credit: Muji. Older woman. Credit: Kevin Grieve/Unsplash. trend called ‘deepfakes’,” April 17, 2018
Alex Hern, The Guardian, “Citymapper launches bus-taxi hybrid
Smart Ride in London,” February 21, 2018 Chris Welch, The Verge, “Google just gave a stunning demo of
Assistant making an actual phone call,” May 8, 2018
Nicole Jao, Technode, “Briefing: Hello TransTech is the newest The paradox of inclusivity Space odyssey
player in China’s ride hailing industry,” October 12, 2018
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Uptin Saiidi, CNBC, “Inside Alibaba’s new kind of superstore,”
Yufan Zhou, AllTechAsia, “Here’s why Hellobike rebranded itself August 30, 2018 Mark Wilson, Fast Company, “MIT’s new tool erase anything (or
Hello TransTech,” September 18, 2018 Timothy Martyn Hill, Significance, “Forecast error: are polls anyone) from old photos,” August 10, 2018
getting worse at predicting elections?,” August 7, 2018 Katherine Schwab, Fast Company, “Nike’s huge new flagship
Jon Russell, TechCrunch, “Chinese bike-sharing pioneer Mobike looks like the future of retail,” November 15, 2018 Adobe, “Cloak: remove unwanted objects from video,”
sold to ambitious Meituan Dianping for $2/7bn,” March 2018 Kian Bakhtiari, World Economic Forum, “The danger of data: December 11, 2017
why the numbers never tell the full story,” April 25, 2018 Emma Cosgrove, Retail Dive, “Think fast, think small: How Kohl’s
Dennis Green, Business Insider, “Amazon and Nike are charting rode the omnichannel wave,” September 10, 2018 James Vincent, The Verge, “China’s state-run press agency has
a course for the store of the future,” October 8, 2018 Rachel Courtland, Nature, “Bias detectives: the researchers created an ‘AI anchor’ to read the news,” November 8, 2018
striving to make algorithms fair,” June 20, 2018 Alex Jones, Fjord, “Retail in an age of experience,” July 10, 2018
Christopher Tan, Straits Times, “’Netflix of transport’ app to be James Vincent, The Verge, “US lawmakers say AI deepfakes
available here next year,” October 9, 2018 David Mattin, WARC, “Post-demographic consumerism,” WeWork, “WeWork acquires workplace software and analytics ‘have the potential to disrupt every facet of our society’,”
July 2015 leader Teem,” September 12, 2018 September 14, 2018
Kate Connolly, The Guardian, “Germany launches first
autonomous tram in Potsdam,” September 23, 2018 Sammy Nickalls, AdWeek, “Why ‘transformists’ are the Herman Miller, “Place can be a powerful tool for achieving Dave Gershgorn, Quartz, “A California law now means chatbots
demographic brands should be targeting,” May 20, 2018 your goals” have to disclose they’re not human,” October 3, 2018
Nicole Kobie, Wired, “The UK has its first flying taxi but don’t
expect any rides just yet,” September 9, 2018

98 99
Kyle Wiggers, Venture Beat, “Nvidia researchers develop
AI system that generates synthetic scans of brain cancer,” Disclaimer third parties
September 16, 2018

This document makes descriptive reference to

Erin Winick, MIT Technology Review, “Actors are digitally
preserving themselves to continue their careers beyond the trademarks that may be owned by others. The use
grave,” October 16, 2018 of such trademarks herein is not an assertion of
ownership of such trademarks by Accenture and is
Harriet Walker, The Times, “Meet Lil Miquela, the Instagram star
created by CGI,” September 1, 2018 not intended to represent or imply the existence of
an association between Accenture and the lawful
Crypton, “Who is Hatsune Miku?” owners of such trademarks. This document is produced by professionals at Accenture as general
guidance. It is not intended to provide specific
Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, “This wild AI-generated film is advice on your circumstances. If you require
the next step in ‘whole-movie puppetry’,” June 11, 2018
advice or further details on any matters referred
Jordan Pearson, Motherboard, “An AI-generated artwork just to, please contact your Accenture representative.
sold for $432,500 at Christie’s,” October 25, 2018

Happy Finish, “Baby Dove Aimee: an AI ‘Perfect Mum’” Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved.
Accenture and its logo are trademarks of Accenture.
Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, “White students made to
look black on US site for French college,” September 13, 2018

Tim Nudd, AdWeek, “This blatant knock-off Diesel store on

Canal Street is a real Diesel store in disguise,” February 9, 2018

Jamie Kobielus of Info World, DigitalArts, “How generative Ai is

changing art and design,” December 22, 2017


Adobe Project Cloak. Credit: Adobe.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon. Credit: Wikimedia

Commons, edited with MIT Deep Angel.

Lil Miquela. Credit: Lil Miquela/Brud.

MRI Machine. Source: Ken Treloar/Unsplash.

Baby Dove “Real Mum” advert at Waterloo Station, London, UK.

Credit: Happy Finish for Baby Dove UK.

Baby Dove “Real Mum” campaign.

Credit: Happy Finish for Baby Dove UK.

Edmond de Belamy. Credit: Obvious.

Hatsune Miku. Credit: Naoya Ikegami/Crypton Future Media.

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