December 16, 2011

Weekly Roundup: Americans are poor and single, edible cosmetics and obesity in Africa

Posted by: in North America

-Foreign Policy unveils its annual list of 100 global thinkers.

-Ghana is one of the world’s fastest expanding economies, reports The Financial Times.

-The Economist looks at demographic forecasts for Africa, and reports on an obesity epidemic in South Africa.

-U.S. Census data shows that nearly 1 in 2 Americans are now considered to be in the low-income bracket.

-A Pew Research study finds that the percentage of married Americans is at an all-time low; The Week sums it up.

-The Financial Times looks at the impact of “job-devouring” new technologies on American workers.

-Time nominates “the protestor” as Person of the Year.

-America is in a design rut, observes Kurt Anderson in a Vanity Fair piece that argues, “Popular style has been stuck on repeat, consuming the past instead of creating the new.”

-“Retail needs to get more human at all levels,” writes a Harvard Business Review blogger, arguing that the future of retail is to be found in its distant past.

-“Department store restaurants are back,” says American Public Media’s Marketplace—a manifestation of Retail as the Third Space, one of our 10 Trends for 2011.

-Brick-and-mortar bookstores are faring well this holiday season, reports The New York Times—but given that Amazon has been selling around a million Kindles a week, the good news may be short-lived.

-Almost a quarter of EU citizens have never used the Internet, Reuters reports, with the gap widening between digitally up-to-date Northern Europe and the rest of the continent.

-The New York Times looks at Facebook holdouts and why U.S. growth is slowing for the social network.

-With the emergence of Siri, a new type of mobile phone rudeness is on the rise, The New York Times reports.

-“Distracted doctoring” is a growing problem as more medical staff use smartphones and other connected devices for their work, according to The New York Times.

-The New York Times describes the Occupy Movement as a “watershed moment” for streaming online video and companies such as Livestream and Ustream.

-Holiday photo cards are getting more sophisticated, high-impact and costly, reports The Wall Street Journal.

-The Atlantic lists the 10 biggest ideas of 2011, as well as the 10 biggest international stories of the year.

-The words of 2011 from Visual Thesaurus.

-The New York Times takes a look at the slew of new cosmetics you can eat or drink.

-In an attempt to make candy more “manly,” says The Wall Street Journal, specialty chocolatiers are adding beer.

-Self-cleaning clothes? It’s possible, according to an NPR report.

No Responses to "Weekly Roundup: Americans are poor and single, edible cosmetics and obesity in Africa"

Comment Form

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER:

New: 10 Years of 10 Trends

The Future 100

JWT AnxietyIndex

Things to Watch

  • The sharing economy grows up
    March 3, 2015 | 3:30 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 2.28.41 PM

    Uber recently signed a partnership with mega luxury hotel line Starwood—for every dollar a Starwood loyalty customer spends on Uber, they’ll earn a point toward free rooms and other perks.

    Continue reading “The sharing economy grows up” »

  • Digital immersive exercise
    February 25, 2015 | 4:04 pm

    immersive-fitness-the-trip

    Equinox’s new revved-up cycle class speaks to a growing exercise trend—digital immersion. This month the gym brand unveiled Pursuit, an immersive cycling concept, to limited U.S. gyms. Equinox describes the program as “an immersive studio cycling experience that uses groundbreaking gaming and data visualization to drive competition and inspire peak performance.”

    Continue reading “Digital immersive exercise” »

  • Science fare
    February 20, 2015 | 2:07 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 12.59.22 PM

    The worlds of science, gastronomy and art are continuing to cross-pollinate—from edible conceptual art to molecular gastronomy “lab cafés” to synesthetic dining events. Café ArtScience in Cambridge, Mass., is a recent example. Opened late last year by David Edwards, a Harvard engineering professor, the café serves whiskey “fogs” through a special carafe that turns the liquor into vapor (which means consumers don’t take in any of the calories and feel none of the intoxicating effects).

    Continue reading “Science fare” »

  • Aman’s authentic-luxe travel
    February 11, 2015 | 1:06 pm

    Amandira1_509

    As travelers continue to seek out authentic and unique experiences, hospitality brands keep raising the bar on hyper-localized offerings and exceptional access. Aman, for instance, is introducing a phinisi-style sailing ship in Indonesia, marrying the brand’s ultra-luxe sensibility with regional tradition. With an outdoor lounge and bar, the option to travel by motor, and air-conditioned cabins, the ship brings every modern comfort to an age-old means of navigating the Indonesian archipelago. Another Aman property, meanwhile, offers a dip into paleontology: Guests at Amangiri in southern Utah can join an official dig at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, working alongside fossil experts for a half-day. The cost of getting one’s hands dirty starts at $600. (Resulting Instagram images: priceless.) —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Aman

  • Adidas’ ‘virtual line’
    February 5, 2015 | 6:55 pm

    Adidas

    Adidas’ new Confirmed app cleverly harnesses the fervor of collectors who normally line up for limited-edition shoes, moving fans onto a mobile platform. App users create an account, then get push notifications when hot new releases are on the way. Interested buyers in a given metro area—only New York City at launch—indicate their size and, if approved, receive details on where and when to pick up the shoes. An Adidas exec calls it a “virtual line.” In addition to collecting data on these super-fans, the app lets Adidas control which influencers get various styles, drives traffic to selected stores, builds additional buzz and cuts out secondary-market sellers armed with bots that secure advance orders. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Bloomberg

  • Adventurous play
    February 4, 2015 | 1:09 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.00.22 PM

    Kids will slide through a “Tunnel of Terror” and get slimy on “Mount Mud” in Tough Mudder’s new obstacle course for the 7-12 set. The endurance-challenge purveyor is partnering with European soft drink brand Britvic on Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder, with events planned for the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland. The concept caters to parents looking to pry kids away from screens and get them moving—there’s now a CrossFit offshoot for kids, starting with preschoolers—in ways that are challenging and fun.

    Continue reading “Adventurous play” »

  • Rivals joining forces
    January 26, 2015 | 7:19 pm

    Volkswagen_5 2000px-BMW.svg

    Not long ago, a collaboration between two rival companies would have been seen as a counterintuitive and perhaps desperate measure. In 2015, however, BMW’s partnership with Volkswagen on fast-charging electric vehicle stations makes the automakers look self-confident, open and serious about sustainability and the common good.  Continue reading “Rivals joining forces” »

  • Virgin Hotels
    January 21, 2015 | 1:42 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 12.34.58 PM

    Taking a cue from private clubs like Soho House—which now has outposts from Berlin to Chicago and Toronto—and cool hotel hangouts like the Ace, the first hotel under Virgin’s affordable-meets-aspirational banner houses a Commons Club. Offering “exclusivity for all,” the Commons hosts a “roundtable of ideas and indulgence” at a nightly social hour and includes a restaurant, bar and study area. Virgin marketing also taps into easyHotel lingo with the promise of no surprise fees and free wi-fi.

    Continue reading “Virgin Hotels” »

  • Google’s Ara phone
    January 16, 2015 | 11:51 am


    A new video from Google shows the latest prototype of its modular phone, which will launch this year in Puerto Rico. Project Ara emphasizes personalization—“What if you could make thoughtful choices about exactly what your phone does, and use it as a creative canvas to tell your own story?”—but the sustainability implications are also important.

    Continue reading “Google’s Ara phone” »

  • Nike taps into urban exploring
    January 5, 2015 | 1:13 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 12.09.46 PM

    The city is the new terrain for Nike’s rebranded all-conditions gear, now named NikeLab ACG. Taking a cue from the urban exploration trend (“urbex”)—which involves venturing into unseen and generally off-limits structures and documenting the adventure—Nike says that “For today’s athletes, the city is the ultimate landscape,” complete with “modern obstacles” and many microclimates. Images show an intrepid explorer on a rooftop amid skyscrapers. The urban environment is now as challenging, intriguing and adventurous as the natural landscape.

  • RSSArchive for Things to Watch »