11 : 02 : 22 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: A hub for collective meditation, logging off is now a legal right, the launch of Futures 100 Innovators, Selfridges evolves the meaning of retail therapy and a brand identity that grows like plants.

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11 February 2022

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Illuviumio


This Midnight Moment Continuum world tour by Krista Kim, US

1. Times Square becomes a hub for collective meditation

New York – One of the most frenetic corners of the city is transforming into an advertising-free space – but only for a limited time. Continuum is a monumental installation by visual artist Krista Kim, which each night in February will unfold over 90 electronic billboards.

Normally reserved for corporate advertising, the billboards in Times Square are known for their loud – and sometimes overwhelming – marketing displays. By combining colour and sound, Kim is aiming to transform the area into an oasis of calm. Drawing from databases of LED light photography, photoshop, binary code and dynamic software, the soothing gradient of colour is accompanied by a site-specific score in collaboration with Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder.

The installation, while temporary, aims to guide urbanites into a state of ‘positive digital consciousness’ each evening. To learn how to create moments of self-discovery rather than shared spectacle, explore our Enlightened States macrotrend.

PHYD and Il Prisma, Italy

2. Logging off is now a legal right in Belgium

Belgium – Civil servants in Belgium have gained a new legal protection: the right to not reply to work calls, emails, or messages outside of normal working hours.

The ‘right to disconnect’ will impact 65,000 workers in Belgium and is intended to stave off excessive strain and burnout in the traditionally overworked public sector. During the pandemic, workers across the world saw work expand into their home and leisure time, and as wellbeing declined in the face of constant connectivity, governments have renewed efforts to foster balance. Portugal and Ireland have recently passed similar legislation.

Pre-pandemic, we highlighted the growing importance of flexibility in all aspects of life, showing how stoic attitudes towards work and time management may be detrimental to both productivity and wellbeing. Today, this trend has magnified and conversations around our collective relationship to work, happiness and welfare are central to policy-making.

Pyer Moss in collaboration with Reebok, Curves by Sean Brown and a sculpture by Annabel Maokhamphiou for the Open Source Afro Hair Library created by AM Darke. Designed by Sam Davies for The Future Laboratory

3. The Future Laboratory launches the Futures 100 Innovators

London, UK – The Future Laboratory is spotlighting a global line-up of 100 innovators, disruptors, activists and change-makers through the Futures 100 Innovators – a new annual longlist and awards.

Each month, we will profile 10 people that our team of researchers and analysts have identified as driving forward industries ranging from beauty and wellness to luxury, design, retail and travel. After 10 months, our complete Futures 100 Innovators list will be presented to a panel of industry judges who will select and award their 10 leading innovators, revealed in October 2022.

'We’ve launched our Futures 100 Innovators Awards to celebrate those among us who are taking on the challenges that some of us may regard as unimportant, unworthy or unrighteous,’ explains Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory. 'It’s about the power of an individual’s idea, a community they have formed or a spark they have generated that has kindled a flame, stoked a new movement or fired up a new technology.'

Read the first instalment of our Futures 100 Innovators longlist on LS:N Global, including a disability campaigner transforming how the world views intimacy, a coder hacking our relationship with hardware and the club promoter turning festivals green.

4. Selfridges evolves the meaning of retail therapy

London – The British department store is launching a wellbeing initiative called Superself to help clients rest and rejuvenate while shopping. With a range of events, experiences and activations, the project offers customers a chance to merge their self-care routines with their shopping ones.

Launching this February, the project will combine online and offline wellbeing activations. Customers in store will have the chance to unwind in calming sensory pods designed by immersive reality company Sensiks, equipped with virtual reality headsets, soothing voice activation and climate control. The pods aim to improve moods, reduce stress, and benefit physical health.

Expanding the definition of retail therapy, the store is also partnering with London-based women's charity The Stack World to offer customers breathwork workshops, confidence coaching, and sex therapy sessions. Offline, clients will have a chance to listen to a new wellbeing podcast as well as shop a range of mood-boosting vitamins and incense sticks.

Taking a fresh approach to Contemplative Stores, Selfridges is prioritising customer wellbeing by offering educational resources and workshops that will help people mental health solutions on-the-go.

SUPERSELF by Selfridges, UK
Sproutl rebranded by OMSE, UK

5. A brand identity that grows like a plant

London – Plant marketplace Sproutl has been given an animated rebrand, with a platform and logo that grow and evolve like its product range.

Tuning into the Sproutl's ambition to make the experience of purchasing plants more accessible, while modernising the gardening sector, design consultancy OMSE has created a visual identity that ‘grows.' The company’s logo features twisting vines, flowers, and leaves – including Millennial favourite, the monstera plant.

With bursting floral motifs and bright colours, the identity is a celebration of gardening that is meant to feel playful and joyous rather than factual. ‘We felt Sproutl needed an identity that could grow, just like its plants. Taking inspiration from the name, the core symbol can grow into many of the products Sproutl offers – from flowers and houseplants, to shrubs and trees,’ explains OMSE.

With an algorithm that caters to users' specific plant preferences and goals, Sproutl is also taking a data-driven approach to gardening. To learn more about regenerative gardening technologies, readers should consult our Nature-Hacking Market.



To future-proof your world, visit The Future Laboratory's forecasting platform LS:N Global for daily news, opinions, trends, sector specific insights, and strategic toolkits.


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