So asks Faith Popcorn, who has created quite a reputation for what she calls “applied futurism.” By that she means weaving the future into the everyday texture of companies and brands. Faith and her gang have come up with a list of predictions for 2008. One in particular caught my attention. It’s titled “Reactions to Cashing Out”:
Lagom: From the Swedish, most commonly translated as “just enough.” It’s an approach to both design and consumption that explains the essence of brands like Ikea and Volvo. We see notions of “minimalism” and “sustainability” taking on significant currency, as even Americans reject hyper-consumption as not just excessive, but actually damaging to themselves, others and to the planet.
KarmaCapitalism: As “Cashing Out” rises to this level of prominence, we’ll see a basic shift in the identity/mentality of people, as they make the transition from “consumer” to “citizen” ” recognizing that every act of consumption has cost and consequence beyond the transaction, and that every transaction is a “vote” in favor of the offering entity, and against the options not chosen. To compete, companies are going to have to weave “goodness” as a fundamental intent into their corporate culture. Bringing on a dash of “corporate responsibility”; whether the mere monetary commitment to a cause, or some more symbolic gesture, will not suffice to curry favor with the citizen. In a world of transparency, where every corporate practice is knowable, they will be watching and exercising that all-important vote of the purse.
Hmmm. As we like to say: that was then, this is Nau.