Customers are the key factor in a company’s future. It is important to recognize the future needs of consumers well in advance and to find customer-oriented solutions. BSH has a network of experts with whom it exchanges ideas on developments and trends with the aim of constantly improving or redeveloping their products and services. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, BSH is looking into the future. Seven experts from different countries, disciplines and age groups were asked what they imagine life will be like for us in 2067, fifty years from now.
The result: seven exciting visions, one for every day of the week, that paint an image of technological dreams, great optimism paired with a bit of skepticism, and a whole lot of imagination. And of unimagined possibilities, some of which will one day be a reality, while others will prove to have been a misjudgment. Some will be impossible to finance, but many will be standard in our daily lives in 2067. Numerous developments are already emerging, while others again will require profound changes to take place first.
A particularly interesting aspect is the various perspectives that came out of the different disciplines of the authors. For instance, the British experimental architect Rachel Armstrong approaches the question in a completely different way from that of the Chinese UX designer Xiaojing Huang.
Ayesha Khanna is an entrepreneur and expert on smart cities, future skills, Fintech, and other emerging industries. She has directed the Future Cities Group at the London School of Economics, where she is currently completing her PhD on urban information infrastructures. Khanna is often quoted in leading business publications. Her latest book is titled Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization. Ayesha spent more than a decade on Wall Street advising product-innovation teams on the development of large-scale trading, risk management and data analytics systems. As the CEO and co-founder of The Keys Academy, Khanna has developed an “externships” model that lets secondary-school students apply their skills to critical twenty first century industries. Khanna is also the founder of e-learning platform Applied Skills, and 21C GIRLS, a non-profit organization that provides free coding and robotics classes for girls in Singapore.
Envision one Monday in 2067 here
Rachel Armstrong is a sustainability innovator who investigates a new approach to building materials called ‘living architecture,’ which suggests it is possible for our buildings to share some of the properties of living systems. She collaboratively works across disciplines to build and develop prototypes that embody her approach. Her research prompts a reevaluation of how we think about our homes and cities and raises questions about sustainable development of the built environment. The key to Armstrong’s work are protocells – little cells of fat that can be sprayed on a building, creating a sort of frosting. These are designed to trap carbon dioxide and solidify it, turning it into solid pearls of calcium carbonate or biolime or mock rock. This coating will protect the building and even mend cracks. These protocells could even be used to stop Venice sinking, says Armstrong. Armstrong is a Professor of Experimental Architecture at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Newcastle.
Envision one Tuesday in 2067 here
Geci Karuri-Sebina is an architect and urban designer that dedicates her work to one purpose and motto: “Africa needs to come to grips with owning her future.” Karuri-Sebina wants to see deliberate futures thinking integrated into every level of African society. She is hopeful that the right amount of planning can glean positive results for her home country South Africa and the broader African continent. Karuri-Sebina has a sound knowledge base for her work as Executive Manager of programs at the South African Cities Network. Karuri-Sebina also serves as a director of the South African Node of the Millennium Project – a global-futures think tank – and an associate of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation. She finds the futures field “important and pervasive” and believes that her research, publications and advice are contributing to “something bigger: long-term change and benefit for humanity”. Among numerous other interests and associations, she also edits and occasionally contributes to several international academic journals and publications on various topics including foresight, development and innovation. Geci Karuri-Sebina lives in Johannesburg.
Envision one Wednesday in 2067 here
Dr. Koert van Mensvoort is an artist and philosopher best known for his work on the philosophical concept of Next Nature. This revolves around the idea that our technological environment has become so complex, omnipresent and autonomous that it is best perceived as a nature of its own. It is his aim to better understand our co-evolutionary relationship with technology and help set out a track towards a future that is rewarding for both humankind and the planet at large. All his work is motivated by a strong personal fascination for the deep impact of media and technology in the lives of people and society at large. He‘s an expert for future human living in the tension field of technology and nature. Van Mensvoort started his career in the late eighties with the creation of videogames. In the nineties he moved on and studied computer science, philosophy and art. Van Mensvoort is director of the Next Nature Network; a 21st century nature organization that wants to go forward – not back – to nature.
Envision one Thursday in 2067 here
Edwin Joseph Selker, better known as Ted Selker, is an American computer scientist known for his user interface inventions. Invention, research and innovation management, human factors evaluation and smart kitchen are his special areas of interest. He is well known as a creator and tester of new scenarios for working with computing systems, for guiding, demonstrating and speaking about strategic emerging technology opportunities. His work is noted for creating demonstrations of a world in which intentions are recognized and respected in complex domains, such as kitchens, cars, on phones and in emails. Ted Selkers’ work takes the form of prototyping concept products supported by cognitive science research. Dr. Ted Selker is Associate Director of the CyLab Mobility Research Center at Carnegie Mellon Universityand a visiting scholar at the Stanford Computer Science Department. Selker spent ten years as an Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab where he created the Context-Aware Computing group, co-directed the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, and directed a research group to conceive the kitchen of the future.
Envision one Friday in 2067 here
As a cultural anthropologist, Grant McCracken looks at the places where culture and commerce, anthropology and economics meet most often: marketing in general, branding in particular, pop culture, Hollywood, advertising, television, magazines, and new media. He was the founder and director of the Institute for Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum. Grant has studied American culture for 25 years and has taught at the University of Cambridge, and the Harvard Business School. Through his highly-customized ethnographic and anthropological research, the Canadian provides clients with a comprehensive but incisive review of contemporary culture, its foundations, current state and most importantly future trends and strategies for managing it. With his progressive anthropological insights he has worked for many organizations including Netflix, Google, IBM, IKEA, Sesame Street, Nike, Amazon and the White House. He is the author of several books including Plenitude, Transformation, Culture and Consumption, Flock and Flow as well as Chief Culture Officer and has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Grant McCracken lives in Rowayton, Connecticut.
Envision one Saturday in 2067 here
Xiaojing Huang is a visionary – a renowned expert on trends, and herself a trendsetter in the field of design strategy. She studied in Guangzhou and Berlin, and has a rich experience of product strategy, service design, brand DNA and research into users and trends As the strategy director of Yang Design, the most forward-looking design consultancy in China, she has been leading the strategic team to build the UX Lab, CMF Lab and Service Design Lab, defining design strategy to realize business value for companies in different development stages. At Yang Design, the goal is always to ‘create perfect user experiences that deliver innovative business value for local and international brands. Xiaojing Huang and her colleagues have extensive experience in many industries, including home appliances, consumer electronics, transportation, lifestyle products, sports and leisure, public facilities and help systems for public information. Their clients are leading brands, such as Boeing, GM, Audi, Volvo, Siemens, Bosch, BOSE and Haier. As an important figure in her field, Xiaojing Huang is frequently invited to speak at conferences and to judge design events.
Envision one Sunday in 2067 here
Photo teaser image on start page and photo at top: ©shutterstock
Ayesha Khanna ©Tomato Photo, www.tomato.sg/
Rachel Armstrong ©Propelia
Geci Karuri-Sebina ©Megan.deJong
Koert van Mensvoort ©Walter Kallenbach
Ted Selker ©Ted Selker
Grant McCracken ©Grant McCracken
Xiaojing Huang ©Xiaojing Huang