Forget the selfie, it’s now all about the wefie / Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail, Perth Now, news.com.au, gearsofbiz.com, Hong Kong Radio 3

I have long held that society and beauty, alongside everything else about being human, is being forced to reinvent itself to better suit a homocyborg world and despite the doom and gloom of technology being irresponsible it can and does act as force of good, if only humans will use it that way, in this latest series of article in news.com.au, Rebecca Baker and I explored the changing face of globalised beauty and what beauty might mean and look like in a near future society.

THE duck face selfie is passe and the fish gape pose so yesterday — now it’s all about the twofie, threefie, wefie or usie.

So says leading futurist Morris Miselowski who asserts a trend towards squeezing more people into the camera frame is just one of several signs society is becoming less inward-looking in 2017.

Mr Miselowski says the growing popularity of the group selfie is evidence people are focusing more on their relationships with others and the wider community.

“For much of the past decade we have, as a society, been preoccupied with our own feelings, interests and situation — we’ve become very self-absorbed and narcissistic,” he said.

“The iPhone has allowed us to become self-centred by feeding us a steady diet of me-centric information and clearing the way for us to see the world through our own eyes by giving us news and product information relevant only to us.

“We went through this stage where everyone was taking selfies and sharing what they were eating, where they were having a coffee etc, but people just aren’t as interested in doing that anymore.”

Instead, a more “human-centric” phase is being embraced, the world-renowned strategist says.

“One of the positive things smartphones have done is connect people globally in a way that hasn’t happened in the past … we see there are refugees and we can’t walk away, we see there are people who are starving and we want to help, we see there has been a calamity — a typhoon or whatever — and we want to respond,” he said.

“To me this has been one of the kindest outcomes of social media.”

And he says technology is being rolled out to reflect this.

“We’re now seeing phones being promoted as having wide-angle cameras to take wefies or group shots that’ll fit ‘anyone and everyone in a single click’ … so technology is now being marketed as more of a community, rather than an individual, thing.”

Twenty-year-old Lauren Morrish agrees.

“For me, and my friends, it’s more about sharing memories of good times with good friends, rather than showing off food and stuff,” the third year Flinders University physiotherapy student says.

“I think that sharing a fun time with your friends is really important, especially when you’re at uni and you’re stressed and that’s the kind of picture you want to share on your socials — the fun times that you do have.

“I really think people have just got sick of looking at selfies … newsfeeds are very different now compared to a few years ago, when peace and pout and selfies were all the rage.”

MORE of us are switching off our devices, more often. Mr Miselowski says the idea of a regular digital detox — turning off devices for a period of time, whether that be several hours, a day or a week — is becoming commonplace. This is also being embraced in social settings where, for example, people will put mobile phones in the middle of the table when out to dinner, and the first person’s phone to ring has to shout the meal or drinks.

PLUS size models. The “typical” model of five or 10 years ago is disappearing and model houses are embracing more varied and less generic models. “We’re moving away from a centralised view of beauty — the perfect person — into a space where beauty is becoming more personalised and we’re seeing the world is made up of all sorts of people … magazines are featuring a cross section of models of different sizes, colours, genders and even opinions,” Mr Miselowski says.

FIGHTING back against online bullying. “I think the argument is moving away from technology and back to being human … as a society we are going back to the core of what bullying is and calling it out for what it is. There is a vigilance building in this space I’ve not seen before where it is now becoming culturally abhorrent for children to bully online and that message is being given loud and clear,” Mr Miselowski says.

PARTICIPATION in sport. Mr Miselowski says despite the rhetoric to the contrary, statistically, the rates of children participating in sports in Australia has never been higher.

full article

Phil Whelan Hong Kong Radio 3, 17th October (16 mins 52 secs) extends this conversation into the influence American movies has had and will have on what is considered globally “beautiful”.


2013 Consumer Trends

4D MOVIE GFX 01_FF VIZHere is my annual look ahead to 2013 from a Consumers viewpoint:

2013 is going to be a year of nostalgia, consolidation and innovation.

The world will increasingly become jaded with social media as it evolves to become as ordinary and mundane as the phone and fax machines of old.

The past few years of angst and trepidation have spurred next year’s response to offer us a year of where we will return to simpler time with a most modern twist.

This will be evident in the foods we will eat, the colours we will paint our homes, the clothes we will wear, the names we’ll give our children and the technology we will see over the next 12 months that will all pay homage to the past as it reinvents itself for a new tomorrow.

Here are some of the key trends and influences I’m seeing over the horizon that will impact our 2013.

Here’s what we already know about 2013:

Australia’s population will exceed 23 million people (up from today’s 22.84 million).

World population will exceed 7.2 billion (up from today’s 7.08 billion).

We will have a federal Australian election, most probably between August and October, as well as a state election in Western Australia in March.

Australia will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by December 2013.

Analogue TV will be turned off in Australia on 10th December 2013.

There will be 30.5 million connected mobile handsets in Australia in 2013.

There will be 7.5 billion mobile connected mobile handsets globally in 2013.

China and India will begin their space race in 2013.


What Will We be Eating and Drinking in 2013?

Sharing plates, artisan products, local sourcing and culinary creativity are set to trend up restaurant menus and home kitchens next year with the top ten food predictions being:

1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
2. Locally grown produce
3. Healthy kids’ meals
4. Environmental sustainability as a culinary theme
5. Children’s nutrition as a culinary theme
6. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, teres major)
7. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
8. Gluten-free cuisine
9. Sustainable seafood
10. Whole grain items in kids’ meals

Top 10 drink menu trends for 2013:

1. Onsite barrel-aged drinks
2. Food-liquor/cocktail pairings
3. Culinary cocktails (e.g. savoury, fresh ingredients)
4. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
5. Locally produced spirits
6. Locally sourced fruit/berries/produce
7. Beer sommeliers/Cicerones
8. Regional signature cocktails
9. Beer-based cocktails
10. Locally produced beer

What will we watch at the Movies in 2013?

Another big blockbuster year for movies in 2013, with lots of safe-bet franchise movies including:
Star Trek Into Darkness; Iron Man 3; The Hunger Games Catching Fire; Thor the Dark World; The Great Gatsby; The Wolverine; Mad Max: Fury Road; The Hangover Part 3; Scary Movie 5

Whilst at home we will see the first 4K and 8K television sets offering even sharper images as well as the short march to second screens where we will watch TV on one large screen and have a second screen – smart phone / tablet – in our hands to engage with all the others watching the show. And watch out for Apple TV in 2013, another ground breaking, must have gadget to add to their stable.

Beyond 2013: Look out for 4D movies making their way into our cinemas with scent and movement as part of the experience

What will Women be wearing in 2013?

Vogue claims ruffles are back with statement ruffles curled over shoulders and wound around bodies, bringing new dimensions to strong silhouettes.

Sunrise_SingleAsian Major
Kimono-inspired shapes and poetic prints call to mind the Far East with everything from silk pyjamas to sheath dresses coming under an Asian influence.

Sunrise_Single
Graphic Content Surface Treatment
The overriding mood for spring/summer is upbeat, joyous even, and mostly evident in the textures, fabrications and embellishments designers will choose to use. Stripes, spots, checks, and flowers will take on bold proportions at the hands of the more adventurous designers.

Sunrise_SingleTailor Made
Designers will embrace the new suit in all its forms; some will opt for a relaxed take, while others will go for oversized proportions, or sculpted and cropped silhouettes.

Sunrise_SingleSixties Again
Micro hemlines, reworked beehives and ladylike accessories are all poised to make a return.

What Colours will we Surround Ourselves with in 2013?

Vintage design, fossicking and gathering, the meeting of old and new, and the rise of new technology are among the key influences that will dominate Australian design over the next 12 months – and with it our choice of colours.

The Dulux Colour Forecast next year draws on the themes of movement, social change, people power and the march of the digital age. It explores how colour is shifting and changing in modern times.

Dulux forecasters have identified six palettes, Merge is warm and earthy. Seek updates vintage shades. Empower’s blue-greens speak of confidence. Relaxing Rise uses a soothing Japanese-inspired aesthetic. Share is monochromatic with metal and stone influences. Blur is bold and daring.

Major colours for 2013 include yellow, pastel hues and the stand out colour will be persimmon.

What will we Name Our Baby’s in 2013?

2013 children’s name will be an apocalyptic mix of wild weather and the gods preferences including names like Winter (used by actress Gretchen Mol on her baby daughter last year) is sounding “fresher” than Summer or Autumn and May and June are being replaced with March and January.

Names of old world gods and goddesses, mythological heroes and leaders like Augustus, Atticus, Persephone, Athena, Juno and Julius, Thor and Maeve are set to dominate birth announcements
The last wave of grandma and grandpa nickname names – Annie and Molly, Ben and Max – will turn to vintage nicknames from the Mad Men era and a new generation of kids with names like Hank and Hal, Ray and Fay, Millie and Monty, are emerging

Middle names are going to be blend of sharp crispy names like Snow, Frost and even the direction North and significant words like Ballerina, Bear, Sweetheart, Seven, Song, Star and Saint.


Morris’s 13 Big Trends for 2013

1. New normal – Our global, regional, national and local issues and economic uncertainties will not disappear in 2013, but what will disappear is our strong reaction to them. Mellowing and resignation are occurring, we know these real and important issues are not going away soon, but we are learning to live with them.

This new sense of normal will bring with it renewed consumer confidence as slowly we replace pessimism with optimism as we reframe our world to accept these variables and make new choices accordingly.

2. Two Degrees of Separation – Now that we’ve all gorged ourselves on social media and proven that we can alter the course of lives, international events and governments with it; stay digitally connected to our ever-growing tribe and ensure we know what’s going on in our purpose-built world 25/8, it’s time to move on to see what else this new digital social glue can do.

Expect 2013 to push the boundaries with new digital social recommendation sites, crowd learning, crowd financing and crowd everything sites coming on-line.

Sites like Kickstarter, indiegogo, and Spacehive allow end users to engage, invest and support new ideas, products and services long before they become a commercial reality. Gigfunder allows you to start a grass-roots movement to get your favourite band to come to town and perform; right through to sites like brickstarter that lets you say Yes In My Backyard by influencing local public service and community based projects and even sites that let you share cars, dresses, handbags, homes and private planes.

3. Bring It All Together – We want everything now and in one place and that’s exactly what we’re going to get. Much of next year’s innovation will take lots of seemingly disconnected bits and pieces of information from lots of different places and put them together into one easy to use and purposeful space.

The new travel apps for instance will give you a true door to door experience, booking your taxi from home; letting you know if the plane is on time; checking you in; informing the hotel how far away you are, checking you into the hotel, and guiding you to your room when you get there, even opening the door for you.

4. The World of Objects are Coming Alive – Near Field Communication (NFC) or a technical thingy that casts a virtual net from your mobile device to digitally connect you to your surroundings. This one has been in the wings for quite a while and we came close to a launch in 2012, but 2013 is make or break time for it and, when it hits, expect to get rid of your physical credit cards and start connecting with everything through that little electronic box in your pocket.

Grocery items, store posters, doors, people, objects and things will all be able to share information with you.

5. Appy days – If you think you’ve seen apps, hold on to your digital screen, because you haven’t seen anything yet. The avalanche of this brave new world is going to be fiercer, stronger and greater than the advent of websites and the World Wide Web.

Every business will eventually have one of this new digital keys to offer their online world as we move at the pace of light to cut the umbilical cord that tethers us to walls and desk bound technology to the freedom of take with you anywhere and everywhere technology.

6. Out With The New And In With The Old (in a new way) – Everything old is new again. In this world of ever-changing “things” we are turning to the past, with a great big dollop of nostalgia, to reinvent what we’ve already had.

Expect social media to become ordinary, for Facebook, Twitter and other online conversations to become less “full on” and for us to become terribly blasé about all of this.

7. Local and national trumps global– Carbon footprints, immediate delivery demands, a growing sense of self entitlement and importance and a strong desire for jingoism and patriotism will all lead us to want to shop as local as we can and to have products that express who we are and not some generic global corporation’s image of what they want us to be.

All these growing influences will rekindle our desire to buy local and national rather than international. All we need to do now is get local retailers both bricks and clicks to play ball and give us what we want.

8. Customer Is God – The days of being spoken down to, of being brushed aside are gone. As consumers we are now increasingly and collectively demanding what we want, where we want it and how we want it, knowing that if this provider can’t do, we can find another who will.

Our sense of entitlement is changing irrevocably. The old and non-connected relationship between manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and customers is gone and will be replaced with a fresh dynamic co-created organic marketplace where everybody is vital and integral if the sale is going to work and the end.


9. Who cares where you’re having coffee! Our social media baby has finally grown up and turned into a pimply teenager. The awkward early adolescent phase where we had to share every first step and toilet training event is over. Social media is here to stay and everybody’s ready to take a deep breath and just get on with using it.

This however is not the end of the social media journey; we still have to turn the teenager into an adult, so expect to see a tonne of new social media life changing platforms, uses and abuses ahead.

10. Right before my eyes – One of the new big must haves next year will be augmented reality glasses. Google Goggles and many other geek provider manufacturers have promised to bring us a set of ordinary eyewear with extraordinary purpose.

These spectacles’ will take information from the World Wide Web, your surroundings and your mobile devices and mash them up to give you a unique, real-time heads-up display complete with images, words, road maps, television and whatever else you want all on the inside of your designer sunglasses.

11. Cash is no longer King – with a growing number of retailers encouraging you to pay for all your transactions large or small using your plastic money (and eventually smart phone based e-wallet) expect to see a less-cash society evolve over the next few years.

12. Print your own Dinner Set – this innovation is the love child of “Star Trek’s Beam Me Up Scotty” and a 1980’s fax machine and makes it totally possible to print in real-time and on demand
one-off pieces of crockery, clothes, shoes, engine spare parts, human organs, building, bikes and kids toys, just to name a few.

This new technology has been around for a while, but get set for its explosive mainstream introduction in 2013 as consumers begin to discover and use 3D printing for their everyday purchases.

By 2020 we’ll look back with amazement at how we ever survived without our home based 3D printer!

13. Look what we’ve done to our world – 2013 will be an introspective year as we slowly start to turn our attention back to the planet, our place in it and the legacy we want to leave behind.

There is a growing global collective consciousness emerging, fanned by transparency and transported by social media, which is ever so slowly reshaping what is important, to whom and by when.

These issues are far-reaching as we grapple with changing our fuel and energy; reworking how we use our land and water; how we feed, clothe and provide meaningful opportunities to over 7.2 billion global inhabitants; how we make better use of medical breakthroughs and the extended life spans they offer, as well as how we might use technology to reshape our work, lives, families, communities and governments.