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  • 1. New Esc: Finding Space in a Crowdedand Hyper-Connected World Box 24th September 2012FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 2. People are increasingly seeking space and time away from the intensity of a hyper-connected and crowded world.FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 3. Drivers and Cultural Energies - Information Overload - New Value Shift - Need for Escape and Isolation - Skim Culture - Search for Meaning and Unique Experiences - Rise in Urban Population New Esc is not about rejecting technology, it’s about finding better ways to manage it so we remain its master and not its servant.FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 4. Hyper-connected Living Constant connectivity means people are increasingly spending significant parts of their day connected to the Internet. Younger generations see ‘living online’ as just plain ‘living’ since the Internet has always been a part of their everyday lives. This hyper-connectivity is set in the context of people living increasingly crowded physical lives. The resulting multiscreen reality means that we are seldom alone, which is seen as having negative as well as positive effects. “It’s this basic cultural recognition that people have a pathological relationship with their devices. People feel not just addicted, but trapped.” [1] - Kelly McGonigal, health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. Paul Butler’s Facebook friends data visualisation [2]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 5. Online Addiction (Digital Crack) Experts are warning of the addictive power of technology. The constant stimulation in the form of digital pings and updates stimulates chemicals in the brain, which creates a physical craving that can be damaging and can even lead to addiction. Teaching people to regularly disconnect is becoming vital for personal mental health and business... The latest trend on the Internet is to step away from the Internet. “Are we addicted to gadgets or indentured to work? Much of our compulsive connectedness… is a symptom of a greater problem, not the problem itself.” [3] - Alexis Madrigal, Writer for the Atlantic. “Consumers need to have an internal compass where they’re able to balance the capabilities that technology offers them for work with the qualities of the lives they live offline.” [4] - Richard Fernandez, Development Director at Google.FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 6. The Rising Demands of the ‘Always on’ Workplace Our obsession with being constantly connected is in part being fuelled by employers. Employees are now expected to work longer hours with growing numbers going home still tethered to devices pinging them emails and messages. A survey conducted by Xobni, email and contact management company, found that 68% of American adults check their work emails during holidays, with 79% of those polled saying they receive emails from clients or colleagues during this time. A survey by Forbes Insights revealed that only 3% of respondents didn’t send or receive [6] emails while on holiday, with 63% checking emails at least every one to two hours and 12% checking five times an hour. “Always-on, multitasking work environments are killing productivity, dampening creativity, and making us unhappy.” [5] - McKinsey Quarterly Report. [7]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 7. The Curse of Busyness Presenteeism A culture of ‘busyness’ has emerged with people feeling constant pressure to be busy at work and at home. A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive of over 2,500 adults working in major U.S. cities found that 57% of salaried workers don’t take all of their allotted time off. “Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work. The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it.” [8] - Tim Kreider, Author of ‘We Learn Nothing’ witing for The NY Times.“Workers today are suffering from presenteeism. We’ve had a major banking crisis and recession, andit’s an insecure job environment. People feel they have to work long hours, get in lots of face-time andshow they are so committed that they don’t even take vacation.” [9] - Cary Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University. ‘The Busy Trap’ by Brecht Vandenbroucke [10]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 8. Out of Reach In our over-connected world being alone or un-contactable is emerging as a modern luxury. The last few years have seen a dramatic rise in ‘Sanctuary Spaces’ – from technology free venues to digital free islands – with many leading edge and luxury spaces using ‘no reception’ as an added value. St. Vincent and the Grenadines digital-detox [11]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 10. Reducing Sensory Stimulation The hyper-stimulation of city living is exciting but also mentally exhausting. Leading edge consumers are embracing products and services that help them to switch off, or simply ‘turn down’ the intensity of daily experiences. The Listen Carefully sensitive headphones are designed to turn music off if the user moves, forcing listeners to focus solely on the music they are listening to. “The café Lion in Shibuya, where patrons all face forward towards giant speakers playing classical music. Traditionally a retreat for old men, talking is prohibited and the entire place looks like a 19th century European train carriage.” - Cultural theorist, Tokyo The café Lion in Shibuya, Tokyo [12]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 11. Embracing Silence People are learning to appreciate the value of quiet time for inspiration and contemplation. Earlier this year David Lynch’s Silencio hosted the ‘In Praise of Slowness Salon’. Lynch in partnership with the Maharishi Foundation is introducing Quiet Time, where students practice transcendental meditation to awaken their creativity and intelligence, into more than 350 partner schools around the world. “Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence” - Leonardo da Vinci. David Lynch’s Club Silencio, Paris [13]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 12. Time for Daydreaming As we appreciate the value of quietness, clever consumers and brands are realising the power of daydreaming in boosting creativity and innovation. “In the current global crisis, innovation is essential. The human brain creates ideas when it is relaxing – and alone. Our 24/7 society is a disaster for daydreaming.” [14] -- Tony Buzan Educational Consultant and Mind Mapping Expert.FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 13. Need for Space Progressive companies are recognizing that employees need mental space in order to be creative and make better business decisions. According to New York research brand Basex, half of a knowledge worker’s day is spent managing information, which results in ‘a loss of ability to make decisions, process information and prioritise tasks’. Web consultancy Netlife Research have introduced a new monastery-style space at work, designed as a space for employees to seek refuge for contemplation. Google allows employees to take 20% of the time to work on their own projects or to simply do whatever they want. Some companies are even paying workers to take vacations to avoid employee burnout. Netlife Research ‘Monastery’ [15]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 14. Tech-free time out Companies are becoming more aware of digital on and off time and are implementing new procedures to ensure employees are taking technology-free time outs. Volkswagen has rewired employees’ BlackBerrys to stop receiving work emails 30 minutes after their shifts ended. New legislation in Brazil rules that any emails answered after work hours qualify for overtime. Pomodoro Smartphone Apps aim to maximize productivity by instructing you to take a break from work every 25 minute. [17] “The Volkswagen decision reflects growing evidence of stress-related burnout tied to employees’ inability to separate their working and private lives now that developed societies live in a 24/7 paroxysm of connection.” [16] - Roger Cohen, Writer for the New York Times.FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 15. Switching off to Reconnect There has been a rise in campaigns and offers to promote healthy breaks from technology. This year think-tank Reboot took their annual ‘National Day of Unplugging’ campaign to SXSW, setting the Recordsetter.com world record for the most people to power- down their devices at the same time. W Hotels in New York have introduced technology-free Fridays to encourage ‘greater communication and creativity among the team’. [19] ‘Turn off your cell phone. Stop the constant emailing, texting, tweeting and Facebooking to take time to notice the world around you. Connect with loved ones. Nurture your health. Get outside. Find silence. Avoid commerce. Give back. Eat Together.‘ [18] - Reboot ‘National Day of Unplugging’ statement.FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 16. The Rise of Digital Free Spaces It’s not just in the workplace where people are seeking digital detox. Digital connection is banned in most private members clubs and we are now seeing this practice being adopted by other public spaces such as shops and hotels. US clothing brand Weatherproof has a ‘leave your Blackberry at the door’ policy at its New York store. Eva Restaurant in L.A. offers customers a 5% discount for leaving their phone with the receptionist during the meal. “We want people to connect again. It’s about two people sitting together and just connecting, without the distraction of a phone, and we’re trying to create an ambiance where you come in and really enjoy the experience and the food and the company.” [20] - Mark Gold, Chef and Owner of Eva Restaurant in L.A. Phone deposit box at Eva Restaurant, L.A. [21]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 17. Digital Detox Apps People are now even using technology to take breaks from technology itself. Digital Detox is a free app, inspired by Adbuster’s Digital Detox week, which irrevocably disables a user’s phone for a specified period of time. The Freedom app can be set to block Internet access for up to eight hours to allow users time for offline productivity. Inbox Pause allows you to put incoming email messages on hold. Swedish telecoms provider Telia launched an app allowing customers to disable the Internet for a set time, which also has the benefit of being a cost cutting strategy. They also provide physical Internet free pods in different locations around the country. [22] [23] Telia “internet-free zones” in Sweden [24]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 18. Digital Escapes From camping to retreats, there is a growing trend for vacations from digital technology. Allowing people to reconnect with themselves and return to the digital world recharged. Bivouac NYC organises urban rooftop campsites, allowing people to experience temporary escape from the stress and distractions of their regular New York lives. The “Be Unplugged” option at the Quincy Hotel in Washington, D.C., provides guests the ability to surrender their laptops, tablets and smartphones at check-in. “The idea is to take time out. It’s not Utopian. I’m not trying to create a different society. I want to encourage people to pause because I think they are looking for this more and more now.” [25] - Thomas Stevenson, Founder of Bivouac NYC. Bivouac NYC rooftop campsite [26]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 19. Contemplation Culture People are seeking locations that enable them to experience both physical and mental isolation. A desire that has a natural affinity with the luxury sector where people want space for isolation and contemplation. There is now a new trend of ‘isolation hotels’ such as Hotel Endémico in Mexico, which has 20 stand-alone hotel rooms with views over a rocky Mexican valley. Hotel Endémico, Mexico [27]FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 20. Virgin Territory The combination of isolation and the purity of the surroundings are becoming aspirational to a global generation of urban dwellers. There has been a growth in both retreats and tourism to ‘virgin’ territories. “People are now travelling to spend time with the Xingu, (one of the few indigenes tribes who have remained in Brazil) to live by their rules and be isolated from the modern world” - Style magazine journalist, Sao Paulo. “These days the Arctic, and to a large extent the Antarctic, has become a playground for the wealthy holidaymaker.” [28] - Glen Morris, BBC.FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 21. Living off the Grid Once only for extremists and hippies, living ‘off grid’ is becoming increasingly popular and aspirational. The trend reflects the fact that many consumers in the West are moving away from acquisition culture; buying fewer things, adopting new methods for self sufficiency. ‘There are now 750,000 living off-grid compared to 180,000 five years ago.’ [29] - Home Power Magazine.FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 22. Brand Challenges Recognise that ‘space’ is an increasingly valued commodity - How could you provide your consumers with both the physical and emotional space they crave? Think about how you could enable consumers to reduce excess visual and aural stimulation, and discover the benefits of quiet time. Could you provide physical spaces for people to relax and recharge? From chill out rooms to compulsory vacations and days off. Think about the benefits of encouraging customers or employees to disconnect for set periods of time. How could you help facilitate this? How could you provide your consumers with opportunities to escape to unchartered territories particularly relevant to urbanites who rarely see a sunset / sunrise?FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 23. 1. Matt Richtel. (2012). Silicon Valley Says Step Away From the Device. Available:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/technology/silicon-valley-worries-about-addiction-to-devices.html?pagewanted=all 2. Paul Butler. (2010). Visualizing Friendships. Available: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=469716398919 3. Alexis C. Madrigal. (2012). Are We Addicted to Gadgets or Indentured to Work? Available: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/are-we-addicted-to-gadgets-or-indentured-to-work/260265/ 4. Matt Richtel. (2012). Silicon Valley Says Step Away From the Device. Available:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/technology/silicon-valley-worries-about-addiction-to-devices.html?pagewanted=all 5. Derek Dean and Caroline Webb. (2011). Recovering From Information Overload. Available: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Recovering_from_information_overload_2735 6. Dave Gilson. (2011). Overworked America: 12 Charts That Will Make Your Blood Boil. Available: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/speedup-americans-working-harder-charts 7. Brenna Sniderman. (2012). Who Has Control Over Your Time? Available: http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2012/04/16/who-has-control-over-your-time/ 8. Tim Kreider. (2012). The ‘Busy’ Trap. Available: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/ 9. Jenna Goudreau. (2012). The Vacation Paradox: Why Some Companies Are Paying Workers To Go Away. Available: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2012/07/31/the-vacation-paradox-why-some-companies-are-paying-workers-to-go-away/ 10. Brecht Vandenbroucke. (2012).The Busy Trap. Available: http://brechtvandenbroucke.blogspot.co.uk/ 11. Jack Davidson. (2010). Splendid Isolation: Going ‘cold-tech’ (iPad included) on a digital detox in the Caribbean. Available: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2157681/Caribbean-holidays-Going-cold-tech-digital-detox-Saint-Vincent-Grenadines.html 12. Uchujin. (2010). Lion Cafe – Tokyo’s Worst “Best Kept” Secret. Available: http://blog.uchujin.co.uk/2010/09/lion-cafe-–-tokyo’s-worst-“best-kept”-secret/ 13. Fiachra Gibbons. (2011). Inside David Lynch’s Paris Nightclub. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/aug/31/david-lynch-disco-paris 14. The Future Laboratory (2012). Luxury Futures Report 2012. Available: www.thefuturelaboratory.com/FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12
  • 24. 15. Eriksen and Skajaa (2010). The Monastery. Available: http://cargocollective.com/eriksenskajaa/The-Monastery 16. Rogen Cohen. (2012). A Time to Tune Out. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/opinion/cohen-a-time-to-tune-out.html?_r=0 17. Peer Assembly. (2012). Focus Time. Available: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id340156917?mt=8&src=af&ign-mpt=uo%3D6 18. Ami Eden. (2011). Looking for something to do this weekend besides watch ‘Mad Men’? Available: http://blogs.jta.org/telegraph/article/2012/03/23/3092304/looking-for-something-to-do-this-weekend-besides-watch-mad-men 19. Reboot (2012). National Day of Unplugging. Available: http://www.rebooters.net/dev-site/national-day-of-unplugging/ 20. Tiffany Hsu. (2012). L.A. restaurant pays customers to put away their phones. Available: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/15/business/la-fi-mo-restaurant-cell-phone-20120815 21. Erin Kim. (2012). Restaurant offers a 5% discount to eat without your phone. Available: http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/16/technology/restaurant-cell-phone-discount/index.html 22. Inbox Pause. (2012). Available: http://inboxpause.com/ 23. Digital Detox. (2012). Available: http://tirl.org/software/digitaldetox/ 24. Telia Internet Free Zones. (2012). Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3_D5cVAUvY 25. The Future Laboratory (2012). Luxury Futures Report 2012. Available: www.thefuturelaboratory.com/ 26. Thomas Stevenson (2012). Bivouac NYC. Available: www.thomasjs.com 27. Designhotels.com. (2011). ENDÉMICO. Available: http://www.designhotels.com/endemico/ 28. Glenn Morris. (2006) Time to return the Arctic favour. Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4568630.stm 29. Home Power Magazine. (2011). Available: https://homepower.com/FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL NEW ESC. LOWE + PARTNERS 24.9.12