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Time to Get Dirty:  Why the Ancient Wisdom of Microbes is the Future of Health - (8 Exponential Trends That Will Shape Humanity Part 7)
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Time to Get Dirty: Why the Ancient Wisdom of Microbes is the Future of Health - (8 Exponential Trends That Will Shape Humanity Part 7)


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We live in a time of great abundance and unparalleled possibilities fueled by exponential growth from the impact of technology. Our job at sparks & honey is to understand the accelerators, balancers …

We live in a time of great abundance and unparalleled possibilities fueled by exponential growth from the impact of technology. Our job at sparks & honey is to understand the accelerators, balancers and patterns that are driving exponential cultural change in the near term and foreseeable future.  Our team of cultural strategists and curators works with leading brands and thought leaders to apply these trends and use them as a catalyst for disruptive innovation.

We eat culture for breakfast in order to understand the value of emerging fringe signals, cultural shifts and explosive doubling patterns. While monitoring thousands of inputs and mapping and scoring them, we have identified 8 rapidly accelerating trends that will shape institutions, governments, businesses and everyday consumers.

We have consolidated these trends into short vignettes in order to share a curated snapshot of what will create either great opportunities or unexpected challenges. We will cover these trends over the next two months. This report covers Ancient Wisdom. We hope you engage us in the debate and exploration of how these exponential trends will shape your business and the World. 

Please enjoy and share this seventh of eight free reports. The discussion will also continue in our core social channels - , and

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • 1. 8 Exponential Trends That Will Shape Humanity Time to Get Dirty: Why the Ancient Wisdom of Microbes is the Future of Health 7 of 8 Spring 2013
  • 2. “100 trillion good bacteria call the human body home.” Source: Human Microbiome Project
  • 3. ssibilities fueled by dance and unparalleled po un We live in a time of great ab job at sparks & honey is to e impact of technology. Our g exponential cultural exponential growth from th s and patterns that are drivin , balancer understand the accelerators ltural strategists and eable future.  Our team of cu forese s and use them change in the near term and t leaders to apply these trend brands and though curators works with leading novation. as a catalyst for disruptive in emerging fringe signals, r to understand the value of in orde nds of inputs We eat culture for breakfast rns. While monitoring thousa e doubling patte ting trends that will cultural shifts and explosiv identified 8 rapidly accelera em, we have and mapping and scoring th ay consumers. ments, businesses and everyd shape institutions, govern curated snapshot vignettes in order to share a trends into short es. We will cover We have consolidated these ities or unexpected challeng t opportun isdom. We hope you of what will create either grea This report covers Ancient W o months. these trends over the next tw ial trends will shape your ation of how these exponent explor engage us in the debate and business and the World.  sion will also continue in eight free reports. The discus venth of Please enjoy and share this se gs/amped and andhoney, www.bigthink/blo sparks our core social channels - @ ndhoney.
  • 4. Our blind spot comes from the fact that we have lived in a linear world. But today’s changes are exponential. Exponential Linear
  • 5. 1. Century of City States 2. Future of Education 3. Citizen Doctor 4. 3D Printing Part 7 in the Series: 8 Exponential Trends that will Shape Humanity Ancient Wisdom 5. Quantified Everywhere 6. Conscious Brands 7. Ancient Wisdom 8. Cyborg Marketing
  • 6. 7. Ancient Wisdom In the recent past, people were scared of microbes, slathering their hands with sanitizer to fight off an invisible menace. Times have changed. Recent research has shown the critical importance of the billions of microbes that inhabit our body. Everything from obesity to immune system deficiencies to depression and hypertension are being found to have a microbial component.
  • 7. ancient wisdom Learning to Love Our Microbes: While no one is claiming we should stop washing our hands, studies have shown how environments that are too sanitary actually harm our immune systems. Balancing, rather than killing our microbiome is the way of the future. As the human body contains ten times more bacterial cells than human cells, we need to learn how to better live with the microorganisms that call our body home.
  • 8. ancient wisdom Mapping Our Internal Ecosystem: In order to provide personalized microbial healthcare. Initiatives such as American Gut and Ubiome are looking to understand the trillions of bacteria that live on and in our bodies.
  • 9. ancient wisdom Bacterial Upgrade: While the benefits of probiotics are generally accepted, there is significant innovation taking place in the bacterial health field. In a number of successful trials, ear wax and fecal transplants have cured infections better than antibiotics by introducing healthy bacteria into the human body.
  • 10. ancient wisdom The Power of Probiotics: Bacteria found in classic fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi are being praised for their healthy properties, offering a host of benefits from digestive regulation to PH balancing.
  • 11. ancient wisdom Umami and the Future of Food: Microbes are not just about improving health; innovators in the food space are exploring ancient wisdom around the benefits (both for health and taste) of fermented foods.
  • 12. ancient wisdom Designing Microbial Ecosystems: Pioneers in the bioarchitecture space are exploring how, in the future, we will custom design the bacterial ecosystem of interior spaces to engineer for health and happiness.
  • 13. ancient wisdom implications Help Consumers Balance the Big and Small: The antimicrobial-microbiome debate is intensifying, and as our understanding of the healthy effects of microbes comes into focus, consumers will be looking for solutions to balance their microbial worlds and improve their health. Expect more conversations around the balancing the internal ecosystems. Plan for the New Organic: Microbes are being harnessed to fortify food, protect crops and enhance flavor. It is likely that “with added microbes” is the next generation of the food labeling movement. What this means for marketers is that consumers will be more comfortable with the marriage of nature and science/technology. This trend also inspires new beauty and household products infused with “good bacteria.” Living Matter Changes Storytelling: As consumers continue to ask questions about ingredients and manufacturing processes, when living matter is introduced into the equation a brand’s storyline becomes more complex and interesting. This begs the question: are humans the host serving the organisms or vice versa? Expect brands to differentiate on their “living additives” presenting brand benefits form the perspective of the organisms which comprise it. Job of the Future? Microbial Balancer Like a Feng Shui consultant, the Microbial Balancer will work with you to create a more harmonious and beneficial microbial ecosystem within your home, office or body. Food, supplements, design changes and actual microbes will be the tools of the trade for this new age healer and interior designer.
  • 14. Designer Cheese Made Using Bacteria From The Human Body American Gut Microbe Study of Our Home A Year of Petri Dish Paintings Nature Hacking 'Fermentation': When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good uBiome HACKDESIGN Bringing Microbiome Science to the Discovery of Therapeutics Evolving Traditional Cuisine Mapping the Invisible World QUANTIFIED SELF David Chang's Harvard Talk on Momofuku's Scientific Pursuit of Umami RURBAN ANCIENT WISDOM LIFE LOGIC RESTORATION Dirty house? Clean it Up With this Trash-Powered Robot Microbial Permaculture Microbial Feng Shui LIVING MATTER Jessica Green: We're covered in Germs. Let's Design for That The Unintended (and Deadly) Consequences of Living in the Industrialized World The Meat Industry Now Consumes Four-Fifths of All Antibiotics Healing Through Microbes The Hologenome: A New View of Evolution Ancient Wisdom Topic Clusters Human Food Project Anthropology of Microbes Red Meat Is Bad For Your Heart, But Possibly For A Previously Unknown Reason Fecal Treatment Gains Favor for Some Illnesses Content Network Topic Cluster Manifestation image source p.
  • 15. Methodology At sparks & honey we track and analyze thousands of cultural data sources in real time, incorporating live data feeds from numerous APIs as well as hundreds of offline sources. Using a proprietary Culture Mapping Platform, we monitor cultural bursts, identify clusters of activity and trends, score their energy levels, project their lifespans and analyze their cultural resonance. This intelligence helps brands understand and connect with popular culture in order to make more strategically informed business decisions. Our platform incorporates three different frameworks to structure and contextualize raw data: CONTENT NETWORKS A mapping system used to model dynamic, interconnected webs of cultural activity. TOPIC CLUSTERS Significant groupings of manifestations which signify cultural waves and trends. MANIFESTATIONS Urban Farming Discrete data points that indicate change. ENERGY SCORE & PREDICTION SCORE DNA Digital Cities Share Everything The Energy Score is rated on a scale of 1-5. It reflects the speed of reach and volume of buzz, and incorporates a ranking of influencer activity that includes reach, resonance and relevance. The Prediction Score is rated on a scale of 1-40. It reflects anticipated duration of a trend. A unique set of attributes that describes the core concepts of each trend. ENERGY PREDICTION compact shareable cradle to cradle frictionless innovative 15
  • 16. 1. Century of City States 2. Future of Education 3. Citizen Doctor 4. 3D Printing Stay tuned for “Cyborg Marketing,” the next installment in our “8 Exponential Trends That Will Shape Humanity” series. Follow us @sparksandhoney to keep up to date with our latest free reports. 5. Quantified Everywhere 6. Conscious Brands 7. Ancient Wisdom 8. Cyborg Marketing
  • 17. Some of the other trends that we are tracking: Digital Detox Incognito Life Logic New New Hollywood Nanotechnology SnackMedia New Wave of Big Data
  • 18. SPARKS & HONEY NAMED AS 1 OF 10 TOP AGENCIES TO WATCH IN 2014 BY ADAGE “This Omnicom-backed "newsroom"-oriented agency starts each morning with a cultural briefing for clients such as Hyatt, Jarden and Life is Good, for whom it developed six "culture-to-commerce" T-shirts. In 2013 it grew from two to 17 clients and quadrupled its staff to 20.”
  • 19. S&H CORE OFFERINGS CULTURAL STRATEGY CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE • Dd 1 Social & Cultural Listening Competitive Intelligence & War Gaming 4 Sn • Segment Analysis & Tracking • Topic Deep Dives • Issue Monitoring Fl Event Tracking • Sensor Network 7 Real-time Burst identification • Channel Analysis • Content & Influencer Strategy • Editorial & Cultural Calendars Sf Mi Micro Manufacturing Mg Mood Geisting Qe Second Skin H 2 8 Mg Mind Gaming 10 We Ne 17 Fq 2 Rs 9 Icognito 8 Focus Quotient • • Se Sharing Economy Hy 6 Ra Lm Na Living Matter Raw Ma 18 19 Hd Ie Hand Drawn Mashup Ru In 3 Ss 10 4 Mi 11 Rurban Us Immersive 360° Made in the USA R Rb Ecoboostering 13 St Moral Imperative Rise of the Believer Life Logic Crowd IQ Io Influencer Outreach Strangify 11 Insumer/Outsumer • Channel Optimization & Fan Base Development • Analytics & Measurement • 4 Provenance 6 • 8 Sm En • Nh • Rt • Pr Premiumization • Cx Product, Service & Packaging Development Codex Ax 10 Business Model Design & Reimagination Armchair Explorer 12 Bi Business Context Analysis Binge 14 Radical Transparency 15 Projecting Segments into the Future (Consumers of the Future) Memory Management New New Hollywood 13 Mm Enchanted Rc Snack Media Living Without Community Management 17 Lw 14 Oneness Ll 12 7 Macro Trend Identification & Quantification Shock & Transgress Refreshed Classics 1972 On Cq 6 9 Decay Flat Design Ec 5 • Ab St 2 Absurdism 7 72 22 Pl Play Dc 15 Fl 21 Social Media Content (short and long form) posts, tweets, vines, videos, blog, etc. 5 Tangible Intangible Gl Glitch Warm Technology 20 Ti Real Thing 14 • Space in the Air 3 8 Slow Perception Wt 13 Sa 1 Rt 1 Sp 7 Small-scaling Kidult Cc Convergence Culture Flattening Sm 6 INNOVATION 7 Ft 13 Exponentials Ki 12 Hyper Culture Real-Time Commerce Startup Society 16 Ex 12 Squealing 5 Ephemeral Inwards Restoration 15 Fh 11 Nano World Ic 1 Sq 11 Real-time Content Production Te 4 First Hand Look • Rr 5 Redefined Retirement Third Genger Modern Family Gc 10 De/re-materialization Cyborg Singularity 14 • Mf 10 Singletons 3 Neo-psychedelic Cs Power Woman Geek Chic D De 16 Wearables 12 Si 9 • Tg 4 Pre-Planned (70/30) Content Production Online and Off Line Hack Design 9 Pw 3 New Masculinity Ss 8 Quantified Everywhere Social Flares 11 13 • 6 Frictionless Life 9 • Nm 2 Unfat Generation Quantified Self Super Human 5 Qs Uf 1 Screen Culture Sh 3 Sc 2 Data Divinity • CONTENT & AMPLIFICATION Ob Futurism Open Brand 16 Le Whitespace Identification Life as Entertainment Real-Time Media Amplification • Brand/Partner & Acquisition Recommendations 47