We have seen the rise of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Now it is time for real reality. The quest for authenticity, real experiences, facts, true values, and a personal engagement to make a change is one of the major trends in The Schibsted Future Report 2018.
The report is Schibsted's annual outlook on trends within tech, society, and business. It's written by people within Schibsted's different divisions and companies, but we have also invited some of our friends to contribute.
Schibsted Future Report all started as an idea on how we could share all the competences and knowledge people in our company have, but soon we realised we also wanted to share it with our business and colleagues. Because we really think sharing ideas is crucial - and because we believe in openness.
In this year's report there is a main focus on Artificial Intelligence and its different aspects. By now it's clear AI is part of almost all the technological solutions and services we're using, and it's becoming more advanced by the minute. We learn to talk to machines, and machines learn not only to understand, but to interpret humans.
AI will bring fundamental changes and create new industries and new solutions that we can't even imagine. In one of our stories, Azeem Azhar compares the impact of AI to the time when electricity arrived.
But as the waves of digitalisation sweep the world, and as instability and environmental threats are increasing, we also wanted to focus on the fact that people are trying to contribute to a more trustworthy and sustainable world. The need to express our humanity and responsibility increases, whether it is taking a stand for independent journalism based on facts, being passionate about telling true stories, or shopping secondhand and speeding up circular economy.
I truly believe there is a movement going on. I see it in my neighbourhood. I speak about it with friends and colleagues - people all around are trying to do their bit. When trying to put words to this, I get to thinking about my grandmother and how her way of living in many ways would be up-to-date today.
She was engaged in the refugee crisis in the wake of war, she knitted as part of a social movement, she was part of an international network. She shared her belongings with neighbours, minimised her waste, and on vacation she did not stay at hotels but with friends.
She celebrated humanistic values such as equality. She had her own career. She grew her own vegetables in her backyard, and every summer she'd make lemonade and enjoyed her home-farmed salad. In the fall she harvested and saved for the winter. She had one shopping bag, and of course she baked her own bread. She ate less meat and more greens, more in season and less processed food. And yes, she kept bees.
She could have been a true urban hipster 2018. But she was born in 1897.
Several of the strong behavioural trends we see today - such as the sharing economy, social engagement rather than materialistic frenzy, and celebrating an environmentally responsible way of living - are really just signs of a huge sobering up for the Western world. Add purpose-driven businesses, the former sourdough mania, and recent urban beekeeping bonanza, and there's a clear pattern. We heard the wake-up call.
And there is a genuine will to take a stand and live a truly good life - to have a positive impact, however small in the choices we make.
The sceptic might argue that all of this is for the privileged middle class, comforting their own bad consciousness, and that these are all such small efforts they won't help. But the fact is that what we're doing has an impact to influence the overall approach.
So, by living like your grandmother you might actually change the world.
• Lena Samuelsson is executive vice president of communications, corporate social responsibility, and brand at Schibsted Media Group in Stockholm, Sweden. She is also editor-in-chief of Schibsted Future Report and acting publisher at the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. She can be reached at email@example.com or @LKlenak.
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