Just in time for Christmas, Berlin-based Gestalten has released one of its most remarkable publications of the year. In fact, Mind the Future: Compendium for Contemporary Trends is not a book, but a stylish box containing 70 flash cards that summarize the most important trends in the fields of economics, demographics, sociology, technology, politics, ecology, and social modeling. Created in collaboration with the Web for Interdisciplinary Research & Expertise (W.I.R.E.), a think tank in Zürich, Mind the Future is a unique document that presents an overview of large-scale developments that the world is dealing with, ranging from the emergence of the ‘Megalopolis Society’ to the redefinition of intellectual property. The backside of each flash card is filled with statistical information and data visualizations that further explain a specific trend.
Some of the trends in the box may already sound familiar to you (such as the rise of the spectator democracy), but that’s exactly the strength of the publication — it covers everything. The last part of the pile of cards consists of ten prominent and highly contested dilemmas, for instance the clash between materiality and virtuality.
“Mind the Future features both established and innovative perspectives on our world. The compendium is aimed at anyone who wants to find out more about today’s key developments and their possible effects on the future. It offers all interested readers food for thought and inspiration, but also serves as a valuable tool for those who are grappling with these subjects in their professional or academic projects.”
In order to give you a glimps of what to expect, I’ll highlight a few trends and developments. To me, one of the most appealing trends of the publication is the rise of the so-called ‘Social Entrepreneur’. “Money makes the world go around but content is what counts. Whereas people’s income and position in the corporate hierarchy used to be the status symbols par excellence, today it is commitment to a worthy cause”, the authors explain. Another trend regards the booming international shadow economy (already half of Germany’s annual economic output!) that emerges as a result of the polarisation of incomes and rising unemployment.
The ‘Age of Recycling’ explains the main challenge to extend the principle of ‘eco-effiency’ that should lead to the optimal recycling of all materials to all areas of life. ’The Invisible Threat’ deals with the emergence of immaterial environmental pollution as a result of light, noise and electromagnetic pollution such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and radio masts.
Mind the Future is an enjoyable yet critical reflection on the world of tomorrow that is absolutely worth checking out. As it comes in a neatly designed box this publication can turn out to be a perfect Christmas gift for design-, trend- and style-minded people. Get your hands on this!
Mind the Future: Compendium for Contemporary Trends
Stephan Sigrist, Burkhard Varnholt, Simone Achermann, Michèle Wannaz, Gerd Folkers
Full color, file cards in special carton box
Format: 70 pages
Price: €49.90, $78.00 £45.00
International Release: January 2012