TRENDVERNISSAGE #5 – ZEITGEIST UNDER THE SIGN OF THE FIVE

9. November 2016
Fabian Garbe

Five exciting personalities presented five trends of the year during this year’s trendvernissage #5: #MinimalistLife, #IntelligentEverything, #UglyFood, #OptimizedSelf and #CollaborationInc. 80 guests from the creative, communication and start-up scene in the Rhine-Main area came to the networking event and celebrated our fifth agency birthday with us in our new loft office.

#MinimalistLife
“You don’t need electricity to be happy”. Van Bo Le-Mentzel, architect and initiator of Tiny House University in Berlin, explained how life can be reduced to what really counts. His vision of minimalist life is not limited to small mobile houses, the so-called Tiny Houses, but also requires us to question the concept of eternal growth. Do we really need more and more objects, energy and terrace area, or wouldn’t it make much more sense and also be more sustainable to pay more attention to quality of life rather than quantity?

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#IntelligentEverything
The Internet of Things describes how the Internet is materialising, how data is becoming the central currency and digital networking is omnipresent. Carsten Knop, head of the FAZ department for economy/business and operator of the Industrial Internet Blog, told us about a change that will be even more radical than we had expected. Whereas in 2003, after the crash of the New Economy, he heard from an acquaintance that “the Internet thing is over”, the extent of web-driven change through the connection of everyday objects is becoming all the more drastic. Powerful sensors and intelligent machines will make many existing professions superfluous, but people would still remain irreplaceable for creative work (luckily, the majority of the guests present at the trendvernissage may have thought). We will probably see the earliest changes in the transportation industry, Knop told us – we can’t wait to find out!

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#UglyFood
Those who are passionate about a subject often convey a captivating urgency. This was also evident in Anna Schön and Daniel Anthes, who, together with their association ShoutOutLoud e.V., are committed to greater sustainability and spoke at this year’s trendvernissage about the waste of food. The term ugly food refers to food that – although not visually in conformity with the standard – is otherwise perfect. Curved cucumbers and two-legged carrots too often go unnoticed into the garbage, although they taste just as good as their immaculate relatives. The message: “Sustainability does not have to mean to renounce from something, but it should be sexy!”

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#OptimizedSelf
Inspired by his work with blind people, Stefan Greiner has questioned his own sensory perception. Why do blind people go to the theatre when they can only hear the performance and not see it? For the co-founder of the Berlin initiative Cyborgs e.V. such considerations were the trigger for a literal change of mind: He had a small magnet implanted in his finger to be able to feel electromagnetic fields. Since then, he is feeling a tingling sensation in his finger when he approaches a power source and knows, for example, whether the merchandise security system is even switched on in the store. And it gets even better: thanks to self-built technology, he can also connect the magnet to his mobile phone and thus hear the person he is talking to via his finger. Quote of the evening: “I already had my finger in many strange ears.”

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#CollaborationInc.
Future designer Patrick Mijnals chose a participatory approach for his lecture: He asked the audience to develop approaches in pairs within three minutes on how collaboration can facilitate the integration of refugees. The concept of “cross innovation” played a central role here: How can solutions from one sector be transferred to another? How can collaborations create previously unimagined synergies? And how do companies use interdisciplinary exchange to remain competitive? After only three minutes of discussion it was already clear: The innovation potential of the trendvernissage guests was enormous – we are already looking forward to next year!

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