Categories
Opinion

”An enterprise ought to be able to thrive forever, if it chooses to. For if you do not plan for it, expect it to fail eventually.”

Four years ago I wrote a blog post called ’The 300 Year Business Plan’ where I elaborated on the concept of long term thinking in the world of business. Now, at the very intersection between 2020 and 2021, it’s more relevant than ever to re-iterate this line-of-thought.

We leave a strange year behind us, however I see this as a great opportunity for reflection and introspection, re-evaluating not only yourself and the way you live, but also how you act in business or in your professional life. I think we can all agree that 2020 provided us with a pause, a break from over-consumption, unnecessary traveling and requestioning the whole value chain.

I

Most business today thrive on short term perspectives when it comes to revenue, profit and product-cycles, constantly pushing customers or consumers to buy as much as possible, faster and more often. Many of us are also trapped in a system, where quarterly planning (and profits) are fundamental to run a business. Now, of course I’m not arguing against running a business for great return-on-investments, but how sustainable is it really to do it as fast as possible and at what cost to our society and natural resources?

Years after writing the blog post I still like to play with the idea that no business is worth while unless it can survive for at least three hundred years. When I used to believe that chasing unicorns and building long term business didn’t go hand-in-hand, I now think there’s beauty in trying to do both. I mean the point of conscious capitalism is to make the best out of the system we live in; you can still aim for maximum shareholder value, and in the same time provide the highest level of sustainability. What is then the next step?

Carol Sanford is an expert on business design and have helped many companies in adopting regenerative principles. Regenerative business are not only sustainable but also have a net-positive contribution and have full transparency on the interconnectedness between the business and the world in which they operate.  According to Sanford a regenerative system is autonomous in its structures and processes, keeping all individuals focused on their contribution to the whole – every single action should benefit the whole system for the better. One of the most effective ways of doing that is through designing products and services so that when they are made and used by stakeholders, good things happen in the world.

Or as Gideon Rosenblatt, expert on the relationship between technology and humans, puts it:

— One of the first steps to building regenerative business is rejecting the idea that your business is just a piece of property designed to maximize returns for your external shareholders. A regenerative business views profits as critical, but not as something to be extracted to boost dividends and share price. Profits are a vital source of fuel to sustain your mission and the full network of stakeholders who fuel it.

Rosenblatt defines business in four categories: A) The Shareholder-Centric View of Business, B) Mission-Centric Organisations, C) People-Centric Organisations and D) Regenerative Business.

II

There is complexity in managing a company, especially in the long term. In a Harvard Business Review article, authors Kim C. Horn and Joseph Pine II elaborate:

— Leaders today need a better approach. We need first to understand enterprises, along with the humanity and activities that make them up. And this understanding must be developed in light of (i) economic value creation — the primary function of a business enterprise — and (ii) accepting the challenge that an enterprise ought to be able to thrive forever, if it chooses to. (For if your enterprise does not plan on thriving forever, expect it to fail eventually.)

According to Horn and Pine, there are seven laws of regenerative enterprises, that supports longevity as well. These ”laws”  are part of solid framework and guidance for business leaders, providing they can answer the fundamental questions

1. The Law of Potential: Who creates value for the enterprise?

Only the enterprise that unleashes potential, through meeting its workers’ innate needs, induces human engagement to its fullest.

2. The Law of Meaning: Why do people come together to create value within the enterprise?

Only the enterprise that infuses meaning, through a shared purpose, effects alignment among fully engaged workers.

3. The Law of Creativity: Where does enteprise create value?

Only the enterprise that liberates creativity, through applying intuition and exercising free will, regularly discovers opportunities for surprising wealth-producing innovations.

4. The Law of Learning: How does the enterprise create value?

Only the enterprise that invigorates learning — through exploring, exploiting, and orchestrating — generates the knowledge necessary to persistently create new value among infinite possibilities.

5. The Law of Humanity: What value does enteprise create?

Only the enterprise that enriches humanity, through the knowledge embedded in its business activities, creates offerings of unquestionable economic value.

6. The Law of Vitality: When does enterprise create value?

Only the enterprise that attains vitality, through its incessant destructive recreation, produces the wealth necessary to survive.

7. The Law of Coherence: In What Ways do these aspects collectively create value?

Only the enterprise that sustains coherence in all its aspects, through ongoing orchestration, regenerates itself to thrive indefinitely.

III

Hopefully you are now even more convinced that running a sustainable, even regenerative, business is the way of the future. Now comes the hard part; how would you proceed in writing your own 300 year business plan? And why 300? Well, it’s not the exact number that is the key here, it’s going beyond quarterly or short-term business planning. This is by no means going against running an iterative, flexible business, on the contrary the way to survive in the long-term is by continuous re-invention and adaptation.

So to put it short: What kind of vision do you have for your company? What role in society does it play? What contributions to the evolution of our people’s and the planet’s wellbeing can it have? How are the innovation cycles renewing themselves over time, without impacting nature’s ecosystem? How can you protect the company from market threats, competition and regulations? And so forth.

It’s not an easy task, but intellectually one of the most stimulating activities you will set out to do as a business leader and manager. Good luck!

Categories
Feature

The Transformation Exhibition 6/11

Photographer Ahmet Unver and stylist Maria Barsoum showcase the transformation for teenagers who are trying to transfer into adults.

Tell us about the team? 
Fashion and documentary photographer Ahmet Unver, exciting and up-and-coming stylist Maria Barsoum, hair enthusiast Philip Fohlin and makeup artist Sara Eriksson.

How did you choose to interpret the theme of Transformation in your story?

I thought of teenagers who are coming of age and are trying to find their identities. Subsequently, teenagers are going through a massive transformation. And I really hope that they will be the generation to bring change to our societies for a better future. 

Why is this angle/intepretation important right now?

I wouldn’t claim it’s a new angle, but still important to lift youth.

Tell us about the production; where did you shoot and why? 

We shot in Södermalm as it’s a vibrant meeting point of Stockholm with lots of youthful energy and ideas.

What was the most challenging part about this production? 

The casting and the weather. We got lucky with both. Mathias at Nisch was very helpful regarding the casting.

What was the most rewarding part of this production?

The day of the shoot, the photos and spending time with the models and the crew.

What is the most important issue to focus on in the immediate future?

Amongst many things, more equal opportunities for all minorities in the creative industries. I don’t see the different minorities we have in Sweden being represented in tarts, and compared to London we’re way behind. I think it’s super important that young people with minority backgrounds get role models from early on. 

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News

Our 10 favourite fashion, beauty, and design news in 2020

Here’s the first machine to separate and recycle cotton and polyester blends at scale

Retail chain Monki drops special collection created by The Green Machine.

Read.

Have these 4 sneaker brands cracked the sustainability code?

Leave actual footprints rather than carbon footprints — delve into our editor of sustainability’s top tips for sustainable runners.

Read.

Made to be thrown away — Vollebak’s latest hoodie is fully compostable

Specifically made to end up in your compost bin.

Read.

”Wearables now allow the user insight into their wellbeing on a holistic level”

We speak to Liisa Puranen, Managing Director at Polar Nordics, about the rapid development of smart sport watches.

Read.

Look good, play good — Longchamp and Pokemon GO drop digital backpack

A great way to converge fashion and gaming for Paris Fashion Week.

Read.

The world’s first green department store opens today

Eataly founder opens the doors to ambitious project Green Pea in Turin.

Read.

Jan Klingler’s Bacteria lamp is a crossover between science, art, and industrial design

”People are absolutely intrigued by the abstract patterns and colours of the microbes and often won’t believe that bacteria can be this beautiful,” he says.

Read.

5 tips for furnishing your home with technology

Swedish interior decorator Henrik Nero and Samsung have put together five dos and don’ts when decorating your home with technology.

Read.

How the recent lifestyle changes affect the skin — and what to do about it

The skincare expert shares her insights for the colder months to come.

Read.

It’s 2020 – are men ready for makeup now?

”There is loads of advanced makeup for women but now there is a straight forward concept also for men,” says Carl & Son’s CEO Andreas Wiik after the launch of their ”no makeup makeup” line.

Read.

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News

Volkswagen Group Components presents mobile vehicle charging robot

The new prototype is the first glimpse of a vision that Volkswagen hopes will expand the charging infrastructure over the next few years. The charging robot can be started via an app or Car-to-X communication [a new technology letting the car communicate with other vehicles or infrastructure in its near surroundings, that strives to make traveling smarter] and operates totally autonomously. It independently steers the vehicle to be charged and communicates with it — from opening the charging socket flap to connecting the plug and decoupling it — without any human involvement.

— A ubiquitous charging infrastructure is and remains a key factor in the success of electric mobility. Our charging robot is just one of several approaches but is undoubtedly one of the most visionary, comments Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Components’ CEO.

It can even charge several vehicles at the same time, where the mobile robot moves a trailer, essentially a mobile energy storage unit, to the vehicle, connects it up, and then uses this energy storage unit to charge the battery of the electric vehicle. The energy storage unit stays with the vehicle during the charging process. In the meantime, the robot charges other electric vehicles. Once the charging service has ended, the robot independently collects the mobile energy storage unit and takes it back to the central charging station.

— Setting up an efficient charging infrastructure for the future is a central task that challenges the entire sector. We are developing solutions to help avoid costly stand-alone measures. This robot and our flexible quick-charging station [to be launched onto the market in early 2021] are just two of these solutions, says Schmall. He adds:

— Our developments do not just focus on customers’ needs and the technical prerequisites of electric vehicles. They also consider the economical possibilities they offer potential partners. 

The robot concept enables the operators of parking bays and underground car parks to quickly and simply ”electrify” every parking space. This reduces any construction work needed, at the same time reducing the potential cost.

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News

Our 10 favourite tech news in 2020

Elon Musk’s brain chip implant gets new simplified design

The Neuralink chip that aims to create brain-to-machine interfaces gets tinier and simplified.

Read.

These wooden charging stations embody the electric mobility experience

Ditching dull gas stations is another great reason to start driving electric.

Read.

Bang & Olufsen revamps the iconic 4000c turntable

An up-to-date decision, considering the exponential growth in vinyl records sales.

Read.

NASA and BIG shoot for the moon in new lunar city project

NASA wants to get ready for Mars by experimenting on our moon.

Read.

New electronic skin can react to pain like human skin

The electronic skin will not only improve intelligence in robotics but also help producers, and users, of smart prosthetics.

Read.

Polestar showcases futuristic vehicles in Balenciaga’s new video game

The electric car brand has collaborated with the luxury fashion house.

Read.

Reaching for the stars

Finnish startup ICEYE raises €74M to further expand its fleet of revolutionary satellites.

Read.

The Acute Art app makes it easier (and cheaper) than ever to own high-end art

The free augmented reality app provides portable art exhibitions.

Read.

Loeva’s new paddleboard is transparent and equipped with LED lights

Why only skim the surface of the paddleboard trend when you can go all-in?

Read.

Extraterrestrial intentions

Close to a decade ago, Mehrdad Mahdjoubi worked for NASA’s Mars project to find reusable water solutions. Today, his out-of-this-world shower can be another piece in the sustainability puzzle for our planet.

Read.

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Podcast

Fredrik Ekström on The New Sustainable Consumer Report

Categories
Feature

The Transformation Exhibition 5/11

Photographer Paul Edwards and stylist Robin Douglas Westling conduct the fifth piece of The Transformation Exhibition, and depicted model Saint tells what transformation means to her.

You’re in a transformation process right now, tell us about the process.

— I’ve always been thinking about the way I appear, and how the inner doesn’t match the outer and so on. But it was not until about six years ago that I really began to reflect on who I actually am. From defining the self, as non-binary, and channelling a lot of self-hatred and dysphoria on others. Due to that, the subconscious has always known that I’m a woman, but it was in 2018 that I started to land how it actually is.

— Since then I also went to ANOVA, which is the trans and sex medicine institution in Swedish healthcare, and ventilated about who I am and how I am and what it means. Also, living by myself and getting space to myself has made me grow in a way that I did not see as possible. It has now been a few months since I finished my investigation at ANOVA and was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. And now I’m waiting for a call back to start my hormone treatment, hair removal treatment etc.

This process of transformation and your life journey will be portrayed in an upcoming music album. Tell us about the start of this project and where are u now in this process and when will the album be released?

— This project is something that I’ve been working on in different ways since 2017. The album will cover young years in various foster homes and young teenage years filled with uncertainty. From birth to death, as well as the resurrection and the beginning of everything. I describe it as the hidden self. What I so long searched for that now is found but not 100% corrected; my womanhood.

— It will be made out of two parts. One part covers my upbringing and what shaped me to be the person I am today, the other will follow the first time on my hormone treatment, how it feels, how I change and how the world around me changes. And also how I am met externally as well as internally, and so on. Right now I’m gathering inspiration and strength for my coming hormone treatment.

”What I so long searched for that now is found but not 100% corrected; my womanhood.”

What is the most important issue to focus on in the immediate future?

— Personally it’s for everyone to start recognizing their own contribution to the Matrix, and see how one can change
one’s own programmed pattern to make it easier for those who are not included.

What are you most looking forward to in the immediate future?

— Right now, my hormone treatment and everything that comes with that.

Categories
News

Why FOREO’s latest beauty device activates all 69 muscles in the face

Clara Sandell, Head of Marketing, FOREO Nordics, describes how innovation is in the Swedish global beauty tech brand’s DNA.

— With everything that has happened, investing in yourself and your wellbeing has truly never been more important.

The brand has introduced a range of innovations this fall, and she describes BEAR as perhaps being the most exciting one.

— It’s a device that combines microcurrent and our T-Sonic pulsations to activate all 69 muscles in the face and neck to really give your face a true workout by toning and firming your skin, tells Sandell. It helps your skin build collagen, repair elastin, and tighten your face through electrical currents that mimic your body’s own natural processes. It also comes with an Anti-Shock system, which is the world’s safest — and probably cutest — microcurrent device on the market. Connected to our app, I’d describe it as a pocket-sized personal trainer for your face, also offering guided facial massages and workouts, and personalized device settings.

The new Cannabis Seed Oil mask is an addition to the Natural Collection of smart masks.

— It uses Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil from Germany that calms and soothes the skin. The Natural Collection masks are paired with the UFO 2 device, using both heating, cryotherapy, and a full spectrum of LED lights so that you can have a luxurious spa treatment at home. It does wonders for your skin in only 90 seconds, says Sandell.

Last, but not least, FOREO has added a new member to the award-winning LUNA range.

— LUNA 3 Men is a facial cleansing device specifically designed to suit men and their skincare needs. We all need skincare, and of course a little self-pampering moment every once in a while, and with this launch, we really want to emphasize that skincare is for everyone.

Categories
Feature

The Transformation Exhibition 4/11

Tell us about the team. 

— This was the first time for all of us as working as a team. Henrik Haue made four amazing pieces of wigs for us, Melanie Buchhave styled and masterminded the whole project, Kolbrun Ran did an amazing job with matching the makeup with the story. And yours truly photographed it!

How did you choose to interpret the theme of Transformation in your story?

— By making the transformation invisible! We made four photos of a woman ageing from 29 years old until she is 73 years old. The point of the transformation focus is that she transforms her face with help of plastic surgery to look the same, regardless of her age. We got the idea when we saw pictures of Cher looking the same when she was 29 and when she was 73. Both scary and impressive at the same time!

Tell us about the production; where did you shoot and why?

— In a studio in Copenhagen, since we are all based here. 

Why is this angle/interpretation important right now?

— We think it is very interesting why it’s so important for women right now to not look like they get older. Why is that?

Categories
Podcast

Niclas Olsson (BrainLit) on simulating daylight with Biocentric lighting