Happy holidays!

Happy holidays!

22 Dec 2015

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Raw Agency wishes you a happy end to 2015! We will be back January 15th 2016. Until then, we will spend time with our loved ones, prepare for another successful and fruitful year by lots of meditation, amazing healthy food and activities in the outdoors. Peace.

Raw Report: The future of robotics

Raw Report: The future of robotics

21 Dec 2015

Once again, the legendary Faith Popcorn predicts the future in a mindful and accurate way. As we plunge deeper and deeper into our smartphones, we will want to take the next step and become robotic ourselves. You wanna learn French? Rent a chip on your next trip. You wanna remember your keynote speech? Program your corporate chip with the right data. Etcetera.

Check out this video from The Economist, where she explains more about this coming shift in the future of humanity:

Raw Report: Flexonomy

Raw Report: Flexonomy

17 Dec 2015

In one of our final Raw Reports before the Christmas holidays we want to share an article written by Alexandra Levit about the new flexible work schedules that are taking over the corporate world. From our perspective this will shape a new form of work-free time balance that enables people to spend more time pursuing their passions outside of work. We call it the Flexonomy.

Working out of the office in Stockholm's Coffice.

Working out of the office in Stockholm’s Coffice.

Several months ago, I was talking to a college senior about her career plans. She wanted a job with flexible hours, and I asked why. The young woman said she wanted the freedom to take a short nap right after lunch when her energy flagged the most and the ability to work late at night when her brain was sharpest.

If I had made a comment like this when looking for my first job 16 years ago, I would have been laughed out of the room. But coming from a college student today, the request doesn’t sound all that strange.

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According to a new study by Bentley University, 77% of Millennials say that flexible work hours would make the workplace more productive for people their age. Given their comfort with digital technology that allows them to work anytime and anywhere, this statistic hardly comes as a surprise. But as the Millennial generation becomes the majority, we can expect flex time and telecommuting to become a common workplace practice rather than a special privilege.

In fact, by around 2030, the Millennial majority will likely have done away with the 9-to-5 workday entirely. Here are four key reasons why Millennials will insist that flex-work hours happen sooner rather than later.

  1. Work-Family Balance

Leslie Doolittle, assistant dean and director of academic support services at Bentley University, has found that work doesn’t define Millennials as much as it does older generations. Doolittle says family, friends, and making a difference in the community are more central to Millennials than they are to older people.

Given this, demands on Millennials’ personal time are bound to increase as they balance work commitments with raising young children. And, as they are closely connected to their parents, they are likely to be personally involved in caring for them as they age.

The trade-off, of course, is catching up on email at 10 PM or finishing a project on a Saturday morning to make up the time, but in my experience, that’s one that most Millennials are fine with making.

  1. Continuing Skills Education

According to research conducted by The Hartford, 50% of Millennials desire training and development from their employer. And companies are listening. Bersin by Deloitte said that U.S. spending on corporate training grew by 15% in 2013 (the highest growth rate in seven years).

In addition, many companies are fulfilling the Millennial desire for “experience-hopping” through leadership rotation programs that allow them to test out different areas of a company. The renowned General Electric rotation program is a great example, which allows young employees to experience various functions within GE, such as finance, sales, manufacturing, and engineering.

In any case, Millennials will be spending time taking classes and working additional jobs to skill up, and some of this activity is bound to occur during the classic workday.

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  1. The Disappearing Corporate Office

By 2030, professionals will work mostly from home using super-fast data terminals. Most companies will have nixed their permanent physical office locations in favor of chains of interconnected hubs with different plans for individuals to access space. Meetings will routinely occur virtually and across geographies and time zones, rendering air travel to visit clients or partners unnecessary. And if the office isn’t necessary—why are set office hours?

  1. The (Company’s) Bottom Line

The fact is, Millennials are right—flexible work hours do make employees more productive. Research by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom found that working remotely increases productivity, overall work hours, and employee satisfaction. Over a nine-month period, Bloom observed 250 employees at Ctrip, a Chinese travel website. Half of the employees worked from home, and half worked in the office. Turns out, removing the time it takes to physically commute to work and the distractions of the in-office environment made a huge difference: The telecommuters completed 13.5% more calls than the office workers, performed 10% more work overall, left the company at half the rate of people in the office, reported feeling more fulfilled at work, and saved the company $1,900 per employee.

Evolving to a Flexible Workplace

We’re not there yet—so what will the transition look like? My guess is that we’ll start with “easier to swallow” flex-work arrangements, such as job-sharing (two employees split the workload and time commitments of one 40-hour per week job), day shifting (some employees work from 7 AM to 3 PM while others work from 10 AM to 6 PM), and on-peak/off-peak work schedules (employees work more hours during their busy season and vice versa).

In the meantime, more and more people will convince their bosses the let them work from home one or more days a week.

With Millennial employees entering the workforce in droves, the momentum behind making flex-work a reality for all will grow. Is your company ready?

And if you need help finding the perfect work space for you, check out the great app Workhard Anywhere! It’s a lifestyle guide for the millenials seeking laptop friendly cafés and much more.

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Welcome to our open trend event in January, held at Openlab in Stockholm.

 

Raw Report: How Fashion Brands Can Help Turn the Tide on Ocean Pollution

Raw Report: How Fashion Brands Can Help Turn the Tide on Ocean Pollution

15 Dec 2015

In our latest Raw Report, we share an interesting article written in Business of Fashion about the responsibility global sports and fashion brands can take on the environment and how it changes product development. 

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NEW YORK, United States — “No one wakes up in the morning saying, ‘I’m going to destroy the oceans.’ No one does, but collectively, we put them at risk,” says Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, a US-based non-governmental organisation that aims to raise awareness of the planet’s critically endangered ocean ecosystems — and what can be done.

To coincide with the COP21 climate summit in Paris, Parley for the Oceans has teamed up with global sportswear giant Adidas to develop an innovative footwear concept called Ocean Plastic. With a 3D-printed midsole, the sneakers are made entirely from materials created using reclaimed ocean waste, such as discarded plastic and illegal gill nets that harm marine life.

“The 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole stands for how we can set new industry standards if we start questioning the reason to be of what we create,” says Eric Liedtke, a member of Adidas Group’s executive board. While the shoe is only a prototype, Parley for the Oceans and Adidas hope it will set an example for the industry to rethink their design and manufacturing processes, and help stop ocean plastic pollution. “The industry can’t afford to wait for directions any longer,” he adds.

Each year, around 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans, according to a study published in the journal Science in February earlier this year, a figure that could increase tenfold in as many years if action isn’t taken. And because petroleum-based plastics are designed to last, the waste won’t break down for decades. “Plastic is a design failure. Once it is produced it never dies,” continues Gutsch. “How can we redesign plastic to make it harmless? How can we turn the problem into an opportunity?”

In the context of the fashion industry, a project called Raw for the Oceans illustrates the kinds of solutions that can help. Jointly launched by denim brand G-Star Raw and Bionic Yarn, the eco-friendly label co-founded by Pharrell Williams, with support from Gutsch and Parley for the Oceans, Raw for the Oceans is a collaborative project that collects ocean plastic and turns it into denim. And the fact that the jeans produced through this initiative are environmentally-friendly actually makes the product more appealing, says Gutsch. “It was desirable because it was designed to help save the oceans. There was a sense of exclusivity around it, but it didn’t cost more…That’s when it becomes relevant.”

The fashion industry is in a unique position to address the problem of ocean pollution, says Gutsch. “Fashion is at the crossroads of consumerism and innovation; it is able to communicate messages others can’t address. It’s a strong vehicle of change.” Since its inception, Raw for the Oceans has recovered about 2 million plastic containers from ocean coastlines around the world. “But we need to reach a critical mass to make a real difference. When I first heard that the oceans were about to collapse, I had no idea. Yet, I contributed to it as a consumer.”

Take e-commerce, which has grown rapidly in the past few years. How many people realise that e-commerce is a major source of pollution in fashion? In part, that’s because every single item shipped, even the smallest, must be individually wrapped in plastic.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, containers and packaging accounted for 30 percent of total solid waste generated in the US in 2012. And this figure is undoubtedly set to rise with growing global e-commerce sales.

In 2014, protective packaging reportedly represented a $22 billion industry, with plastic foam alone valued at $6 billion, as millions of products are constantly revolving around the planet, waiting to be sold online. Not only do they consume fossil fuel, but if the customer sends the item back, the ecological impact doubles.

“Products have become messengers of the era we live in. We can only change something if we establish a new standard, and steer suppliers and manufacturers in the right direction,” says Gutsch, pointing to projects like Adidas new sneakers as examples of this. “It’s in the hands of the creative communities to make a change. It’s not the consumer’s fault.”

In turn, Parley has also launched a new sustainability scheme — A.I.R. (short for avoid, intercept, redesign) — which provides guidelines that any fashion business or consumer can follow, beginning with everyday choices, like avoiding using plastic, intercepting to help manage waste and redesigning and reinventing to explore alternative solutions.

“The only way to move forward, in the future, would be to produce on demand,” says Gutsch, citing 3D printing methods as a sensible alternative. But there are other sustainable solutions: consuming less, creating products that have a longer life expectancy or mimicking nature to develop products that disintegrate.

Raw Report: 10 pillars of shopping experience

Raw Report: 10 pillars of shopping experience

10 Dec 2015

Once again we are looking at our friends at PSFK to find out the latest in retail trends. PSFK Labs identifies the key trends driving forward the Future of Retail 2016

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“Not a lot has happened in retail, but the consumer has changed,” Keith Mercier, Worldwide Retail Leader at IBM Watson said during his presentation at the Future of Retail 2016 NYC launch.

The sentiment can be felt by retailers across industries: consumers today are more connected and more demanding of a brand’s narrative than ever before. As services, automated or otherwise, continue to improve upon the shopper experience, our expectations are rising alongside.

The Future of Retail 2016 report from PSFK Labs outlines the 10 Pillars delivering the New Shopper Experience. Download the full report available today.

To reach the future-forward consumer, encourage loyalty, build a community and empower advocates to spread the word, it’s necessary to leverage these findings to design for the next age of retail.

1. Create Confidence

Brands must provide shoppers with the tools and advice to help them discover new products and choose the option best suited to their lifestyles and needs. From Samsung’s cellphone test-driving to Lululemon’s tapping into basic sensations, building shopper confidence means unabashed access to what you’re selling.

2. Eliminate Obstacles

A first-time shopper won’t follow a brand far down the purchase path rabbit hole. One-in-three smartphone users have purchased from a company other than the one they intended because that opportunity was in the right place at the right time. In this section, we explore how major retailers like Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Starbucks create seamless transactions.

3. Democratize Access

In years past, a stylist or personal assistant was reserved for an elite class, but today the option of a hand-selected wardrobe or floral delivery is an algorithm away. The best brands connect customers to one-on-one recommendations or put enthusiasts on the front rows of exclusive events using virtual reality. It’s equal-opportunity luxury.

4. Recognize & Personalize

Like walking into a coffee shop where baristas already know your order, welcoming back loyal customers—or predicting and personalizing the experiences of first-timers—makes any consumer feel unique and appreciated. Put systems in place for remembering and acting on consumers purchase history and preference, and tailor those experiences over time.

5. Promote Transparency

Customers are increasingly concerned with how their dollars are put to good use, and how their purchases make them feel at the end of the production chain. With 81% of millennials looking for brands that tell the full story of their products, transparency in intent and execution makes a product stand out. American Eagle’s refusal to retouch models, Walgreens’ rewards for healthy behaviors, and more are forging  social good examples for others to follow.

6. Perfect Partnerships

Two is better than one…if you do it right. Combining forces with like-minded companies, such as Uber and Shopify’s same-day delivery service or AllRecipes and Instacart’s effortless grocery shopping, can turn two strong brands into a powerful purchasing force. Marry into your fellow brand’s loyal base, and start building a bigger family.

7. Optimize Ownership

Just as transparency and confidence-building encourage clientele to come back, customers crave responsive support networks for what they’re invested in. Smartphones and an always-connected lifestyle make support like Fountain’s AI experts or Everlane’s weather-based style guides possible.

8. Cultivate Community

Customers don’t just want to connect with a brand, they want to opt into a community. Create opportunities for consumers and fans to come together around the halo of a brand in ways a single product can’t reach.

9. Encourage Advocacy

The power of a personal recommendation is a brand’s biggest influence. Turn customers into brand advocates, with rewards and incentives for doing so. Seventy-nine percent of consumers spread the word about a positive experience already; major brands have reimagined how to push the word-of-mouth phenomenon even farther.

10. Deliver Delight

That combination of the perfect and unexpected can reenergize existing relationships. Going beyond an exchange of cash for goods and providing perks can build on the broader brand promise. Efforts like Nike’s “secret gym” and Kenneth Cole’s open-anytime offer tie a specialness to your products that they’ll want to share.

Raw Report: Stretchable healing electronics

Raw Report: Stretchable healing electronics

9 Dec 2015

We first reported about stretchable electronics during a trend seminar we held in 2013, then in the area of sports. Now time has come for the healthcare sector to apply this technology. Here’s a report from our friends at PSFK:

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Hasten wound healing without constantly re-applying medicine, thanks to a bandage sporting drug delivery channels.

Dressing a wound will never be the same, not after what the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has invented. The MIT researchers touted this invention as “the Band-Aid of the future,” a bandage made of stretchy hydrogel embedded with electronics like LED lights, temperature sensors and drug delivery channels that act depending on the person’s skin temperature to aid wound healing.

Xuanhe Zhao and Robert Noyce lead the study and design of this futuristic Band-Aid.

“Electronics are usually hard and dry, but the human body is soft and wet. These two systems have drastically different properties,” Zhao explained, which is why they had to look for a material that can give them what they need.

Based on research and study, Zhao and Noyce went with using hydrogel, a rubbery, sticky and stretchy material made of water. Hydrogel can easily bond with silicone, glass, aluminum, titanium, gold and ceramic. This is why hydrogel is perfect to use with electronics. Its form allows it to attach to hard-to-stick areas like elbows and knees, and still, keep the electronics intact.

But setting aside the science and technology, the fact remains that Band-Aids are used to dress wounds or cover up wounds. As of today, that has been their main purpose. MIT takes it several levels higher by incorporating its main purpose of covering wounds, yet adding the healing concept within it as well.

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Everyone wants their wounds to heal up quickly; however, the current bandages on sale cannot do that. If MIT’s futuristic wound dressing works, there will be no more need to re-apply medicine over and over. As mentioned, the hydrogel bandage comes with drug delivery channels. Once the temperature sensors detect a change in body temperature, this signals the drug delivery channels to start delivering the medicine.

As of writing, the MIT team hopes that hydrogel wound dressing can be used to treat burns. But looking to the future, the team aims to use hydrogel as a tool to deliver electronics inside the body such as neural probes and glucose sensors.

“Currently, researchers are trying different soft materials to achieve long-term biocompatibility of neural devices. With collaborators, we are proposing to use robust hydrogel as an ideal material for neural devices, because the hydrogel can be designed to possess similar mechanical and physiological properties as the brain,” Zhao shared of the team’s long-term goal.

One year of seamless engagement

One year of seamless engagement

3 Dec 2015

Exactly one year ago Raw Agency appeared as a re-born edition of MNML Agency.

The idea with the Raw-concept is to offer our clients an eco-system of services that create seamless engagement from people who live a contemporary lifestyle. We are continuously developing a full-service offer of Consultancy, Media, Insights & Trends and Activation. At the heart of what we do is to create stories and content that is worth sharing.

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Raw Agency is plainly speaking, the consultancy and strategic partner, the core of our offer. At Raw Agency we are experts at content and marketing communication. We can help clients strengthen their brand, increase sales and create a shift in public opinion – or just activate your key stakeholders for the fun of it – as long as we have a relevant story to tell.

Rawness

Rawness.se is our own online media platform where we can engage with people and test new editorial concepts. Rawness.se is an editorial format that is highly curated and developed by our own editorial staff together with eight talented and passionate contributors. We share news, stories and interviews within sports, health, nutrition, outdoor, fashion, style and active lifestyle in general. Updated several times per day.

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Raw Report is our own publication and trend report, summarising the most important events in health, healthcare, sports, outdoor and life science. As well as ”predicting” the future. Within the Raw Report concept we also deliver tailor made market analysis, insights and trends that help brands and organisations to take better business decisions.

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Raw Break is a format currently under development and beta-tested with our core fans and followers. It is an activation concept based around fun breaks from your everyday life within an active lifestyle setting. We create events and other solutions that can help people and brands to become healthier and happier!

MethodKit for Health

MethodKit for Health A healthy population is the backbone of a sustainable society. We have created a tool together with our friends at MethodKit that can help you organize, plan and shape the future landscape of patient care, health and wellbeing. This kit is aimed at both professionals and enthusiasts who want to understand more and create new systems for the future of public health.

So looking back at the previous year we feel very proud and humble. We are now starting to prepare for another year of great work, inspiring projects and passionate adventures.

For any enquiries, briefs, ideas, concepts, news or stories you want to share with us, don’t hesitate to contact our Managing Director Roland-Philippe Kretzschmar rpk@rawagency.se. And if you want to join our family, send us a note, film or anything that will make us tick.

Raw Report: Future of Traveling

Raw Report: Future of Traveling

1 Dec 2015

Our friends at PSFK Labs have defined the future of traveling in their The Future of Travel 2016 report examining how virtual tech can provide customers with instant access to products and services.

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Today, anyone can venture to far-off destinations from the comfort of home by skimming through global cuisines on Instagram, ziplinning through a rainforest in virtual reality or by taking a 360-degree hotel tour via desktop. Virtual technologies that transport us from our screen to a beachfront instantaneously are offering travelers a more authentic and inspiring look into the local culture of these intended destinations.

Rather than gather suggestions from travel agents, prospective travelers can manage a digital stream of tips and reviews for self-guided research beyond the initial consideration to plan a trip. In PSFK Labs’ new report, The Future of Travel 2016, they delve into the implications of these apps and gadgets that indicate a new era of travel discovery.

In looking at digital interactions as a potential paying customer, brands can leverage the opportunities to transport people to far-flung locations and instill greater confidence in their decision-making process. Any questions or qualms one might have prior to planning and booking a trip can be answered by a virtual experience and provide an extended level of reassurance before committing to a purchase.

Lumoid, for instance, lets customers test travel gadgets from cameras to lens, prior to committing to a larger investment of gear. Travelers or photo enthusiasts can search and discover items based on the type of trip and purpose, whether they’re taking a weekend trip upstate for a wedding or a solo backpacking trip through Central America. The company helps customers avoid buyer’s remorse by allowing them to try-on multiple items for up to two weeks before making a decision. The at-home rental fee is typically below $50/day, and can be applied to purchase if they decide to keep the goods.

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Other companies are leveraging new tech like VR to let people try products before purchasing in a way that’s both novel and pertinent. Fiat Brazil, in partnership with Isobar, created the “Live Store” to connect shoppers and experts in a virtual test drive guided by remote staff. Like shopping in-store, a sales associate wearing a micro-camera offers customers a first-hand tour of various Fiat models.

According to Fiat, 70 percent of its customers start their research online before going to a dealership, so the Live Store delivers this more omni-present end-to-end experience they seek out while shopping.

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With new ways to reach customers from SMS to face chatting, German airline Lufthansa is experimenting with augmented reality for iOS to promote the added space in their Premium Economy section. After downloading the app, travelers launch the experience by drawing and scanning “something that flies” to see a Premium Economy seat appear on screen, allowing viewers to zoom in, rotate and learn more.

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While the planning of any big trip is an exciting process, the investment associated with it makes people want to ensure they have done their due diligence. Any brand or service that can assist them in this pre-booking process is sure to win favorably for saving them both time and effort.

Brands can think about helping travelers try before they travel by:

  • Syncing users’ profiles to allow guests to quickly pick up where they left off in a booking process from any device.
  • Following booking, allow travelers to download itinerary or pertinent travel information (hotel address, contact information) to their mobile devices for offline access while on the move.
  • Considering how information from the booking process completed on mobile or a desktop can transfer into emerging devices like wearables, for access and recognition after arriving on a property.
  • Ensuring loyalty information is recognized and factored into any purchase experience across devices and platforms

With more options than ever before, “customers relish in the opportunity to try [services] before committing to purchase,” said Blinkbox CEO Michael Cornish.

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Här är nya oväntade hälsotrenden

Här är nya oväntade hälsotrenden

29 Nov 2015

Hör när vår vd Roland-Philippe Kretzschmar medverkade i radio under helgen. Och pratade om en oväntat omodern hälsotrend.

”Att hela tiden använda sin smartphone kan stressa hjärnan, enligt hälsoexpert som nu ser en ny trend där allt fler byter ut sin smartphone mot en enklare telefon, eller helt enkelt försöker använda smartphonen mindre.

I Helg i P5 berättar hälsoexpert Roland-Philippe Kretzschmar att forskning pekar på att för mycket användning av smartphones skadar hjärnan. I sin trendspaning märker Roland att allt fler tar till sig en ny trend att mer och mer avstå en frekvent användning av smartphones eller andra skärmar/datorer.

– Enligt forskare är våra hjärnor inte skapta för multitasking. Vi tappar fokus ju mer vi använder vår smartphone, säger hälsoexpert Roland-Philippe Kretzschmar till Helg i P5.

Man kan förändra sitt beteende under en sjudagarsperiod.

– Emempelvis sluta följa individer som inte är dina vänner. Ta bort appar du inte använder, inte börja dagen med att titta på telefonen. Lämna telefonen hemma om du går ut och äter middag.

Vilka hälsofördelar kan man vänta sig om man anammar detta?

– Man blir mindre stressad, mer fokuserad och mer kreativ.”

Raw Friday

Raw Friday

27 Nov 2015

Raw Friday means not shopping but helping people, even strangers, without expecting anything back. Much needed in these days of refugee crisis. 

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Have you heard about the ”Bystander Effect”? Usually it goes like this ”Why should I help when there’s someone else who could do it?”. Because helping will also make YOU feel better. That’s the effect of altruism.

1. If you’re in trouble, pick out one person in the crowd. Making eye contact with a stranger brings some ”we-ness” into that stranger’s perception of the situation.

2. If you’re a bystander, take action. Someone has to stand up first when in a bystander situation. Let that person be you.

3. Take advantage of our natural tendencies toward altruism. Assume the best in people, not the worst. Many people have a natural desire to help and will do so if you give them the chance.

4. Try not to worry about the consequences of helping. It’s true that people who intervene in an emergency may be putting themselves at risk. But the alternative is to spend the rest of your life wondering if your actions might have saved someone else.

5. Model altruism and helping to the young. By showing that you have the guts to take charge of situations and help others in need, children will gain important lessons from you.

It’s up to us to decide whether to help our fellow humans when they’re in need. We can be passive bystanders or we can step in and intervene. Within each of us is the capacity for heroism.