In just a decade the biggest driver of colour trends for branding and packaging has moved from fashion to social media, according to UK designers, with technology predicted to become the biggest influence by 2030. James Cropper spoke to 500 designers about what’s driving colour trends.

colour trends 2019

The specialist papermaker and colour expert James Cropper spoke to 500 designers about what’s driving colour trends in the modern context. Here are six themes that came out as crucial for the future of colour. Mark Starrs, Master Colour Blender at James Cropper says “Palettes are now progressive, political, environmental, and as ever, personal.” James Cropper’s PROGRESSIVE PALETTES REPORT will be free and released in full at the LuxePack Monaco event in October 2019, as well as being available to pre-order here from May 2019. It will include insights from leading peers, customers and industry experts across a range of topics exploring the modern context of colour.


For 80% of designers, sustainability is having an impact on colour trends. It’s therefore no surprise that the plastic crisis is the thing that resonates the most amongst designers (73%). Sustainability goals was a key consideration for three quarters (76%) of creatives when it comes to choosing colour, and a fifth (20%) predict that in the next ten years the impact of sustainability on colour trends will grow.

The impact of ecommerce 

Just under two in five designers (38%) agree that colour is key to creating a brilliant customer experience with online purchases, believing that the packaging replaces the in-store purchasing experience.


A third of designers (35%) agree that the need to take cultural influences into account means that brands are moving towards a palette of colours to allow for more fluidity. A third (33%) also agree that colour consistency across markets matters more for luxury brands than for high street brands. Whilst the majority confirm (79%) that achieving colour consistency across regions greatly affects the design process.


On average, 34% of briefs that designers receive include the requirement for the design to be ‘Instagram-able’, citing characteristics of this to be about colours that stand out, are trend setting, distinctive, bright, bold and consistent with branding.

Colour and storytelling 

Almost half (44%) of designers agree that colour is essential to effective storytelling, and that effective storytelling requires more than just one colour. Perhaps indicating a trend away from a set palette, a third (36%) of designers agree that new brands are much less tied to set colours, instead favouring brand stories.

Colour in a digital world 

Almost half (45%) of designers agree the digital world has allowed brands to play with colour, mix things up and tailor brand experiences for particular markets or sectors, opening up a world of opportunity because things can be so easily changed (43%).

By Kristina de Verdier on 4 June, 2019 In , , ,


Consuming experiences instead of mass-produced goods has been emphasized in recent years; travel, self- and soul-care have been marketed as obvious alternatives, canvassed against a backdrop of bleak mass-produced goods in abundance. This is one of many signs of how we have shifted our mindset from being a production society to a service society. We also see patterns in the way we live – values become more important than results, personal branding and relations more important than social status.

Jonas Lundin Love art business
Jonas is the CEO of the design agency LA + B in Stockholm and teaches Semiotics and ID generation at Konstfack Stockholm, and guest lectures among others at LTH in Lund, Arkitekthögskolan / KTH Stockholm and Berghs Stockholm. Jonas has been running design activities for 20 years in areas such as high-tech industrial design, packaging, marketing, media, TV and film, and has worked with customers such as Absolut Vodka, Volvo, Husqvarna, Nobel, SVT and others. This article was first published in Scandinavian Man issue 4, 2019, and has been edited. 

Our view on technology and innovation, previously portrayed as either savior or foe is also maturing slowly. AI – Artificial Intelligence – is reformulated into Assisted Intelligence, implying that it is not, nor will it ever will be, an autonomous species, but rather a smart tool. Virtual Reality, once seen as a next generation media platform, is, together with its siblings AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality), renamed Virtual Influence, as an inspiring part of a larger context rather than one sole channel for storytelling. 
Data and big data, while tremendously useful, should be used with care; data is often flawed and often contains bias inherent even in the instrument of its collection. A single-minded focus on quantitative performance may presume that we all value progress at the expense of our humanity. Consumers, increasingly sensitive to the fact of every facet of their lives being reduced, tracked and funneled into a data-driven marketplace, grow weary of products that reinforce their anonymity and look for experiences in which they can find themselves. And so we find that the pendulum slowly swings towards the value-based, the empathic, the relationship-focused and the notion of a diffuse and complex society.

Companies and creatives creating experiences that consider the unique and diverse experiences, needs, and desires of their users have the opportunity to shape experiences which are customized by the perception and input of the user.

And it is through working out from this understanding that is the key to success today –– by creating a seamless narrative with clear values, showing empathetic understanding of the recipient, being transparent about who we are and what we offer. Not only our flawless façades but also by sharing how our backyard looks. Great innovation can be narrative and experiential. Innovation is not limited to the technological.

But one might ask, what of the consumer goods, then? Well, their relevance persists, but in concert with a larger whole. Products, their packaging, and physical environments represent the worldly, the powerful sensory experiences where the digital world has yet a long way to go. Physical entities, like packaging is an interface in open dialogue with consumers, and they are at their best when in conversation with an overall story. The days when the product’s monologue is in central focus are over. 

Brands such as Goop, with Gwyneth Paltrow at the helm, have understood this shift, and offer not only beauty products but also related experiences such as yoga classes, and wellness opportunities or conferences in a storytelling flow both online, at activations points and through their products and packaging. Apple highlights how the balance of services and products has become their new focus, cleverly building their own ecosystem of these, and after building momentum (or creating hype), Apple manifest their own myth through big announcement events. 
Creating a new dialogue and relevant collaborations have in recent years become a new standard for most brands in the fashion industry. Streetwear brand Supreme, takes this even further. Through digital and physical events, they announce collaborations with both high-street fashion brands as well as geeky gadget brands or mundane crockery companies. In an almost postmodern journey, they trigger our imagination, playing on gamification cornerstones like scarcity and randomness, giving space for other voices in their narrative, as well as embedding a sense of actuality.
If it is coherent, and if it is done right, good narrative, empathically engages the needs of the recipient, who at any given time can jump in and out of the story, and creates a bespoke experience to be enjoyed in both the digital and physical realms.
4 pointers when creating bespoke experience:
  • Understand the story you want to tell, from the receivers’ perspective. Enhance it by activating as many senses as possible per channel. Find new rooms and mediums – and pair, mix and enhance the narrative with traditional such as packaging, product design, POS and environments. The strongest impressions are still the haptic and spatial.
  • Innovate with empathy (not to be confused with sympathy). Create experiences that understand the user and build relevance.
  • Use data wisely. We have more data than ever, but it tells a one-sided story. Perceive the story behind the data. Use semiotics, and semantics; mix both explicit and implicit narrative in your communication.
  • Show your backyard, show the factory, be transparent, and let your receiver in.

Consumer Trends

It’s the time of circularity, desire for trust, seamless experiences, and invisible technology. Oscar Berg & Kristina de Verdier share 5 trends that are changing people’s everyday lives worldwide and creating new realities for every company.

As we get exposed to constant environmental alarms, we start to question our current consumption patterns. We turn to companies to respond and make action of their promises. At the same time, the world is becoming ever more digital. We expect new experiences, simplifying and enriching our lives. We expect seamless experiences across physical and digital touch-points.  We don’t think of a product, brand or communication as separate things. As consumers we are also seeking products and services that enable self-care and a healthy lifestyle. The desire to live a more mindful lifestyle is adding up on the pressure on companies to change.

Companies must show they care for both the consumer and the planet. They must design holistic, seamless, and empowering experiences. They must have a clear strategy for all the components of their brand. How can a company offer experiences where the technology is not even noticed, as if it is invisible – at the same time giving consumers superpowers?

#1 Trusted Truth

In a culture of trust, people dare to share the truth.

The technology revolution is hopeful; fighting Parkinson with sensor technology, treating patients in remote places, leveraging artificial intelligence to speed up sustainability. We often hear about innovations of this kind. However, we rarely hear about advances in ethics that need to follow such development. If this is not addressed, people will lose trust in technology. Every day, we get reports from dysfunctional politics, business processes and ethics. This makes us more cynical and creates a growing desire for answers. As consumers we are expecting more information from the producers and want the right information early on in the process. We expect relevant information in every experience and will take proactive action if this is not fulfilled. Transparency is part of the solution, but needs to come together with privacy!

The increasing pressure on organizations to offer transparency and privacy is, of course, a challenge. It comes not only from consumers but also from employees, investors, media and government. In such a setting, creating a culture of trust that builds on open and honest communication is the only feasible strategy. It is about removing barriers that hinder people from accessing the information they could need to make better decisions. In a culture of trust, people dare to share the truth.


#2 It takes a circle to be circular

We don’t need the talk, we need the action!

Consumers are getting more aware of the negative impact their consumption has on the planet, society or themselves. People want to be responsible, but it’s hard to change habits. As Deming’s 94-6 rule states, only 6% of problems can be attributed to the individual and the rest to the system. Why aren’t there highways for electric bikes as there are for cars? Or why aren’t all parking lots equipped with electric chargers? Why is it often a lot cheaper to travel by air than by train? If we don’t change the system to support and encourage new habits, change will not happen. The inability to affect the system creates frustration among us as consumers.

What needs to happen globally, is a transformation towards a circular economy. The products and services we buy and consume will no longer support our own needs. They are a part of a much bigger system where the goal is zero waste. In 2019 we will need to continue pushing the boundaries of the circular economy. We need to rethink not only products and services, but the entire value chain. Companies and organizations will need to work together, across silos and industries, to enable behavior change. They will need to provide a continuous flow of triggers, coaching, rewards, knowledge, and insights that help people develop and sustain new behaviors that are good for earth and humanity. Sustainability has up to now, in too many contexts, been seen as good PR. In 2019 consumers and the planet don’t expect any more talk – they need to see action!


#3 Curated Care

Healthcare is moving from acute and reactive to proactive and personalized

We are going to see a rise of brands in the health space. The plant-based revolution continues, and sleep problems have now become a public health epidemic. Researchers are linking lack of sleep to cognitive functions as well as to emotional intelligence and mental health. New tech products aim to help people with their holistic health, such as nighttime wearables, food trackers, and smart pillows.

Technology is helping us track and analyze everything from sleep quality to screen time, nudging us to act and reflect. The healthcare system, on the other hand, stands in front of major transformation as digitalization enables a shift from reactive treatment of illnesses to proactive and preventive actions for increased health and well-being.

The WHO report, titled ‘Everybody’s Business’, highlights how our own health is no longer outsourced to healthcare professionals. It’s down to us to take responsibility for it. That’s not just via our lifestyle choices. We also use our devices to capture data, identify patterns, and create new habits. This, in turn, will change the way we interact with the healthcare system.

Different countries are at different stages in the transformation towards a more proactive, personalized, and patient-centric healthcare system. What is true globally though is that the new generation of consumers is more open-minded to the definition of health. They see technology as a mean to improve life quality.


#4 Frictionless Experience

Seamless physical & digital

The physical versus the virtual experience is no longer an either-or proposition. As consumers we are not separating our on- and offline worlds. It’s all reality, important and complementing useful to us. As these worlds are merging, there is a growing desire for smoothness and integration between analog and digital. The best experiences are the ones where we don’t really have to think about technology. The technology is invisible to us, making our lives more convenient and frictionless than ever before.

A frictionless experience is not just about providing access to services and products through different channels. Friction still exists between different touch points in a journey, between physical and digital, and between our previous experiences and the current. This friction disrupts our workflows, adds cognitive load, and causes frustration and stress. The more we become aware of this friction, the more it will hurt.  

Our smart devices will help us more in each situation, being aware of the location we are in and what we need to do. Sensing what is in our close proximity, whether it is resources or people. Helping us navigate to where we need to be, or what we need to do next. With connected sensors and devices, our physical environment will also adapt to our needs and situation. We readily embrace new technology and services that integrate seamlessly into our reality. That support us instead of disrupt us. It is in the marriage of technology and simplicity that companies will be able to connect with us in new and exceptional ways.


#5 Co-creation Economy

The power of collaboration

Co-creation is all about the very simple idea; that working together is better. Digital co-creation is the new way of creating value across all levels of society and business, across sectors and industries. It knows no limitations as to how many can participate in a design process, where they come from, or what their background is. As consumers we seek the opportunity to create our own solutions to our problems. A digital co-creation process empowers us to do this, allowing us to tailor products and services to better fit our needs and wants. This goes beyond the concept of prosumers, where consumers play an active when goods are mass customized in the production process. A consumer can now also be the designer, and even the brand.

Companies must adapt to this new reality to survive. This stretches from inviting consumers and partners to co-create new products or services to enabling anyone to launch his or her own brands and providing access to marketplaces.

Being truly customer-focused in 2019, means seeing the potential of ‘teaming up’. Teaming up and collaborating with end-users, influencers, experts, and even competitors. As consumers we will embrace brands that, with a win-win mindset, provide platforms for digital co-creation.


About Oscar: Works as Business Designer and CEO at Unicorn Titans, a Swedish digital innovation agency. He’s a frequent keynote speaker on digital transformation and the future of work, and author of Superpowering People – Designing The Collaborative Digital Organization and Digital Workplace Strategy & Design.

About Kristina: Founder of and Design Director at KDV Design Studio. She helps companies navigate through complex design & innovation projects and through strategic practice delivers clear and actionable guidance to make sure the insights are turned into human-centered design solutions. She’s a frequent trend speaker and coaching organisations in design thinking.

Graphic design: Mats Tejre

By Kristina de Verdier on 5 February, 2019

4 Sustainable Design Principles

Nowadays sustainability is an integral part of most development projects, a filter all new designs should go through. Sustainability is part of what we call “good design” and everyone is responsible – it’s a cross-functional mission. Here are 4 design principles that can help us in these efforts.

Several aspects influence the sustainability of a product or service and it’s not easy to define which development activities to focus on, to create the best possible impact on our planet. What is clear though, is that design based on human needs, is the best starting point for sustainable design. John Thackara, author and one of the most influential voices within sustainability, states that we are filling our world with stuff, but we forget to ask ourselves “What are these things for” “What value do they add to our lives” Sometimes we focus blindly on new technology, while we probably should look into which problems to solve first. A designer’s most important role is to define these needs and make the new offering relevant and intuitive to the user.


We live in a world where we are constantly occupied; stores, web-sites, homes are filled with options – people are over-whelmed! A crucial task is therefore to simplify. Simplifying a product or service may sound easy, but achieving it in a meaningful way, is complex. “Less-ness” can as well be to create products with better quality, which creates less hustle for consumers as well as for the environment! Let’s ask ourselves how we can simplify the right way through the entire value chain. How can we use less material, or rather how can we minimise the amount of material that needs to be wasted?

Example: A team of MIT Media Lab researchers has developed inflated origami. A network of air channels in geometric patterns on sheets of paper, plastic, or textile.


People do not think of a product, brand or communication separately – People buy an experience. Which means we must design for the holistic experiences. If we focus on the needs that should be solved, instead of how products look today, it results in a better user experience and increases the potential of more sustainable products. Perhaps parts of the need can be solved digitally with less footprint? When we focus on the holistic experience we have the opportunity to integrate more and eliminate useless fuzz that might just be there as a heritage from the past.

Example: IKEA’s iconic bags are famous for being reused for the most fantastic purposes, in people’s everyday lives. Now re-designed by Hay and even more desired.


Material choice is often a big question in development activities. Again, there are no simple answers regarding sustainability and material choice. But there are some basic guidelines to follow. How can we minimize the amount of different materials? How can we increase the proportion of materials made from renewable sources? How can we think circularly, think along the whole value chain, consider recycling, change the view of waste? A circular economy aims to maintain products, components and materials to its highest benefit and value all the time. Last but not least, how can we help consumers to understand what material it is, which increases the chances that it’s handled and recycled correctly.

Example: Lego’s botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees will be made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane in the future and will appear in LEGO boxes already in 2018


It’s getting more and more accepted for consumers to have access to things instead of owning them, especially for the younger generation. The big difference companies make when creating a product as part of the sharing economy, is that instead of asking “what should we create” the question is “how can we deliver on this need”. The sharing economy is about being in a broader context than just “my company”. My products should not only cater to my own needs, but they will contribute / be part of a much larger system.

Example: Care by Volvo is a new alternative to owning or leasing a Volvo car. Volvo calls it the future of the car experience, where a simple monthly subscription is all you need and you can easily share the car through a digital key.

Touching Realities

Touch is one of the most important sensory modality in driving consumer behavior. The increasing lack of texture in people’s lives makes experiences become one-dimensional.

Studio Ilse Touch Consumer Design 3

We have five senses for a reason, together they help us understand and fully experience our surroundings. In the last few decades, the visual experiences have been explored in all possible directions (e.g. VR, AR). At the same time, cognitive neuroscience has made big progresses in the study of the human mind and of the principles that concur to determine our behavior. Touch is one of the most important sensory modality in driving consumer behavior. The increasing lack of texture in people’s lives makes experiences become one-dimensional. So now, smart brands have be focusing more on how their products feel! By elevating the details and integrating elements of tactility, companies will consequently need to have a clear strategy on the tactile components of their brand.


-What are the tactile elements of your product/brand?

-How can you create brand recognition across senses?

-How can you further elevate the details?


Ilse Crawford has collaborated with Bosnian craftspeople to create furniture using a UNESCO-nominated traditional carving technique. The Zanat Touch collection features stippled surfaces created by hand-carving small scoops out of the wood using custom-made metal tools. With its hand-carved surfaces The Touch Collection engages our instinctive impulse to feel something. The collection adds value and contributes both to the sustainable socio-economic development and the preservation of Bosnian cultural heritage in an area devastated by war.


By Kristina de Verdier on 9 January, 2018 In , , , ,

The Circle of Every Little Thing

Consumers begin to see responsible products not only as a good move for the future, but as a paradigm shift that needs to happen now. The circular economy suggests that our products will no longer just support our own needs, they will participate in a much bigger system.

We live in a world full of alarms; conflicts, terror and environmental disasters. It makes consumers increasingly worried and aware. As a reaction to this, consumers begin to see responsible products not only as a good move for the future, but as a paradigm shift that needs to happen now. The circular economy suggests that our products will no longer just support our own needs, they will participate in a much bigger system. We will need to continue pushing the boundaries of the circular economy and rethink products in terms of the entire value chain. In this movement, we need to see many more companies and organizations working together, across silos, towards better consumer behavior, encouraging responsible consumption. Consumers realize that their current consumption patterns need to be changed. To make this happen they are turning to the companies who respond and make action of their promises.


-Think circularity, think across value chain, rethink waste

-How can you start with small actions (instead of the big words)?

-How can your products/services be participants in a bigger system?

-How can you work more across silos, companies and organisations?


Parley for the Oceans addresses major threats towards the oceans, the most important ecosystem of our planet. Parley believes the power for change lies in the hands of the consumer – given he has a choice – and the power to shape this new consumer mindset lies in the hands of the creative industries. Artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, fashion designers, journalists, architects, product inventors, and scientists have the tools to mold the reality we live in and to develop alternative business models and ecologically sensible products to give us earthlings an alternative choice, an everyday option to change something.

Stella McCartney has woven sustainability into her company. She is open about the challenge/paradox of being both sustainable and fashionable at the same time. McCartney says that building environmentally sustainable practices into her own business has been a long-term commitment. Stella has made the brand highly visible in sustainable discussions globally, making her an opinion leader within the area. “We believe that the future of fashion is circular – it will be restorative and regenerative by design and the clothes we love never end up as waste.”

Forest Bath

Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.

Forest bathing Japan consumer trends 2018

We live in an age of interruption. People keep their phone near them almost all the time during day and night. Even though the connected world is offering both convenience and social interactions, consumers increasingly seek meaningful and simpler experiences offline. People are looking for personal enrichment beyond the worlds of work, social media, and city life – some are escaping to the nature, some are going to yoga, others leave their phone at home when going to the restaurant with their friends.

Researchers primarily in Japan and South Korea have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest. Now their research is helping to establish shinrin-yoku and forest therapy throughout the world. The aim of forest bathing, is to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment. The idea is simple: if a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way there are calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits to be achieved. The practice originated in Japan where it is called shinrin-yoku (森林浴).

By Kristina de Verdier on 14 September, 2017

Make Smart Matter

Consumers are embracing the smartness which is seamlessly integrated in their reality. It is the marriage of technology and simplicity that will help brands connect with consumers in exceptional ways.

Amazon Go

Consumers can shop anytime, anywhere and are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of convenience. New technology integrated in consumers’ product experiences is only going to grow, advances in materials science, components are getting smaller. As this sector is quickly evolving in many areas, one thing is clear though; consumers and brand owners now want usable products, that adds real value to their lives, rather than short-term marketing gimmicks. How can smart components help prevent food waste, ensure product safety, generate and store meaningful data for medical purpose, or make the weekly shopping easier? Consumers are embracing the smartness which is seamlessly integrated in their reality. It is the marriage of technology and simplicity that will help brands connect with consumers in exceptional ways.


-What real consumer problems needs to be solved?

-How can I create a seamless experience, integrated in consumers’ lifestyle?

-How can the solution be intuitive?


Amazon Go is a new kind of store with no checkout required. Amazon created the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line. Use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! Amazon uses sensors, video-technology and AI-algoritms to enable this convenient shopping experience.

By Kristina de Verdier on 24 March, 2017 In , , ,

Words of Welcome

How can design help Syrian refugees instantly speaking German? The design system ‘Words of Welcome’ makes it possible! Created by DDB Group Germany, based in Berlin.


Germany has welcomed over one million refugees displaced by the conflict in Syria. Asylum seekers face new challenges in Germany: the majority of Syrian refugees cannot understand the German or English and are unable to read the Roman alphabet. This language barrier makes communication between asylum seekers and caregivers extremely difficult. The German government states that integration and basic communication are essential in providing meaningful support.


Words of Welcome is a design system that turns every aid donation into a German language lesson for refugees. Together with language experts, we developed a phonetic system that combines German language and the Arabic script. We created phonetic transcriptions for the names of the most essential items and created a new label for these products. By reading these labels aloud in Arabic, refugees can instantly pronounce the word in perfect German. With every relabelled product refugees add a new German word to their vocabulary.


In collaboration with multiple refugee shelters, we selected the most essential products that serve the basic needs of the refugees. Next, we developed a phonetic system together with language experts to create phonetic transcriptions for the names of these items. To support as many people as possible, we created these transcriptions in three languages: Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. By printing the transcriptions on a simple roll of box tape we made it easy for volunteers and refugees to repackage the donations on site. The tape uses 7 different colours representing different product categories – helping to differentiate food, sanitary, medical and baby products. The platform caters for the first 28 words every refugee needs to learn so they can communicate their basic needs. Even more words on their way to be produced. An online platform enables people to help spread the word to other citizens, brands and corporations to attract new sponsors.

By Kristina de Verdier on 3 January, 2017

To See Clearly: Technology Excess and Selection, by Jonas Lundin

The unceasing stream of promising innovations may offer tempting visions of a rewarding future—but no matter how attractive any technological break-through may appear to be it remains extremely important, indeed essential, to closely examine and interpret the inherent limitations and possibilities of each alternative.


About the never-ending stream of new technology innovations, and the relevance of them. By thinker & doer Jonas Lundin, based in Stockholm.

Today we live in a time of great promise; hardly a day passes without some new technological innovation being unveiled..  According to some observers, we shall almost certainly see in the next few years more scientific and technical advances than in the entire 20th century—whether these will truly be of a groundbreaking nature or merely incremental in character is a subject of lively debate for now and for the future.   

The unceasing stream of promising innovations may offer tempting visions of a rewarding future—but no matter how attractive any technological break-through may appear to be it remains extremely important, indeed essential, to closely examine and interpret the inherent limitations and possibilities of each alternative. In itself technology is nothing more than a means to some desired end, as yet incapable on its own of producing useful content or generating ideas, creating brands, strategies or products.

A problem can be faced time and again is that in creative sessions, and at decision time, the perceived limits of a particular technological concept all too soon are allowed to inhibit imaginative thinking—instead of the other way round. Complacency such as this (for that’s what it is) can result in persisting with unrewarding reiterative processes, following the same path to little avail over and over again—something that can go on for months and lead only to inadequate, half-baked solutions or, in some cases, relying upon, hoping for, some inspiration from somewhere else to rescue the situation.

Today there are a great number of fine examples of how to successfully harness technology to productive ends. Once mastered (assuming the possession of a sound business model, strategy and organizational form) it all boils down to the exercise of creativity, a grasp of content, and execution—and when our NPD teams successfully identify and exploit the most fruitful path to follow, the subsequent smooth flow of productive, creative energy, though scarcely noticed in operation, will achieve results.

Yes, easier said than done in today’s fiercely competitive world, where the necessity of being able to quickly adapt and put to use appropriate technology that can keep ahead of competitors and increase market share—is considered a mark of success.

I had a rant on this subject at a talk recently, and afterwards a gentleman came up to me and thanked me for giving him a few points to make in an upcoming board meeting. His CEO had been pursuing the strategy “buy something, then see what we can do with it”.  – Perhaps this would have been the right thing to do some decades ago, but today we are confronted with a smorgasbord of technological possibilities for almost all industrial and other activities, much of it of doubtful relevance, a fact that should stress how important it is for companies to be guided by creative insight and the ability to establish an image of themselves as agile, resourceful competitors in their field of activity. This just might be an appealing alternative mode of operation for Kodak-esque management to seek new possibilities and replace the efficiency chart with imaginative vision.

Finally, a litmus-test for reviewing NPD projects:

1. IDEA—is it powerful enough for your goals and purposes? Can your organization bring it off ? Can you carry it through easily?

2. CONTENT—do you find it as captivating as an enjoyable film, television show, or book?

3. RELEVANCE—Does it make sense? Is it of use? Is there a clear connection to field of activity? Will it make a difference, will it contribute to a better world?

4. ARCHITECTURE—is it scalable? Can you duplicate the process? Can you implement it cross-culturally? Intermedially?

5. TECHNOLOGY—old or new, does it serve your purpose?

Jonas Lundin, Stockholm

By Kristina de Verdier on 3 November, 2016

Circular Economy of Packaging

Sofia Erixson has been digging into the circular economy thinking, and deals with what it means to the world of packaging.

We need to rethink the concept of waste! In the future we are all facing a growing population and increasing pressure on natural resources due to the ever-increasing demand for consumer goods. Therefore we need a more sustainable growth. This creates demands on businesses to use materials more efficiently and it requires major changes, new resource-efficient business models and an economy based on a sustainable society.

The answer is Circular Economy; the end goal of what used to be called closed loop recycling – genuinely enabling the renewal of existing resources, rather than continuing the need for new ones.

Packaging plays a positive role in a Circular Economy by optimising resource use, minimising product waste and protecting products through the value chains.

What will the future bring?

1. Sustainable online shopping
Online shopping increases every year. I think we need to create a more sustainable return policy of packaging material. A good example: RePack; Your returnable and reusable packaging. ”Simply return me and I will reward you.” Not only sustainable but also a smart way that also creates deeper customer relationships.

2. Food waste
Each year 1.3 billion tonnes of food, about a third of everything that is produced, is wasted. That means that 30% of the world’s agricultural land area is used to produce food that will be wasted. To reduce waste a Swedish company called Allwin take care of the leftovers from the food stores in Sweden and give it to people in need.

3. Sharing economy & Collaborative consumption
Sharing economy have become increasingly popular in the past couple of The power of the internet, together with social media exchange platforms are rapidly transforming industries by collaborative consumption. It has made it possible for people to rent and sell assets and transportation services through Uber and Airbnb, that were previously virtually unmarketable. Now you can also Airdine; make your home a restaurant, or book a transportation through Farwell; that match your request and at the same time decrease the empty space in the containers.

4. Recycling 2.0
Innovation in recycling technology is rapidly evolving and enabling production of high-quality products with great sustainability performance. For example, Starbucks is aiming to turn its waste coffee grounds and food into everyday products by using bacteria which can then be used in for an example bio-plastics and medicines.

To make Circular Economy a reality we need to work together. Policymakers and consumers play a central role. Most important to remember is that it is possible to rethink how we make and use things for sustainable business, we make this a reality together!

By Sofia Erixson on 28 February, 2016 In , ,