Future Report 015
Fashion, Cosmetics, Digital Space
A new stage of society is rising, a digital space. A new network of virtual worlds which will form an addition to our physical lives. The physical body on earth and the digital avatar in the metaverse. You will be able to create the perfect alter-ego of yourself in a virtual world, with virtual fashion and other virtual possessions. You can do what you want, not bound by the same constraints as physical life. There are few limits in this digital life.
This scenario sounds a lot like science fiction, but steady progress has been made over the years that shows proof this will become reality. Once again corona was the great catalyst, pushing our digital lives further than ever before. Working from home, having online meetings, and even fully online social gatherings. It created a hybrid form of life during lockdowns: one where physical life and online life are extensions of each other.
So is society going overboard? Are we going to live online so much that a natural way of life becomes a foreign concept to us? To answer that we have to understand what a natural way of life means. We somehow have the notion that anything technological is not natural, but technological advances and developments are the exact thing that makes us human, that are a natural part of our lives. It can not be stopped because it is part of our evolution, and it will continue to shape our species until the end of time.
One of the biggest technological advances was cooking. Humans have been cooking food for thousands of years. Cooking food is essentially pre-digesting it, allowing for us to take in more calories for the foods we gather. It turned us from animals who needed to feed ourselves large amounts of raw food, to a species that could evolve in brain power instead of raw power. Imagine if the first humans who started this process found it ‘unnatural’ and wanted to return to their simpler way of life.
Even farming, which today is seen as something quite natural, would have been a complete foreign concept to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Whichever vegetable or fruit you eat nowadays has undergone centuries of modification, making them the perfect food for humans to cultivate and consume. Nothing about a banana in the supermarket could be considered natural if you do not accept technology as a part of human evolution.
If you’d ask someone twenty years ago if they needed a mobile phone, you’d get mostly negative responses. I don’t need to be called when I’m out. Write me a letter, or call my house phone if it’s urgent, was the consensus. Just a decade later phones started to become fully integrated into our lives, and turned into an extension of ourselves. Nowadays most people couldn’t dream of going anywhere without their phone. Living without a mobile phone has become nearly impossible in today’s society. This will be true for the digital space too.
To dismiss technological advances as part of our natural life, is to dismiss evolution. If a bird makes a nest we see it as natural, but when we create a building for ourselves it’s considered unnatural. We have evolved to create our homes just as birds have evolved to create theirs. Writer Koert van Mensvoort explains in his book ‘Next Nature’ how technology and a digital society is the natural logical step in human evolution.
The Digital Space Has Arrived
Digital Space is going to become an extension of our lives, an interplay between our physical world and digital world. The physical world and the digital world will continually influence each other in a cycle.
Accepting the digital space as natural means opening yourself up to the flow of life, the natural evolution that is part of our human nature. Once you accept that it will come, you can start to adapt your life and your business to this new chapter.
The digital space will become an inseparable part of business, just as online shopping or social media became part of business. One example would be digital fashion, which will become interwoven with physical fashion. Characteristics of both will influence each other. Obtaining digital fashion could be coupled with physical life, such as coming with access to an event, or being sold together as NFT. This example illustrates how things in physical life could even be sold in the metaverse. It is essential for any business to understand how physical and digital sales correspond to each other.
Accept the next part in human evolution. Adapt and improve to the new reality we will be phasing. Our next Report and Signals will go deeper into how digital space will affect our lives and the opportunities in business.
Next Nature Why Technology Is Our Natural Future
Koert van Mensvoort
Nature Changes Along With Us
Using countless well-known examples and scientific insights, Koert van Mensvoort shows how a technosphere is evolving on top of a biosphere billions of years old. He’ll take you on an epic journey full of businesses that breathe, woods that smell like shampoo, and creatures that live on plastic. Along the way, a totally new view of the natural world will unfurl – one that’s not only more realistic but infinitely more creative, exciting and beautiful. To cope with the immense challenges facing the world today, we need to go forward, not back, to nature.