Our Sphere: five truths for future places of trade, work and meetings

Kairos Future has, together with Atrium Ljungberg, one of Sweden's largest real estate companies, produced the report Our sphere of how digital natives, born 1985 and later, will affect the future of cities and communal spaces.

Young people have always been at the forefront of change and formation of places and communities. Today, we see how a generation of young people in their thirties is about to leave the childless single life to enter a family life. This generation is interesting for two reasons; For starters, they are many, one of the most numerous generations in Sweden, and second, they are digital, grew up with internet, computers and mobiles since birth.

Today's Digital Natives will be society's defining generation for the next twenty years, and how they will choose to live their lives will be of uttermost importance for many businesses. The report can be summarized in five truths for future places of trade, work and meetings:

1. Digital natives show the way to the third place 

When the office, home or store is insufficient, new places are needed for larger groups, temporary jobs and engaging shopping experiences. The third place, that is, the place outside the home and work will need to enable this to a greater extent. New phenomena such as hoffice and coffice, co-working spaces are now seen as established concept.

2. The purchase is more than the product/venue

For Digital Natives, the mobile phone is the hub of life. Basically, all they do starts in the mobile phone before they are physically at the place. The purchase does not start at the store and the meeting does not start in the conference room. Today's youth plan, shop, and involve each other before a visit. A place where people can meet, entertain and exchange ideas and goods becomes part of a world where prologue and epilogue are as important as the main story.

3. Our city, our sphere

Digital Natives values the small local life, and we must therefore think of the city in terms of a collective. But that's not enough. In addition comes the art of driving processes that strengthen and interact with people's multifaceted spheres. In an interaction between the physical and the virtual.

4. Influencers is the new normal

Today, so-called influencers have an ever-increasing impact on Digital Native's everyday life. The key is about understanding how authority today is created by influencing rather than by facts. It is through conscious influence and dialogue as places and actors may become relevant to the young. And in the next stage also for the elderly.

5. The age of freedom of choice is coming to an end

When the consumption-critical seventies became the nineties, a massive supply explosion was opened and a demand-driven economy accelerated. Generation X was strongly characterized by this but all the same had difficulty managing the large supply. We see the same challenges with today's Digital Natives, but there is a greater revival and insight that everything isn't possible. Because they focus on the small life and no longer fear what is not perfect, they actively learn to say no to unnecessary freedom of choice and to recruit decision-makers for those areas that do not engage them.

In the future, places and businesses that want Digital Native's eyes and ears will be forced to build their offers on truly customized solutions to pass the various consumers' automatic digital eye-catching eyes. The report is only available in Swedish, you can download it here.

Published: 2017