Tuesday, 2 July 2013

I'm going to be a writer

Since last week it is possible to publish and sell your own book online via the famous Dutch webshop Bol.com. Great news for people like me, who love write and have always dreamed of their own book. The new initiative is called Brave New Books where every random person can publish his book and sell it on Bol. No annoying book publishers, but you being independent. 
It is not a new concept though, as more and more websites have popped up with the same idea: 
jouwboek.nl, mijnbestseller.nl, tenpages.com but it is indeed increasing and therefore striking. The expectation is that in three years 25.000 books wil be published. I'm going to try out tenpages.com myself soon.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

How to teach children how to understand and deal with racism and discrimination

This is an old clip of a teachter who teaches their pupils how discrimination and racism can occur within a class and how easy it actually is to solve it. 
It yields beautiful images that are to this day still relevant. The payoff at the end is brilliant and a perfect metaphor for what we deal with and face every day in our society. Like "Catcher in the Rye" is to high school students, this is part of your Upworthy required reading.

video walk-through:
1:30: This teacher begins a study that will be talked about for 40 years.
3:00: She re-creates segregation and racism in her classroom.
7:45: Mrs. Elliott flips the entire class on their heads.
10:00 Jane Elliot makes the most profound discovery about us all
11:43: The students learn something that the world is still struggling to.
There are too many great moments to point out. Just watch!

Source: click here

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Dutch student designs game in which you can destroy cancer cells

20 year-old Martijn van den Broeck, student at the University of Technology in Eindhoven and also the designer of the so-called Healing Game, had the idea for its project because he wanted to combine something funny that makes you happy (in this case the game) with something totally opposite, the illness. Combining the virtual with the real, he says.  'I think the Healing Game relates to the next nature philosophy because our generation is born and grown playing with video games, we all know how to use them, I just figured a new unexpected application for video games, combining the virtual with the real, the entertainment with the helpful, the familiar with the extraordinary. The goal of this work is to stimulate discussion and debate by translating nanotechnological trends to everyday products', says Martijn.  
The game works as follows: The player swallows an intelligent pill, containing nanoscale capsules and a substance that makes cancer cells glow. By controlling one capsule with a joystick, the player goes on a “search and destroy” mission inside his or her own body. Even friends and family can be invited to help.

Video games are no longer separated from the real world, the virtual world is also real and those worlds are blendi
ng more and more. I love how Martijn van den Broeck plays with this and dares to push the limits.

Source: click here

Thursday, 27 June 2013

A cloned mouse by using one drop of blood

Japanese scientists have succeeded to clone a mouse by only using one single drop of blood. The scientists used circulated blood cells who were collected from the tail of a donor mouse who was used to produce the clone. The female cloned mouse should be able to live a normal lifespan and could even give birth to young, according to the researchers. 

Mice already have been cloned by using other parts of the body, such as white blood cells found in the lymph nodes, bone marrow and liver. The research the Japanese scientists were doing was to discover if it was possible to clone a mouse by only using
 circulating blood cells.
The aim to find an easily available source of donor cells to clone scientifically valuable strains of laboratory mice was not to high, but it is one hell of a breakthrough. Imagine this is possible with human beings. How many of you would be walking around? Crazy idead huh? But not as unreal as you think. Lots of ethical discussions will arise in the near future.

What 200 calories look like

Whether you prefer eating Big Macs, chocolate or an apple, in this video all sorts of foods are visualized in portions of 200 calories. One bigger than the other of course, because you can eat a lot more apple than chocolate before you hit the 200 calories. This video shows perfectly how calories are built up and how much calories your food contains. Perfect to create awareness!

Want to know what 2000 calories look like? Watch the video below.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A portrait from a single hair

We are so far with present technology that we can figure out how someone looks by a investigating one single hair. This is what really intrigued the artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, who spent time collecting hairs shed in public spaces... and then sequencing the DNA therein to print 3D sculptures of what those hairs’ owners might look like.
The video 'DNA Portrait' is a lovely short documentary shot by TED. 'It's a very 
accessible way for the public to engage with this new technology. It really brings to light how powerful it is, the idea that a hair from your head can fall on your street and a perfect stranger can pick it up and know something about it', says TEDGlobal speaker Ellen Jorgensen, who runs a lab in DNA-based technology. Adding: 'With DNA sequencing becoming faster and cheaper, this is the world we’re all going to be living in.'

Source: click here

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The facts about alcohol

When I go out I usually drink a glass of wine, or two or three... But I do realise too much alcohol is not good for my health and I try to not make it a weekly or even monthly habit. 

Some of you probably don't want to know, but I nontheless I want to show you the facts about alcohol in the form of a infographic to give you an idea. Please do take into account that alcohol is alcohol, which brings a lot more health consequences with it, than non-alcoholic beverages or food.

Source: click here

Monday, 24 June 2013

From 9-to-5 mentality to flexible 24/7 society, part 4

The happy worker
Another example of the new way of flexible working is the way businesses are dealing with their employees, based on the vision: happiness is paramount. Google for example built a whole campus for their employees where they can do everything they want when they want[6]. The vision of Google comes down to that they believe that their employees’ work improves when they have everything at their disposal and are well cared for. On the campus of Google the employees can go to the hairdresser, they can take a walk on the treadmill while computing, they can run in the park that’s present on the campus and afterwards take a shower near their office and start working fres. Also the canteen serves healthy food with stated nutritional facts and employees are able to take a nap in between working in special ‘resting zones’. Employee heaven, I wish all companies would treat their employees like gods.

It is clear that the way people work has gone through a major change in the last decade. Due to new technology it is possible to work (together) at any time, from any place in the world. Employers adapt to people’s busy lifestyle by giving them more space to work at their own pace and in their own time, and a single outstanding business bathe their employees in luxury to get the best out of them. But in contrast, employers expect more flexibility from their employees as well. After 5 o’clock the job most of the time isn’t done.Young entrepreneurs are the perfect example of the need for flexibility and determining your own working schedule. Flexibility is therefore definitely the key word of the new working lifestyle more and more people maintain. Both flexible employees and employers are affected by the 24/7 lifestyle and deal with it in their own way. I do not think this (working) lifestyle will easily change in the future, on the contrary I believe that the term flexibility is simply going to play an even bigger role in our way of working and our lifestyle in general.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

From 9-to-5 mentality to flexible 24/7 society, part 3

Young entrepreneurs
People who are very good at creating jobs are youth. In addition to the change in working environment and lifestyle, there is a big change in the average age people start their own company. As explained in the previous paragraph unemployment is an increasing problem in Europe. Also young people barely figure in the labour market when they are graduated. The striking thing is that young people, after being rejected for several jobs or when they can’t seem to find one, create jobs themselves in a very creative way. Young people try to fill the holes in the market with their knowledge of social media, computers, internet and other principles they grew up with and that are perfectly normal and clear for them. Also in marketing youngsters are welcome guests, because businesses are really looking for creative and open minds to advice them about their marketing campaigns and strategies. All jobs that have roles to play for youth. Youngsters start up their own company to take matters into their own hands. In the last 5 years the number of young entrepreneurs has increased with almost 40%. A big increase in times of crisis[5].

Working from home
A result of the change of people’s working lifestyle is the alteration of the traditional roles in family life. Families now most of the time consist of two working parents. Therefore it is not very pleasant to both have a 9-to-5 job at the office 5 days a week. However, it is really necessary to work both because taking care of a family and a home is more expensive than ever. It is therefore becoming more common that parents can work partly at home. This way they can still take care of the kids, be in time to pick them up from school and work on flexible hours. For example they can work in the evening when the children are sleeping and play with them during the day. A 9-to-5 job could never make this possible. 


This photograph has been doing the rounds on social media for the last few months, but what's really going on?

A Greek doctor snapped this amazing image during a caesarian section. Unusually, the amniotic sac remained intact as the birth progressed. Typically it breaks, but this time it did not -leading to the baby not even being aware it had been born. Until the amniotic sac breaks, the baby will continue to receive oxygen and nutrients from the placenta. 

This baby was born safe and healthy. Isn't it beautiful?

Saturday, 22 June 2013

From 9-to-5 mentality to flexible 24/7 society, part 2

Urban nomads
People are flexible workers these days. They work anywhere, anytime. This means they not only work at different spots in the city and in the world, but also for several different companies. Working at home, skyping in a coffee shop, a meeting at a lunchroom and afterwards answering e-mails on a bench in the park. The lifestyle I describe here is that of a typical urban nomad. Urban nomads are in need of products and services that makes their lives as fast and easy as possible. Think about fast food, but also flexplaces (as seen on the title page) like seats to meet[2].

In the Netherlands a law has been created that is specially aimed at flexworkers like for instance freelancers. It is called the flexwet[3]. This law makes it easier for flexworkers to submit a request to work more or less hours than usual. In addition it also ensures that flexworkers also must earn a minimum wage.[4] This law is a logical complement of the way people are changing their working lifestyles. The government has created this ‘flexwet’ to adapt to the shift in working environment and lifestyle.

Increasing number of start-ups
Self-employed entrepreneurs are the perfect example of a group who don’t suit the 9-to-5 mentality. Especially when they just started their company from scratch. Since the economic crisis, unemployment is rising through the roof. And although starting up your own business is a risky gamble, the number of start-ups is still on the rise. If you have a certain expertise but no one will or is able to hire you, you will have to make a move yourself to conquer the labour market. People are taking matters into their own hands and become self-employed entrepreneurs, so they are no longer dependent on employment and temporary jobs. They try to compete with similar companies in their field of expertise by standing out in price, values,  or quality, but they remain uncertain of work in the beginning. Many fail but the smart ones survive. The survivors are the ones who see the holes in the market and create jobs themselves. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

From 9-to-5 mentality to flexible 24/7 society part 1

In the beginning of the 20th century contracting parties were free to determine any contractual terms, due to the large differences in power that existed between employer and employee. This led to great abuse of the employees, to the detriment of the worker. Therefore the government decided to limit the contractual freedom of the parties by law to protect the rights of the workers. For example working hours were limited by law, so workers could no longer be exploited[1].

In the 21st century there is little talk of freedom of contract. Every employee is protected by law, but new laws have stretched the working time legislation. Why specifically this law has changed? Well, this is obviously because our working schedule has changed! In this report I will describe a few elements of working that have drastically changed since the last decade, along with our lifestyle.

A shift in the working environment
It is clear that something is changing on the labour market. We are dealing with a shift. The 9-to-5 mentality is no more. Work doesn’t necessarily stop at five and the weekend isn’t per se the couple of days in the week when we relax. Globalization has made it possible to be connected with the rest of the world 24/7. Every minute of the day people around the world are awake, awake and working. And as big companies have offices and partners from all around the world, they expect their employees to be very flexible in their working hours. Skype has become a normal way of communicating or alternatively we just fly to the other side of Europe in a few hours to meet up with a business partner face to face. 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

In 20 years most types of cancer can be cured

'In 20 years, cancer will rarely be fatal.' This prediction is from the cancer center Antoni van Leeuwenhoek in the Netherlands. According to the representatives of the center there is increasing knowledge about treatments, surgical techniques are becoming more accurate and also methods to identify DNA abnormalities in tumors are getting better.

This allows the doctors to treat patients with a more specific treatment, adapted to their own DNA. The cancer center is expected to cure 90 percent of all cancer cases over 20 years. Now only half of all cancer patients survives. Most of the time they don't get a customized treatment, but a standard treatment that has been tested on a large group of people, but this doesn't mean it will work with every patient.

Source: click here

Saturday, 15 June 2013

'Do what you do best.'

Above you can watch a short documentary about 'Unlocking the Truth', two sixth-grade boys from Brooklyn who like to do the unexpected. They formed a metal band and they believe they can make their dreams come true. An inspiration for every child. 'Just be yourself and do what you do best', say the boys. 

Watch them perform live here:

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Move over, Daft Punk

Robots are getting more and more advanced these days. They can mop floors, assist with daily living tasks, pour beer… but can they rock your face off? It turns out that they can.

Z-Machines is a new band in Japan composed of robots createdby students at Tokyo University. Mach (center) plays lead guitar with 12 picks and 78 fingers. Cosmo (left) plays keyboard and shoots lasers from its eyes. Ashura (right) is on drums and uses 21 sticks.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Ads with a purpose

IBM is a company who is committed to creating solutions that help cities all over the world get smarter, in order to make life in those cities easier. IBM has worked together with Ogilvy to achieve this, by letting their ads appear in a smart and convenient way. 

The advertising campaign is called “People For Smarter Cities”. A series of billboards has been conceived to give a value to it, offering passersby to sit or shelter. To discover in the following video.

Source: click here

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The solution to bicycle theft

 In Holland stealing bikes is a common crime. Everyone here has dealed with a stolen bike in his life. But now the smart Japanese have come up with a great concept that can solve the problem of bicycle theft and the lack of places to store our bicycles. Check the movie to see how this problem can be solved. A concept perfect for a bicycle country as the Netherlands, and in particular Amsterdam.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Istanbul: government against people

What started as a relatively harmless protest about the removal of a famous park, has now turned into a large, stark demonstration in the Turkish city of Istanbul. Police have tried to violently precipitate a protest. Dozens of people, including some tourists, were injured around the central Taksim Square.

Maintaining the park 

In the last week of May 2013 a group of people most of whom did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at the center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul already, so the protesters wanted to prevent the destruction of the beloved park.

Non-violent protest

Thursay morning the first bulldozers would arrive to remove the hundred-year-old trees, so everyone went to the park wednesday evening, bringing tents, blankets, books and their children.They spent the night under the trees. Early in the morning when the bulldozers started to pull trees out of the ground, the protesters stood up against them to stop the operation. They did nothing other than standing in front of the machines.

Violently approaching innocent citizens

There was not yet any newspaper or television channel that payed attention to the protest. It was a complete media black out, so the police could take its course. The police arrived with water cannon vehicles and pepper spray and they chased the crowd out of the park. In the evening of May 31st the number of protesters multiplied and so did the number of police forces around the park. And although the local government of Istanbul shut down all the ways leading up to Taksim square where the Gezi Park is located, yet more and more people more and more people made their way up to the center of the city by walking. They came from all around Istanbul. They came from all different backgrounds, different ideologies, different religions. They all gathered to prevent the demolition of something bigger than the park: the right to live as honorable citizens of Turkey. They gathered and continued sitting in the park. The riot police set fire to the demonstrators’ tents and attacked them with pressurized water, pepper and tear gas during a night raid. Two young people were killed because the police had run them over with their vehicles. Another young woman was hit in the head by one of the incoming tear gas canisters. The police were shooting them straight into the crowd. She is still in the Intensive Care. These people have no hidden agenda, as the state likes to say. 

The money oriented state 

Turkey is being sold to corporations by the government, for the construction of malls, luxury condominiums, freeways, dams and nuclear plants. In addition he government is looking for (and creating when necessary) any excuse to attack Syria against Turkish people’s will. And on top of all that, the government is interfering with its people’s personal lives aswell. The state, under its conservative agenda passed many laws and regulations concerning abortion, cesarean birth, sale and use of alcohol.

'We want involvement in our own city's matters'

People who live in Istanbul should be involved in the decisions that are going to be made regarding the city's benefits and what it does for the citizens. What they have received instead is excessive force and enormous amounts of tear gas shot straight into their faces. 


Schools, hospitals and even 5 star hotels around Taksim Square opened their doors to the injured. Doctors filled the classrooms and hotel rooms to provide first aid. Some police officers refused to spray innocent people with tear gas and quit their jobs. Around the square they placed jammers to prevent internet connection and 3g networks were blocked. Residents and businesses in the area provided free wireless network for the people on the streets. Restaurants offered food and water for free.

It looks like 
residents have mutual respect for each other and help each other, and the government can learn a lot from this.

Sources: click here and here

Saturday, 1 June 2013

17 year-old knows 20 different languages and learning

Tim Doner began learning other languages when he was 13 years old. Although he also learns from books he  mainly taught it to himself. In the video below, he shows how he prefers to teach himself the language and why. He makes a tour of New York and shows how he continues to progress. He speaks now twenty different languages ​​fluently.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Google forgives and forgets your youth sins

Are there any pictures or movies of you online that you would really like to hide? Things you've done who seemed really innocent back then, but that is now something you really don't want to get confronted with? Unfortunately, Google is everywhere and will always look over your shoulder. If you type in your name in the search engine those embarrassing party pictures will still be there. Also when your potential employer looks up your online behaviour. 

Delete button

Google CEO Eric Schmidt firstly always persevered steadfastly: 'If you already did something you don't want anyone to know about, then you shouldn't have done it', but it seems that he comes back to that. Google now seems to understand that it is indeed not pleasant to be faced with what you did in the past, for your entire life. 'The absence of a delete button on the internet is an important problem. There are certain situations where deleting is the right thing to do', said Eric Schmidt earlier in May, during an event at the New York University. Schmidt gives the example of a person who is under 18 and who has been convicted of a crime. If that person is an adult his conviction will be deleted, but online there will still be scraps of the fact that he was engaged in misconduct. This can seriously hamper a person, for example, that the person cannot get a job.

At least preserve until?

Google is already a step closer by saying that they will not save information from users for eternity. Eric Schmidt says,  during a congress of the British paper The Telegraph, nothing about the length of the period that Google saves information, but he does say: 'There is a point when Google 'forgets' the information we know about you, because this is the right thing to do.'

The government is watching Google

Pretty striking, because Google firstly was kind of casual about it all. How could this be? Google is exploring the edges of privacy for some time now, but this goes no longer unnoticed by the government and the consumer. Governments try to desperately adapt and develop laws to maintain our society 3.0 in this flow of public information. Maybe Google feels the increasing pressure of governments where online privacy is more and more a much debated topic. 

Monday, 27 May 2013

Bitchy Resting Face

In this clip in a funny way is pointed out that some people have a bitchy looking face when they are not deliberately trying to express their feelings through their facial expression. In this youtube video it is called ''bitchy resting face'. It stands up for girls who have a bitchy resting face, but aren't necessarily a bitch.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Shocking student science experiment about Wi-Fi

Five ninth-grade students from Denmark recently created a science experiment that is causing a stir in the scientific community.
It started with an observation and a question. The girls often suffered from headaches, lack of sleep or lack of concentration when they had slept with their cellphones near their heads. They wanted to test the effect of a cellphone's radiation on humans, but their school, Hjallerup School in Denmark, did not have the equipment to do such an experiment. But the girls decided to design an experiment themselves to show the effects of cellphone radiation on a plants instead.
The students placed six trays filled with a type of garden cress, into a room without radiation, and six trays of the seeds into another room next to two routers that according to the girls' calculations, emitted about the same type of radiation as an ordinary cellphone.
Over the next 12 days, the girls observed, measured, weighed and photographed their results. When the experiment ended the results were obvious. The seeds that were placed near the routers had not grown at all and many of them were completely dead. Meanwhile, the cress seeds planted in the other room, away from the routers, thrived.
The experiment was such a breakthrough that the girls earned to honors in a regional science competition and their research will be repeated in a controlled professional scientific environment.

Source; click here

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands, part 3 Manifestations & conclusion

Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands

The most innovative companies, according to YOUTH, are the ones that dare to focus on the smaller group of innovators instead of the mass: the early majority and the late majority. If a product or service is successful (read: if the innovators and early adopters like and buy it), the early majority will follow and so on.

If you choose the most influential teenagers and young adults to represent your innovation, then you’re a clever brand. I must admit, I does take some guts to focus on the small group of ‘hip’ innovators in the city, instead of focussing directly on the mass.  But if your product appeals to the ‘leading’ youth, a company has a chance to win a bonus; a product or service that is slowly but surely spreading to become a mass trend, resulting from their new reputation as an innovative and trendy brand.

Examples of manifestations of the trend: Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands

 1 ‘Brands Meets Blog’
‘Brands Meets Blog’ is a company that helps businesses to connect with targeted bloggers to create genuine, authentic content to promote a product, a brand or a service. And Brand Meets Blog has certainly some big clients, for example: Garnier, L’oréal Paris and Kellogs.

2 Red Bull ambassadors

Red Bull has not only their famous Red Bull girls, who are most of the time typically sexy, spontaneous and energetic girls that  represent and dole out the cans that give you wings on campus or on hip spots in the city.

Red Bull has also started ‘Red Bull University’, a 300+ student network empowered with the task of building Red Bull as a global brand, on campus. It’s a part time job for social students who can influence the crowd. A part time job, during your school week.

Red Bull is a leading and progressive brand in the marketing world. They dare to focus on young ‘innovators’ and ‘early adopters’ and believe the rest will follow, and yes they do.

By involving young people completely in their way of representing the brand, - f.e. they’re looking for student brand managers, who can lobby for them on campus -, they reach a huge audience. It’s not for nothing that they are indeed a leading brand, thanks to their modern guinea-pigs
ConclusionBrands and youth are a great combination. Brands have to keep up with the fast changing interests and developments in society. Youth knows better than anyone what are the newest hypes and trends in their subcultures, because they live at the same pace as the velocity of society does.
Brands and youth are connected to each other and leading brands have well noted that young people appreciate the opinions within their own social circle more than some celebrity it’s opinion.

Quality time with friends is the best time they have. Because of their busy lifestyles, relaxing with friends is the best way to spend time and take a break from their 24/7 incentive life. At a friday night in the pub or a cup of coffee in their break, this is where the conversations happen. Also about the newest innovative products or other interesting novelties. These moments are crucial for huge leading companies. They want youth to talk about their brand and to ensure that more and more interesting people are going to talk and write about it and eventually buy it.

Youth are looking for flexible jobs and representing a brand is most of the time a social affair. And inspirational and influential bloggers? They will just get products for free to show them off in the fashionable streets of London.  One year later everyone will wear that particular pair of Ray Bann  sunglasses and everyone will use that solar powered laptop sleeve from Mac.


VPRO . (2011). De BV IK. Retrieved March 19th, 2013 from: http://programma.vpro.nl/themadebvik/
Wikipedia .(2013). diffusion of innovations theory. retrieved May 16th, 2013 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusion_of_innovations
Becki King . (2012).The motherhood. Retrieved May 20th 2013 from http://themotherhood.com/blog/bloggers-to-brands-best-practices-for-working-together/
Brand meets blog .(2013). Brand meets blog. Retrieved May 19th 2013 from http://www.brandmeetsblog.com/
Red Bull University. (2013). Red Bull University. Retrieved May 20th 2013 from http://www.redbullu.com/

Friday, 24 May 2013

Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands, part 2 Research result 2/2

Trend agency YOUTH
The second part of my research in London was my visit at  trend agency YOUTH, a leading trend agency in London specialized in youth trends and a desirable company for youth expertise. To get an idea, YOUTH has worked for companies like Adidas, Nintendo and MTV.

I had a conversation with Tom Carrington Smith from trend agency YOUTH. He gave me some great insights in big youth trends in London, as well as in market trends like products and services, and it seems more and more likely that these trends go hand in hand.

Friends are InfluencersAs came out in the interviews, friends play very important roles in the lives of youth. YOUTH has also noted this and sees this as a shift. Celebrities aren’t as much of an influence on youth as they used to be. Friends are now the biggest examples for youth to emulate. If friends buy or do certain things they are more likely to copy their behaviour than the behaviour of some random famous person that they don’t have a personal connection with. Youth is more able to see celebrities in perspective and they realise celebrities aren’t always the right example for them. This perception increases with age.

Innovators and early adoptersAs I said in the introduction, youth are often ‘innovators’ or ‘early adopters’ when it comes to trends. Those terms are marketing terms from the ‘Diffusion of innovations theory’ devised by Everett Rogers. This is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. According to Rogers there are four main elements that influence the spread of a new idea:  the innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system. This process relies heavily on human capital. The idea must be widely adopted in order to self-sustain.

Innovators are the first individuals to adopt an innovation. Innovators are characterized as ‘willing to take risks, youngest in age and having the highest social class. Early adopters are the second fastest category of individuals who adopt an innovation. Early adopters are known for their great influence on their social environment. Early adopters are also typically young in age and are also provided with a higher social status. When early adopters are enthusiastic about a certain product or service, it’s up to them to share it with their social circle. So it really depends on them if the product or service will achieve the cherished break-through to the early majority.

In the cartoon below you can see how the theory is build up and how it works.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands, part 2 Research result 1/2

Research results

As I said in my introduction I immediately found out that there was one trend that really stood out. The sources I used to provide solid trend insights stated and confirmed this change in relationship between brand and young consumers. In addition the outcomes of my research confirmed my previous research on youth trends as well, so there my substantiated youth trend was born.

In the interviews I had with several youth on the street, I involved questions about their quality of life, like: What are the most important things in life? What do they do on an average day? What do you enjoy most? All questions that can lead to their view on their quality of life.

Here are the insights that I got from the interviews I did with youth in London.  They are pretty coherent with the insight I got from the meeting with YOUTH. You will quickly notice the overlaps, because I will slowly work towards one trend that has emerged the most from out my research.

Pressure and incentives
According to the the teenagers and young adults I spoke, life is really busy in London. London is a busy city to grow up in and the pressure to achieve things is big. The economic crisis is showing the future in a bad light, while youth are willing to tackle the problems and use their creativity.

Things in life are moving faster than ever and youth is constantly getting incentives from the world around them. Youth are masters in handling all the input and are almost robotic multitaskers. They easily switch from online to offline and vice versa, these worlds blend together effortlessly in their lives.

Ideal jobs for young people will be jobs that are flexible and that can fit into their busy schedule. Favourite jobs are jobs in coffee shops, lunchrooms and bars that have late closing hours. When I ask them if they would like to have a job that they can carry out while they’re at school in their breaks or something, they react positively. It would save them a lot of time. Why I asked them this? More on that later in the report.

Well spent Quality time Because of the busy schedule of average teen in London they tell me they are much more aware of the fact that spending quality time is really important. Life rushes by, so a lot of the (mostly) girl I spoke are attending in some kind of mindfulness class, like yoga or pilates. This is not only for sporting reason, but it’s also seen as fun getaway with friends, out of the hurry of the city.

They’ll leave their smartphones for a second to play cards with friends or to drink coffee with mum or dad. Family is important for them, although they do admit that they don’t spend as much time with family as they would like. There is simply too little time. Fun has to be planned, but if there’s fun in their agenda it will be super fun and real appreciated, well spent quality time. 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands, part 1: Introduction

 This trend report is based on qualitative research carried out in the city of London. 


As a student trend watching I’m always curious and interested in subcultures. I want to know why people do the things they do and what their motives are. These insights can help me discover entrenched trends in society and, at the same time, help me find out the reason behind it. This gives me broad knowledge of society so I can perform my job well, namely: advising companies and help them to conquer markets and target groups.

Ever since I work at youth communication agency ‘Jong & Je Wil Wat’ in the Netherlands I got intrigued by the fast and innovative generation called generation Y. Youngsters are the innovators and early adopters (These terms are being explained later on i this report) of the world and therefore the first ones to pick up on a trend, which makes them a very interesting target group for companies. At the same time there is a lot expected of them which puts a lot of pressure on them. I am curious how youth thinks about their life, what their values are and how companies adapt to this.  My research question is therefore: What is a striking youth trend in London and how do companies react to this?

In my research I focused specifically on generation Y. This generation is specified by a lot of youth experts in many different ways, but in this report the indication of generation Y is youth from around  15 to 25 years old. My research consists of interviews where I asked generation Y about their lifestyle and about what matters to them and what makes them happy. In addition, and no less important, I visited a youth trend agency in London and talked about youth trends in London and how companies adapt to this.

After finishing carrying out my research methods, I saw a trend recur. First I want to show you the outcomes of the interviews and the meeting with trend agency YOUTH. Then I want to give you examples that support the outcomes and the trend I describe. Enjoy reading my report: Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

18-year-old girl invents battery that can recharge in 30 seconds

One thing I really find annoying is the fact that the battery of my smartphone is already low after a hour or two surfing on the internet, tweeting or whatsapping. Instant panic, because how can I get through the day? You have to send an e-mail, you're whatsapping with 5 friends at the same time, you have to travel by train for two hours and tonight you still have to be able to look up the right directions to get from the station to a party. A smartphone consumes a lot of power, which can cause panic if you still need to get through a whole day with a 15% battery. But luckily there has been a clever girl who has come up with the solution.

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Every year 7 million high school students from over the world participate in research projects in the field of science and technology and present their outcomes at local science competitions, hoping that they will be selected to go to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). The Intel ISEF is an initiative of computer company Intel and is only accessible for the real nerds and whizkids among us. It is a one week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. During this event the young innovators can show their ideas and their groundbreaking research to the public. They are competing for more than 4 million dollars in awards and scolarships.

Intel Foundation Young Scientist award

The lucky winner of the 50,000 euro scholarship is the 18 year-old American Eesha Khare. Just like any teenager she experienced the low battery problem with her smartphone. With this as an inspiration she began to work on the energy storage technology and developed a device that is able to charge in 20 seconds. The device is really small and flexible and can save a lot of energy in a small space. The device is about a centimeter long and a few millimeters thick. It fully charges in 20 to 30 seconds, holds its power for a long time and it can be recharged for about 10,000 times. Ideal for a mobile phone!

Knowledge, curiousity and experience

This is another great example of a youngster who combinated her knowledge and curiousity with her daily experiences in life as a teenager. A winning combination if you ask me! Google has also noted Eesha's invention and has already shown interest to buy it. For Eesha there is a bright future waiting for her.

See below the video of Eesha's victory and get an impression of the Intel ISEF.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Path, from intimate social network to mass hype among youngsters

Yesterday it suddenly occured to me, a lot of tweets of youngsters were about the social network Path. After a little bit of research I figured it out. This week a huge hype emerged regarding the application Path. There is an immense growth going on as to acceptances among young people, as it would be 'the new Twitter or Facebook'. Last monday they transcribed the 10 million users.

What is Path?

Path is a social app which is actually a kind of combination of many features that you find on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This allows you to post status updates, share photos provided with a filter, share what music you listen to, chat and much more. Where Path distinguishes itself by is that you only can have 150 friends and therefore primarily involves sharing your life with your closest friends.

Schermafbeelding 2013-05-16 om 15.09.37 Schermafbeelding 2013-05-16 om 15.09.29

Path has been popular in the U.S. for months now, especially in high schools, and now the Dutch youth seem to like the app aswell. What's remarkable is that the app already exists from November 2010 and was mainly used by fanatic Path fans who value the small and intimitate aspect of the social network. The sudden hype therefore leads to annoyance with the early adopters among the Path-users. But how did the hype exactly arise so suddenly?

The cause of the hype

The cause of the sudden popularity of the app is caused by Path itself, but not in a fair way. What Path does after you sign up, is sending an SMS to all the contacts in your address book with an invitation to download the app and with the message that you really need to look at those great pictures that you apparently just have uploaded. The app also automatically sends an invitation to all your friends via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Because of the hype this was so disturbing for Facebook users, that Facebook deleted the app from its site. This shouldn't be possible and it's even illegal to save and contact someones contacts without permission.

In February 2012 Path had already been fined with $ 800,000 for this. For this reason they then added the option to give or refuse permission to save and use your contacts. The annoying thing is that the option of giving permission to spread messages in your name is automatically checked by Path. If you don't want Path to  use any of your contacts you should still uncheck the option to make sure it doesn't spam your friends.

From intimate network to mass hype 

Due to the unsolicited text messages and invitations via social media Path has made itself immensively popular and the intimate social network has become a huge hype among the youth mass. This is not appreciated by the youth who were using the network for much longer. Where Path first stood for privacy and intimacy and was to place to share your experiences with an intimitate group of friends, it now seems to become another one of those 'next facebooks'.

How long the hype will last is unclear, but what is clear is that this social network doesn't owe it's popularity by guaranteeing it's values: privacy and intimacy. 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Two men who will tell you the truth about your groceries

I think I’d love to go grocery shopping with Michael Pollan and Michael Moss (writer of the book: Salt, Sugar Fat), although I probably would feel guilty buying any type of processed food. But they're very inspiring and they know so much about the food industry. I imagine I'd be buying chocolate and cookies and they'd be telling me why I shouldn't be. Honestly, though, I found this vid so interesting, I wished it was a full-length documentary.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Secret advertising against child abuse

Spanish organization 'Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation' (ANAR) is commited to preventing child abuse and has come up with a concept to reach out to the victims in a safe and secretive way. ANAR created an advertisement that displays a different message for adults than it does for children at the same time.
The secret behind the ad is lenticular top layer, which shows different images from different angles. So when a tall adult looks at it they only see the image of a sad boy and the message 'Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering.' But when a child will look at the add, from a lower angle, it will see that the boy has bruises on his face and the message reads: 'If someone hurts you, phone us and we'll help you' alongside the phone number of the ANAR foundation.

The ad is designed to empower kids to take matters into their own hands, particularly if their aggresor is right next to them when they stand in front of the ad. A great and worthwile use of lenticular images, as long as the video below isn't seen by all the child molesters as well. 

Source: click here

Thursday, 25 April 2013


Because of the crisis also youngsters have to be more creative as it goes for spending their leisure time. Not everything is affordable any more and the gym subscription is one of the first things to cut back on. But this doesn't mean youth don't exercise any more! In addition to running in the open air and Insanity there is an increasing offer of healthy/sport/lifestyle blogs that can help you to manage your weight, strength and fitness. An example is Blogilates, a website that focusses on young women who want to live a healthy lifestyle. The website offers video workouts, healthy recipes and even training schedules, completely for free.