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Nick Barham: My 2013 Prediction, Rethinking The Norm

As the year draws to a close, we ask advertising guru Nick Barham of Wieden + Kennedy what he thinks will dominate in 2013.

Nick Barham
Nick Barham on December 27, 2012.

Making predictions about the future is a mug’s game. Most predictions are either way off, or made irrelevant by something no-one saw coming. And if you do get it right, you risk being burnt at the stake for witchcraft or forced to work in finance or politics.

In the last 3 months, I’ve been helping to edit American Dreamers – a book that brings together optimists, mavericks and inventors to share their ideas for brighter futures. So, I’d rather offer my hope for 2013.

It’s a collision of three of my favorite projects from American Dreamers. Cindy Gallop, who with makelovenotporn.tv, is aiming to make real-world sex familiar and shareable; Matthew Matthew, a musician who has created a human piano, where the music comes from hundreds of individuals singing one note; and Dr. Cameron Smith who believes in DIY space travel and is building a working spacesuit in his apartment for a few thousand dollars.

I’m not calling for musical spacesuit sex at high altitudes (I’ll save that for another post), but one that sees the power and beauty of participatory DIY projects — which we’re all very familiar with when it comes to “easy” open industries like fashion or music — going further to challenge industries that are currently seen as too big, too difficult or too closed for “amateur” involvement. If we can rethink porn and bring space travel to the masses, what else is possible? An economic system where we don’t rely on banks (or money), (check out Means of Exchange)? Education that isn’t stuck in the classroom, with one teacher? A grid that isn’t controlled by power stations, but powered by people (check Sungevity)?

My hope is that in 2013, no institution is above a little playful tinkering.

Nick Barham

Read more 2013 Predictions here.

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