Timo Veikkola, Future Strategist at Nokia, on a Vision of our Future at the PSFK Conference London

Timo Veikkola, Future Strategist at Nokia, on a Vision of our Future at the PSFK Conference London

This 20 minute video from the PSFK Conference London 2007 shows the presentation given by Timo Veikkola, Future Strategist at Nokia, on a Vision of our Future. As design is the reflection of society, how can we envision the future through trends, observation and informed intuition. What values, attitudes and behaviours of today will shape our future?

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 2 july 2007

Audience Comments

Charles Frith made these comments about the speech on his blog:

Timo is one of those social science types that the Scandinavian countries excel at integrating into big business much more sympathetically than many U.S. corporations. His goal is to make communications as natural as possible while picking up on future trends to integrate into Nokia products and usability. Timo pointed out that there is no other stimulant like travel and I’d fully agree with him there. Anything else is just Disneyland really. Timo is currently planning for the year 2010, and reminded us of the question “can the human mind master what the human mind has made?” (Zygmnunt Bauman). For a Clinton Kid like me, the last 6 years have been quite depressing and Timo underlined how war is thematic for this decade despite the number of casualities at this moment in time. He talked how these visuals of the oxymoron ‘war on terror’ have started to seep into culture and may also explain why there is a considerable counter movement for the honest, fun and simple…. Timo talked about how protest and political statement will likely be more present in design of the future and this was reinforced later by the sustainable design panel. I can certainly see a future where homogeneous brands, products and services are more likely to differentiate themselves by what they stand for – their values as it were. Timo also described that we seem to be living in almost biblical Revelationslike times with famine, pestilence, disease and floods from things like SARS, Hurricanes and Tsunamis, he then talked about the move from a celebrity culture to a knowledge culture which simply can’t come soon enough for me.

The Ad Lads made these notes:

  • Nothing technology can produce will ever compare to the intimacy of face to face communication.
  • Trends are manifestations of values, attitudes and behaviors.
  • Can the human mind master what it has made?
  • Ubiquitous connections are the ones that we must strive for, but also the ones most difficult to pinpoint.
  • The future will be utterly fantastic.

(Timo had without question, the coolest job title, if Doc Brown from Back To The Future ever had an official job title it would definitely be Futures Specialist).

Willima Humphey reported:

Trends, according to Timo, are “Manifestations of values, attitudes and behaviours, of reactions and expressions”… Cultural capital is, in Timo’s view, being molded together to help make new things. He’s referenced the new Morgan Spurlock as an example of this – What Would Jesus Buy? He wraps up on an optimistic note, that all of this will lead to good things in the future. Damn, I’d like his job. Never mind that… he’s said some interesting things, and on we go.

Mark McGuinness commented on the speech:

I was intrigued to learn that we’re currently in a “Noah’s Ark period” of floods, cataracts and hurricanoes, not to mention Famine, War, Pestilence etc – but that by 2010 or so we’ll see renewed optimism in society, which apparently happens at the dawn of every decade. I was fascinated by Timo’s predictions and explanations of how he extrapolates from “What’s happening now?” to “What’s going to happen next?”. By the end of his presentation I was even starting to feel (dare I say it) quite optimistic. Thenl the bubble was burst (for me) when we were presented with the following quotation, apparently without irony:

“The one fact about the future of which we can be certain is that it will be utterly fantastic.” Arthur C. Clarke.

I was horrified. Surely the one fact about the future of which we can be certain is that we can’t be certain of it? And surely we’ve seen enough of the Brave New World to suggest that it’s not likely to be relentlessly “fantastic”?
Pirate Geek thought:

Whilst Timo was cagey about Nokia’s big plans, it’s always interesting to know that a mobile phone company base their values on ‘face-to-face’ conversation… Ear to ear more like… For the brand, Nokia’s two key words are ‘human’ and ‘natural’, with design, strategy and planning decisions being made on ‘informed intuition’, travel and observation. Timo did, indeed, present some amazing photos from his travels, including one of a man writing ‘this is not a door’ on the window of his car.

Juliana Xavier made thesae observations:

Timo’s work is to put together these pieces of information in order to create a new scenario. What kind of innovations can be possible? How is everything going to combine in the future? Here are some of his expectations for the near future.

OPTIMISM: as a reflection of a period of disasters – tsunamis, floods, wars, terrorism, global warming. This scenario and the way we’ll live though this affects how people are and their attitudes towards the future. We can see it pushing this whole idea about ethics, morality, and consciousness into the press.

EMERGING ECONOMIES: “We will also see important shifts Brazil, China and India influencing in the next few years. Whether it is going to be home grown or whether they will take integrations from the west. This will be very key.”

SMARTER CONSUMERS: we are moving from materialism to a more knowledge and smarter consumer who will be looking for simpler, very convenient, authentic, genuine experiences.

HOLISTIC EXPERIENC: combination of new ways of social media: Facebook, You Tube, Flickr, Twitter. Social media will be a driving force in the next few years, but there are still some questions to be answered: what will be the new combination? How it will change?

Innovation, whether it is marketing or branding, is all about people. A combination of different elements in people’s lives, in the values, in the attitude… Ultimately, it is a matter of understanding the most primary things about human nature – its constant need for proximity, intimacy, connectivity and socialization. Which are not trends but characteristics that have been part of humans since the first man walked on this earth.

Come listen to more inspiring speakers at the PSFK Conference Los Angeles on September 18 2007 in West Hollywood –

+Brand Development
+Electronics & Gadgets
+Environmental / Green
+Latin America
+Market Research
+PSFK Conference

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