W.I.R.E. is one of Europe’s leading interdisciplinary think tanks. In ten years of engaging with global trends in business, science and society, the Swiss idea laboratory has focused on identifying new trends early and translating them into strategies and areas for action by private companies and public institutions.
Impressions from the W.I.R.E. exhibition about possible scenarios for tomorrow's world
Understanding and Rethinking Health in the 21st Century
W.I.R.E. set itself the goal of aligning its offices in Zurich to its workflows. On this basis, five rooms have been completely revisited and redesigned. They range from knowledge-building in a British library and a golden cellar to generate ideas, through focused work in the “Factory”, a regeneration room with plants and birdsong, to the presentation of the results in the analogue “Display”, where we regularly present the results of our current research work.
W.I.R.E. designs various formats for knowledge transfer and workplace design. Our rooms can be hired for workshops. Please contact us at email@example.com.
The founder of think tank W.I.R.E. talks about the culture of innovation in Switzerland, chances and risks of the digital age and on the post-specialisation era.
» Interview on letemps.ch
"Abstrakt is a curious and exciting find: it’s a magazine that has a strong sense of self, and its articles about the future of art, business and technology are both accessible and provocative."
» Article on magculture.com
Longevity is a goal aimed at by every entity with a life of its own: in nature and politics, by business and by us as human beings Nevertheless, we often take short-term action. In a world that is rapidly changing the capacity to react, flee or adapt a product range at speed is essential.. In parallel, long-term strategies for the day after tomorrow have to be developed and things worth preserving have to be protected.
But how do we know when to preserve, when to let go? Where do we have to create robust structures to safeguard longevity? Where is short-term thinking or a short life needed?
ABSTRAKT No 14 goes in search of answers about the art of longevity. . Contributors include Yuval Harari, historian and author of the international bestseller “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”, Sven Regener, front man of the legendary Berlin rock ’n’ roll band “Element of Crime” and author of the cult book “Herr Lehmann” (“Berlin Blues”), and Steven Chu, Nobel laureate in physics and former U.S. Secretary for Energy under President Barack Obama.
What should a successful global small town look like in 20 years’ time? What compass can help it to remain an attractive location for citizens and companies? The municipal council of Zug came to us with these questions.
In response, W.I.R.E. developed the “Zug urban concept” as a guideline and long-term vision for the development of a desirable and possible future for the town of Zug. The aim of the urban concept is to create an environment in which the citizens of Zug will still feel at home in a prosperous, livable and internationally successful Swiss town in another 20 years’ time.
The aging of our society is unstoppable. Rising life expectancies will redefine society in the 21st century. Nevertheless, our consideration of the consequences for social and economic structures is often superficial. It’s time to look at living conditions in the aged society from a more differentiated point of view – and to work out an appropriate social infrastructure. In collaboration with Swiss Re and companies from other sectors, W.I.R.E. is currently examining possible areas for action and business models.
A shortended version of the essay was published in NZZ am Sonntag on January 25th, 2015.
» originial version here
When we think about innovation, we mostly have technologies and products in mind. But there are other forms: innovative ideas, laws, social movements, corporate strategies. Slowly but surely, we are accepting the realisation that technical innovation on its own cannot master the huge challenges of the 21st century. Climate change and an aging society are only two examples of trends that cry out for social innovation as well as the technological variety.
W.I.R.E. investigated the issue of social innovation in a research report for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), and found that it holds unique potential not only for research, but also for the Swiss economy.
» Research report (German, with english executive summary)
More data usually means more knowledge and more trans- parency. Yet perhaps the rise of the data society will not lead to more clarity but to just the opposite: more half-knowledge and an increasing lack of transparency. And perhaps this is not a bad thing, for it will force us to stop allowing statistics to make decisions for us and finally start thinking for our- selves once again.
» go to article
Division of labour is essential to secure long-term prosperity. If everyone does everything, the outcome will be chaos. However, the trend towards doing it yourself is definitely useful as a meaningful leisure activity, says ETH Rector Lino Guzzella.
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