Seamless - Anders Sorman-Nilsson - E-Book

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Anders Sorman-Nilsson

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Beschreibung

Achieve brand success with smarter change management and Seamless transformation Seamless is a guide for transforming your brand and heroically taking your business into the future. Customers are sick and tired of the inconvenience, friction, arrogance and grating seams they experience on their customer journeys caused by brands undergoing awkward and haphazard change. This book shows you how to remove the external and internal seams for a smooth transition between marketing channels, to provide a transformative customer journey. Anders Sörman-Nilsson, futurist and author of Digilogue (Wiley 2013), reveals the key factors to designing a cohesive and agile brand that is fit for the future. This book looks at on-the-ground implementation of Digilogue ideas, giving you a first-hand account of how emerging technology has evolved and disrupted the business landscape since 2013. You'll learn the trials and tribulations of omnichannel marketing, change leadership, start up thinking versus a heritage (and family) business legacy and why there has never been a better time to implement Seamless technologies in your business. The future doesn't unfold neatly -- in fact, it's often a disruptive slap in the face. Seamless is the key to a successful business future, and this book shows you how to make seamlessness work for your company, starting today. * Design away the friction with transformative customer experiences * Weave disparate channels and parts of a brand together into a Seamless whole * Take an integrative, rather than additive, approach to communications * Achieve the highest level of customer intimacy, the key to customer loyalty * Drive Seamless change inside your organisation by designing journeys of constant adaptation Communication channels continue to proliferate, and simply adding every new flash in the pan is a sure path to ruin. You need to bring together every part of your brand into a cohesive whole, one with deliberate, strategic structure and wholeheartedly gather all your stakeholders around it. Seamless shows you how to remove the scar tissue, reveal your brand's fresh edge and meet the future curious, agile and open-minded.

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We are entering a new world of marketing. One with a mixture of augmented reality, cloud, and artificial intelligence. Anders sets us up for that new world by getting us to think differently

Robert Scoble, Former Technology Evangelist at Microsoft and Editor of Scobleizer

Do you know what Seamless is? Of course not, you don't have time for that. You are more worried about your brand's irrelevance in the near future. A future with robots, AI, and everything connected. But, while it worries you that everything has changed, Seamless will take you on a quest to find the things that will never do. Don't worry about the robots, worry about the humans.

Ricardo Zamora, Director of Communications, Google Mexico

Seamless is an inspiring guide to the entertainment and media landscape of tomorrow. Tomorrow's brands are those that seamlessly take their clients on a transformational journey into the future and who seamlessly weave together the digital and analogue channels, and futurist Anders has given a visionary foresight into that magical future.

Mattias Behrer, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Sweden

Anders Sörman-Nilsson is the real deal. He's able to catapult us into the future, causing us to imagine possibilities and adding colour to a picture we might not yet have drawn. His teachings about the business landscape of tomorrow are not to be ignored: the companies that will win are those that prioritise seamless customer journeys and maximise the technologies available to them. Heed his advice and venture forth bravely!

Emma Isaacs, Founder/Global CEO, Business Chicks

Anders Sörman-Nilsson unpacks in his usual sophisticated and linguistically compelling way the massive opportunity available to innovative thinkers and businesses who can evolve towards our inevitable digital futures. Through case-study, historical perspective, and future-focused insight the reader is taken on a journey into the possibilities of our rapidly changing worlds.

Peter Sheahan, author, Founder and CEO of Karrikins Group

Seamless helps the reader approach the future. It uses vivid storytelling to get you to reflect deeply on the context of where we are at today, how we got here and unblocking the paths to allow us to see where we can go in the future. A very enjoyable read!

Peter Williams, Chief Edge Officer, Centre for the Edge at Deloitte Australia

Whilst we all quietly ponder the future of work and society, Anders takes that one step further by seeking answers to ‘what if' and ‘why' by linking past, immediate and future business and market case studies. In his inimitable style he weaves us into his context by sharing experiences and journeys, giving us a deeply personal and amusing view of what considerations can be made to plan for the future. I have no doubt that Seamless will leave you wanting to meet with Anders and seek more answers.

Professor Petrina Conventry, Industry Professor, University of Adelaide

In Seamless, Anders transports you effortlessly, in a fantastic journey, from a total analogue past to a present where a new digital universe expands a seemingly bounded reality to limitless new possibilities.

Mario De Agüero, CEO and Managing Director, GS1 Mexico

Having worked with Anders I can truly say he's onto a very interesting thread connecting familiar ‘analogue' truths with our current online life. His previous book Digilogue was a true inspiration to us, and now with Seamless, he connects directly with the bigger purpose of the Internet — to carry the big ideas of tomorrow. You can't predict the future, but you can be ready. Reading Seamless is definitely a good start.

Rickard Bäcklin, Marketing Director, Telia Sonera International Carrier

Seamless is a unique read as it unravels the story of a futurist who takes off his consultant mantle, rolls up his sleeves, and embarks on an intimate journey to turnaround a business failing to keep up in a digitised world. Through a combination of business insight and personal vulnerability, Anders has created a timely guide for leaders and organisations who desire to transform their brands from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Richard Ruth, Director — HR — Employee relations, Eli Lilly and Company

Making customer journeys seamless and digitally transforming the real estate industry is the future for the brands of tomorrow. Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson in Seamless provides impactful foresight and directions for navigating tomorrow!

Mike Green, Managing Director, Harcourts International

The analogue and the digital worlds are quickly becoming intertwined. If you work in branding or marketing, it's time to get dressed for the occasion. Because going into the future without a proper seamless outfit may soon mean you're out in the cold.

Niklas Alvarsson, Brand Designer at Spotify Business

The world of marketing and communications is undergoing a paradigm shift. At Dashing, we believe in evolving ‘what's possible' for our clients, and in Seamless, futurist ASN sets out a compelling call to adventure for those who are willing to digitally transform their business, and embrace the extraordinary retail landscape of tomorrow. We believe the foresights contained in these pages are required reading for our clients, and for anyone seeking transformational business results!

Mike Palmer, CEO, Dashing

You think you're reading a crystal ball look into the future, but Anders Sörman-Nilsson quickly and powerfully demonstrates that the future is already here. A disruptive book that changes how you see business on the global stage.

Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert and Author of Hug Your Haters

Anders has a unique ability to draw parallels and lessons from multiple fields and apply them to business. He jumps from horology to music to textiles to wine and back to deep research and then onto real world pragmatic solutions both effortlessly and well … seamlessly. The way he has wrapped his insights about the future in this book around Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey is another great example of that. Always interesting and thought provoking, Anders is a gifted speaker, writer and influencer.

Richard Hirst, Director, International CEO Forum

Anders weaves together real-world examples and insight using his own unique style of storytelling to deliver a compelling view of the future.

Richard Cooper, Vice President, Director of Marketing Strategy, FIS

In the era of digital anxiety, futurists are more relevant than ever to inspire and to challenge our traditional way of thinking. Anders Sörman-Nilsson is currently one of the more inspiring future thinkers. With his family retail business as the starting point, Anders takes us on a personal journey among clothes, textiles and seamless thinking. All aimed at making us understand more about what is to come.

Magnus Gudehn, CEO, HiQ

A must read for any business leader driving for digital transformation in an age where one's imagination can be met. Seamless takes the reader on a journey of possibilities through great storytelling and is as much a relevant business insights book as it is a philosophical journey into what has influenced human interactions!

Mathias Kjessler, Senior Sales Director Retail Sales + Marketing EMEA, Microsoft

Digital disruption and how we adapt to it is critical to the success of any business. Anders has an amazing ability to link the human effect and digital transformation together. His work consistently challenges my thinking on change management and keeping tradition alive while embracing the new disruptive digital world to create a seamless environment of change.

Dave Rosenberg, VP and Managing Director, ANZ, Westcon-Comstor

Anders engagingly narrates a future where the most successful leaders and brands will embrace many of the characteristics of his real hero's in embarking on the journey from an ordinary analogue to an extraordinary, and perhaps as yet unknown, digital future. Seamless is his aspiration for the ultimate destination and it is a rich exploration of what it takes to achieve transformational change at a time of digital disruption and why putting your customers first will be essential for success.

Danielle Bond, Marketing and Communications Leader, Aurecon

In his third book, Seamless, Anders takes the reader on a global adventure from the shopping districts of Stockholm and Tokyo to the wine regions of France, as he weaves together his story of seamless transformation in a world of digital disruption. Whether we can design transitions (between the analogue and digital worlds) that are seamless, effortless and frictionless is a decisive factor for the future of technology and the success of business leaders and is one of the key question our futurist author asks of us. If you are a business leader, this book will help you prepare for the journey and transition your business into a world of change ahead.

Don Sillar, Head of Sales, ANZ Wealth

Seamless is the ultimate hero's guide to the entertainment, content and media landscape of tomorrow. Tomorrow's brands are those that seamlessly merge the digital and analogue channels to transform the user experience, powering brand preference and sentiment. A masterful Anders takes us on a visionary journey into this magical future.

Mitchell Bowen, Managing Director, Aristocrat (Australia and New Zealand)

In a world that feels increasingly full of both exponential disruption and opportunity, Seamless is a timely and thought provoking book. Anders has a unique ability to help us make more sense of the future and Seamless has that ability to sharpen our focus and make a difference to what we can influence.

Matt Tapper, Managing Director, Global Markets, LION

Anders, yet again, weaves a wonderful series of stories and images together to caste his futurist gaze over the complex landscape of digital challenges. Digital technologies provide us with the opportunity to re-imagine the customer experience in new and exciting ways. Seamless is a timeless ‘must read' for every leader trying to navigate this uncharted territory.

Dr. Kristine Dery, Research Scientist, MIT Center for Information Systems Research

In a provocative and clever style, Anders perfectly combines the art and science of looking into the future of brands, organisations and entire ecosystems. His unique, data-driven and complex perspectives challenge us to connect past, present and future in completely different ways than we are used to. As a reader you will gain insights that will challenge your traditional way of thinking about the marketplace and the future of products and services. This is a must read for out-of-the-box thinkers and leaders who are interested in a smart, informative and fun book.

Ana Dutra, CEO, The Executives' Club of Chicago and best-selling author of Lessons in LeadershiT: detoxing the workplace

As a futurist, you need not only look forward, but also backwards. Anders Sörman-Nilsson understands this well, and also points it out in his new, astonishing book on the balance between tradition and disruption, between analogue and digital, between staying at your core and reinventing yourself. Knowing and being a customer at George Sörman, I can luckily see that the transition to the future also for a family business is possible, if you dare to leave the comfort zone of today and travel to places far and frightening. No doubt much thanks to Anders' future understanding, based on great wisdom of the past and present.

Ulf Boman, Future Strategist and partner of Kairos Future, Stockholm

Sörman-Nilson provides a deeply personal and engaging, yet highly practical, case for pursuing the quest for seamless intimacy. With insightful examples tailored from a rich fabric of global business and social experience, this book shows us in great depth how we can weave the traditional analogue with the emergent digital to generate new products, services, markets, and even businesses for a more sustainable and enriching future.

Richard Hall, Deputy Dean, Leadership and Executive Education, Monash Business School

At LoyaltyOne we see how impactful digital disruption has been for brands and customer behaviour. We partner with thought leaders like futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson to provide us with critical foresights into what customer transformation and loyalty looks like beyond the horizon. In his visionary quest to drive change, Anders shows us that tomorrow will be exponentially better than yesterday — for those that are willing to embrace the call to adventure.

Bryan Pearson, President, LoyaltyOne, Alliance Data

Anders' book is the thread between our safe, comfortable known world and the world of massive disruption. He has an elegant and educated approach to guiding us to glimpse a future of massive possibility. Change is one of those certainties in life. Anders' words provide a timeless, guiding pathway to the future.

Shane Kempton, CEO, Professionals Real Estate Group

In his new book, Seamless, Anders Sörman-Nilsson underlines why he is one of the leading contemporary thinkers about digital transformation. In this book he expertly weaves together a deeply personal account of his family business with sharp and insightful observations from across a wide range of leading firms and sectors to produce an expertly tailored guide to how individuals, brands and communities can leverage the power of digital. The core concept of seamlessness — combining empathetic human design with the new affordances of technology — is a powerful contribution to the debate.

Nick Wailes, Associate Dean (Digital and Innovation), UNSW Business School

Tradition and technology need to stand side-by-side in the future. In Seamless, futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson vividly illustrates what can happen when technology and tradition collide, and illustrates how heritage brands and start-ups can successfully embark on a an adventurous future odyssey. A must-read!

Erik Wilkinson, Global Sales Director, Eton of Sweden

Innovation would lose its sense if there weren't smart minds being able to translate the ever changing and advancing technology to impacts on business and not least humans. Anders is one of those smart minds. Seamless will again be a masterpiece of exploring a new era by helping us understand it better through taking us on his journey, sharing his wealth of personal experiences and providing profound knowledge and great relevant examples.

Steffen Lange, Director Customer Engagement & Commerce, SAP

I believe in organisations being deeply committed to providing seamless customer journeys and personal transformation. I believe that both the successful brands and organisations of tomorrow are those that can truly partner with their clients and customers as a guide into a more meaningful and healthier future. Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson in this book provides the foresight and practical insight that transformational brands need in order to go on this quest.

Matt Bennett, Head of Global Customer Management, Beiersdorf

We must look to the future and focus on our client requirements, competitive pressures and solution design for what our clients will want and need tomorrow. The pace of change is relentless and the rate of digital transformation continues to accelerate. Anders challenges us to imagine this future and its implications and consequences for our clients, industry and our business and we need to listen and understand that we need one foot in the future and one in the present to win in this market.

Andrew Briggs, Group Executive of Sales, Dimension Data Group

Anders Sörman-Nilsson analyses historical patterns to provide an insightful interpretation of the future. Underlying his message is the importance of good old fashioned storytelling to engage customers and connect them to your brand. Seamless is a very thought-provoking read.

Matt Lucas, Head of Content and Social Media, Australia Post

Retail payments are undergoing massive transformation as we embrace contactless, mobile NFC, tokenisation and in-app payments in both the offline and online worlds. This will re-shape customer interaction with retailers, removing friction from the experience, creating seamless journeys and rendering payments invisible. As the customer navigates between the ordinary, analogue world and the extraordinary digital world, we need contributions from futurists like Anders Sörman-Nilsson to help us plot our paths in to the future.

Bruce Mansfield, Managing Director, Eftpos

Anders Sorman-Nilsson has provided a compelling narrative, which provides readers with both the context and framework to adapt and transform themselves and their organisations. It's an essential guide to navigating the disruption we are all experiencing in our personal and professional lives.

Martin Perelmuter, President, Speakers' Spotlight

Seamless is an excellent guide to how we can navigate and stay relevant in the digital age. Anders Sorman-Nilsson helps us realise why digitalisation is not just a risk, but an opportunity to enhance our unique qualities.

Rasmus Ankersen, Chairman, FC Midtjylland A/S

Seamless

A hero's journey of digital disruption, adaptation and human transformation.

anders sörman-nilssonwith research from Anton Järild and the foresights team at Thinque

First published in 2017 by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd 42 McDougall St, Milton Qld 4064 Office also in Melbourne

© Thinque Pty. Ltd 2017

The moral rights of the author have been asserted National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication data:

Creator:

Sörman-Nilsson, Anders, author.

Title:

Seamless: a hero's journey of digital disruption, adaptation and human transformation / Anders Sörman-Nilsson.

ISBN:

9780730332886 (hbk.) 9780730332855 (pbk.) 9780730332862 (ebook)

Notes:

Includes index.

Subjects:

Technological innovations. Business communication. Customer services. Success in business.

Dewey Number:

658.4063

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (for example, a fair dealing for the purposes of study, research, criticism or review), no part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, communicated or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission. All inquiries should be made to the publisher at the address above.

Cover design by Hema Patel Internal figures by Clementine D'Arco Cover image (paperback): © Marthu

Figure 1.4 and 1.5: Photographs by Greve Kalling Figure 1.6: Photograph(s) taken by Relmi Damiano Figure 2.2: Photograph by Philip Bäckman Figure 4.1: Photograph by Gustav Arnetz Figure 5.2: © picturelibrary / Alamy Stock Photo Figure 5.3: © Gordon Shoosmith / Alamy Stock Photo Figure 12.2: Photograph by Anton Järild Figure 12.3: Photograph by Birgitta Sörman-Nilsson

Disclaimer

The material in this publication is of the nature of general comment only, and does not represent professional advice. It is not intended to provide specific guidance for particular circumstances and it should not be relied on as the basis for any decision to take action or not take action on any matter which it covers. Readers should obtain professional advice where appropriate, before making any such decision. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the author and publisher disclaim all responsibility and liability to any person, arising directly or indirectly from any person taking or not taking action based on the information in this publication.

CONTENTS

About the author

Acknowledgements

Prologue

Failing to succeed — a futurist's confessions

Introduction

The modern metaphor of seamless

The mythical origins of seamlessness

Embracing the frictive hero's journey

Butterflies, bow ties and infinity

STEP 1: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

1: Status quo

The love letter to my superhero

Text and textiles; ideas and fabrics

Reinvention and transformation is friction

STEP 2: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

2: Call to adventure

The love letter continues — a call to adventure

The fabric of adventure

Tradition killed the radio star

STEP 3: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

3: Refusal of the call

My heroine, my most reluctant mentee

Being nostalgic is not the same as being strategic

Reluctant heroines may need a little nudge

STEP 4: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

4: Meeting with the mentor

Opening hearts and minds

Reversing roles: mentor son, heroine mother

Fool's errand?

STEP 5: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

5: Crossing the threshold

Moving into the extraordinary

What is science fiction and what is reality?

Seamless convergence and hero enablement

The interface with technology and the internet

Every wo/man's home is their intelligent castle

STEP 6: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

6: Tests, allies and enemies

Navigating the path into the extraordinary

Neo-luddites and technophobes

STEP 7: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

7: Approaching the inmost cave

Preparing for all challenges

Fighting futurephobes in my mental cave

STEP 8: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

8: Ordeal

The obstacle is the way — turning‘in the way' into ‘the way'

STEP 9: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

9: Reward (seizing the sword)

Blood is thicker than water

Where one story ends, another begins

STEP 10: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

10: Road back

A call to adventure for our clients

The curious case of Georg Sörman

STEP 11: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

11: Resurrection

Can old dogs learn new tricks?

Finding hope in Languedoc-Roussillon

STEP 12: HERO'S JOURNEY WHEEL FOR MAMMA SÖRMAN-NILSSON

12: Return with the elixir

Seamless design and customer odysseys

Seamless or frictive journeys?

Georg Sörman and transformation

Epilogue

Appendix 1: A letter from Birgitta

Appendix 2: A letter from Lars-Olof

Index

Advert

EULA

List of Illustrations

Introduction

Figure I.1

: the Hero's journey is a 12-step continuing cycle

Figure I.2

: the journey between what is (the status quo) and what could be

Figure I.3

: the infinite movement between the ordinary, analogue, world and the extraordinary, digital, world

Figure I.4

: the seamless interplay between ordinary and extraordinary worlds

Chapter 1

Figure 1.1

: Georg Sörman family lineage and Cinderella's challenge

Figure 1.2

: Inis Meáin jumper from Georg Sörman, Stockholm

Figure 1.3

: Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Figure 1.4

: a Sörman hunting trip; my grandfather Per (second from left) and great-grandfather Georg (centre)

Figure 1.5

: sartorial textiles to withstand the elements (and help capture food)

Figure 1.6

: future-foraging travels enabled by textiles

Figure 1.7

: tradition as friction in the wine industry

Figure 1.8

: branding wine seamlessly

Chapter 2

Figure 2.1

: Lech Zurs run, with top speed of 86.6 kph

Figure 2.2

: the crew of Swedish skiing enthusiasts

Chapter 3

Figure 3.1

: child mortality* by world region

Figure 3.2

: living in absolute poverty

Figure 3.3

: number of deaths from conflict, 1940s to present day

Chapter 4

Figure 4.1

: my mother and I, working together at Georg Sörman

Figure 4.2

: the generational prophecy for family businesses

Chapter 5

Figure 5.1

: Stockholm geocontext and Georg Sörman

Figure 5.2

: a Pokémon Go avatar

Figure 5.3

: catching a Magikarp

Chapter 6

Figure 6.1

: Georg Sörman & Sons business card

Chapter 8

Figure 8.1

: the old logo and the former brand perception

Figure 8.2

: front cover of the Välsytt Herrnytt broadsheet

Chapter 9

Figure 9.1

: brand perception map

Figure 9.2

: narrowing down the new brand design options from Hema

Chapter 10

Figure 10.1

: Swedish Post study showing preferences for physical Christmas cards

Figure 10.2

: a copy of the handwritten VIP day letter

Figure 10.3

: reference for Georg Sörman from his previous employer, dated 16 August 1915

Figure 10.4

: first-year financials for Georg Sörman

Chapter 11

Figure 11.1

: the Georg Sörman renaissance strategy across analogue and digital

Figure 11.2

: the Georg Sörman storefront and original neon sign

Figure 11.3

: the new Georg Sörman brand identity

Figure 11.4

: the new Georg Sörman website and inbound strategy

Figure 11.5

: the Välsytt Herrnytt Georg Sörman broadsheet

Figure 11.6

: the cross-generational focus of the Georg Sörman website

Figure 11.7

: reusing content and increasing optimisation via the Georg Sörman blog

Figure 11.8

: the Georg Sörman Facebook page

Figure 11.9

: the Georg Sörman Instagram page

Chapter 12

Figure 12.1

: designing seamless customer experiences with digital and analogue touch points

Figure 12.2

: rubbing shoulders with the empire at Pitti Uomo

Figure 12.3

: can this fourth generation turn Georg Sörman into a jewel?

Figure 12.4

: start mapping your own transformational hero's journey

Guide

Cover

Table of Contents

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About the author

Anders Sörman-Nilsson

Avant-garde ideas that expand minds and inspire a change of heart

Anders Sörman-Nilsson (LLB / EMBA) is a global futurist and innovation strategist who helps leaders decode trends, decipher what's next and turn provocative questions into proactive strategies. With an average of 240 international travel days a year, Anders' view is that the future and the now are converging in a city or village near you, giving the curious, the creative and the courageous a competitive and sustainable edge. At the same time, that same future contains fearsome forecasts for futurephobes.

This Swedish-Australian futurist has shared stage with Hillary Clinton, Nobel Laureates, and Portuguese, Swedish and Australian heads of state. He is an active member of TEDGlobal, has keynoted at TEDx in the United States and Australia, was nominated to the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders in 2015, and was the keynote speaker at the G20's Y20 Summit in Sydney. His thought leadership has been featured in international media like Monocle, Business Insider, Sky News Business, Chicago Tribune, Financial Review, CIO Magazine and Boss. In addition to Seamless, he is also the author of the books Digilogue: how to win the digital minds and analogue hearts of tomorrow's customers (2013) and Thinque Funky: Upgrade Your Thinking (2009).

As a futurist and strategist, his foresights are meticulously researched, deeply impactful and always fascinating with futures tailored to his clients, which is why brands like Apple, Cisco, Mercedes Benz, Hilton, SAP, Gartner and Macquarie Bank have turned to Anders over the years to help them turn research into foresight and business impact.

When he is not globetrotting, he enjoys feeling deeply connected with his partner, Nicole, enjoys lazy long weekends in Pittwater on Sydney's northern beaches, morning swims, and hanging out with his family and friends – from Elvina Bay to Färingsö, Stockholm.

Acknowledgements

George Orwell once said that an ‘autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful'. While this book is by no means an autobiography, the story behind it has taken me to both depths of despair and elated excitement, from furious frustration to zen sensations. It certainly is revelatory, vulnerable, and hopefully you will find it authentic, illuminating and impactful. We have gone to places we hope you don't need to go, so that you may learn from our mistakes, successes, and failures.

There are a few people to mention for whose support I am deeply grateful.

Nicole, for being the love of my life and for choosing to reconnect with me. You were ‘the one that got away', and now we have refound each other in the midst of the turmoil that is the story behind the book. Without you, none of this would have been possible. Thanks for always hearing me out, your support, calm, wisdom, connectedness, love and warmth. I cannot wait to be futurephiles together.

To mum and dad. Thanks for accepting the challenge of facing the future together. If you decide to read this book, remember that it is written from a place of deep love and appreciation for everything you have done for me and my brother. Sometimes the best love is tough love, and yes, this love letter is a bit tough. I hope something good will come of it, and either way, I am looking forward to our social, family futures together. They are destined to be even more positively exciting soon.

To the team at Thinque. Specifically … thank you to Emma for your loyalty, support, excitement, flexibility, patience, warmth, and forward focus. You have been through thick and thin with me, and have always been a joy to tackle challenges with. To Anton and Clem – thanks for your great work on the book, from research, travel, and design, to emotional support – and being intimately involved on the hero's journey.

To my brother Gustaf. I admire your ability to remain above the issues that can create inertia, and your cool in the face of family drama. You will always be my brother, and I treasure our bond and our philosophical discussions and debates. We haven't agreed on how best to help mum and dad, but I am already enjoying the next chapter of our lives together, and not discussing family affairs any longer is a healthy upgrade. I hope. I look forward to spending even more time together with you and your family now that we are all back in Sydney.

To Hem. Your design skills, thinking and encapsulating of strategy in visualisation and brand identity are world class. Thanks for lending a helping hand in shaping yet another book that should equally be judged by its cover.

To the team at Wiley. Charlotte – you are the guru of editing and I love working with you. You take what is half-baked and you make it sophisticated and polished. Chris – thanks for your patience, and chasing me for permissions, chapters, forms, designs, and content. Kristen – thanks for finding me and for being a great collaborator – we did Digilogue together, and I am eternally grateful for the relationship with Wiley that has ensued. Lucy – you have taken over the baton really nicely, and again thanks for your patience and flexibility. Seamless has been a long time coming, but we got there, and I am thankful for your belief in the project and its merits.

To my speakers management agency – Ode Management. Leanne, Heidi, Tanja, Jay, Julie, Tanya, Becs, Michelle, Amanda, Teri, Mike, Sam, Simla – thanks for pushing and challenging me to curate this book, and to share my vulnerability and authentic voice. It's been a fun 7 years together and I look forward to continuing to make a big splash and inspiring futurephilia and seamless futures around the world.

To Georg Sörman. Thank you for starting the movement and creating the brand that lives on 100 years later, and which has provided so much analysis, soul searching, sartorialism, and neon elegance, and somehow managed to make your idea virus live on from generation to generation – a Georg Sörman meme indeed. Let us see if the 4th and 5th generations will continue your legacy.

Prologue

Start preparing for the future today, because it is where you will spend the rest of your life.

Failing to succeed — a futurist's confessions

These lines were written to the soundtrack of Coldplay, perhaps fitting, given my long-time love affair with the band. Whether I am newly in love, deeply connected with a partner or undergoing the tempest of a break-up, Coldplay seems to have composed a song that is in tune with my emotional vibrations. One of these songs that captured my heart was ‘The Scientist' in 2003. Yes, I can obsess nostalgically about a song for a long time. I was living in Vienna, Austria, when I first became obsessed, and completing my specialisation in International Law at the University of Vienna. The album had come into my hands during a train trip with my good friend, Mark, when we travelled from Stockholm via St Petersburg, Moscow, through Belarus, to Warsaw in Poland and Berlin in Germany, all the way down back to Vienna, after spending a few summer weeks in my native Sweden. I bought the album, I remember, from a street vendor in St Petersburg, and judging by the fact that I picked up about fifteen CDs from him, I don't believe I paid the normal retail price. However, the CDs were really good quality for pirated copies, and A Rush of Blood to the Head became the soundtrack during a challenging six-month period in my life.

Whenever a song really resonates with me, as my brother will attest, the song will be on repeat, usually because my ego tells me the song was penned just for me. This was the case with ‘The Scientist', which just so happened to be in the same register as my emotional state — influenced as it was by the break-up, reunion, long-distance relationship, near-infidelity and eventual long-term commitment with my girlfriend at the time, Hema. But let us go back to the start. Let us explore ‘The Scientist' for a moment. In the interest of the convergence between digital and analogue worlds, if you want to listen to the song while reading these next few lines you can do so legally and digitally by using this link on Spotify: ow.ly/WvTqb. It will literally take you back to the start.

Anyone who has ever experienced the turmoil of a tumultuous relationship and important life decision can relate, I am sure, to the lyrics in the song and the feeling of wanting to go back to the beginning of a relationship and start it all over again. Beyond the lyrics, there was also something magical about this idea of returning to a point in the past, especially when it became the inspiration for the song's video clip (which you can watch on YouTube at ow.ly/WvTOT and which won multiple MTV Video Music Awards for Best Group Video, Best Direction and Breakthrough Video in 2003). The video is so powerful because it employs an innovative reverse narrative that begins at the end and goes back to the beginning, taking us back to the start, using a reverse video technique. This technique meant Chris Martin, the band's lead singer, had to spend one month learning to sing ‘The Scientist' in reverse, so that when you view the video, his lip movements perfectly sync up with your auditory input of the song, while he is walking backwards in reverse from the end of the scene to the beginning.

As a futurist, and sometimes described as a reverse historian, this creative warping of time and going back to the source is something I want to curate for you now. Let me take you back to the start of a futurist's confession. Because my journey as the futurist mentor in one of my life's most dearest relationships didn't go to plan, was by no means ‘seamless', was filled with friction, and failed to achieve success(ion) in the short term. So this movement between friction and seamlessness plays out within this book. However, in set-backs lie the green shoots of future success, so please indulge me in sharing my futurist's confessions as we embark on a hero's journey of digital disruption, adaptation and transformation. Let me take you back to the start.