Shaping The Future
Human Experience:
A Travel Diary

By Michael Tropper

June 27, 2024

There have been a few singular moments in our history that have deeply impacted the human experience, fundamentally changing how we live forever after. We may be at one of those inflection points right now. But will it be another leap forward?

This journal will be a glimpse into our collective notepad as a studio as we explore the different facets of this question. Consider it a travel diary on the path to tomorrow.

If we think back across the vast extent of human history, we can identify some of the pivotal moments that have redefined the human experience. For example (without even straying into the 20th century): the advent of farming that led to settlement and civilisation; the innovation of letterpress that allowed knowledge to travel over time and space; the Industrial Revolution that completely reshaped how societies are structured.

And today? We are living through a convergence of significant changes – climate change, AI, biotechnology, population growth, and shifting demographics, to name a few – which are setting a new trajectory for the human experience. On one side there is incredible progress in so many areas, whilst at the same time some of the fundamental social and ecological structures are weakening and coming undone.

These changes might be beyond human capacity to truly comprehend, or the discourse is so abstract, scientific, or technical that it can be hard to relate to. It is no wonder that many people feel left out, overwhelmed, and disoriented. Every day we hear more of what could be done, but we find it hard to figure out what should be done.

Twenty years ago, forpeople was founded on the simple principle of placing people – rather than technology or trends – at the core of our work (and our name).

Today this feels more relevant than ever and we recognise that the role of the creative studio has to expand further. Positive outcomes for people, communities, and the environment are the primary goal as we choose the best path forward. Walking this path requires lateral thinking, creativity, empathy, adaptability, curiosity, and intense collaboration.

We call it shaping the future human experience.

As an independent studio of strategists and creatives, privileged to be working shoulder to shoulder with radical new enterprises as well as incredibly successful established businesses, we have the opportunity – and responsibility – to shape that experience.

  • By asking bigger questions of our clients and within the industry.

  • By inspiring change through envisioning
a better way forward.

  • By forming new behaviours and supporting people to embrace radically new ideas.

  • By finding a common ground between real human needs and technological possibilities.

  • And, ultimately, creating a more equitable and beautiful world.

What will it be like to experience that world? We can’t be certain, but one thing we do know is that it will be distinctly different from today. We cannot continue to hold onto outdated behaviours and patterns. How and what we eat, how we travel, work, connect, create, and play will have to be different. In some areas of life this will be the continuation of gradual changes that have already begun. In others it will be sudden, and the outcome might be entirely unrecognisable from where we stand today.

Within our sphere we are focusing on the future of food, the human body, our homes, mobility, productivity, and hospitality. Working across multiple sectors enables us to connect disparate parts of people's lives, bring clients together for collaborations, and accelerate the convergence of often outdated industry verticals. These are the areas we see the potential to affect real change and where we can best apply the deep and broad experience of our team.

Through this journal we will be documenting our journey, our perspectives, and our reflections as we traverse this uncertain yet exciting path. You will also find conversations with people we admire – long term clients, collaborators and experts – and fresh insights from the great events we participate in and sometimes present at.

Enjoy the journey,

Written by
Michael Tropper

Michael is the Co-Founder of forpeople, leading agency development and culture.

Interested? Get in touch to design the future human experience with us →