February 2018’s Coolest Things
Open warfare rages across the Sutherland Labs Slack channel. Each month our champions gather and clash in the only battle that matters; the battle to find the coolest thing that has happened this month on the internet. Usually we have a lot of strong contenders, but this month three of them really blew the rest out of the water. So, without further fanfare, here are the coolest things that we saw in February!
The Nordic Service Design Movie
It is indicative of the straightforward nature of this project that the name tells you almost everything that you might want to know about it. For all that it lays out its concepts in simple terms, this movie also explores the intricacies of the current Nordic model of Service Design, interviewing experts across Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway to give the viewer a better idea of what makes service design within those countries so unique. Looking to the way that new developments have struck one industry to extrapolate how those same changes will impact every other industry. With an emphasis on how to create value in a world where so many fundamentals of design have been overturned and revolutionized, this production from the Service Design Network is well worth the twenty minutes that it will take to watch, and it is available for free!
Companies Changing the World
The 2018 NewCo Honors Nominees have just been announced, and while each of them are doing fascinating things and leading their own industries, the real reason for their nominations isn’t that they are “disruptors.” The NewCo awards are for companies that are working towards a purpose larger than simply increasing their stock value. Businesses that are on a mission to improve the world and leave it a better place than they found it. Whether it is AirBnB’s effort to relieve housing crises during disasters, Panera Bread’s massive donations to fight food insecurity or younger organizations like Brandless and Nurx; every nominee for these awards has combined philanthropy with their business model at a foundation level.
An awards ceremony and a documentary may be extremely interesting, but it is hard to deny that this last entry into the Coolest Things contest has a little bit more flair. A mysterious light streaked across the sky above the San Francisco Bay, but before rumours of alien invasions could even get started the truth came out. SpaceX had launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Vanderberg Airforce Base. Successfully carrying a Spanish radar mapping satellite into orbit, this was one of the first clear indicators that sub-contracted privately-owned space travel might be an ongoing viable alternative to the national agencies of the past. There are already plans in motion to use the same style of rocket to deliver a series of satellites into orbit to provide a space-based global internet service.
And that is all that we have time for this month, come back in around four weeks-time to watch the next brave gladiators stride out into the arena of coolness!