Read for Later - Dining and Fashion, Smart Cities, Virtual Reality

Here's how a lot of my weekends work out. I scan a lot of news and then I save a lot of it to read later and then I finally read it. Yes, a lot of stuff still goes un-read. 
Some people have asked me to share more of the stuff that's interesting to me and helping to shape the Center's trend collection. So here we go. Some of this is random and some of it clusters around big issues - cities, education, and virtual reality seemed to have their moments this week. 
I was happy to stumble upon  a quote from Tressie Lieberman's interview with LinkedIn - "I don’t really think about my category, it is more about culture, trends and innovation. You won’t find me obsessively reading every article about my industry. It is more about looking to see inspiration from what is happening in the world. The more I learn, the more passionate I get."
Developing a habit of reading that way is tough. I'm excited to hear what you think of some of the articles below - and about what you're reading this week.

Assorted Interests

  • Food shopping and eating become entertainment; fine dining will be more fast casual; quality, experience, and ethics become most important
  • Hooked provides a free, dialog-based, original story every day (unlimited access for $2.99 a week) delivered to mobile devices
  • Future versions will allow user to post their own stories and follow favorite authors
  • Tressie Lieberman focused on social media and engagement with customers; digital strategy; e-commerce and online delivery; and creating things that people want to talk about
  • Live streaming helps expand New York Fashion Week from the 100,000 people in the tents to over 2.6 million people online 
  • The strategy helps build brand connection and reached more people than in-person experiences ever could
  • Streaming provides entertainment and data - social media mentions, views by region, and email addresses from registration 
  • Google (Alphabet) is using balloons and drones; Facebook is pursuing drones; Richard Branson and Elon Musk are exploring low-orbit satellites
  • As technology becomes cheaper and more accessible, people will use it for unique and sometimes mundane purposes


  • More than data and systems, smart cities are about highly skilled, well-educated residents
  • Data-driven water delivery, power supply, or transportation has nowhere near as strong an effect as education
  • Some essential elements for smart cities include density, diversity, design, discovery, and democracy - and, yes, some of these can be augmented or improved through analysis of data and information technology
  • Residents are converting underused street space (or other public spaces) into amenities that serve them better
  • Connectivity and the push for data could give rise to opportunities for breaches of personal information, disruption of infrastructure, and damage to public trust
  • A push for "smart cities" that use sensors (and the Internet of Things) to collect data and share it with nonprofits, companies, and government services to address everything from traffic congestion to crime to climate change 
  • Agencies and departments involved include the National Science Foundation (including $3.1 million to Chicago's Array of Things initiative), Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, the EPA, and the Census Bureau


  • Six metro areas embody a move from "college town" to "university city" - Madison, Ann Arbor, Fort Collins, Durham-Chapel Hill, Lincoln, and Lexington
  • University cities have diversified economies around a major research university with populations (including at least 10% of population from students) large enough to leverage talent, investment, and innovation
  • They benefit from low costs of living, higher education rates, access to cultural amenities, and low violent crime rates
  • Attacks against university networks are on the rise - the third most breached sector in 2014, accounting for 10% of total incidences
  • Intellectual property and personal data (financial, health, academic, etc.) make networks attractive to hackers


  • Surprise! Generalizations about groups of people are inconsistent at best and destructive at worst
  • What is important to each generation is often important to every generation - so doing well for one generation can also improve experiences for other generations
  • Generational differences can still be important, especially in combination with other characteristics (region or class) to help understand attitudes and behaviors
  • The perceived bureaucracy and rigidity of the corporate and government sectors have lessened their appeal to millennials
  • 60% of entrepreneurs are white males
  • Possible remedies to involve more diverse entrepreneurs include early grassroots education, financial support in higher ed, competitions (self-motivation and feedback), and accelerators 

Virtual Reality

  • VR tours will change the real estate industry
  • VR will enable safer exposure therapy in the mental health industry
  • VR designed prototypes will save money and time for designers and engineers
  • ABC News VR stories will allow viewers to see locations and sights coupled with reporting and a personal guide
  • Joins the New York Times Magazine in move to allow readers and viewers to explore the world