Andthen’s Picks of the Year 2019

On Our Radar 📡

Freyja Harris
Dec 6, 2019 · 3 min read

As the year comes to a close we have been reflecting upon outstanding media and events that have influenced our work, given us new understanding, or made us feel a little more hope in what’s been a rather turbulent year. We thought we’d share them in the hope they might do the same for you!

Lizzie selects: A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

This short film, narrated by AOC, and illustrated by Molly Crabapple, presents an alternate trajectory/future vision which speculates on what could be if the Green New Deal was passed. It’s a great example of a future vision, and speaks to the idea of reflexivity in futures — whereby the act of defining and communicating a future vision makes it more likely to happen.

Santini selects: The world’s first ‘Future Generations Commissioner.’

Wales has appointed the world’s first (and only) ‘Future Generations Commissioner.’ Sophie Howe’s job is to represent the unborn citizens of Wales, and ensure that political decisions today don’t compromise Welsh citizens tomorrow. While she was appointed in 2016 as a result of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015, her role seems ever more relevant this year with the rise of youth activism seen in movements like the Global Climate Strike and March For Our Lives.

Freyja selects: An Interview with Cambridge Analytica’s Whistleblower Chris Wylie

Since Channel4 and the Guardian released their investigation into Cambridge Analytica in 2018 over their role in Brexit’s Leave campaign and President Trump’s candidacy, Christopher Wylie has been an inspiring figure standing up for data regulation and democracy. Here he’s interviewed on NPR giving a succinct and engaging explanation of exactly how Facebook data taken from a personality quiz was used to influence fringe and mainstream culture and politics.

Will selects: The ‘Outrage & Optimism’ podcast

This year I have been keenly following the Outrage and Optimism podcast that has been interviewing all sorts of figureheads in the climate spectrum: from David Attenborough, to Theresa May, to Extinction Rebellion’s Gail Bradbrook, to Beyond Meat’s Ethan Brown. Their central theme is the importance of having both outrage and optimism when looking to the future — having the optimism in the imagining of something better and the outrage to act now.

Lewis selects: The Mind Explained

Human behaviour is one of the most important, yet also one of the most difficult factors to take into consideration when we attempt to analyse or plan for the future. Vox has partnered with Netflix to produce a five part mini series exploring how our brains are wired and what effects this has on our behaviour. The series covers five topics: dreams, anxiety, mindfulness, psychedelics and memory. The memory episode is especially interesting as it unpacks the idea of the brain’s ability to “time travel”, relying on its ability to recall past events in order to envision future scenarios.

Andthen

We’re designers researching the future — what it could be, and what people want it to be.