In order to get a better understanding of what progress represents we spoke to pioneering individuals with matching values who regard the future from their own unique perspective. From the philosopher whose work on stoicism teaches us to distinguish between personal and material progress to the documentary-maker who values sustainability above all, we look at the people who are shaping what’s to come.
Future focusFounded 110 years ago, Audi has grown from a small car-maker that always approached things differently into a globally recognised mobility brand. As the automotive industry undergoes a moment of change, Audi has set its sights on a future that puts progress first. Henrik Wenders, senior vice-president Audi brand, plots a forward course.
Values shaping tomorrowIn order to get a better understanding of what progress represents we spoke to pioneering individuals with matching values who regard the future from their own unique perspective. From the philosopher whose work on stoicism teaches us to distinguish between personal and material progress to the documentary-maker who values sustainability above all, we look at the people who are shaping what’s to come.
William B Irvine, Dayton, OhioWhen William B Irvine published his stoic treatise ‘A Guide to the Good Life’ in 2008, he didn’t expect it to have much of an impact. But the book has since become a bestseller and, alongside Irvine’s teaching at Wright University in Dayton, Ohio, and other writing, has driven a revival of stoicism. Today it is one of the most influential forms of philosophy.
Suzanna Randall, MünichAstrophysicist and astronaut Suzanna Randall is one of two women who will be heading to space on the Die Astronautin (The Female Astronaut) private mission in 2021. The €50m initiative was launched by aerospace engineer Claudia Kessler in 2016 with the aim of sending the first German woman into space.
Brussels and NeckarsulmAudi is making some huge changes in order to best plan for the future and foster innovation in the process of progress. Digital production is the key shift in the world of manufacturing and the electrification of vehicles is also a fundamental change as the company’s plants adapt to a new vision for the future.
Martin Varsavsky, BerlinSerial entrepreneur, philanthropist and visiting professor at Columbia University, Martin Varsavsky made the cover of ‘Forbes’ for his groundbreaking research, development and subsequent business in fertility. His fixation with the future is born from a love of science that informs his work in technology, healthcare and mobility.
Leila Conners, Los AngelesAs a film director, writer and the founder of Tree Media, Leila Conners’ environmentally astute documentary collaborations with actor Leonardo DiCaprio – including, most recently, 2019’s ‘Ice On Fire’ – have earned her movies the status of household names. She believes that storytelling is an effective way of progressing towards a more sustainable future.
Chief SeerIt is in the genes of the brand to place so much emphasis on design and technology when pursuing innovation. Beyond its products, Audi applies innovation to all aspects of its business and Volker Kaese, the firm’s head of innovation management, is responsible for predicting what we as humans will require from Audi 20, 30 and 40 years from now.
Draftsman of dreamsMarc Lichte has built up an illustrious career in the car industry and has been the head of Audi design since 2014. His role is to harmonise design and technology to shape the face of the brand, as well as its heart and soul.
Jasper Morrison, LondonWith offices in London, Tokyo and Paris, Jasper Morrison is one of the UK’s most sought-after industrial designers and his furniture creations make their way into the catalogues of the likes of Vitra, Flos and Maruni. Working for more than 30 years to a minimalist design ethos, Morrison’s work has inspired a generation of design thought.
Future navigatorAudi has made sustainability a priority in its long-term strategy in pursuing a vision of carbon neutrality and net-zero carbon emissions*. Josef Schön is a key architect in realising this objective.
Up aheadOver the next instalments of The Art of Moving Forward, we will take a deeper dive into the overarching theme of progress. As a manifesto for tomorrow, the next four editions will unpack the Audi vision of how we can all think and act for the benefit of the future and will preview the giant leaps the brand is taking in defining premium mobility.
This is progressWhen we think of progress, we think of Audi. And when The Art of Moving Forward returns, we look forward to lifting the bonnet on a few of the brand’s exclusive launches, including a future brand shaper.
Want more stories like these in your inbox?
Sign up to Monocle’s email newsletters to stay on top of news and opinion, plus the latest from the magazine, radio, film and shop.