Ahead of the curve - The Forecast 14 - Magazine | Monocle
/

thumbnail text
night_train.jpg

öbb night trains
Good morning, Vienna 
Austria 

How does dinner overlooking Hamburg’s harbour, followed by a good night’s sleep and then waking up in the majestic Austrian Alps sound? Austrian Federal Railways (öbb) is betting on the affirmative from climate-conscious travellers taking advantage of the night-train revival to comfortably get around Europe without having to fly. Already a night-train pioneer, öbb aims to double its overnight passengers by 2030. If it succeeds, more than three million people will use its sleeper services annually, on modern trains that have been designed with privacy in mind, complete with onboard showers.

Following on from its new Hamburg to Vienna route via Innsbruck, öbb (with German state rail) is bringing back the Paris to Berlin night train after a nine- year absence. Over the next four years, it is also looking to phase in more night services to take you anywhere from Poland’s charming Old Towns to elegant French wineries and azure Croatian coasts. The current night train from Graz and Vienna to Berlin will also soon alight in Prague and Dresden.

“We’ve experienced a significant increase in demand in the past few years,” says öbb spokesperson Bernhard Rieder. “The sleeper cars are often booked out weeks in advance. There is clearly demand for more night trains in Europe.” Rieder says that a European train trip’s carbon footprint can be 50 per cent smaller than that generated by a flight of the same length. Passengers also love arriving at their destination rested and in comfort.

In the middle of Central Europe, Austria is geographically well-positioned to be a night-train hub, which might be why öbb chose to keep its after-dark offerings at a time when other national rail companies were axing theirs years ago. “Now other train companies are imitating öbb,” says Christian Gratzer of vcö, an Austrian think-tank focusing on transport. “Night trains play a very important role in bringing European travel on course to fight climate change. People need to travel but are aware that air travel is particularly harmful to the environment.”

The Austrian trend is already evident in other recent European offerings, such as the night service between Berlin and Stockholm run by Sweden’s SJ railway company, and European Sleeper’s route between Berlin and Amsterdam or Brussels. “Austria’s night trains are an example of how a small railway company in a small country can make a difference,” says Gratzer. “Austria isn’t a special case. It can be a role model for other countries to follow.” All aboard!


231025_monocle-x-grab-story-1.jpg

grab
Accelerating growth
Southeast Asia

A green-helmeted motorcyclist weaving through the streets or stopping beside a kerb to pick up a passenger is a typical sight in Southeast Asia’s largest metropolises. By and large, these drivers work for Grab, a Singapore-based technology company that has grown into one of the region’s most prominent multinationals since its founding in Malaysia in 2012 as a taxi-hailing app. 

Operating in more than 400 cities across eight countries, the platform now offers services ranging from food delivery and shopping to lending and insurance – but ride-hailing has remained a core segment of the business.

As it has expanded, Grab has adopted a hyperlocal approach to its transport offerings, according to the firm’s head of mobility, Samir Kumar. To cover the traffic-heavy cities of Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, where motorbikes are common, the company launched GrabBike. It’s not unusual, in the business districts of Jakarta, Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City, to see a besuited commuter hop onto the back of a Grab motorbike and strap on the supplied helmet before jetting off with his driver.

231025_monocle-x-grab-story-2.jpg

Meanwhile, on the island of Phuket, where a certain three-wheeled motorised vehicle is a popular mode of transport, Grab introduced GrabTukTuk. And in Singapore, where motorbikes are scarce but poodles and shiba inus are omnipresent, customers can choose the GrabPet option to ensure that they’re hailing a pet-friendly car. “We localise the consumer experience for every country,” says Kumar, who points out that, every month, one in every 20 Southeast Asians uses Grab. “Our goal is to reach even more people in this region,” he says, adding that Grab has a “home advantage” in Southeast Asia that “enables us to solve local problems that might be too small, too niche or too complex for others”. 

One big regional shift is Grab’s commitment to electric vehicles. The company wants its platform to be carbon neutral by 2040 and has implemented various programmes to move drivers to electric and hybrid vehicles. Though this sounds like an ambitious operation, it’s already under way – green-liveried electric tuk-tuks are now roaming the streets of several Thai towns. 


ethiopian_engineer.jpg

dan energy
Engineering works
Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, acute unemployment and limited economic opportunities are unfortunate but very real issues faced by the country’s young engineers. Despite these barriers, entrepreneur Daniel Hailu Endale has not given up hope and is determined to change the narrative in Africa, starting with his homeland.

Seven years ago, Hailu Endale mortgaged his own home to start a new Addis Ababa venture called Dan Energy Ethiopia. His aim? To bank on technology and engineering as vehicles for change and economic growth as Ethiopia struggles to overcome dependence on external aid, while still needing to attract investment from abroad. As international investors look to Ethiopia, Hailu Endale hopes to equip its young engineers with the skills to improve their own workforces. Largely due to word-of-mouth, Dan Energy is fast becoming a major training hub in Addis Ababa for young people with limited financial resources (over 8,000 so far). They can now access training including a free programme on coding for teenagers.

Many of those who pass through Dan Energy’s programmes are presented with opportunities to work with companies providing technological solutions, while some become farmers (a profession often associated with poverty in Africa) and introduce new technologies to improve the agricultural arena, which is of great importance in the region.

“We implement efficiency and precision in farming, helping a typical farmer grow more crops, make a profit and use technology to advise their financial interests,” says Hailu Endale. “These are in critical areas such as horticulture, in-house-built agricultural drones and artificial intelligence, among others.”

Having grown up with limited economic means, the entrepreneur knows the value of mentorship, education and training – resources that were rarely available when he was young. Dan Energy is entirely self-funded by Hailu Endale, who is also in the business of property and exports. He is committed helping the less fortunate, including those from conflict-prone areas – such as the Tigray region – whose education has been interrupted due to civil strife.

“We help a typical farmer grow more crops, make a profit and use technology for their financial interests”

Hailu Endale plans to expand his model across Africa, opening offices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, and with an eye on Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial hub. There is also a global office in Dubai. Hailu Endale insists that Dan Energy is not a company founded merely to make money but to transform Africa by providing solutions. “There are two dimensions to education: universities give young people a great footing and a wonderful foundation but training provides the practical aspect that is often difficult to attain,” says Hailu Endale. “We fill the gap.”


vu_pod_bardet_lithurgicalfurnitures_48.jpg

q&a: guillaume bardet
Divine inspiration
France

Guillaume Bardet’s illustrious career as a designer began with a residency at the Villa Medici in Rome in 1999. Since then, he has taught at the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris and collaborated with Hermès on its homeware line, while his work was displayed at Le Corbusier’s Couvent de la Tourette, near Lyon, in 2017. Now he has been selected, in line with La Commission Nationale du Patrimoine et de l’Architecture, to create the five main elements of liturgical  furnishings for the new interiors of Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral following the extensive damage caused by a fire in April 2019. To breathe new life into the historic space, Bardet is designing a baptistery, ambo (lectern), altar, tabernacle and cathedra (bishop’s chair), all beautifully articulated in bronze.

Given the perennial element of this commission, what forms and aesthetics inspired you to honour that longevity?
When you’re in a cathedral like Notre-Dame, which is more than 800 years old, you’re obliged to embrace the past, the present and the future. You’re also expected to work in three temporalities. The forms are about removing everything that isn’t necessary and arriving at, not archetypes, but forms we know. That we all have in mind. 

What references inspired you?
I love going into churches. I’m the son of a historian; it feels normal for me to visit a chapel or a cathedral, including when I’m travelling. I have an encyclopedic understanding of the formal liturgical furnishings. So I used that for the proposal. The pieces have individual usages and symbolisms but there’s also a sense of ensemble – all the works had to be cohesive. The pieces have to speak very evidently to Catholics but they also have to speak to the millions of non-Christians who visit Notre-Dame. It’s less about religious belief than belief in humanity in its smallness and its grandeur; the human drama. 

For a sculptor and designer, what is the link between art and the object? How does the spiritual dimension add to it?
The spiritual element comes more from the gaze of others. But to work, I need silence and solitude. I’m in a village in the region of Drôme in southeast France. I have a very beautiful atelier in which to create – it’s a closed space outside time. To live like that, away from the city, generates ideas, projects and forms that aren’t produced in a place that is agitated. 

Do you remember your first visit to Notre-Dame?
When I was really young and living in Normandy, I went with my grandmother, who was Parisian. Then, Notre-Dame was part of my landscape of the city. I didn’t often go inside because it was always so busy, but I always saw it. But now I will always remember my visit to Notre-Dame in January 2023 among all the scaffolding. That will stay with me for the rest of my life.


minus_furniture_bastian-achard_minus_chair_blue_03.jpg

minus chair
Wood for the tree
Norway 

Can furniture optimise carbon storage? That’s what Oslo-based Thomas Jenkins asked himself when he introduced the concept of furniture as carbon storage. With his business partner, Sverre Uhnger, Jenkins collaborated with Norwegian furniture company Minus to launch the Minus Chair. 

“We wanted to create something that could be kept at its highest value for as long as possible,” says Jenkins. “This means that it must be easy to repair – and durable, both physically and emotionally, by establishing an attachment between furniture and the consumer.” Trees absorb carbon as they grow, until they reach their capacity and begin to naturally deteriorate, releasing any captured carbon back into the atmosphere. When timber is felled at the optimum point of a tree’s growth cycle, the wood will then store the carbon for the rest of its life – providing that the furniture it forms doesn’t end up on the waste heap. The Minus Chair is pared-back, stackable and manufactured in Norway from local pine that can be given a colourful linseed-oil finish in deep blue or black. Prices start at nok6,295 (€530). 

Though making furniture requires energy consumption during production, Jenkins is hopeful that the Minus Chair will pioneer a new environmental method by harvesting wood in its carbon-capture prime. 


friendshoring002.png

friend-shoring
Trusted sources
Global

Where do you get your cobalt? If you’re a battery manufacturer keen to power the next generation of electric vehicles, you’ll want to know exactly where to source this critical mineral. In coming years, Western companies producing clean-energy products such as batteries and solar panels will look to their political allies for the provenance of these core ingredients, in a process that’s referred to as “friend-shoring” supply chains. 

The term was first coined by US secretary of the treasury, Janet Yellen, in a speech in 2022. The concept is relatively simple. “Friend-shoring is moving supply chains to jurisdictions that do not pose an imminent national security threat,” says Emily Benson, director of the Washington-based Project on Trade and Technology at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The US even codified friend-shoring into national policy in Joe Biden’s 2022 climate bill, the Inflation Reduction Act. Later that year, the then UK foreign secretary Liz Truss proposed a “network of liberty” in trade relations, while EU countries including Germany have since embraced friend-shoring.

Global supplies of cobalt, for example, mostly come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and China. These are two countries that Western powers would prefer not to rely on but sourcing alternatives is no simple matter. According to a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace study, by 2030, Western demand for cobalt will outstrip the supply from democratically aligned countries by nearly 10 to one. The figures are worse for graphite and tellurium.

Now is the time for countries to put the hard work of friend-shoring into practice. “Having laid the philosophical argument for friend-shoring, we need to start thinking about where to move the supply chains,” says Benson. That shift will create new opportunities for a number of middle-income countries, though they will need to make some changes in turn. Brazil, for example, has the advantages of natural resources and a large industrial base but must commit to tax reform to facilitate foreign investment. Bolivia has ample mineral reserves but the landlocked country needs to secure port space.

Meanwhile, more advanced economies hope to reap the gains of hi-tech friend-shoring for products such as semiconductors. The US technology and automotive industry will increasingly source such items from Japan, South Korea and the EU in addition to old stalwarts like Taiwan. These countries are astute about how strong bilateral relations can boost domestic economies.

“They are making the case that they have a very close security relationship with the US,” says Benson. “They can argue that they represent a safe space to move hi-tech production to.”

Buzzwords for 2024?

Indig-nation: A country teeing off about issues that are either imaginary or no one cares about, in order to get itself on the news. 

Noluwdc: Pronounced “No-lew-duck”. This acronym of the chant beloved by fans of Millwall football club – “No One Likes Us, We Don’t Care” – is a diplomatic positioning that’s heavy on belligerence and persecution complex, light on inward reflection. 

Lemur: A country that might seem like it would be an adorable adornment to any supranational bloc – EU, Nato – but which reveals itself once inside as an unruly troublemaker. 


kofola-002.png

kofola
Even better than the real thing?
Czechia

“To me, Kofola tastes like cola with mild herbal notes and a hint of spice,” says Veronika Polyakova from her perch at Bohemia House, a north London bar that serves Czech drinks and food.

Kofola is a survivor of the soft-power battles waged during the Cold War. In 1959, in a bid to find an alternative to Coca-Cola and Pepsi, the Czechoslovak Research Institute of Medicinal Plants in Prague developed a homegrown cola. 

“Czechs’ love for Kofola is a blend of nostalgia and taste,” says Polyakova, assistant manager at Bohemia House, which serves Kofola on tap. The beverage is still sold across Czechia (and to the Czech diaspora) and is one of the few soft drinks that have withstood the encroachment of Western brands. As it didn’t try to imitate Coca-Cola too closely, it was able to compete when trade opened up after the fall of the Soviet Union. And since then the brand has prospered. “We have grown from a small Czech company into one of the largest producers of soft drinks in Central and Eastern Europe,” says Kofola Group ceoJannis Samaras. The brand is now helping nearby countries nurture their own soft drinks. “In addition to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, we are developing traditional brands in Slovenia and Croatia,” says Samaras.

Back at Bohemia House, Polyakova pulls a pint of the deep brown, aromatic drink. “Czechs choose Kofola for its connection to their heritage and the sense of comfort it brings,” she says.


_i2a8806.jpg

private dog parks
Barks and recreation
USA

In August 2023 the US Chamber of Commerce published an article on its website about the economic significance of the pet humanisation trend. “A growing number of Americans think of their dog or cat as a member of the family,” the article notes. Naturally, these pets need exercise, which requires space. While many public parks in the US have dog runs where they can be safely let off their leash, these taxpayer-funded amenities aren’t enough for an increasing number of dog owners.

The market has found a solution: private dog parks are expanding across the US. The most advanced are in large cities, where a scarcity of green space is combined with a concentration of high-income dog owners.

_i2a8699.jpg
_i2a8797.jpg

In New York, the bar for luxury dog runs is set by the Soho Grand Dog Park, part of the Soho Grand Hotel in Lower Manhattan. “Each area has different ‘discovery moments’ for the dogs to engage and play,” says Briana Stanley, Vice-President and Creative Director at GrandLife Hotels. “There are big boulders to jump on, a dog bath to cool off in during summer, and circular benches to run around.”

The dog park was originally intended for hotel guests travelling with pets but was opened to residents due to popular demand. It can be enjoyed by non-guests for a $1,700 (€1,600) annual fee.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, dog ppl bills itself as “Los Angeles’s first canine social club”. The park has specially engineered grass, obstacles and hydro play stations for the dogs, as well as sustainably sourced coffee and wellness shots for the humans. All this for $120 (€113) a month, provided that all dogs are up to date on vaccinations and, dauntingly, can “pass a social”.


dsc03106.jpg

how to move a river
Changing the channel
Canada

Snaking across Toronto’s once-industrial eastern skyline are the swooping silhouettes of four sleek new bridges. Designed by UK-based practices Entuitive, Grimshaw and Schlaich Bergermann Partner, and assembled in Nova Scotia on Canada’s Atlantic coast, they are, for the time being, the most visible fixtures of one of the largest urban-development projects in North America: the regeneration of Toronto’s port lands. 

Once work is complete, the area will include 29 hectares of public parkland, 13 hectares of habitat for wildlife, new roads, bus routes and housing for up to 25,000 people. Its centrepiece will be the riverbed spanned by the new bridges. The area is currently dry but construction is nearing completion on one of the most ambitious renaturalisation projects ever undertaken in a city of Toronto’s size: the rerouting of the mouth of the Don river, one of the city’s major natural waterways.

“We’re taking the river from something that’s artificial and isn’t really functioning as a healthy ecological system, and putting it back, as close as we can, to its natural condition – to allow it to do what it naturally wants to do,” says Mira Shenker, director of communications and public engagement at Waterfront Toronto, the tri-government body that’s undertaking the redevelopment of the port lands. 

dsc04288.jpg

The lower Don river, which runs south from Toronto’s network of ravines into Lake Ontario, was for decades the way that industries dotted along its banks – abattoirs, tanneries and distilleries – flushed away their waste. To that end, it was rerouted from its natural course to enhance its function as a channel for industrial effluent into the lake. By 1969 the river had become so polluted that some organisations declared it dead.

Decades later, Waterfront Toronto’s project is allowing populations of bald eagle and mink to return to stretches of the river’s renaturalised banks. Eventually residents will be able to boat, paddle and fish in the water. “What has been created is a natural way for the river to move and to carry floodwater, and to stop it from running off into the surrounding neighbourhoods,” says Shenker. 

Constructing natural flood protection infrastructure of such complexity has not been attempted before, she says, and other cities prone to harsh or unpredictable weather will closely watch what happens in 2024, when the river’s renaturalised course is flooded and the Don, once again, finds its flow.


8r7a2677.jpg

alexandre sap, rupture
Sales of the unexpected
France 

When we meet Alexandre Sap, founder of independent retail venture Rupture, he’s in his emporium in Hôtel Lutetia on Paris’s Rive Gauche. Inside this cabinet of curiosities, Sap can often be found playing Serge Gainsbourg records or hosting book launches and art exhibitions. 

Rupture’s Parisian outpost follows shops in Tangier, Venice and Marseille, along with the original café-cum-vinyl-shop on Rue du Vertbois. For 2024, Sap has set his sights on opening in Athens. “I started Rupture in my forties out of a need for reinvention,” he says. “Now I want to see if I can contribute to society through beauty.” 

Sap is noticing a fatigue with big chains that offer what is already popular or online marketplaces that cater to algorithms. He hopes that people who visit his shops will find books that they had never heard of. His hybrid approach to business also pivots around his marketing agency, Méditerranée, which creates cultural bridges between the cities that Rupture operates in. “It’s too easy to fall back on the same people and projects,” he says. “So that’s my forecast for 2024: new discoveries in chic places.”


q&a: tosin oshinowo
Built-in solutions
Lagos

tosin-oshinowo-photo-by-spark-creative-1-.jpg

Tosin Oshinowo is a Lagos-based architect and designer whose work spans commercial projects, such as the first Adidas flagship in West Africa, to rebuilding a community destroyed by Boko Haram. Here she shares her thoughts on designing for different purposes and championing solutions from the Global South as curator of the most recent Sharjah Architecture Triennial.

What initial conversations do you have when approaching a new project?It’s about evoking an experience. When you’re working on a private home, for example, there is a lot of input from the client. It’s a delicate balance as an architect between pushing your agenda (in terms of the spaces that you want to create) and meeting your clients’ needs. As a practice, we’re very particular about a lot of natural light and the need for privacy and security. In Nigeria, security is a very big concern for a lot of people. It’s also very important to read what clients tell you they want but also what they don’t tell you. Architects can end up being like psychologists. 

“It’s a delicate balance between pushing your agenda and meeting your clients’ needs”

Your clients span a range of socio-demographic groups. How did you approach the commission of building a new community for people displaced by Boko Haram?

By always thinking about the end user and understanding people in a cultural context. I’m from Lagos, which is in the south of the country and predominantly Christian. This project is in Borno in the northeast of the country, which is predominantly Muslim. The ethnic group there is Kanuri, I’m Yoruba. I spent a lot of time speaking with people, visiting the city and understanding the Kanuri culture. I asked the chief what colour he wanted the buildings, which he thought was an odd question because these people have been displaced for more than 10 years and they just want a roof. But he mentioned Abuja brown, a colour that can be seen on traditional walls in the area. We decided that we would incorporate it in whatever way we could. By experimenting with mixing cement and local soil, we were able to recreate this very quickly, in a modern style. 

What were your priorities as curator of the latest Sharjah Architecture Triennale?
To celebrate the innovative design and architecture solutions that exist within the Global South – and make sure to bring them to the foreground. We already have solutions that could be used to address some of our most challenging problems to do with climate change. If we think about the way that we use our resources and work within the limitations of what is available, we could address where we find ourselves today.


kenoteq-002.png

kenoteq
New kid on the blocks
UK

The construction industry accounts for 40 per cent of carbon emissions in the UK but Scottish start-up Kenoteq, which makes what it believes to be the world’s most sustainable brick, is intent on changing that. Co-created by Brazil-born engineer Gabriela Medero, the K-Briq is made mainly from construction and demolition waste, doesn’t need to be fired at high temperature, can be recycled multiple times and is sold at comparable cost to a traditional clay model. Additionally, most of the bricks used for construction in Scotland are imported, so Kenoteq’s local production also cuts emissions.

Though Medero is still waiting for British building certification before the factory can be cranked up to full capacity, the K-Briq can already be spotted in restaurants around Edinburgh.  

It is likely to be used more widely once the certification is approved – but most people won’t be able to tell. “Normally when people hold the K-Briq, they look at me and say, ‘But it’s just a brick!’” says Medero. “It’s just what I wanted. It took a lot of science and technology to make it look, behave and sound like a brick – and that’s the magic.”


telo-team-shot-1-justin-buell-1-.jpeg

yves béhar’s telo truck
Powering ahead
USA 

When Jason Marks and Forrest North, co-founders of new California-based electric-vehicle manufacturer Telo, set their sights on reinterpreting the classic US pick-up truck, they tapped Swiss designer Yves Béhar (pictured, on right, with Marks and North) to give it a distinctive look that could match the vehicle’s technical credentials. “I used to design cars when I was in school at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena,” says Béhar, who founded multidisciplinary design studio Fuseproject. “To do that now and present it to the world, without replicating the same shape and functionality of what already exists, is very exciting.”

The result is a compact four-door truck that retails for $50,000 (€47,000) and measures just over 380cm in length – the same as a three-door Mini Cooper. The interior is roomy enough to fit five passengers and the truck bed can be expanded into the back seat through a modular mid-partition. The EV is currently available for pre-order, with plans to deliver the first models to customers in 2025 and upscale production in 2026. Manufacturing will take place in the US. 

“This is when design can accelerate the adoption of new ideas”

The vehicle has been designed with functionality in mind, and Telo and Béhar hope to appeal to urban and suburban drivers looking to go electric – and maybe even those not intending to. “Many of our pre-orders for the Telo truck came from Texas, believe it or not,” says Béhar. Not exactly the traditional heartland of anti-oil sentiment. 

The long, sloping front-end of the Telo gives it a distinctive visual calling card while the battery packs are tightly stacked and embedded within the chassis for a roomier crew cab. Its range clocks in at more than 560km with a 500hp engine, with top speeds of 200km/h and the ability to go from zero to 100km in four seconds. It has a 20-minute charging speed that takes the battery from 20 per cent capacity to 80 per cent.

“Telo developed a unique, high-density way to assemble batteries to gain room,” says Béhar. “The design is informed by functionality but my priority is always to create a strong identity. From there, the design is based on the unique car layout and our ability to break from existing platforms as a third-generation EV company.”  

The Telo truck also meets a need for smaller pick-up trucks from city dwellers who want to negotiate smaller roads and garages. “The crazy statistic is that light-duty trucks represent 10 per cent of all carbon emissions in the US,” says Béhar. “So there’s a strategic opportunity to make a difference by introducing an electric version of one of the best-selling vehicle types in the US. This is when design can accelerate the adoption of new ideas.”


podcast.jpg

rádio novelo
Social network
Brazil

Brazil loves its soap operas but recently the country has found itself gripped by a new kind of narrative format: audio. It is now the world’s third-largest consumer of podcasts, while listener numbers across many platforms are on the rise. 

Leading the charge is Rádio Novelo. Founded in Rio de Janeiro in 2019, the production company is the country’s largest producer of narrative podcasts. In only four years, it has produced deep dives into such subjects as former president Jair Bolsonaro’s rise to power, the murder of a socialite in the 1970s (see panel) and Brazil’s flawed judicial system – all stories that provide insight into the nature and fabric of Brazilian society. 

According to the Rádio Novelo team, these investigations serve a social purpose. “I don’t consider Praia dos Ossos to be a true-crime story,” says company president Branca Vianna. “Everybody knows what happened. But what we were interested in was society’s reaction to the murder: how the press reacted, how the judicial system and the feminist movement reacted. We wanted to look into the country’s relationship with prisons and so on.” 

Rádio Novelo has regularly produced audio content for Revisita Piauí magazine (Brazil’s answer to The New Yorker), cultural project Japan House São Paulo and the Igarapé think-tank but is now concentrating on its own content. “Little by little, we are leaving that model behind to focus on our own podcasts, which we see as our core competency,” says Vianna.

“What we were interested in was society’s reaction to the murder”

Telling stories in a creative, unexpected way will always be Rádio Novelo’s main priority. According to Vianna, this is also what enabled her start-up to grow so quickly. “What we really want for the future is to consolidate ourselves in the industry,” she says. “We’re still a really young business.” Looking ahead, Vianna’s strategy is less about quantity and more about quality. “It’s not really about growth,” she says. “Nobody here wants to triple the number of podcasts we make or double the amount of staff. All we want is to help our team to stay creative so that we can continue producing what we think is important; what we think will enrich conversation and debate here in Brazil.”

Rádio Novelo’s top podcasts 

Rádio Novelo Apresenta
Every Thursday, this series highlights little-known stories from across Brazil.

Praia dos Ossos 
This podcast has racked up more than four million downloads since it was released in 2020. It follows the story of Ângela Diniz, a socialite who was murdered at her beach house in the 1970s and how society began to view the crime’s (later convicted) suspect, her boyfriend Doca Street, as the victim. 

Tempo Quente 
At one point, Brazil seemed as though it would become a leading voice on climate issues. This podcast, released in 2022, explains why and how, over the years, this stopped being the case.

Share on:

X

Facebook

LinkedIn

LINE

Email

Go back: Contents
Next:

Affairs

/

sign in to monocle

new to monocle?

Subscriptions start from £120.

Subscribe now

Loading...

/

15

15

Live
Monocle Radio

00:0001:00

  • The Monocle Daily