The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 30 June 2018

Security

Image: Yves Bachmann

Be prepared

What would you do during a terrorist attack? Our expert wants governments to spread the word but politicians are reluctant to pick up this hot potato.

When it comes to terrorism, what can an individual do to keep themselves safe? That was one of the questions raised in Zürich at Monocle’s Quality of Life Conference yesterday during a panel discussion on safety in our cities. Dr Sally Leivesley, director of Newrisk Limited and an expert in catastrophic risk, said that while it’s all well and good to have effective governmental counter-terrorism teams and strategies, educating individual citizens about what they can do in the event of an attack is imperative. And yet too few leaders have taken up the mantle. “Sadly, governments don’t want to be responsible for this,” she told Monocle’s audience. The next generation of presidents and prime ministers would be wise to reverse this pattern and get creative with public campaigns on how people can ensure they stay out of harm’s way.

Mobility

Image: Yves Bachmann

Human resources

Rather than reach for hi-tech answers to urban-mobility issues, simpler solutions could be the way forward.

While many Zürich residents favour a wooden boat as a means of transport, not every city is fortunate enough to have a lake allowing people to glide from ship to shore. The issues facing urban mobility are tricky but sometimes we rush too quickly into hi-tech solutions, according to a panel on mobility at Monocle’s Quality of Life Conference. Jeannine Pilloud from Swiss Federal Railways said that most of the changes that will take place will come from humans rather than machines. Transport analyst Christian Wolmar believes that we are prone to getting a little carried away by the idea of driverless cars but are rather murky on the finer details of how they might work. Simpler solutions may be found in upping the number of car and bike-sharing companies, which could operate alongside government-run transport agencies.

Art

Image: Yves Bachmann

Look and learn

There’s only one way to build your own art collection: keep your eyes peeled.

Most people like to think that they have a good eye for art. But to become a collector with a fast-appreciating set of works on the wall you need to understand more than just the broad strokes. Quality of Life Conference panellists Simon de Pury, founder of de Pury de Pury, and Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, founder and president of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, advised audience members yesterday that there is no secret sauce to becoming a collector. Rather, it’s a case of looking, looking again, and then looking some more. The key lies in developing your own taste according to de Pury, and the only way to accomplish this is with hard graft. As well as this, aspiring photography collectors might want to think again. Digital photography and apps such as Instagram have cheapened the market, resulting in the savviest photographers drip-feeding their work. For instance, Andreas Gursky only produces six versions of each photo: three for galleries and three for commercial sale.

Business

Image: Yves Bachmann

Grey matters

Forget twenty-somethings – luxury brands need to target those people who can actually afford to buy their products.

Millennials are the darlings of the luxury world, but should they be? In the past, brands have focused on twenty and thirty-somethings and marginalised the over-fifties, even when silver-haired shoppers usually have more money to spend. A panel at Monocle’s Quality of Life Conference unpacked this phenomenon. “The most powerful consumer today is a woman aged 47 to 57; brands are selling to these women but they are not marketing to them,” said Sagra Maceira de Rosen, chair of the board of the Naga Brands Group. David Harry Stewart, founder of media company Ageist, added that brands need to work on being aspirational for older customers, including featuring relevant campaign stars. “At a recent meeting I asked everyone who name an aspirational figure for a 25-year-old and they listed so many. Then I asked the same question for a 55-year-old and there was silence.” Older customers are waiting to be wooed; a big opportunity awaits.

From Monocle Films

The secret to designing outdoor space

Monocle Films sits down to talk to architect Iliana Kerestetzi and see how she goes about designing courtyards in rural Greece.

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