Loneli-less: set the stage for human connection

This innovation is one of our 22 trends and business opportunities for 2022.

'Sit here if you don't mind someone stopping to say hello!' That's the invitation — in Polish, Hebrew and English — to connect with strangers on Krakow's new park benches, known locally as Gaduławka. Happy-to-chat benches were dreamt up by Allison Owen Jones in Wales, and brought to Poland by Krzysiek Sabuda, a senior marketing specialist at Fulco System, which builds outdoor furniture and is sponsoring the initiative.

A third (33%) of the world’s adults reported feeling lonely in 2021, rising to 50% in some regions. With loneliness closely tied to depression and cognitive decline, it’s time for brands to start tackling this far more stealthy pandemic.

The most powerful antidote to loneliness is (unsurprisingly) an IRL human connection – not so easy to find in today’s busy, tech-saturated world. Can you nudge people out of their lockdown bubbles and help them connect in meaningful ways?

Trend Bite

This isn’t just a business innovation, it’s the future normal. Don’t believe us? We’ve unpacked this opportunity — and plenty more — in our 22 for '22 special. Click here to find out which innovations will redefine business as usual, and why!

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