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Edition #29 | Your bi-weekly inspiration fix • 15 - 28 February 2024
UNRWA aid at risk of collapsing as Western nations pause funding
Several countries including the Netherlands have suspended funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), amounting to an estimated USD 440 million. The UN warns its aid system – the only body capable of providing aid at the scale required – is at risk of collapse. 

Could you leverage your clout to persuade authorities to restore these vital financial contributions? Or, take matters into your own hands by donating directly to UNRWA.
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INNOVATION
This week, Captain William Troost-Ekong debuted the 'world's most eco-friendly' soccer cleats as he led Nigeria’s national football team in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations. Crafted almost entirely from… read more
INNOVATION
Scattering ashes is a way to add meaning to a cremation, by choosing a location holding significance for the deceased or their loved ones. In Japan, people have a new option: the Deep Sea… read more
INNOVATION
Reportedly, two-thirds of Pakistani women don't know what's in their Nikahnama (the traditional Islamic marriage contract). Financial services provider EasyPaisa has launched a solution to bridge that knowledge gap. Within its regular banking app… read more
TREND
NORM-NUDGING: Where does your brand fall on the EV adoption curve?
In China, consumers have converted to electric vehicles in their millions, with charging and battery swap stations rolled out across the country to improve range and reduce charging waiting times. Up until now, that vital infrastructure has been dominated by one company: Nio. But just a few weeks ago, ride-hailing service Didi and battery maker CATL teamed up to offer consumers an alternative. And so China’s EV market continues to grow. 

Elsewhere, it’s a different story. The UK has delayed its ban on fossil fuel cars from 2030 to 2035, and European markets are predicted to slow as customers wait for cheaper alternatives

How is your brand furthering the case for electric adoption? Have you adopted electric last-mile delivery, for instance? Are your parking lots EV-friendly? Better still, are you behind the new wave of experiential charging stations
INSIGHT
Success of Pokémon-inspired game highlights frenzied anime fandom
The open-world, monster-collecting game Palworld sold 5 million copies within three days of launch. At its peak, Japan-based Palworld creator Pocketpair reported almost 1.3 million concurrent players via Stream, prompting an emergency meeting with Epic Games.

Why is Palworld such a hit? Aside from the fact it’s the latest game to be played by mind control, Palworld harnesses the fandom hype of Pokémon and, more generally, anime. Younger viewers particularly appreciate anime’s depth and emotional intensity: 58% of Gen Z anime viewers have had crushes on a character, while over 65% watch anime for comfort or strength.

If your brand is looking to connect with this demographic through anime-inspired marketing content and collaborations – see Lelecha, Burger King and Duolingo for inspiration – just remember it’s the human need for emotional connection that draws people to anime. How will that manifest for your brand?
THOUGHT STARTER
Brands crises: from U-shape to longer-lasting L-shape crises
According to the Harvard Business Review, brands that fail to clearly express their core values face significant challenges in maintaining their reputation. The publication highlights a shift from U– to L-shaped crises.
TREND
The non-AI trend: Embracing the human touch in an age of digital creation
With every big tech advancement comes a ‘real world’ retaliation. As AI asserts its dominance, a creative undercurrent emerges from artists, brands and consumers alike, crafting poignant, analog counterpoints to the digital tide.

New York-based graphic designer Pablo Delcan has so far answered over 1,000 prompts for his ‘non-AI generative art model.’ Users can submit prompts online, and Pablo will obligingly respond with a human-drawn image. Meanwhile, for the wool lovers out there, Paris-based Maria Szakats reimagines collected AI-generated imagery as needlepoint embroidery. 

For a brand take, Tropicana has removed the letters A and I from its logo to show that there’s nothing ‘artificial’ about its fruit juices. Can you feed into public discourse on AI by poking some fun at the technology? 
INNOVATION
AI avatar gets a ChatGPT makeover bridging digital divides for Indigenous communities
Illariy is an AI avatar created by the National University of San Marcos in Peru to preserve the Indigenous languages of Quechua, Aymara and Awajú. Originally shared on TikTok, 2024 saw Illariy evolve into a ChatGPT bot capable of crafting stories and interacting with users. This tool is a pivotal development in educating and facilitating communication among Quechua speakers, allowing them to express themselves in their native language through digital platforms.


For more inspiration on apps breaking communication barriers across Latin America, check out the Linklado app, a digital keyboard designed to enable Indigenous communities to write in their own languages using a mix of Latin letters, bars, swoops and accents. Or how about Yapaykuy, an app that leverages AI to support the integration of hearing-impaired individuals in Peru through various translation tools.
INNOVATION
Out of Belgium comes a new food concept rethinking how people rustle up dinner. Winning Foods sells 16 frozen meal elements. Home cooks select a dish from an accompanying app and combine blocks to… read more
INNOVATION
By donning an Apple Vision Pro headset, people can now access a virtual mental health therapist whose mind will never wander and who remembers everything said during a session. Developed at … read more
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MakeShift is TrendWatching's free bi-weekly trend publication, bringing you the insights and innovations that will inspire you to create with meaning ❤️

Want MakeShift in your inbox? Subscribe now and join 100,000+ other trend enthusiasts!

Keen to access all our trends, insights and innovations? Check out Amplify, our Trend Intelligence Platform 💥

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Talk to us
Be sure to ping our editor, Galina Yordanov, if you're working on something we should feature on MakeShift.