Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

BMW wants to activate the future

UPDATE: So despite Activate The Future appearing engaging and media-rich, the bone heads at BMW and KBS+P wont let me embed the video. That should qualify as an automatic social media fail. Talk about activating the past. But it’s Monday and I’m still feeling generous. Hit the link in the line below…

This trailer ticks so many boxes Drew-shaped boxes it hurts. From the Plymouth Superbird to the plinkety-plonkety music and the cute bon mots, I was hooked before I even realised what everyone was talking about. Which just so happens to be the future of mobility. Booyah!

The result of a partnership between BMW and KBS+P, the series of four movies will investigate the impact of urban density, technology and society on how we get around. The roster of talking heads is rather impressive with Syd Mead and Buzz Aldrin chipping in amongst others like Marissa Mayer (VP, consumer products, Google) and Robin Chase (Co-founder, Zipcar).

What’s most fascinating to me is that, at an industry level, BMW is completely owning the new mobility space. Of course, they have new range of mobility solutions to hype so it makes perfect sense. But, as yet, none of the big league players have taken up the urban mobility bat in such overt, engaging and media-rich manner. Props to little BMW and partner for getting there first.

The first movie The New City: How the way we live will impact the way we move goes live on February 1 at

Robin Chase speaks about the social and financial value of car sharing


Although Robin Chase may not be a household name outside the transport strategy sector, her work has had a major impact in the development and acceptance of car sharing in the US, Canada and the UK.

As the co-founder of Zipcar (a shared vehicle service) and the CEO of the US-based GoLoco (which uses social networking to allow members to maximise the use of their cars), Robin has been at the forefront of changing the way we think about either maximising the use of what we already own, or abandoning ownership all together and sharing a network of cars.

Robin was recently interviewed by Eric Steuer (creative director for Creative Commons) over at Good Magazine and it’s great listening for anyone who’s interested in the future of open sourcing and product-as-service. Crucially, Robin outlines not only the manifold financial benefits of her take on future mobility, but also the social benefits. Head to Good Magazine for the full audio interview.

[Image: Good Magazine]

About DownSideUp Design

I'm Drew Smith and I'm an ethnographer and strategist. By day I shape culture and strategy at Westpac. By night I sleep (mostly). And once a month, I help teams host an event called Rising Minds in London, New York, Toronto and Sydney.

DownsideUpDesign is a place for me to collect stuff that I like, often love and sometimes hate for safe keeping. All views represented here are mine and mine alone and do not represent those of anyone else.

Get in touch at drewpasmith (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet me (@drewpasmith) to rant, contribute or collaborate!

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© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.