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Curve Volume 3, The Reinvention Issue

After what many have called the most disruptive decade of the past century, it feels cathartic to turn a page, face the brave new world we live in, and redream the future. This issue of The Curve is about changing the conversation from disruption to reinvention and celebrating the bleeding-edge ideas that are opening up the biggest debates—and hold the most promise—for what’s next.

We feel it’s worth mentioning that we’re not trying to be futurists. In fact, we considered calling this the Future Issue, but shied away from the idea because the word future is often painted with extremes of utopian rainbows or apocalyptic scenarios. Instead, we want to debate the real promise in between—a promise rich with new ideas that are as invigorating as they are uncomfortable, such as Costco financing your mortgage (Fast Finance), robots becoming your colleagues (Rage Against the Machine?), and the three Rs being thrown out the green window (Green Rush). We want to hypothesize about the next generation (The Z Factor) while, at the same time, propose that it may be the last generation—ever (to be defined, that is). We want to imagine a world in which prices aren’t fair (The Price Is Right (Now!)), apps elevate our senses (Inter-App-tivity), and cul-de-sacs become commerce centers (pRETAIL). In doing so, we’ve realized that there’s a dark side of innovation, where Big Data is a new demigod (Counter Culture) and rebuilding societal pillars is nothing short of guerilla warfare (Life, Reconstructed). But we’ve also realized that there’s a degree of freedom that comes with being off the hook for traditional ways and a sense of creative inspiration that arises from looking at a blank slate with fresh eyes.

We hope you’ll find this Reinvention Issue of The Curve as fresh, controversial, and inspiring as we do, and we look forward to partnering with you now and in the future.

Melissa Lavigne-Delville
Executive Trends & Culture Editor
NBCUniversal Integrated Media


This issue of The Curve collects data, insights, and trends from the following sources: an online survey distributed among 2,000 18- to 49-year-olds in May 2013; qualitative sessions, including ongoing online and in-person conversations with members of our FreeThink panel, a group of hand-selected, leading-edge, and diverse consumers; expert interviews with individuals in a variety of fields; and a continual scan of influential blogs, trend sites, and key industry events, from SXSW to The Economist’s Innovation Forum.

81% of Gen Xers and Ys believe the past decade was about disruption and the next decade will be about reconstruction.

About The Curve

THE CURVE is a semiannual book about what’s ahead in consumer culture. It’s a curated synthesis of social shifts, industry trends, and quantitative and qualitative research that tells a story of what’s influencing consumers today, what’s shaping culture next, and the actionable insights and opportunities for marketers and brands.

CURVE FILMS is the production studio that brings to life insights from The Curve. With semiannual productions in a variety of formats—from documentary-style films to animated shorts—Curve Films strives to creatively showcase key content from The Curve in a way that is as entertaining as it is informative.

The Curve and Curve Films are produced by NBCUNIVERSAL CONTENT INNOVATION AGENCY, a division that works across the NBCU portfolio to create innovative, insight-driven marketing campaigns that enable brands to reach and engage their audiences.

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