Memo
Feb 20, 2024
by Karl Smith
Year Three / Year Zero: Progress Over Perfection
by Karl Smith
Feb 20, 2024

Every year is the year that everything is going to change. That’s how it feels, at least, and the temptation to hang our hopes on that notion is always powerful. After three years, though, we know this probably isn’t true.

After three years, we know that a wild swing of the needle isn’t particularly likely. But we also know that progress isn’t an all-or-nothing equation – that it’s incremental, gradual, often less than glamorous. That, while we may want to see seismic-level shifts, total systemic overhaul, events on that scale are volatile and unpredictable.

After three years of FUTUREVVORLD, we’ve not lost our sense of scope or ambition, only adjusted it in ways that feel in tune with what we’ve learned along the way.

That’s why we switched our focus last year, began taking deeper dives in to the culture and practical realities of progress – why we started asking more questions and looking harder for the answers, rather than accepting the facts as they’re presented to us in press releases and quarterly earnings reports, and why we chose to step even further outside of the endless hype cycle to break away from reporting on every drop with an easily-marketable Earth-friendlier bent.

It’s also why we started FVV.AGENCY – to help brands and innovators making meaningful, impactful progress better tell that story in a crowded market of sweeping statements, questionable claims and rampant greenwashing; to make sure that those with the power and potential to make a difference have the best chance of doing exactly that.

It’s like that old proverb – “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” – but played out in reverse: “If every tree in a forest is falling constantly, all at once, how can you tell each one apart?”

Well, that’s why we’re here. To cut through the noise and to boost the signal.

But we can’t do it alone. Fashion and footwear brands, material innovation outfits, individual CEOs and thought leaders – and, of course, consumers and the culture at large – you are all an integral part of making this work. Of making this change.

For FUTUREVVORLD, this is Year Three, but we’re calling it Year Zero. Not because this is the year that everything will change, but because this is a chance to reset – to rethink, to reframe, and to reach out.

So, reach out.