Jill Hawkins

Foredragsholder / Lecturer

Jill Hawkins


Jill is ‘The Future Thief’, a British futurist based in Denmark specialising in creativity and identity. She explores and anticipates these shifts amongst different cultures and generations around the world, helping global brands make a positive difference by designing for the worlds of their future consumers.

‘The Future Thief’


Powered by rebel thinking, she challenges norms and embraces risk. She has over 12 years’ global experience in making sense of how the world is changing, understanding why people behave the way they do and working out what it means for design and communication.

Jill has a Masters in Design, a Bachelor degree in Fashion Marketing and a colourful attitude to life and work. Jill writes for Pej Gruppen’s publications, and contributes to the seasonal trend panels.

Emner / topics


We’ve killed individuality.
How do we bring it back to life before it’s too late?

Mass production and Silicon Valley have destroyed uniqueness, and customisation is just a torture instrument to drive FOMO. We all look and live the same. Individuality is impossible, thanks to global retailers and social media.

But this is a world where diversity is KING, and individuality is the most desired asset. People want to stand out, they want to express their identity. It is becoming what connects people. Even in collective societies like Scandinavia, people are breaking out of social shackles and expressing themselves more distinctively.

Lifestyle businesses need to radically alter their viewpoint if they want to survive: this talk will tell you how to communicate to inspire experimentation, not uniformity; how retail can empower diversity without filling shelves with crap, and how to produce and sell products that make people feel unique in a world of sameness.

‘Scandinavian’ style has passed its sell-by date:
How do you stay fresh in the post-Scandi era?

Scandinavian style was cool when life was about fitting in. But now it’s cool to stand out, and Scandinavian design is left on the shelf, in the discount section. We have reached ‘peak Scandi’: the rest of the world has caught up and you can get ‘the look’ everywhere.

This is a time when we value brands that are true to their roots, so how do you remain ‘Scandinavian’ yet still be future facing? And when the emerging youth are being raised as global citizens, what could ‘Scandinavian’ mean to them?

At face value, ‘Scandinavian’ stands for minimalistic sameness, but it’s true meanings offer huge opportunities beyond that. How can it continuously evolve to appeal ever changing human interests? How can ‘Scandinavian’ represent luxury? Or maximalism?
This talk will tell you how to rewire the ‘Nordic way’ for long lasting success.

The Stuffocation Generation is here:
How do we sell to people who don’t want to buy?

The developed world is full. Living space has decreased, our waste has piled up, and we are rapidly realising the mess we have created for ourselves over the last 60 years of feverish purchasing. We want less stuff. But that’s bad for business, isn’t it…?

People will still want things, but owning less is the future, so if ownership is in flux, how do you design for it? Business models must evolve and change – and it won’t be comfortable, but it’s a huge opportunity for those with the foresight and creative confidence to understand this generation and think differently.

Minimalism is methadone for the conscious generation – it’s a fixer – a suitably stylish alternative for a newly mindful consumer. But it’s not the long term solution.
This talk will tell you about the ‘Stuffocation Generation’, what will you be able to sell to them, and how will you need to package it.

Equality is bad for creativity:
How do we stage imagination in the happiest country in the world?

Fairness and democracy kill imagination. Sameness suppresses ideas. When life becomes too easy and too perfect, creativity wanes.

We have a global creativity crisis, and our future workforce requires ‘creatives’: innovators, explorers and rule breakers. A successful future society relies on imagination and creative thinking, but equality doesn’t help that to happen.

Imagination thrives under oppression and restraint… yet Scandinavia is home to some of the happiest, most equal countries in the world. In short, they are creatively screwed. So how are you going to fix it?

This talk will tell you how to guarantee success by reinvigorating creativity; how we can legally make life more difficult in order to free imagination, and how we can reframe equal societies to empower failure.

Modern creativity is not fit for purpose:
How do we future-proof creative skills?

The workforce of the future needs to be highly creative. In order to thrive in the changing, automated landscape of commerce and production, all the creative tools need to come out of the bag. But our current version of ‘creativity’ is not fit for purpose: the creative skills in demand will be different, but we are not prepared for it.

Everything from roles to the way we work, who we work with and the tasks we’ll be doing are going to be radically different, so the way we teach creativity needs an overhaul across school, university and even in-career. Even the way we talk about it has to change.

Creativity is not going to be a rare unicorn ‘ability’ for much longer: it’s a skill that can be drawn out of everyone, and this needs to happen to ensure a successful future for society and economy. This talk will tell you which creative skills we will need to nurture and how we can do it. Find out how you can make this happen and what needs to be done differently in order to succeed.

Your creative age matters:
How to ‘age up’ if older is better?

Creativity is all about the young people, isn’t it? They have the ideas…. the imagination… don’t they? Attention is focused on youth when it comes to creativity and ideas in the workplace. But the emphasis is shifting to idea generation, not output, and intelligence is shifting focus to problem solving, not memory recall. And it’s Gen X and Boomers who have this in spades.

They have a richer ‘creative age’: they are the real entrepreneurs and the life-changers. So is creativity a case where it’s better to be older?

Do you know the ‘creative age’ of your team-mates and employees? This talk will tell you how to maximise the potential of their diversity, and how you can ensure success by ‘ageing up’ your team-mates to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship.

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