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Successful thought leadership summit focuses on food and design trends, expert voices and experiences

The first edition of Franke’s new flagship thought leadership event «THINK NEXT by Franke» brought almost 500 guests to the company’s headquarters in Aarburg, Switzerland. The summit focused specifically on innovation and trends in the food industry. Top-class speakers such as Claus Meyer, Philippe Starck, Matteo Thun, Marius Robles, Marije Vogelzang and Tyler Brûlé presented their insights on cuisine, design, consumer behavior, architecture, sustainability and technology. A delightful food festival with stands from all over the world rounded off the day.

Glimpses into the future of cooking

In the first opening keynote, the culinary entrepreneur Claus Meyer spoke about unfolding potential and his own personal business adventure. Starting with the Noma in Copenhagen, rated the world’s best restaurant four times in a row, Meyer took the audience on an emotional journey about his manifesto for the new Nordic kitchen. He emphasized the need for a reflection of different seasons in a meal, as well as to base one’s cooking on products that excel due to the qualities of our climate, landscape and waters.

Philippe Starck, the renowned French designer, involved the audience in a presentation that focused on “The Duty of Creativity”. His creations show deep sophistication and exceptional concepts, such as dematerialization and biomechanics. Beside other creations, he designed a new sleep apnea medical device, allowing for a more comfortable sleeping experience. The Italian architect Matteo Thun, the first person to place real trees in closed rooms, talked about the relation between nature and architecture. For him, architecture should be integrated into nature and not be seen and treated as a foreign object.

Food Designer Marjie Vogelzang invited guests to a spectacular, multi-sensorial food experience, newly discovering foodstuffs such as tangerines, marshmallows and rice pudding by smelling, touching and tasting only.
Marius Robles, CEO and Co-Founder of ReImagine Food, and Stephan Sigrist, Head of W.I.R.E presented “The Influence of Technology on the Future of Cooking”, in which they made clear that a revolution is near, and that smart devices and machines are shaping new ways of cooking, eating and shopping.

Melchior Lengsfeld, Executive Director of Helvetas, and Michael Lammel, Designer and Co-Founder of NOA, illustrated that developing new designs and technologies for the first world’s water taps is not contradictory to the aim of providing clean water to everybody. They explained the link between the access to clean water and local economic development, and why water will be a contested resource in the future.

The day was rounded off with a delightful food festival with stands from all over the world. The renowned chefs René Schudel and Bruno Barbieri as well as cookbook author Nadia Damaso presented their art of cooking in highly entertaining show cooking sessions.

Real-life experience more important than numbers alone

“THINK NEXT by Franke” underscored Franke’s commitment to make everyday life a little more special. Alexander Zschokke said that the event is all about how Franke thinks about the future of cooking, eating and living. Yet, the company also believes that it is important to know what real people will eat, and how they will cook and live in ten years’ time. Franke does indeed crunch numbers, but is also bringing “Big Data” to life. The company wants to create wonderful moments, so it needs to start with the real-life experience of its customers.

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