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T4 Liquid people T4 Liquid people What’s going on? Something contradictory is happening: we still want to buy, but we’re starting to move away from using material objects to define ourselves. We’re seeking ways to show who we are without pointing to our possessions and what we do for a living – we’re starting to want to be more than that now. We emphasize “starting to” because, of course, we’re still eating hamburgers, buying clothes that make us feel good, flying to interesting places, gazing at shiny new products and wondering if we can afford them (and often buying them regardless). The same is true at work: we’re still working hard for companies we may or may not really like, trying to understand our self-worth through what we do many hours a day. Yet we see signals that this is changing, and consequently, organizations will increasingly need to redefine their understanding of the people they serve and employ, to allow people to find a greater sense of relevance. Consumption is not dead, but it’s changing. For years, we were what we owned, what we drove, what we wore, what we ate. At work and in social settings, we were where we worked and what we did. Those ideas are now challenged – along with other symbols we once used to define our place in the world like nationality, religion, community – because what we buy and why we work have become more fluid. This shift is being driven by a range of factors, including concerns about climate change and a sharper focus on personal wellbeing. Already, a growing number of people are becoming conscious Rising numbers of meat-eaters are choosing consumers. They still consume, but they now do so to support meat-free options from vendors like Impossible a cause and/or do minimal harm to the planet or society. They Foods for ethical and environmental reasons. readily accept the trade-offs between the things they choose to buy or do – no longer sweating about the contradictions 51 52

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