The End of stuff

Entering a new era of ownership

Thursday 27th April – 08:30-09.30

52 Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FD

With the Experience and Sharing Economies widely discussed and notions of decluttering and Stuffocation sold as pathways to a better life, Trajectory’s next Trends Breakfast is a timely look at our relationship with ownership and materiality.

Writing in 1998, Joseph Pine II and James Gilmore stated that as “services, like goods before them, increasingly become commoditised…experiences have emerged as the next step in what we call the progression of economic value”. Experience is threatening ownership with the renaissance of the music festival, and the growth of connoisseurship evidence of a society looking to better itself through lived experience rather than material accumulation.

Today, the Sharing Economy is doing further damage to the traditional notions of ownership, with businesses identifying a market for the borrowing or sharing of services and balancing the benefits of ownership without the need for long-term obligation (as in the case of Uber, Zipcar or BorrowMyDoggy).

But our relationship with ownership is more complicated than practicality alone. A music collection was once a set of meticulously curated vinyl records, later a materiality-free set of mp3s in a folder on your computer. Now, while the concept of music ownership has been rendered irrelevant by subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music, vinyl sales reached their highest level since Simply Red’s Stars topped the charts in 1991.

Complicating these matters further are socioeconomic developments such as the housing crisis and stagnant wage growth, forcing us to reconceptualise what ‘things’ we need to get by in the 21st century.

Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating discussion on ownership and materiality, as we discuss the potential end of stuff.

Our Trends Breakfasts have been running for over three years, and each month sees a different topic discussed and debated over coffee and croissants. Taking place in the private room of a popular city location, an array of figures from different industries hear our thoughts on the chosen topic, which often draws on latest findings from our global attitudes and values survey, Trajectory Global Foresight.

Please email Isabelle ( to reserve your place for free and join us for breakfast!