Future Perfect

July 22, 2008

A blog I’ve become obsessed with lately is Jan Chipchase’s Future Perfect. Jan Chipchase has to live what is possibly one of the most interesting, exciting lives on the planet. I first read about him in the New York Times a few months ago:

If you need to reach Jan Chipchase, the best, and sometimes only, way to get him is on his cellphone. The first time I spoke to him last fall, he was at home in his apartment in Tokyo. The next time, he was in Accra, the capital of Ghana, in West Africa. Several weeks after that, he was in Uzbekistan, by way of Tajikistan and China, and in short order he and his phone visited Helsinki, London and Los Angeles. If you decide not to call Jan Chipchase but rather to send e-mail, the odds are fairly good that you’ll get an “out of office” reply redirecting you back to his cellphone, with a notation about his current time zone — “GMT +9” or “GMT -8” — so that when you do call, you may do so at a courteous hour.

Keep in mind, though, that Jan Chipchase will probably be too busy with his job to talk much anyway. He could be bowling in Tupelo, Miss., or he could be rummaging through a woman’s purse in Shanghai. He might be busy examining the advertisements for prostitutes stuck up in a Sao Paulo phone booth, or maybe getting his ear hairs razored off at a barber shop in Vietnam. It really depends on the moment.

Chipchase is 38, a rangy native of Britain whose broad forehead and high-slung brows combine to give him the air of someone who is quick to be amazed, which in his line of work is something of an asset.

–“Can the Cellphone Help End Global Poverty?”, NYT, April 2008

(Can you say dream job?)

His blog is amazing. Chipchase travels the world in a quest to view life from every perspective in every corner of the world and research how his company (nokia) can help make life easier for every person he meets. No person is insignificant to Chipchase in his line of work; he wants every single story to be heard. On his blog, Chipchase posts pictures and thoughts from his travels. Some seem very simple — children’s haircuts in China, unique cuisines in Tajikistan — but if you stop to think for a second it’s amazing. This guy has been everywhere, all over the world, studying how cellphone technology has changed the world, but he can still appreciate how amazing even the simplest thing can be. Pretty cool.

“Future Perfect is about the collision of people, society and technology…Future perfect is a pause for reflection in our planet’s seemingly headlong rush to churn out more, faster, smaller and cheaper.

Somewhere along the way we get to shape what the future looks like.”



One comment

  1. seriously want to spend a day living his life. awesome.

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