3M launches 3M Futures platform showcasing global trends in science and technology; trends include sustainable materials that promote a circular economy

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota , February 17, 2022 (press release) –

  • 3M introduces new platform called 3M Futures which explores five cutting-edge science and technology trends impacting the world today -- and their implications for tomorrow.
  • 3M scientists, engineers, designers and experts share and explore key topics within each trend, offering their unique perspectives and commentary.
  • 3M releases Futures Survey: A global survey conducted across 11 countries, the study explores perceptions and expectations of science and technological innovation -- and how individuals view its impact in their lives.

3M is launching 3M Futures, a new platform showcasing five global science and technology trends shaping the world today — and the future of tomorrow. The platform explores each topic alongside commentary and perspectives from 3M experts, scientists, engineers and designers at the forefront of their fields. 3M Futures also features data from global, third-party research conducted across 11 countries to understand perceptions of these top science, technology and design trends.  

  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Mixed reality is already changing the way we live, work and entertain — the metaverse is poised to change our perceptions of reality.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): How artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing everything from entertainment to business but require conversations about broader implications and ethics.
  • Sustainable Materials: The circular economy is introducing innovation in material science and design while disrupting industry, ushering in a more sustainable future.
  • The New Paradigm — A Pandemic Aware World: The pandemic has created a paradigm shift in how we interact. From telemedicine and health-conscious design to remote work, the new abnormal is here to stay.
  • Equity — Through Science and Technology: The greatest innovation comes from diverse thinkers. Equity, representation and equal access to science and technology learning, like minority representation and STEM in youth, are paramount to solving the challenges of today — and tomorrow.

"Every day, 3Mers around the world are unlocking the next phase of what's possible and exploring the latest trends in science and technology," says Kevin Gilboe, head of 3M Design, International. "3M Futures is a great opportunity for us to showcase the broad ways 3M is helping to shape the future — developing, designing and engineering cutting-edge solutions within the most relevant global trends, while profiling the incredible talent across our company who are experts in their fields."

3M Experts
The expert contributors chosen to participate include an array of 3M scientists, engineers, designers and other leaders at the forefront of their industries. From artificial intelligence to equity, each is passionate about their field and has a personal interest in broad applications of the relevant technology and science.

3M Futures Survey
The 3M Futures Survey uncovers global perceptions of future technologies, with results from 11 countries: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, UK, USA and South Korea. The survey uncovers what respondents believe future innovation should focus on across the globe and the ways they have — or have not — directly interacted with the technologies referenced across the five core trends.

Key findings include:

Science and technology

  • Public health, humanitarian crises, extreme weather crises, a cure for Alzheimer's and ecological disasters are seen as the top problems to focus on over the next 5 years.

Mainstream Virtual Reality

  • Virtual reality is expected to be a normal part of our everyday lives sooner than other advancements, especially in gaming and entertainment.

AI interest and concerns

  • The survey results showed that while people are excited about AI, many are concerned about data privacy and want more transparency on how the technology is being used in society.

Sustainability: top environmental threats

  • Respondents feel single-use plastics are a bigger threat to the environment than fossil fuels and fast fashion.

Real life vs. tech.

  • In the shadow of the pandemic, tech-driven innovations are being met with some resistance as many are trying to decrease tech in their life and seek in-person socialization and hobbies.

Following its launch, 3M Futures will feature ongoing stories, VR demos and content throughout the year. Insights from the survey will inform exploration of future topics and content.

To download full 3M Futures survey data, including by country and infographic breakdowns, visit: 3M Futures Resource Center

3M Futures Survey Methodology 
Global business intelligence company Morning Consult conducted research on behalf of 3M among an audience of n=22,001 Adults ages 18-64 from the US, UK, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Germany, France, China, India, Japan, and South Korea between November 17- Dec. 18, 2021. The interviews were conducted online, and the data was balanced across gender, age, income, and region. Results from the survey have a margin of error of +/- 1%.

About 3M
At 3M (NYSE: MMM), we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily as our employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M's creative solutions to global challenges at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.

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