London-based trend forecaster Susan Munceys book Trends Beyond Life In Search of Immortality is an extremely opportune and relevant book. The beginning of a new year is always a time to reflect on the past and, more pertinently, consider the future.
However, in this rapidly changing world where technology and science are opening new and challenging doors, where does that leave us morally and culturally? Susan Muncey assesses recent social trends affecting our daily lives, including our quest for eternal youth and immortality, which she sees as a key trend of our times. Muncey then expands on this theme and explores the ways that death and remembrance have been handled historically and analyses current developments and thinking.
The quest for longevity by reversing the signs of ageing and increasing life expectancy seems to have become the Holy Grail. I wanted to explore what drives us towards this desire and taking it further, what immortality actually means. Why do we wish to be remembered? How do we wish to be remembered? says Susan Muncey.
The book also includes in-depth research into experiences of death and bereavement in both the developed and the developing world. Muncey travelled to Zambia where she saw how the country is coping with a huge increase in mortality rates and the initiatives being made to implement changes within the burial system. Back in the UK, Muncey details how our views on death are evolving and highlights new trends in funerals such as green burials and freeze dried cremation – and remembrance including the use of the internet as a vital tool in helping to create immortality.
What started as a study of trends in death turned out to be a contemplation on immortality and the many ways that we can achieve it these days, says Muncey.
Susan Muncey is the founder of the digital time capsule Diary of Mankind www.diaryofmankind.com where users can record their life, their wishes and their desires for future generations. Muncey also runs Visuology www.visuology.com, a trend forecasting and lifestyle coaching company. Her clients include the cutting-edge designer uniform company, nouniform. A Cambridge graduate, Susan Muncey has had a broad career ranging from working in investment management in the City to opening the late 90s cult boutique Fashion Gallery in London’s Little Venice. Costs $15.44 (£7.95, 11.70) Buy www.amazon.co.uk and at leading booksellers