We might know in general terms what 2018 has in store for Boston: No flying cars yet! But we have no idea what Boston in 2100 might look like: Maybe flying cars? How about what life for a Bostonian will be like a decade from now? That gets a little murkier. So we rounded up three experts with varied experiences in four different categories—food, fashion, fitness and the performing arts—to discuss what the future might look like for Boston in 2028. You can expect plenty of bright spots and more than a few challenges. Here are the highlights of our conversations.


Sarah Hagman: We’ve all been hearing about the retail apocalypse. What do you think that bodes for local boutique owners?

Gretta Monahan (owner of Gretta Luxe): It’s a great time to be small because we can be nimble. I can move much quicker and I think personalized service has never ever, ever been more important. And I’m seeing our customers get more excited than ever. They understand why they go to Saks and they understand why they go to Neimans and why they love it, but there’s a very different connection to the small business community. Read more from the Boston 2028: Fashion Roundtable >>


Matt Martinelli: Is there a cuisine or ingredient that you’re hoping or predicting might be big 10 years from now?

Joanne Chang (owner of Flour; chef/co-owner of Myers + Chang): One thing that we’ve begun using at the bakery that’s been a lot of fun is aquafaba. There’s a whole Facebook group for aquafaba. Aquafaba is the cooking liquid for chickpeas, so you cook a batch of chickpeas to make hummus. You take that water and it acts like egg whites. So you can make meringue, buttercream. You can use it to make aioli, so we’ve used it now for a vegan Sriracha aioli. So we make hummus, and we have all this as part of the chickpea that we would just dump. Now we save it and we use it as egg whites for our almond macaroons, and there’s a perfect example of a byproduct that is useful that we haven’t tapped into yet. So 10 years from now, that’d be fun. Do you think bugs will be in? [They’re] a good source of protein. Read more from the Boston 2028: Food Roundtable >>


Sarah Hagman: Jess, I’ve seen gyms saying you don’t have to go to class. You can start whenever you want and just follow a screen in front of you…

Jess Fracalossi (Founder of The Handle Bar): People ask me often, “Are you concerned about Peloton?” I’ve heard that Flywheel is going to start offering online classes. I think Class Pass is starting to offer online class subscriptions that you can do from home. And I guess my answer is no because people are coming here for more than just the workout. Maybe they sign up for the workout, but when they leave they realize that they just had some genuine human interaction. They’ve met people, they’ve been stimulated by others with common interests. We focus so much on community engagement—and I want to always do that—that it’s just not something that those competitors, if you’re going to call it that, will be able to offer because it is online and it is isolated. Why would I want to look at a screen and workout when I could be next to somebody who’s sweating with me and high-five them at the end of class? That’s kind of what it’s all about. Read more from the Boston 2028: Fitness Roundtable >>

Performing Arts

Matt Martinelli: Ten years from now, is there something that you’re most excited to possibly have seen occur or that you think might occur within your industry?

Latrell James (musician): That there’s actually an underground hip-hop community that really supports each other and is propelling each other to get to the next platform. For example, it’s how Cousin Stizz got his way up. There is actually a community here, but there’s not a lot of support for those communities. A lot of his upcoming came from basement parties, illegal basement apartments because people wanted to be there. I was in one of those basements, and it’s 300 people wall-to-wall, sweaty, no ventilation, because there’s actually something there. But we don’t have the places that support it. Hopefully, we do get those things in 10 years. Smaller venues would be the best thing that we can ever get. Two hundred capacity or 150, because that’s how you grow your core audience and that’s how you groom the artists of the future. And that’s how you groom a Lollapalooza hereRead more from the Boston 2028: Performing Arts Roundtable >> 



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