Now Is the Time: The Future, the Present, the Timeless

Now Is the Time: The Future, the Present, the Timeless

The Boston Consulting Group has partnered with world-renowned photographic agency Magnum Photos and designers Kram/Weisshaar to create a cutting-edge exhibition to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Rather than looking inward, BCG has asked the authors to engage in a collaborative effort to interpret and translate its Game Changing program—five sets of actions for companies in an age of economic restructuring and rising uncertainty—into an impression of the fundamental societal shifts that will impact our collective future.

The exhibition, through a combination of documentary photography and immersive media, seeks to provide insight into five massive changes that will transform the world over the next 20 years: the explosive growth of the middle class in the developing world, the rapid increase in the number of people acquiring postsecondary degrees, the vast changes in the use of resources worldwide, the continuing acceleration of digital and physical connectivity, and the dramatic rise of market and societal turbulence.

The Now Is the Time exhibition takes visitors on a journey structured around three moments: the Future, the Present, and the Timeless.


The Data - 4D Diagrams

Created by the designers Clemens Weisshaar & Reed Kram the 4D Diagrams illustrate the five global changes that motivated this exhibition and which the Magnum photographers took on as their core investigative mission.

Based on BCG’s research and analytical work these 4D Diagrams represent key forces that will shape the future and reveal the unseen beauty hidden in data sets, research indicators, and consulting tools. Each of these diagrams can be read on multiple levels, with an infinite variety of optimism or pessimism and can lead to wildly differing results depending on how we collectively react to them.


Videos of Photographers in Action

The exhibition curator Martin Parr selected five Magnum photographers to visit ten cities worldwide representing these global changes in the coming years: Alessandra Sanguinetti went to Bogota and Silicon Valley, Alex Majoli to Lagos, Abu Dhabi and Doha, Jonas Bendiksen to Istanbul and Stockholm, Olivia Arthur to Mumbai and Shanghai, and Gueorgui Pinkhassov to Jakarta and Seoul.

In the videos the photographers can be seen at work through their own eyes investigating each of the five global societal changes illustrated in the 4D Diagrams. Shot from their cameras at the same time they were taking photographs in the field, the videos show the photographers searching for individual moments exemplifying the personal, human impact of these enormous social changes.

Investigative Workbooks

The “raw” figures behind the five massive global changes and “raw” photographic reality witnessed by the photographers in the field as these changes play out on the ground are each in their own way unassailable and honest. However, the connections between them are not always immediately understood.

These books reveal the working process of the photographers and designers, making connections between BCG’s expert analysis and the complicated reality observed in the 10 cities the photographers visited. The oversized photographic workbooks allow the visitor to physically browse through the complete collection of images from each photographer and to dive into the investigative process.


Photographic Works

The contemplative stage of the exhibition shows the final selection of photographic works as framed artworks. Each of the images captured by the five Magnum photographers in 10 cities around the world is the result of an investigative process, exploring and experiencing the five massive global changes identified by BCG’s experts to have an enormous impact on global society over the next 20 years.

The way we look at our problems and opportunities at a point in time goes a long way to defining who we are at that moment. The ground-breaking photographer and Magnum co-founder Henri Cartier-Bresson once wrote, “To take photographs means... putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis.” These quiet, still works are intended for contemplation and place our current moment in time within the timeless continuum of framed artwork documenting historic moments.

This exhibition presents a visceral, experiential snapshot of a world at a tipping point requiring new visions for dealing with the high level extraordinary conditions we are facing and their very real, human impact on the ground.