I’m Walter Frick, Quartz’s membership editor, coming to you with a special bonus edition of Quartzy.
It’s that time of year again. You might prefer to be on the couch with Mrs. Maisel, but instead you’ve got family obligations, your partner’s office party, and cocktails with the friends you actually want to see.
Rather than staring off into the distance, contemplating all the cookies you could be making, let us offer you some conversational fodder—which you can go deep on by becoming a Quartz member. Use code QUARTZY for 50% off your first year of membership, or if you’re feeling non-committal, test things out with a free trial.
Membership unlocks unlimited access to QZ.com, weekly guides on areas of business disruption, award-winning documentary series, and opportunities to engage more directly with our newsroom through comments and conference calls.
Plus of course, talking points to trot out when…
Your friend’s roommate wants to promote his sustainable clothing brand. Tell him about the rise of micro-influencers. To many brands, real “influence” comes from smaller influencers, whose followings are more often the size of a small town than a large country. These micro-influencers are able to find specific audiences and build trust with their followers.
Your fashionable coworker raises eyebrows by wearing sneakers to the holiday party. Tell your stodgy colleagues that sneakers are arguably the leading artifact of high fashion these days. The forces shaping style today—sports and music, the retreat of formality, the rise of synthetic materials, the blending of high and low—converge in their plush, grippy soles.
Your aunt wonders why she’s seeing CBD everything all over town. The market for the cannabis-derived compound is skyrocketing, and projected to hit $5.7 billion by the end of this year. What is everyone using it for? Broadly, as a cure-all for the modern condition. Does it work? TBD.
Your dad admits he’s feeling burnt out. Has he tried meditation? Meditation won’t just give him an excuse to duck out of the madness until his phone’s timer goes off. (Though: great.) It can also physically change his brain to be more creative, better at decision making, and improve his memory. He might feel better after a few deep breaths.
Your best friend pledges to be new and improved in 2020. You know all about this! It’s the rise of the transformation economy—businesses and entrepreneurs who promise customers a better version of themselves. From retreats to life coaches, gurus, and guides—all of these services promise a personal transformation, whether physical, professional, mental, or spiritual.
Once you’ve charmed your way through the holiday party circuit with sparkling conversation, take time to explore the rest of what Quartz membership has to offer, like presentations on today’s most important topics or that documentary series I mentioned—perfect for binge-watching in your pajamas .
I might be biased, but a membership also makes a great gift for that friend of yours that wants to be more informed in the new year. Need some additional gift ideas for the busy professionals in your life? Try an inspiring book, the perfect headshot, a night of free babysitting, or a handwritten letter. Oh, and food never hurts.