Nostalgia is everywhere. It's like an old flame that keeps popping up in our lives, seducing us with memories of better times, seeping into music, tech, entertainment, design, and even food. But is this infatuation with the past hindering our future? Join us for a lively online discussion on 17th July to explore the forces giving rise to nostalgia and its impact on culture.

In other news, we wanted you folks to be the first to know that we've said goodbye to Substack (privately-owned) and hello to Ghost (open-source). This means that for the first time since 2016, you can now find (almost) everything we've ever made in one place ... and it sure feels good. So, please have a look around and let us know what you think!

You'll need to use your old Substack email to access the full archive and if you feel like supporting our mission to discover, incubate and release Good Growth projects, as well as unlock some tasty extra benefits, then we would be incredibly grateful 🙏

OK, on with the show ...



One of the unexpected revelations of bringing everything together on our new platform is being able to see all 84 of our contributors on one page (and then trying not to get too emotional when we see where they are now 🥰). So, we thought it would be a nice idea to feature one of these incredible humans each month by revisiting one of their memorable and still relevant posts:

Beyond Age

by Sarah Pearson, 19 May 2015

‘Age-appropriate’ is becoming a less meaningful term as attitudes shift. Now acting your age can mean pretty much anything.

At least since Shakespeare set down his Seven Ages of Man, which compares life’s progression to the acts of a play, people have tried to make sense of their lengthening lifespans by dividing them into phases. As Shakespeare would have it, one stage is for lovers, another for soldiers, and another is for judges. Finally, ‘second childishness’ awaits.

More recently, the descendants of Freud have attempted similar work. In the 1950s, psychoanalyst Erik Erikson elaborated an eight-stage model of human development, with each stage marked by a crisis and an existential question.

The crises faced between the ages of 18 and 39 are concerned with finding love, and those faced between the ages of 39 and 64 are focused on making life count. People aged 65 and older are said to be looking back on their lives – with contentment or despair, but without a sense of future agency.

While these linear progressions offer the reassuring sense of a natural order, they can seem quaint today. People are now pursuing their passions early in life and staying active and healthy into their later years, enjoying many potentially productive years to be structured however they see fit.

Not withstanding a few moralisers still wagging their fingers at Madonna, there’s no longer any such thing as acting your age.

We now live in a world where an 18-year-old can look back on a career building a media empire, as seen in our story on page 58. At the other extreme, an 86-year-old can achieve viral celebrity and nearly a million Instagram followers with meme-ready fashions and the tagline ‘stealing your man since 1928’. Follow her on @baddiewinkle, if you’re interested.

Continue reading here ...


Protein is a place where people and ideas grow. We do this through our global community, agency, and studios. We believe we’ve all got a responsibility to think and act bigger than ourselves and that Good Growth can only be achieved by balancing purpose, profit, and progress.

Yes, we really have published 700+ issues 👀 of this newsletter. The first Protein Supplement was sent on 17th September 1997 to 14 people and (other than a few breaks over the years) has always aimed to distil what’s happening at the intersection of culture and technology into a concise and accessible digest. If you’re interested in digging into the (incomplete) archive, you can find it here.

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