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Economics and Truth: CultureofFuture.com and IDEO

Quite a gap of time since we last posted! It is definitely a whirlwind time of shift and change. Are we busy? We are busy here at CultureofFuture.com – framing change in a way that inspires learned pathways and wise reengagements. This is a reframing that allows us to feel the loss, indulge (if briefly) in the paper media fright fest and yet move deliberately forward toward new business models of media divergence, slow money, product and services, including a reinvention of value, energy and life metric systems.

Quite a gap of time since we last posted! It is definitely a whirlwind time of shift and change. Are we busy? We are busy here at CultureofFuture.com – framing change in a way that inspires learned pathways and wise reengagements. This is a reframing that allows us to feel the loss, indulge (if briefly) in the paper media fright fest and yet move deliberately forward toward new business models of media divergence, slow money, product and services, including a reinvention of value, energy and life metric systems.

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We wish to begin by sharing some of the framing and reframing wisdoms we have been working on. We have recently completed two framing charts and will share CHART1 with you here. Next blog will be CHART2, the visual trend zeitgeist and snapshot of current culture.

Before we begin, we wish to thank Elizabeth Adams and her editing expertise, www.elizabethadams.biz.

Part 1 – Turner Matrix, A Current Culture – Linear Flow Chart

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Level One: Can we take any more change?
-Industrial and hierarchical expansionism takes a hit; joined and collective shifts in global empowerment emerge
-Globalism economics leans toward expansive and empowered localism
-Reinvention of how we live, work and play is the call of the day
-Personal to global meaning and value drives actions going forward
-INCLUSION ECONOMY: East meets West, Young meets Old, Heritage meets Future, Green meets Gorgeous, SocNets meet everything as we work together in change.

Level Two: Economically we are moving from, to:
-Initial reactions to economic challenges? “Survival is the new success.” Unavoidably feeling the crisis, which is motivating new behaviors – sink or swim.
-Pausing, temporarily sinking, swimming, re-evaluating and ultimately swimming again but with an ear up
– Listening, restrategizing and restructuring business ideas based on new value and meaning within ongoing waves of change
-Charting mutual agreements, new points of entry with consumer and business considering aptitudes and passions of each

Level Three: Moving Forward
-Shifting from an ‘Innovation for Innovation’s Sake’ marketplace, from the unique and clever ‘Individualism Identity’ era
-Shifting to the Connected Era, it will take a village to solve these problems
-GIGANTIC shifts from ME to WE.
-Media includes voices not normally heard, a listening culture emerges, and a ‘Contribution Culture’ evolves.
-Leads to new markets and business leadership, authentic cultural need meets innovation.
-Drawing on influential official and unofficial communal brain trusts: Doing it differently going forward.

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Level Five, Highest Grok:
-A shift from FAST BUSINESS or the Industrial Economy for the greater good
to a Slower and Wiser (inclusive) business model of SHARED and DIVERGENT ECONOMY for the greater good.
-A chosen or forced SHIFT TO SLOW BUSINESS driven by SLOW MONEY
-We will be charting how these changes are drilling out in society and business as we move forward in this blog.

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Part 2 –
Let’s hear from practitioners within this new economy the two brilliant blokes at IDEO: Owen Rogers (SF) and Paul Bennett (London)

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The Interview:

Jody: Hello Owen and Paul. We want to talk with you about what you see happening, what your latest seems to be and what is top of mind? We seem to be moving toward an identity-building culture based on ‘Share Content.’ What’s up with that and the new economy?

Paul and Owen:
UGC / User Generated Content or User Inspired Content is the cutting edge trend, we are hearing clients and interested parties speak a great deal about this.

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You Tube is pushing piracy conversations but it is going toward User Inspired Content conversations. How will this affect everything? This question and the question of how to make money out of YouTube are rampant.

It is totally wrong. YouTube is the closest idea we have to heaven…. we are putting our hopes and dreams and fears out there for everybody to see. We are all doing this because we want other people to see what we care about.

In business if you listen to what people want and produce what people want (if anything this is the time to do this) you will be engaged in the changes going forward. Everyone is pushing the reset button as everyone is slashing his or her profits. Consumer generated engagement is an authentic direction. Let’s look at users again…. clients are going back to their core – really looking at what users are doing…. this is an authentic re-entry point.

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Doing Your Part
Come back to your core in life and in business. What is needed, what is not?

In dark times we need optimism. Literally to come out of darkness you need light.

Stop trying to make money, start doing the right thing and then the money will flow. People are looking to follow the positive versus the negative.

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People are trying to figure out how to monetize, but stop it…

Truth and Optimism Approach: The Rant and Antidote
We worked with a baby food manufacturer alongside an agency on a year-and-a-half cycle… a very difficult project. IDEO obsessed with finding the truth to be guided by it, meanwhile older attitudes of advertising wanted to find the myth in order to sell it. It is a new world, consumer truth is the pivoting point and we are at the convincing point of this, particularly considering what has just happened.

We directed a video for Snap On Tools and wanted to put it on YouTube. We took the client on the journey of telling the truth to consumers…. would the client go for such a transparent approach? Ultimately the CMO asked for the release and supported posting it on YouTube.

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Truth is a time-based medium and is part of building a long-standing relationship with your client/consumer/citizen engager. You have to be truthful, if you can’t tell the truth you are not moving forward in your relationship. In business we don’t get the quick hits anymore, you have to be into it for the long haul with the consumer. People are trying to uncover the truth about everything.

Obama’s recent popularity in his global meetings reflects this insight from Paul. Obama is the living example of transparency and designing for a future now. It was not only a community of Americans but also the community of the world who voted him in. The Americans may have been the ones who put the marks on the ballot…

Take the high road, like Obama, who is doing so by engaging the media through government transparency. (Article – http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/23/MN7214842D.DTL&tsp=1). Obama recently was quoted inviting help from the global powers, claiming that it is no longer a conversation between FDR and Churchill over cigars and brandy. It is a world conversation now, open to the globe.

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Differentiation of Product and Advertising
B We will have to adhere to the transparency focus tomorrow and for some time. Why is this happening? Innovation is an industry taking everyone along for the journey of authenticity. Tell the journey and the story of why you do what you do in order to invite, engage and include.

The days of anonymously hiding in a cube are over. Industrial cog in wheel has shifted to a shared conversation and role. Entrepreneurialship is a requisite, being self-responsible is key.

Obama was heard to say on The Tonight Show: “…. while many problems occurred outside of my watch, the buck stops here and I take full responsibility for it. We no longer are playing the blame game rampant in Washington, and must be an example.”

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Personal courage, neck on block, moving us all forward.
Creativity, personal creativity in the work place is now in every industry. The Guardian Magazine piece on creativity in business shows people who are changing the face of modern business by being inspired by people outside of their industry. This has been a long time in the making.

We see evidence of a profound shift in the economy, it is now moving toward (from Tim Brown blog at http://designthinking.ideo.com/)

Restorative Innovation
1. Social Structure
2. Environmental Structure
3. Business Structure

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Ground this down all at once and basically you need to have social impact, global and environmental impact to succeed.

Influential world leaders and top business thinkers are moving in the same way. Our issues and purpose rest in how we create the tools to allow them to tell their stories internally and to the world, working with the leaders to articulate ideas and change through companies.

2-pronged attack really, (1) need long-range forecasting, a CEO about the future while at the same time you (2) do something tomorrow about what is happening now and it will all come into place. This is uber cutting edge. Most companies internally struggle with how to do these things simultaneously and talk to each other about it.

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Conclusion
What is innovation? Not a chart on the wall – it is a verb. You have to do stuff to innovate, prototype the future as you go along. We are about doing stuff immediately, and bringing it to fruition.

The storm is the time to fish, an Eskimo approach. Use the recession as an absolute reflection to figure out the next big thing. Time to use it as a positive design challenge, the biggest of all.

End

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Culture of Future is Jody Turner, the founder, and Kathy Baylor, the VP of research. Jody holds US West Coast and European perspectives from San Francisco and Los Angeles, while Kathy covers Asia and East Coast perspective from NYC and Tokyo.

While anyone can track trends, we have the time and resources to do so. Our mission is inspiring and assisting country, community and company in the redesigning of how we live, work, and play with creative and conscious consumption innovations. Our client list includes top brands and top innovation businesses.

Our dynamic culture network includes some of the world’s most influential designers, style arbiters, eco power players, retail gurus, tech innovators, athletes, artists, entertainment & media pros, culinary culturists, fashion & beauty mavens, and urban tastemakers.

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About the author

A dynamic social researcher, cultural narrator, future trendhunter and strategic designer, Jody Turner works and speaks globally via her west coast company CultureofFuture.com and the London group Trendwatching.com. Client engagements have included Apple, BMW, StyleVision France, Adidas, Starbucks, The Gap, Unilever Istanbul and multiple others

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