Glenn Griffin and I talked today to SXSWedu about nimble thinkers. Realizing it is a complex discussion for a little over 45 minutes of dedicated time, I thought I'd offer some other resources and directions in order to keep the ideas moving.
Much of our discussion today landed on the intersection of creative economy needs and how we and our students have opportunities to grow this now. Great reading in the New Media Consortium's NMC Horizon Report 2013: Higher Education Edition that they produced in collaboration with Educause and support from HP.
To give credence to our thoughts on the creative economy and idea industries, note The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projections here and here for up to 2018, and the need for digital and creative entrepreneurs going into corporations, education, and entrepreneurial enterprise.
Good readings abound. Fast Company's CoCreate is a daily dose of interesting direction for professionals looking to stay in tune with technology, art, commerce, design. Their digital newsletter each morning is a must read. Professor and urban planning consultant Richard Florida's work on the rise of the creative class and his ongoing look at how place and geography form clusters of nimble creative thinkers is robust, at times controversial, but always food for thought.
Our major themes were inspired by many different creative entrepreneurs in the advertising world. Ideas over Ego is a mantra of 72andSunny, an amazing cultural creation agency established by John Boiler and Glenn Cole. Their agency's iterative and nimble creative process is part of the reason they were named Agency of the Year and win awards annually for strong and meaningful work. Wieden + Kennedy's Fail Harder mantra can be in their crisp view of the world and amazing dedication to culture and content.
Finally, teaching ideas for developing nimble abound. I've seen Ignite sessions take off in college classrooms, as well as versions of the presentation method of Pecha Kucha. Problem-solving and curiosity bootcamps prototype big ideas quickly to get critical feedback.
We'll continue the discussion as we hear from more participants. Thanks.
I'm so stoked about Google's Agile Creativity project. In a Google Hangout yesterday, agency leaders like 72andSunny's awesome John Boiler and clever Greg Anderson of BBH and (wow) Director of Engineering at Google+ Chee Chew were led by Google Managing Director Torrence Boone. It's worth your time.
Thinking through the process of creativity and what makes it work at fast places is always good. Even better is putting that process (sometimes painful) to the test in organizations and watching the work produced.
A learning culture will fail fast, prototype something daily (ideas, widgets, things), use design thinking and UX to guide them, facilitate trust from all agents. They'll work in dedication to making great things. That's the way it should be.
Yes, there's connections and the everpresent networking vibe. And all the great block parties. And too much waste and posturing. But in every session, at each speaker, people gather with full expectations of being inspired, of changing something. If this isn't a call-to-arms on providing inspirational content to a hungry audience, I don't know what is. And on that note, over half the panels + speakers need to prepare better for opportunity. #panelreject became part of the vibe. Man up, presenters. Be here to provide great thinking, well-crafted presentations. Teach, if you will.
And yes, I think Glenn and I did a pretty good job of delivering well-planned, smart content. SRO crowd. Good commentary. Nice. And our book signing ended early because books sold out. After a triumphant talk:
What a smart way to jumpstart conversations and provide evidence of our time here. "Sponsoring" exhibits is one thing. Bringing evidence and connecting people with real data vis done well is exceptional. Bravo!
3 :: Exceptional opportunity if you use it.
Our #uosxsw crew has connected to some of the leading thinkers in the area. I've watched them network ("this is not as easy as it looks"), make use of our connections, leave their comfort zone, learn, add to the discussion. The 9 UOregon students in attendance got here on schoalrship and through our student public relations and advertising agencies. The work they're bringing back makes me know this is a smart place for them to be. They've reinvented accounts, thought about agency and collaborative culture, understood more what their aspirational mission is. They know the players. For Mark Blaine, Kelli Matthews and I (all Oregon SOJC faculty), it's a place to imagine. We've sat down to redirect curriculum, think through how threads of information might work as project, consider how to break silos.
And from talking to people, other people here -- CCos and interns, entrepreneurs, big brands and creatives -- attend to do the same. They want to reimagine the place they're in. Use this gathering as change agent. Cut through bullshit -- here and at home -- and find something worth growing.
In 2002 I put together a class at The University of Texas called Agents of Social Change. I was inspired by a chapter in Warren Berger's Advertising Today (still such a great book to read). It talked of advertising pushing boundaries and solving. Something told me then that we were on to something beyond the product, beyond the idea of creating another message. But I'm slow.
It hit me again at SXSW in 2009. I was listening to Alex Bogusky talk about his Bicycle venture. He was solving a problem using those bright amazing skills. Love Bogusky or hate him, the guy reimagines everytime he jumps into something new. Someone in the audience asked what gave an advertising dude the gumption to solve bike and transportation issues. A dot of silence and then a manifesto: creative people have the absolute responsibility to stick their nose in everything, find a way, solve problems.
And so we're here. I'm teaching a new course, Communciating Sustainability. I've been trying hard to make it fit academic expectations and review, list, analyze, when I realized what we should be doing is accepting a challenge and sticking our nose in stuff. Finding a way! Solving. Last week we reinvented the course.
This week we had Edward Boches in, a true problem solver and Chief Innovation Officer at Mullen and a Pied Piper thru hus blog and twitter. His Innovation Brief to our students energized everyone. We are solving. That's been the case for the past couple of years but I think it sunk in now. We're changing the way an advertising program acts. We're building the stuff that solves problems, making things worthy of messages.
"I need your help! My girlfriend moved to the other side of the country earlier this year to attend Duke University's MBA program. I wanted to create something special and different for her, so I secretly wrote a song with my roommates with the intentions of creating a viral video that would spread to her organically. The idea is to make the world just a little bit smaller through all of our social media outlets. Its a dedication for all the people separated from the ones they love.
So today is launch day! It's simple. Here is a link to the video. If you like it, post it on your facebook or email it out to your friends.
Thanks for your help. I'm excited to see if this gets to her. Cheers, Walter"
Exhibit and reception. We also saw the premier of the YouTube Show+Tell mini-docs featuring Kevin Roddy, Craig Allen + Eric Kallman, Terrence Kalleman, and Benjamin Palmer. Those will be posted by Monday on YouTube and I'll link then.
> Creativity Workshop for high school students, sending them ideabooks as a thank you
> Great bonding with Jim Mountjoy
> Realized(again) how cool and relevant The Art Director's Club is
> Saw great friends and terrific response to the book
Just an update on all things Creative Process Illustrated:
• Our Book Launch Event happens September 27 at The Art Directors Club in New York. Flora Moir, the Education and Events Manager, has done an amazing job of putting together an exhibit, a teaching workshop, and the accompanying YouTube documentaries. Bravo, Flora!
• The book has managed to climb the Amazon lists several times, thanks to great press from Simon Mainwaring, Luke Sullivan, and our friends at Campaign Magazine in the UK. It's interesting that author excitement ebbs and flows with Amazon ratings. Glenn and I have watched this go from #25,712 up to #2497 down to #9416 then up again to the 5000s. Wow on that.
• The Book Launch and Exhibit is part of Advertising Week in New York, which gives us great visibility. We're listed here as part of the great schedule. Please note that our schools -- University of Oregon SOJC and the SMU Meadows School of the Arts -- are sponsors of the event. Such wonderful visibility! Thanks, Dean Tim Gleason, for your support. In fact, Tim will be at the event.
• On the Tuesday the 28th, we'll be premiering the YouTube Show+Tell videos. Glenn interviewed Kevin Roddy, Benjamin Palmer, and Terrence Kelleman. I interviewed Craig Allen and Eric Kallman. Here's the invite:
Many know the saga of the project I've been working on with Glenn Griffin. Wowser idea that grew off the thinking of his dissertation and asks the simple question: how can we better understand the creative process in advertising? We turned that into asking creatives to visualize their creative process, and then found beautiful moments in studying the collection.
Very long story short: we collected the visualized processes of a collection of great ad people, edited down the 80 or so possibilities to a great 36, explored broad theory plus individual anecdotal evidence for each person, collected work they've produced, and -- voila! -- the book published by F&W Media/HOW Design comes out this summer.
It is truly a wonderful collection exploring thinking about thinking. Consider seeing the brains of Randy and Doug, along with Kevin Roddy, Simon Mainwaring, Rachel Howald, Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin, Danny Gregory, David Kennedy, Andy Azula, Chris Adams, and a couple dozen more. Wow.
Today, Glenn and I presented to the American Academy of Advertising in Minneapolis. Our great friends -- and participants in the study -- Randy Tatum and Doug Pedersen were there to talk about the process of doing the process drawing. Glenn's Keynote on the theoretical work leading to the study was simply awesome. He's the creative scholar everyone is talking about.
And the cover of the book offered here. Thanks for all the good commentary happening about it right now. Big kudos to Glenn Griffin for simply being outstanding. Please spread the word.
2 -- WORDS eBOOKNewser offers an essay on how eBooks and iPad reading will change writing, one novelist and critic offer that it is "...very forward moving, very fast narrative...". This is a challenge to journalism and content producers. Exciting!
3 -- MAPS Look at Blaise Aguera y Arcas speaking to the TED 2010 conference on augmented reality maps. Add to that RGA's Nokia ViNE,just the tip of mastering maps and places.