12 Days of Marketing Innovation, Day #9 – Future Exploration Network

I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road. – Stephen Hawking

Ross Dawson is taking on a big risk for 2012.  While the stuff I want to point you to is now actually a year old and still totally relevant, the man has taken to actually and fully publishing his organization’s priorities for 2012 (which is brave and bold and daring, and I imagine a tad bit scary.  In addition, it’s damn interesting.  But then, a lot of his content is.

For those of you playing with, near or in media, his extinction of newpapers is certainly worthy of dialogue.  As early as 2007, he completed a list (with friends) of what would be extinct from our lives by 2050.  The five points he raises in his post on crowdsourcing to create business value are also worth a read.  In other words, Ross Dawson spends his livelihood committed to helping you understand what comes next, and what, well, doesn’t.   At IBM for a while we talked about the death of things as we knew them (TV, Media, et al).  So much so that a client once remarked when a certain strategy partner was coming to Asia, “what’s dying now?”  Hence, I prefer the future focused than to dwell on what’s dying, but it makes an interesting slide for your next team meeting, that’s for sure.

So, why – with all of Ross’ new content am I saying a year old post is worth your attention?  Please focus your eyeballs on the exatrends on page 2 of 3 of the PDF.  While page one depicts the impact levels of various trends, representing appropriate intersections of individuals, business, society, government and the planet, page 2 provides the descriptions.    It’s a fast and worthwhile read, but each of the trends covered is detailed deeply elsewhere on the web – find a thread and follow it through.  I think we’ve already seen Culture Jamming (and why we will fight SOPA tooth and nail).  The Haves and the Have Nots are a gobal phenom from the events in Egypt to Occupy movement), Brands in the Blender is a natural outcome of shared infrastructure, aligned brands and natural connections by the customers who see them as intertwined.  It’s happening everyday, but this is a well framed way to discuss it.  Check it out.  The Zeitgeist – specifically the express of the definitions, is also on slideshare, here.

While we have presented a number of ways to frame trends – whether the approach of Trendwatching.com or this, more concise approach, I think they both provide you a grounding on which you can begin to discuss innovation for your customers, your channels, your places and promotions in a more meaningful manner.  They also help ground you in the reality of what already exists.   The Envisioning Tech approach is a bit more content rich than this one is, but this is more shareable in a discussion format.  Hence, you have a number of options that allow you to have the conversation you need to have for your specific organizational constituents.

Cristene, Debbie and Kevin

@hermione1, @zebbierebs, @cunningham_kev

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