A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TED - Ideas Worth Spreading

TED simply stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It's an annual conference that brings together the brightest minds from around the world to offer insight into how these themes are effected, and effect, the world we live in today.

The themes at this years TED conference include:

  • How the Mind Works
  • Not Business As Usual
  • Tales of Innovation
  • What's Next in Tech
  • Inspired by Nature
  • Bold Predictions, Stern Warnings
  • Presentation Innovation
  • Art Unusual
  • Master Storytellers
  • Spectacular Performance
  • Unconventional Explanations
  • Technology, History and Destiny
  • How We Learn
  • Design Like You Give  Damn
  • A Greener Future
  • Words About Words
  • Evolution's Genius
  • Africa: The Next Chapter
Sobering, serious, grim. Just a few words that pop to mind scrolling through the various speeches and case studies. But soon superseded by hope, optimism and confidence. That such a brain trust has been established and is working towards a better future for all mankind.

This is an interesting paradox; optimism for the future born from an understanding and recognition of the troubling times we are in today. A paradox which I think will become very important in the commercial world of brands and particularly for their values over the coming years.

A good example of this 'rise of substance' is Louis Vuitton's core values campaigns featuring not models nor beautiful people but cultural icons such as Francis Ford Coppola and public figures such as noble prize winner Gorbachev.

Another brand that has harnessed this paradox well is BP - a brand that represents an industry that has been the number one target for many environmentalists  - yet in recognizing this weakness and committing itself to compensatory efforts BP has successfully positioned itself as an environmentally forward organization. An environmental petroleum company - who would have thought...

Over the coming weeks I will trawl through the TED website and report back here on some of the more interesting and relevant ideas, for they truly are ideas which are worth spreading. And in commitment to this have been unceremoniously provided for free online by BMW.

And if you have time, I highly recommend having a look through the site, needless to say all the speakers are highly accomplished and inspirational - www.ted.com 

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