In December 2012 I traveled to Afghanistan with fellow frogs Jan Chipchase and Cara Silver to study the intersection of mobile technology and consumer banking. We were there to study financial services and access in a country where only 9 percent of people use financial institutions but 65 percent own a mobile phone. Today we're releasing the full report of our findings, entitled "In the Hands of God: A Study of Risk and Savings in Afghanistan." Download the PDF here.
“For the next 20 years, experimentation in food will be equivalent to the kinds of experimentation we’ve seen with the Internet over the last 20 years.” Keynote speaker Dr. David Edwards, founder and director of Le Laboratoire in Paris, France, served up this prediction to a room of farmers, historians, architects, entrepreneurs, and community organizers at the Food, the City, and Innovation Conference held in Austin, Texas.
David Edward’s presentation offered a radical vision of a future with breathable foods and edible packaging, which effectively set the tone for a two-day roundtable discussion aimed at expanding perceptions of what constitutes food and community in the digital age. After inviting members of the audience to take a collective “whif” from his breathable food samples called AeroShot Energy (imagine lipstick-sized inhalers), Dr. Edwards concluded his keynote by emphasizing the importance of designing for food experience which he believes will serve as a path to innovative solutions for solving our complex global food system. The notion that our food system will undergo changes comparable to what we’ve seen in the last couple decades of the Internet is an inspiring, if not terrifying provocation and the uneasiness of the conference participants (who were well-caffeinated thanks to the energy inhalers) was palpable as the panel discussions began.
袭击发生于夜间9点后不久。两个男人从巨大的教堂风格的孟买主要火车站Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus走廊中出现。他们穿着黑色T恤和米黄色工装裤。肩膀上挂着的双肩背包中，装着几百发子弹、手雷、假证件、卢比和美元，以及一些干果。他们叩响的苏联产的AK-47的扳机声，打破了11月中一个温和宁静的夜晚。
For the past four winters, the Davos Hub Culture Pavilion has opened its doors across the street from the World Economic Forum’s epicenter during the organization’s Annual Meeting. Inside, “the global collaboration network” and its partners—2013’s lineup included Blackberry, Cognizant, CNN, GE, and the Wall Street Journal with additional support from Edelman and frog—host brainstorming and deal-making sessions focused on creating unexpected connections between people, ideas, and capital around the world.
The following is the introduction to Design Forward: Creative Strategies for Sustainable Change by frog’s founder Hartmut Esslinger. The book will be released on Feburary 16, 2013 and is available for pre-order now.
After a long career with frog — the design agency I founded in 1969 — and as a creative consultant for some of the world’s best and most successful entrepreneurs, executives, and companies, I wrote my first book, A Fine Line — How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business. In that book, I focused on the corporate side of the business-design alliance and outlined why Strategic Design is most successful when it is an integral part of a company’s innovation and business strategy. Due to both the business focus and the limited space, A Fine Line wasn’t as complete as many would have wished, and I fielded many questions about organization and process in the field of design and in the working relationship between business and design. Because A Fine Line was published in German, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, the feedback was — and still is — global in nature. I used the questions, comments, and criticism that I received about my first book as my motivation for writing Design Forward as well as for structuring the information I offer within it.
When Phil Duncan speaks, whether on stage or in a one-on-one conversation, you can hear the emotion in his voice and read it on his face. You can practically hear him smile.
And he’s not shy about admitting that he cries when he hears moving stories of real-life moms sharing their pride over their children, when they have qualified to compete at the Olympic Games. As the Global Design Officer of Procter & Gamble, Duncan knows that tapping into consumers’ emotions—as well as those of the P&G staff—is an effective way to build not only individual consumer-goods brands, but also a behemoth of a company such as P&G.
He and I met up in New York after he gave a talk at the Design Management Institute’s annual conference this past fall. His presentation had many of the executives and creatives in the audience choked up when he shared videos from the 2012 London Olympics, where P&G hosted a family center for athletes and their kin. The center featured P&G products and, quite honestly, some pretty lovely furniture and décor. Competitors could treat their moms to a salon treatment; there was a man-cave-like environment where it was possible to sit back and watch sports in a relaxed way. There was food; there were diapers. It was a huge production, but it tied beautifully into those inspiring TV ads that ran during the Olympics, claiming that P&G is…the sponsor of moms. (Cue the tears! I admit, I was guilty of crying when I saw the ads, too).
Here’s our lightly edited and condensed chat about what Duncan calls ‘the next chapter in design strategy,’ now that many major corporations have design in the C-suite. Not surprisingly, it centers around tapping into consumer emotions.
Why is it so important for a brand to spur an intense reaction, such as tears?
When you have a deep insight of consumers and are truly empathetic to them, it’s important to hold true to that understanding with every aspect of strategy. For instance, our approach during the Olympics was to show that we are in service to moms and families. We didn’t get distracted with “broad consumer activations.” The idea of communicating how P&G supports families above all else paid off from a company and business standpoint. And from a personal standpoint, too. Honestly, it was a transformative experience internally. I felt that I moved from being a design officer to being in service to moms and the home across the world.
That said, what are some specific and practical tips that you have for drawing people in emotionally, both internally and externally?
I use the saying, “the fruits are in the roots.” What I mean by that is that it can be very helpful to take inspiration from a deep understanding of a brand’s heritage, where it comes from. Then, tap into a new mindset, and new insight, and add an element of creativity to keep that insight fresh. I tell my colleagues that it is the responsibility of brand teams to write the next chapter for the P&G book, not to write a new book. The goal is always to keep the story interesting and moving forward. Keep the characters going. And never stop writing. Otherwise, there is always the temptation of changing everything to follow some sort of trend. Then you risk being disingenuous. At P&G, we always keep in mind the brands people know and love, and then figure out how to make them contemporary by figuring out their relevance in people’s real lives, and then tie that sense back to the company’s heritage.
If you can do so, then you’ll tap the source of truth and inspiration of the brand. But of course it’s really important to then place it into the context of contemporary competition in the marketplace.
“What is interesting and important happens mostly in secret, in places where there is no power,” novelist Michael Ondaatje writes in The Cat’s Table, and it was a strange coincidence that I came across this enigmatic line on the descent down from Davos, the Swiss ski resort that had just convened some of the world’s most powerful men and women for the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum.
The paradox of Davos is that it is both highly public and highly secretive. Relationships and business transactions are on show, as much as they are taking place in back room meetings and private encounters on the peripheries, far away from the glitz and glamour and where the buzzing doesn’t need buzzwords. Davos is the great equalizer and the great divider at the same time. The hierarchies are both formal and explicit (manifest by the color of your badge), as well as situational and subtle, with small smart mobs forming around the most sought-after, both on- and offsite (“one minute you’re in, the next you’re out”), in emotional roller coaster, funicular, and shuttle rides between recognition and rejection, belonging and alienation.
正如一篇充满令人惊叹的智慧的文章中运用一个聪明引人入胜的开头，随之在结尾处运用呼应，Don Tapscott 和Clay Shirky分别开启和终结了TEDGlobal会议。Tapscott 和Shirky，这两位在当今网络世界中最受欢迎的专家，运用两种不同而同样有活力的方法，充分分析和还原了我们所处的社交网络时代。TEDGlobal结束后的2012年7月到8月之间，我们邀请两位用书面形式向对方抛出尖锐而引人深思的问题。正如你接下来要看到的，每个提问都得到了优雅而启人思考的回答，从而引发更进一步的探寻和对话。
The SCAD graduate students split up into teams and gathered around their copies of the Collective Action Toolkit (CAT), considering their homework assignment for their next class period. Their task: To pilot the first activity they would use with local high school students as their first introduction to working together in a group. In two days, they’d have to do a dry run with their classmates. As they looked over the toolkit’s action map, they began to where they should they begin? By having a “Knowledge Fest” or a “Skill Share?” By helping their group identify a goal right away, or by having fun and getting to know each other?
The CAT has been out for almost two months, and from the emails and conversations we’ve received since releasing the CAT, situations such as the above are happening more and more. The toolkit is being deployed far more broadly than expected, such as in our new Chinese language edition. People are finding new uses for it, from local education to entrepreneurship in global organizations. And we’ve embarked on our first educational pilot, working with SCAD’s Design for Sustainability program.
How did this happen? And in what ways can you use the CAT that you may not have considered?