THE BLOG

21
Mar

Why Neil deGrasse Tyson Rocked SXSWi

Photo via Network World

Photo via Network World

My goal at SXSWi this year was to not only make it into the actual keynote presentations (which meant arriving early!), but to attend sessions that were outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to feel inspired in my everyday life and broaden my perspective both personally and professionally.

Well, I have to say that Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (host of FOX’s rebooted “Cosmos” show) handily — and emphatically — delivered. His Bill Cosby-like comedic chops, likeable personality, vast knowledge of science and uncanny ability to make the subject accessible to anyone — made me want to jump back into my grade school science class and learn all over again.

Tyson is, by far, one of the most engaging speakers I’ve ever come across in any conference, festival or event. And it was clear by the wild applause, hoots and hollers from the audience that they were just as captivated by him as I was.

Said Tyson: “I don’t want to hand out answers. When you explore, all those answers come for free.”

One of my favorite parts was when Tyson talked about how children perceive the world, and aren’t afraid to challenge or question the status quo. He shared a hilarious story about how he encouraged his daughter to take a skeptical view and test the myth of the Tooth Fairy. Rather than flat-out denying the childhood fantasy figure’s existence, he equipped his daughter to do experiments with her friends. What did they do? They put their teeth under their pillows without telling their parents!

My takeaway from Dr. Tyson’s keynote is to see the world through the lens of a child. Never suppress your curiosity. Test and try things out for yourself. Don’t just accept what others tell you as truth. Keeping an open mind and open heart will lead to many discoveries about yourself and the universe around you.

10 Neil deGrasse Tyson Quotes To Fuel Your Love Of Science

Courtesy of Mashable

1. “A scientist is just a kid who never grew up.”

2. “Science literacy is how much do you still wonder about the world around you. What is your state of curiosity?”

3. “You can’t just choose what is true and what isn’t.”

4. “All the nine-planet people out there, just get over it. It’s eight!”

5. “There’s so much to be impressed with in the universe. I don’t want you to be distracted by things in the universe that are not.”

6. “One reason we should go space: You know the dinosaurs would have gone there if they could have. Dinosaurs didn’t have opposable thumbs or a space program, though.”

7. “To be scientifically literate is to know when someone else is full of bologna sandwich.”

8. “The missing skepticism is the problem.”

9. “If we’re trying to go into the 21st century and be competitive, we can’t just believe we’ll be competitive.”

10. “I would encourage you to not become attached to the number of things. There’s no physics in the number of things.”

And a brilliant piece by Fredric Paul of Network World on how Dr. Tyson’s insights could apply to the world of enterprise technology and networking.

— Michele Lu Kumar, Principal of Priya PR

14
Mar

Design, Strategy & Visual Thinking: Your How-To Guide To Thinking Differently

Image via thoughtleaderzone.com. Illustration by hikingartist.com.

Image via thoughtleaderzone.com. Illustration by hikingartist.com.

Design is not “gift wrapping,” but an integral part of any competitive business and strategic branding goal.  Those of us in the entertainment space are fortunate because we do not have to relentlessly “prove” the power of our creative departments nor do we usually have to fight for the right to be a part of the decision-making process.

However, in many industries, design talent is siloed into marketing departments. Here, far downstream from other decision makers, the visual and content creative teams only get meaningfully involved in brand work after management decides to launch or operationalize a particular initiative. This is the “design gift wrapping” approach. Thus, the power of innovative creative thinking isn’t really leveraged pointedly into business decisions, market research or strategic planning.

In this post, I want to talk generally about the competitive advantages of design; what is often referred to as design thinking. Whether you make decisions about marketing budgets in broadcast cable departments, generate content for digital campaigns, or lead initiatives about how to best spend creative resources, thinking about the strategic purpose of design benefits you, your career and the company.

One way to do this is to think of creative as a strategy role. What does this mean? We’re referring to when we look at consulting firms that help corporate clients integrate solutions into their company organization — whether it’s servicing their end clients or streamlining technology developments. It could be many things, but it’s simplest to think about their role as improving performance in targeted areas of the company.

The changing market landscape has meant many companies have been scrambling to make these changes, but without paying high consultant fees. In fact, in a recent Harvard Business Review piece, the consulting industry is going through disruptive times, forcing it to change how it helps companies make change.

Why not help your organization make change from within?

  • Do Your Research. Spend 30 minutes a day doing research about your company’s product, services and reputation. Look for social science research measuring sentiment and observing trends. Read what non-biased sources say about the space your company works in. Ask yourself what your company should be doing in 5 and 10 years.

  • Go To Emerging Markets. You may not be able to go to the outskirts of the globe and open up shop, but you and your team can take on an untested and unfamiliar initiative. You will gain experience and test your skills in ways you can’t imagine. The experience could dramatically shift your perspective about your work, projects, department and company.

  • Model. Design thinking emerges when doing things. Depending on your particular role, use your skillset, be it visual or writing, to push yourselves along. A good way to do this is to schedule short blocks of time with your team or others and begin talking about the newest trends or ideas that are already out there. Talk about what works and what doesn’t. In these conversations, you will find moments that will pique your interest, and take shape into a future project.

— Kate Canada Obregon, VP of Oishii Creative

08
Mar


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