Think positive

Futurists: Margaret King, 52, and Jamie O'Boyle, 54, director and senior analyst (respectively) of Cultural Studies & Analysis, a Philadelphia-based think tank whose clients include Walt Disney Imagineering and General Mills. Scenario: 'We are going through an interesting social anomaly....

Futurists: Margaret King, 52, and Jamie O’Boyle, 54, director and senior analyst (respectively) of Cultural Studies & Analysis, a Philadelphia-based think tank whose clients include Walt Disney Imagineering and General Mills.

Scenario: ‘We are going through an interesting social anomaly. Our culture is no longer dominated by positive visions of the future. In the past, business and technology helped generate such visions, whether through movies, theme parks, or journeys into space. Goodrich tires, GE refrigerators, even commodities like steel and aluminum positioned themselves against the backdrop of a glittering, castles-in-the-air future. All of that fueled a cultural belief that used to drive our purchasing habits – the belief that the future will be better than the past. We’ve lost our instinct to think positively.’

So What? ‘Two factors inhibit our ability to think positively about what lies ahead: the overwhelming velocity of day-to-day change, and the unusually large cohort of aging baby boomers, whose shifting priorities – from ‘get off my cloud’ to ‘get off my lawn’ – have big implications. A growing interest in hanging on to what you’ve got, rather than in creating something new, is a normal part of the aging process. But regardless of age, all of us want one thing: a positive vision of the future.

Futurology Decoder Key: ‘The companies that succeed will be those that can maintain a consistent, positive vision of the future. Disney, once the preeminent purveyor of such a vision, has lost its step. Disney used to tap into our lifeblood by telling us who we are, how we got here, and, just as important, where we’re going. Companies must find a new way to contextualize their products. They need to tell stories that will capture people’s positive imaginations.’

Contact Gene Stephens by e-mail (, or visit the Futurist on the Web (HTTP://

Reprinted with permission from Fast Company April 2000

In Brief: The Garden picks CDs to take on daily creative leadership

Plus, Naked names two new leaders of its own and Digital Ethos comes to Canada.

The Garden promotes two creative directors

ACDs Lindsay Eady and Francheska Galloway-Davis have taken over responsibility for day-to-day creative leadership at The Garden after being promoted to creative director roles.

The pair will also help develop the agency’s creative talent, formalizing mentorship and leadership activities they have been doing since joining the agency four and three years ago, respectively. In addition to creating the agency’s internship program, the pair have worked on campaigns for Coinsquare, FitTrack and “The Coke Challenge” campaign for DanceSafe.

Eady and Galloway-Davis will continue to report to The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer Shane Ogilvie, who is stepping back from daily creative duties to a more high-level strategic role, allowing him to focus on client relationships and business growth.

Naked Creative Consultancy names new creative and strategy leadership

Toronto’s Naked Creative Consultancy has hired Yasmin Sahni as its new creative director. She is taking over creative leadership from David Kenyon, who has been in the role for 10 years and is moving into a new role as director of strategy, leading the discipline at the agency.

Sahni is coming off of three years as VP and ECD at GTB’s Toronto office, where she managed all the retail, social and service creative for Ford Canada. She previously managed both Vice Media and Vice’s in-house ad agency Virtue.

Peter Shier, president of Naked, says Sahni’s hiring adds to its creative bench and capabilities, as well as a track record of mentorship, a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Kenyon’s move to the strategy side, he says, makes sense because of his deep knowledge of its clients, which have included Ancestry and The Globe and Mail.

Digital Ethos opens a Toronto office

U.K. digital agency Digital Ethos is pursuing new growth opportunities in North America by opening a new office in Toronto.

Though it didn’t disclose them, the agency has begun serving a number of North American clients, and CEO/founder Luke Tobin says the “time was right to invest in a more formal and actual presence in the area.” whose services include design, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, influencer and PR,

This year, the agency’s growth has also allowed it to open an office in Hamburg, Germany, though it also has remote staff working in countries around the world.

Moray Hickes was the company’s first North American hire as VP of sales, tasked with business development in the region.