Guest editor Steve Mykolyn enlists industry heavy-weights to reveal their thoughts on how to keep up, and stay relevant, in today's quick-changing world.

By Steve Mykolyn

What is “future-proofing” and how do we future-proof ourselves? The general idea seems to be to create things today that will remain valid and functional in the distant future. Future-proofing applies to many different fields, but the most notable ones include data storage, industrial design, architecture, strategic sustainable development and product design. (Supposedly it applies to the electronics industry, but there’s no proof of that.)

Some of the key principles behind this apply to people too, like “extending service life” and “reducing likelihood of obsolescence.” So we put this question to some industry leaders to see if they could offer any insights and advice on this concept as it applies to working in advertising.

Their ideas cover a range of topics designed to inspire us to think about how we can future-proof ourselves and, better yet, specific actions we can take to keep ourselves from becoming obsolete. In other words, there are no real “answers,” just ideas.

Spoiler alert: there is no mention of cryogenics in the following articles.

Jump to:

Ignacio Oreamuno: Re-learning the craft

Colleen DeCourcy: Take off your goggles

Nick Law: The insecure future of ads

Dean Sciole: The need to unlearn

Duncan Fulton: The scramble for relevance

Rick Boyko: You’re fired