Monday, June 6, 2011
blue oompah by Tony Gonzalez
Kickass people came to chat with the students in 60Fed this semester.
First (02/23/2011) - we had a round of agency strategists who had all recently graduated from the program: Khaia Brogan (McCann-SF), Virginia Lu (AKQA) and John Quintana (Goodby, Silverstein and Partners). This experience was new for me - recent students from my classes, now working professionals. huh. This is how it is supposed to go, eh?
They were a big hit with the students. First of all, the three have this beautiful chemistry of differing personalities, but sincere appreciation for each other and both the student and strategy communities. They guided the students through many of their failures, successes, surprises and other stories in their education, finding jobs and "moving up the ladder." We had a full room of attentive students, who finally had the opportunity to see themselves reflected, even if only vaguely.
Second (03/15/2011) - we got disquiet. I was fortunate to meet Marc Weidenbaum a couple of years ago under what could have been professional collaboration, but because I took a left turn instead - we stuck to friendship. I talk about how critical it is to be a symphonic thinker: its importance to creativity, to survivability in today's economy and quite frankly to joy in life. Marc is one of those people that dives deep into sounds, music, games, science, comics, technology, connections, conversations ... He lets it all swirl and then illuminates. He's the kind of person that can get you thinking extensively, even if you just take a peek into what he's doing.
Bazaars and musical/cultural maps. These two things he discussed with us have stuck in my brain. I had just read about Michael Pollan trying to get us to "resolarize" the food system and Marc slaps me with how the internet is getting us back to the bazaar days of messy-organized exchange; btw, he referenced Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S. Raymond for further reading. Also, I have been assigning Cultural Maps as an assignment in my Intro to Planning class for awhile now. The depth, breath, creativity, simplicity, interestingness they offer is one-of-a-kind. Marc used these as tools in his presentation - it was lovely to see. The students greatly enjoyed hearing some ideas from someone outside of advertising agencies.
Third (04/13/2011) Rachel Coady and Matthew Scott stopped by our place to discuss connections and culture. They told us how to take who you are and apply it to what you do. They told us how to prospect, tell stories, be a conduit , how to assure and inspire, how to be awesome...
I love these two. I just do. And you will too if you are fortunate to play with them.
Fourth (04/05/2011) Gareth Kay popped into 60Fed. Gareth is wonderfully giving. Sincerely, I know few people as giving with their thinking and time as this guy. I'm very lucky he enjoys playing with us so much. He came by to present his current thoughts about Small Thinking. His blog has more about the ideas. It is good stuff that is impacting my "Art of Planning 2.0" thinking. I will get that up soon.
What a wonderful semester of idea sharing. Thank you to Khaia, Virginia, John, Marc, Rachel, Matthew and Gareth. You changed brains and hearts.
at 1:19 PM