Design Thinking And Creating Social Capital. Here’s An Example From Tampiquito, Mexico.

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Creativity happens everywhere. Not only in design firms or creative agencies. And you can easily find the results of creativity all around you; you don’t need to seek out a gallery. People think creativity only happens in art schools and innovation don't usually happens only in a lab. Design Thinking and Strategic Creaitivty is all around us and funny enough many don't it Design Thinking. In fact, they happen more often than in a design environment. Design is not Design Thinking.

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Creativity is everywhere and you need the eyes to see them. One example is PARK(ing) Day, an annual, worldwide event that invites citizens everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public…
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We Have Proved Once Again That Brand Marketing Can Drive Social Change, Further Customer Engagment And Build Brands. And Won A Gold Award For Best Financial Service Marketing.

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Aviva Canada just announced winners to Aviva Community Fund with half a million dollars payout to programs across the country. This is the second year of a very successful campaign created to use brand to drive social change. The Aviva Community Fund, a unique competition designed to lead, empower and support positive change in communities across the country, was first launched in 09 when we presented the idea to the client.

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The idea is an open source idea platform for people to submit and decide how to use the money to drive real social change and provide positive impact…
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You Can Criticize South Koreans For The Lack Of Creativity, But You Cannot Criticize Their Hospitality. I Think They Beat The Japanese.

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Seoul is really a surprisingly friendly place. It was a surprise even for me as I am so used to different hospitable culture. Despite the city is a little too much concrete and dull, the younger generations of Koreans are bringing life to the city. They are different from the Shinsedae (means new generation in Korea in the 80s) who are now older, the current generation of young people is technologically savvy, heavily immersed in consumption both material and cultural and they are the first generation who have the opportunity to travel abroad for visit or study with the liberalization of overseas travel and the advent of an era of information and communications. Funny after the first day of meeting till 7pm started right when I arrived…
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Now Everyone From Samsung to Nokia and LG Is In A Perpetual Competitive Race To Get The Next Gadget Out In The Market. It Is Becoming Crazy.

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My last stop before heading home is Seoul, a few more meetings and I am ready to head back. Only today I managed to take a few hours off and visited some art galleries. Korea is really trying to become a key player in the world of design, so much goverment money is pouring into supporting the industries.  The emphasis on design is very much focused on industrial, brand and graphics and not a higher leve of design thinking and applications. They are at least 5-7 years ahead of China and Taiwan. They should be starting from understanding that the design is not only part of industrial/economic policy but a strategic capability to affect all areas of industries and national competitiveness.

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Japan’s Structural Barriers To Innovation Is Hurting Them. Korea And China Are Just Around The Corner Ready To Take Over.

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It is nice to be back in Japan this week although I am just here for 3 days and off to Seoul. Went to this restaurant in Subuya,impressive design where the kitchen is raised and opened like a theater and the manager is the conductor. Although he looks more like a headmaster standing on a podium. I wish the chefs can come out and sing a tune or two once 30 minutes.

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I used to spend a lot of time in Tokyo 15 years back and it was probably the most innovative city in the world for a long time. Is this still the case? I don’t think so. Many ask me the question…
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Maison Moschino Milano – Il Mio Tipo Di Hotel! The Boutique Hotel Craps From Big Chains Are Bascially 4 Stars Fast Food.

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Boutique hotel is my thing, it is not about being cool or be seen, I’ve passed that stage and it is not about the brand. Do I care if it is W or X or Y? I am sick of staying at the Sheraton or Marriot of the world, it is not only depressing, it reminds me that I am another those global travelers without a life. Although that’s not quite the case. I travel around the world for a reason, a good one. It is my job. And I am a byproduct of globalization. With a handful of passports, hotel loyalty cards and Facebook contacts (used to be Roladex), I am at home anywhere in the…
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Sustainability: What’s Is The Right Thing To Do? Transformable Space Or Minimalist Living? Is It About Consuming Less?

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I am at a stage when I really have too much stuff. My house is full of furniture from Philippe Starck’s Costes chairs to Le Corbusier lounge chairs to Barcelona day bed and Eileen Grey stuff….  and then there are a collection of French country and New England styles Ralph Lauren furniture in the basement. These are stuff I accumulated from my days in LA, HK, Boston, London and Milan.  Now I don’t know what to do with them. My basement is filled with things from art pieces to cameras; high tech gadgets to old French magazines date back to 1980s. I seriously think I need less, but I am getting more everyday. I carry an iTouch,…
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Don’t Waste This Crisis. It Is The Best Time For A ‘Reset’. Sometimes It Takes A Life Shake Up To Put Us Back On The Paths We Need To Be On.

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There were tours visiting our office last week, people were curious about what we do and what kind of people we hire. It is an interesting question. I guess our job is to help large companies go through mid-life crisis.

Crisis is a popular word these days and it seems like there are no shortages of them. We use the term in today's economic, humanitarian, political and environmental climate. The word is much associated with extreme negative 'tests' of our human abilities or survival as a species. This is also a test on our intelligence and also a test of humanities and to what extend it exists.

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How do we get out of this…
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Interaction Design Has An Important Role To Play In Our Future, It Has The Power To Transform Cultures.

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There is two articles on IC today, one on Inc. magazine and the other in Globe and Mail. We're getting some good press coverage and we need to continue to make our story heard. In the meantime, we continue onto my journey of building global capabilities. Interaction design (IxD) will be a core focus, and I don't mean just web or mobile interactions. IxD will be one of the most important strategic capability for companies to build meaningful engagement and sustainable differentiation as part of their enterprise level experience strategy.

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How would interaction design change in the next 10 years? It…
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“Corporate Repsonsibility Is An Illusion?” According To Prof Karnani. What Is He Thinking?

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This is an argument that will not go away anytime soon. I have had heated debate in our b-school days way back.The question goes back to the core of the modern corporation. What role does business plays in creating value in societies? Or the question should be more about the ‘how’? Among B-schools there are many different point of views on what is a modern corporation.

CSR is becoming a buzzword much as social media. There are many real experts and many wannabes. Why the rush now? Well, the answer is simple, with all those money thrown into advertising whether targeted at institutional or retail investors in WSJ or general public adverting on cable TV, they are almost a total waste of money. Net net,…
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