When Made In The UK Is Not Good Enough. Can Design Leadership Help The UK?

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I saw Kenya Hara’s book Designing Design in Tokyo a few months ago, but it was in Japanese so I didn’t guy it. I saw the English edition today at the Tate’s book store so I picked it up. I always wanted to read that it, now it is available in English. Kenya Hara is a Japanese graphic designer and curator or the Muji Man, he is art director of Muji since 2001. His design philosophy is putting an emphasis on “emptiness” in both the visual and philosophical traditions of Japan. I am not sure how Japan got into this minimalist thing, it is not in their history.

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Lunch at the top floor of…
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Random Thoughts: From Aviva Community Fund To Positive Social Change To Women Empowerment.

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I was so excited that our Aviva Community Program is getting such good response even before the official launch. It is a very important project for both our client and IC because it is something we truly believe in. It is about 1/ Empowering change in our communities while building brand 2/ Prove that social media is not a hype and if you use it right it is the most powerful communication medium 3/ Authenticity is the key ingredient of marketing, this program is about action and not just words.
Check out the program here It is truly where "Marketing Innovation" meets "Social Innovation".

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The idea is Aviva Canada will be introducing…
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The Sustainability Challenge Is Complex. Is Ecolabeling The Answer Or Just Another Greenwashing Tool?

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No one will disagree that today’s customer is empowered like never before. With social media and other connectivity, they care able to acquire more detailed information about brands, products and services in order to make smarter decisions; everything is a just a few clicks away. Any green-washing or eco-washing can last only for a few clicks. Customer can access new knowledge about the behavior of companies and can more readily question and challenge this behavior.

Many CSR initiatives are of limited success. It is pretty simple, for a retailer to have some green products available as a choice is worse than not having them. If they are doing what they supposed to do, there would be no reason for greenlabels in the first place. Because everything…
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A Simple Life Or Green Living Are Not The Solutions. They Distract Us From The Real Number One Problem.

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I was hearing a group of designers here in Boston saying that the only way to solve our sustainability problems is to simplify our life and go back to creating less garbage. They went on to suggest that if the government decides to stop collecting garbage, and they end up piling up in our backyard or frontyard, we would then feel the problem and start living a simple life – a radical idea but a silly one that doesn’t work. Why don’t we go back to riding horses and we do that, we will have some serious horseshit problem to deal with.

A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For some, it means eliminating all but the essential, eschewing…
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Creative Capitalism + Social Innovation = New Social Enterprises That Make Money And Change The World.

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We need more (and more innovative) social enterprises and I really want to see a top tier MBA programs with specialization in Social Enterprises. Call it B-school needs S-school. There are so many problems out there and sometimes we feel we are almost giving up. Our capitalist system is not adjusting well to these shocks. It is almost pointless for these endless debates on how things got to this point and who is to blame. The point remains: We've got to change it—and change it fast – and change it for the better.

The last thing we want to replace these problems with a set of newer problems, I’ve seen in many case when smart people think they have a solution, but they are simply migrating…
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Social Enterprises Will Become The Next Big Global Brands. But Not All Socal Enterprises Are The Same.

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Let me make a prediction, 10 of the top 100 most popular brands in 5 years time will be Social Enterprise Brands. What are they? They are a new form of organizations.
We see more and more development of a mixed economy of companies coming together to further progress on social, economic & environmental well being. Expect to plenty of innovation where Social Technologies meet Social Enterprises.

What exactly is a social enterprise? A social enterprise is a BUSINESS with primarily social objectives whose profits are reinvested for that purpose in the business or the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximize profit for shareholders. But it doesn’t mean that they are not maximizing their effort to create competitive advantages to create economical…
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“Sustainability” Has More Than It Means. There Are No “Sustainability” Without “Social Innovation”. Many Of The Solutions We Have Are Simply Too Tactical, Not Dealing With The Systemic Issues.

Picture 15 Here’s a picture of the Better-World-Team and IC team at the Brand Sustainability conference in Monterey, California. Talking to many at the conference, I can see  how people are very passionate about this subject and wanted to make change happen. The question is always the “how” and the debate is over whether it should be top down or bottom up, whether it should be led by policy makers or corporate should take a leading role or consumers should be leading this “revolution”?  There was a heated debate in the discussions groups that I moderated.

Picture 12 The first problem I have with is the narrow definition of sustainability. I don’t it is a just about recycling and green. Definitions of sustainability presumes that…
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Forget The 4Ps Of Marketing. Let’s Talk About The 4Ps of Sustainable Business Strategy: People, Planet, Purpose and Profit. Now That’s Business Transformation.

Picture 12 Whether we are talking about innovation,, technology or public policy, we often come up with solutions that creating more problems than they are supposed to  solve. Given the enormous complexity and almost un =manageable challenges ahead, what do we need to do? What seems to make sense doesn’t do it anymore.

How do we make the 4Ps of working in harmony? People, Planet, Purpose and Profit is rapidly becoming the new mantra of a new generation of managers, they are now challenged as never before to deal with a myriad of issues that go far beyond creating shareholder value. What good is shareholder value when we are selling our future short? What good is shareholder value when there are no jobs? Some argue that outsourcing to some lower cost countries can…
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