The advertising industry is watching itself fail for one specific reason. The culture that makes great TV ads is driven by single-mindedness. The core thought, main idea or whatever you wish to call it is an isolated thing conceived for broadcast and forged in the age of the individual. The tragedy of Don Draper is his isolation. And the romanticising of this kind of creative alienation has set an entire industry adrift. The problems of business at the end of an era of infinite growth, cannot be tackled with a single thought or from a one location. We are in a fractal age, where every problem is a symptom of much bigger forces. Just as medicine is waking up to the idea that the body is a connected system, and just as engineers and architects have always known, their creations exist in a complex system, businesses are beginning to understand, perhaps like a toddler, that they are not the centre of the universe but part of a greater whole. Solving problems today, requires Pattern Thinking.
In the new Peter Rabbit movie there’s a beautiful moment, aimed at the Rave Generation dutifully sitting with their kids to watch a wholesome movie. Peter is “stoned” on carrots at a house party and announces “it’s like all connected man”. This flash of insight, known to psychonauts the world over is more profound than a fnarr fnarr reference to teenage abandonment. It is in fact how the entire universe is constructed. Italian Physicist Carlo Rovelli, tells us in his new book The Order of Time, that the present past and future coexist, time is less a river than a mesh. Pretty far out man, and indeed Ravelli received this insight on LSD a substance he believes reveals the true nature of the universe.
Wherever you stand on the subject of psychedelics the connectedness of the Universe is a fundamental truth. We are the children of stardust and to stardust we return. In the 16th century John Donne knew this well when he said ‘each man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind’. The hyper-rational 20th century for all it’s progress marked a significant regression in connected thinking. Cold economic value became the only metric, a tree became £10,000 of timber rather than a complex system at the heart of our ability to survive.
Recognising that as Donne says we are “a part of the main” is a big leap for modern humans. 20th century reductive industrial logic, doesn’t recognise consequences. Businesses could use up resources because they appeared plentiful and in any case the spreadsheet only counts what we tell it too.
We no longer have that luxury. Thankfully we have technology now that connects us such that we can collaborate as never before, connect diverse minds and stand a very good chance of solving the problems that face us, but only if we abandon the myopia of 20th century thinking.
Being connected does not mean we all have a mobile phone connected to the internet. It’s a fundamental realisation that we are part of a bigger whole. Isn’t it sad that with such awesome tools the brightest and the best choose as Nicolas Negroponte said “to do some laundry app with their boyfriends or girlfriends”. Isn’t it wrong that faced with incredible challenges, some technologists put their effort into connected water-bottles designed to tell you when you’re thirsty? Water is already running out in Africa and I know when Im thirsty. Will you be telling me when to pee next?
Group of Humans is founded on an awareness that we are all connected. It is a belief that in coming together we can create a kinder, happier and more productive world. To do this, companies need to point their technology investments at much more humanised services and tools that bring communities together, tap diverse and distributed talent, and contribute to a future that’s fit for human habitation.
To get this right requires a full view of a company and the world it operates in. The only way to do this is to bring together diverse thinkers and doers. As Anaiis Ninn said, “We see the world not as it is, but as we are” so the only way to understand what’s going on in this age of exponential complexity is to bring many minds together. We call this Holistic Consulting.
By bringing creatives and brand experts to a program of business change, product development, or organisational and cultural change we can ensure from the outset that there will be an engaging story for the end customer to engage with. This has the added advantage of saving time and money, but more importantly, it provides a sense of connection to the world outside of business silos and corporate thinking.
The Group of Humans is a diverse network of experts hand picked for their ability and their belief in a connected world. We all share the view that humanity faces existential threats, and it is incumbent on all of us with influence to work towards a kinder world. Because if your business is not sustainable it won’t exist in 20 years time and your children will ask you why you didn’t try harder.
A curated network of Designers, Thinkers, Technologists and Strategists | We celebrate vulnerabilities, weaknesses and differences and find ways to learn from them.