How organisations are creating movements for change

Getting together with cross industry leaders and change makers to chat about one of the biggest challenges this generation faces; Climate Change. Pre-read for the Fluxx Exchange.

Back in early 2020, as the pandemic hit, businesses found themselves turned upside down almost overnight. Companies delivered a decade’s worth of digital transformation in a week. We all changed the way we work, probably forever.

As customer priorities changed, companies changed their products and services, faster than they’d ever done before. Emboldened by the pace of change, business leaders are looking forward to two great challenges:

The first is embracing a new hybrid way of working.

Sharon Cooper of the The Economist Intelligence Unit on AI, building new products and taking Thursday night drinks global

Hear from Sharon and other inspiring business leaders in our fifth Fluxx book; Now what do we do? How successful leaders are looking forward not back.

Experimenting with new ideas inside one of the world’s most recognisable brands is never going to be easy. Enter Sharon Cooper; Chief Digital Office at The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Sharon has incredible foresight and a brilliant track record of experimenting and leading change with a clear focus on modernising forecasting tools and Ai capabilities to create digital products to enable organisations to grow. Interested to find out more Fluxx Managing Consultant Tom Whitwell, grabbed Sharon for a coffee and a chat for our latest Fluxx Book; Now what do we do?

I kind of fell into my career. I…

You can learn to make these at a London Terrariums workshop

This year I edited another book, worked on fascinating projects at Fluxx, and learned many learnings.

  1. Most cities plant only male trees because it’s expensive to clear up the fruit that falls from female trees. Male trees release pollen, and that’s one of the reasons your hay fever is getting worse. [Jessica Price]
  2. In China, 🙂 doesn’t mean happy, it means “a despising, mocking, and even obnoxious attitude”. Use these, instead: 😁😄😀. [Echo Huang]
  3. The hold music you hear when you phone Octopus Energy is personalised to your customer account: it’s a number one record from the year you were…

Ambient home cinema was the perfect lockdown project

My Very Slow Movie Player in an IKEA frame playing Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Photos courtesy of the author

In December 2018, Bryan Boyer published “Creating a Very Slow Movie Player.” It’s a wonderful essay about light and Brasília and architecture. Boyer describes building an e-paper display that shows films at 24 frames per hour, rather than 24 frames per second. So it would take about a year to play the 142 minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

A mixer section (I think) of the RCA Mark II Synthesiser at Columbia Princeton University

This year I’ve been thinking about scale. Miniaturisation is unstoppable, but maybe there’s a way we can have our cake and eat it.

Inside the control room of the IFA1 Interconnector connecting British and French national grids.

This year I edited another book, worked on fascinating projects at Fluxx, and learned many learnings.

[NPR’s Planet Money covered this year’s list in Episode 959: Things We Learned in 2019]

  1. Each year humanity produces 1,000 times more transistors than grains of rice and wheat combined. [Mark P Mills]
  2. The maths of queuing are absolutely brutal and counter-intuitive. [John D Cook]
  3. Emojis are starting to appear in evidence in court cases, and lawyers are worried: “When emoji symbols are strung together, we don’t have a reliable way of interpreting their meaning.” …

This year Fluxx helped launch Vogue Business, the new global business service from Condé Nast International. Ciara Byrne, Director of Business Development, talks about building a culture of innovation inside a complex, fast-moving organisation.

Tom Whitwell (Fluxx) When we first met about a year ago, how developed was the idea that became Vogue Business?

Ciara We’d been looking at business-to-business as an idea for Condé Nast International. So many different teams around the world had looked at different B2B ideas: products, services, editorial. So we wanted to make sure that we were setting aside our own internal biases and assumptions and being really rigorous. I wanted to create a repeatable, systematic process for assessing opportunities.

Tom How do media organisations normally do it?

Ciara There is a tendency in all sectors to try to…

Early military GPS receivers in 1978

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by technological progress, but the real work — solving problems, building businesses — still has to be done.

The Oxford Nanopore MinION is a £1,000 DNA Sequencer the size of a Mars Bar. In 2015 a scientist flew to West Africa with three MinIONs in his luggage, and was able to sequence the Ebola virus in 48 hours; a task that would previously have required a lab full of equipment. In 2016 it was tested in zero gravity on board the International Space Station.

Technological advances like the MinION can give a sense of vertigo. The floor and roof drop away, and possibilities suddenly can seem endless.

Christina Scott, CTO of News UK and Jonas Templestein (née Huckestein) , co-founder of Monzo

Change was a product and data forum organised by Fluxx and News UK in London this week. We saw speakers from Netflix, Lego, Monzo, the BBC, The Times and a bunch of hot startups. This is what they told us…

  1. Netflix found that movie ratings are not a good predictor of movie enjoyment; people will give five stars to Hotel Rwanda, but they’d much rather watch Paul Bart Mall Cop, and might go even go on to watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. …

Dad’s paint samples in Bristol, August 2018

This year I edited another book, worked on fascinating projects at Fluxx, and learned learnings.

  1. A well-reviewed restaurant in Maine now only accepts reservations by post. [Clint Rainey]
  2. “Venture capital firms that increased their proportion of female partner hires by 10%… had 9.7% more profitable exits.” [Paul Gompers & Silpa Kovvali]
  3. Elon Musk’s $500 flamethrower is not a flamethrower. [Kane Hsieh]
  4. 35% of Rwanda’s national blood supply outside the capital city is now delivered by drone. [Techmoran]
  5. Advertisers place a single brown pixel on a bright background in a mobile ad. It looks like dust, so users try to wipe…

Tom Whitwell

Consultant at Fluxx, reformed journalist, hardware designer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store