Futurecast: why have I bothered and why you should too!

Sérgio Brodsky introduces Futurecast, the new content series presented exclusively by Marketing Mag and launching on Monday 12th October. In this unique series we go beyond short-termism and apply much-needed foresight to marketing. 

In the animal kingdom, humans are the only species capable of looking up to the stars and wondering about the future. Our brains are wired up as a predicting machine, attempting to foresee ‘what next’ every three seconds. When it comes to the marketing profession and industry, the ability to anticipate changes in demand can be a source of huge advantage. Those that understand how foresight and futures studies work will question not how to win the game but, rather, what is the game we should be playing. These are the disruptors creating and avoiding Kodak moments.

Futurecast

Futurecast podcast

On the other hand, no other profession, discipline, or industry has been as influential as marketing when it comes to shaping society, now and into the future. And as Uncle Ben would say: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Overconsumption, scarcity of resources, climate change, culture wars are but a few of the issues that we helped create and can now help to solve. Underpinning all that is short-termism and a dominant business culture of quick fixes from the past that only perpetuate present challenges into our shared futures.

This has bothered me and many people I know. It also bothers me that despite being so in-tune with trends marketers have not been able to appropriately ‘use’ the future and instead continue to make meaningless predictions for a few minutes of fame. Because of that – and some more – I decided to create Futurecast, which will be done in partnership with Marketing Mag, Content Brains and SURGE.

Futurecast is a five-part series starting in October and concluding in March next year. Each part will include in-depth long-form articles, be brought to life by leading creatives, supported by podcast conversations, video interviews and culminating in a hypertextual e-book bringing it all together.

Interested? Here’s a teaser of what to expect:

Part 1: The post-COVID scenarios, implications and opportunities

Guided by UNESCO’s inaugural chair of Futures Studies, Professor Sohail Inayatullah and ADMA’s CEO Andrea Martens, we discuss the importance of this very unique moment and how to reconsider the role of marketing effectiveness in light of the four possible post-COVID scenarios.

Part 2: We know what’s coming, how to lead from the future then?!

Leadership is about embracing ambiguity and influencing others to take a desired course of action. No other moment has been as ambiguous as the one we’re living in, no other challenge could forge strong leaders as this multilayered crisis. Learn from Mark W. Johnson, Innosight’s founding partner, The Marketing Academy’s Global CEO, Sherilyn Shackel and UN’s World Food Programme Global CMO, Saul Betmead, about the character and skills needed to truly step up when the world needs you the most.

Part 3: How to use the future: a toolbox to projecting and arriving at your desired destination

The future is a verb not a noun. Perfection will never be possible but practice can hugely increase your odds to succeed in the most volatile markets. Swinburne’s Senior Lecturer in Design and Foresight Bridgette Engeler will showcase some of the most critical approaches to thinking and doing Futures, while Powerlink’s Strategy GM, Norike Ganhao and AGL’s Head of Brand Yasmina Pinto will share their first-hand experience about what it took to take their companies into a desired future space – in one of the most complex industrial transitions to have ever occurred in history.

Part 4: The power of narrative foresight to reframing reality through the brands, media and stories we consume

We think through metaphors and learn via stories, the two most influential drivers of the future. Expect an artfully scientific dissection about the emotions, archetypes and narratives influencing the way we live and how to make use of that to live better and do better business. We will be joined by independent Black Futures scholar Sophia Basile, the number one global authority in the neuroscience of learning Dr. Jared C. Horvath and Asian Development Bank Principal Knowledge Sharing and Services Specialist, Dr. Susann Roth, all giving us a tour de force on how to craft reenergizing new chapters for our shared macrohistory.

Part 5: Urban Brand-Utility: the challenges of creating a desirable future for marketing and the reasons for keeping up with the good brand fight

As futurist grandfather Buckminster Fuller once said, “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.” Urban Brand-Utility (UBU) is a radically innovative model for brand communications that is underpinned by a circular revenue model and with the ability to repurpose Marketing as a regenerative force for the future. Utopia? Dystopia? According to Futurecast guest, the Dutch artist-innovator Daan Roosegaarde, this idea sits closer to his ‘Protopia’ approach to changing our human landscapes. Complementing that will be City of Melbourne’s former Marketing Director Jo Whyte and world-leading futurist and Member of the World Economic Forum, Global Future Councils, Puruesh Chaudhary.

And that’s just for starters! Our creatives will be sharing their impressions and visions for the future along with a series of other foresight practitioners, business leaders, artists, political advisors and marketers helping stretch our horizons a bit further. Well… a lot further!

In this series, I’ll have the pleasure of co-hosting podcast episodes with Marketing’s editor Jazz Giuliani who’ll help me show you that the future is no longer what it used to be. Futurecast will allow you to understand and apply the thinking, frameworks and methods being used by governments, ministries, corporates and multilateral organisations into your own marketing department, agency and self!

We think about the future so we can meaningfully change the present.

Now is the time. Join us for better futures.

Read the first article for Futurecast here.

Sérgio Brodsky
BY Sérgio Brodsky ON 7 October 2020
Sérgio Brodsky (L.LM, MBA) is an internationally experienced brand strategist, a marketing lecturer at RMIT and chairman at The Marketing Academy Alumni.
He is passionate about cities and culture and the role of brands and technology in society, an intersection from where he drew inspiration to conceive a radically innovative approach to brand communications, he coined Urban Brand-Utility.
Connect with Sérgio on www.sergio-brodsky.com or through his Twitter handle @brandKzarglobal brand strategy and innovation. Follow him on Twitter: brandKzar.