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28th November 2017

The Future Looks Bright

What does your vision of the future look like? We went along to Dublin’s latest conference “The Future” which celebrates the innovators in design, media, creativity and culture, and acknowledges the role they play in the future of society, business and the spaces in between! We were awestruck by the speakers, insights and speeches. Here are our 5 key learnings from the event:


  1. Robots Will Never Replace People!

While Gartner has predicted that people will have more conversations with a bot than with their partner in next 2.5 yrs, Leila from Platform 13 reminds us that bots don’t write like people! So while we are entering a robot renaissance she reminded us not to forget the basics. However advanced they are, robots will never write like humans.


  1. Consumption is Changing, but Keep Quality Consistent

One of our favourite discussions was during ‘The Future of Storytelling’ on Friday where the concept of changing consumption was raised. We were reminded that people now consume content – on a 70/20/10 sliding scale. So 70% of content is consumed ‘on the go’ – therefore most of the content we produce should be in scannable ‘bite sized’ formats. The 20% refers to consumers having slightly more time to read/watch such as at lunchtime etc. The final 10% is when consumers are at home where they can indulge and spend longer consuming media. The take-home point? Be wary of where you content will be consumed – always keep this in mind! So why not produce a shorter version of your promo video, a shortened case study with top line points or even an infographic instead of a financial report?


A second key point was that content should always resonate with your audience – it must work for both the brand and the audience. So get creative!


Rob Alderson from We Transfer illustrated this point about content and audience wonderfully! His company regularly produces interesting content which resonates with their customers. They recently worked with artist FKA Twigs to shoot a documentary about her work – it’s a win-win for all involved!


  1. Create Experiences Not Things!

We were constantly reminded throughout the 2-day event to create experiences, not things! Stefan Sagmeister’s talk titled ‘Why Beauty Matters’ explained that objects can be both beautiful and functional – and that we should make things more beautiful than they have to be. On Saturday Kathryn from Slater echoed describing how we should create an experience, not just a logo – we must aim to create an emotive reaction with our design work. As Astrid Feldner from Bleed explained, “people won’t forget how you made them feel!” So go forth and design beautiful experiences!


  1. Go Back to Basics

Astrid from Bleed had more resonating advice. She explained we should make moral decisions when working with design and UX. Don’t make people addicted to screens – our design decisions impact people’s lives! She urges us to make a good impact on the world.


As expected during Paula Scher’s talk there were more people than seats, no one wanted to miss this design legends’ lecture. Paula had some wonderful lessons including changing people’s expectations instead of alienating them. She also shared an interesting learning point that she had only recently been reminded of. When a recent job to design beach pods wasn’t received as well as expected, she had to question why. Paula realised she wasn’t fully understanding who was consuming them and so changed the dreary grey colour to a brighter one (people going to the beach loved the bright lifeguard huts, and a dull grey appearance wasn’t keeping with this expected aesthetic). It was refreshing and comforting to know that even the greats have to reassess and rethink their work! She also urged us to remember clients are people too – something that can be lost during the design process.


  1. Change Your Thinking!

Activations agency ‘Guns or Knives’ delivered one of the most interesting and useful workshops of the event. Speakers Darius and Catherine realised they were drafting the same briefs for clients, they concluded everyone is now thinking the same way. We are consuming the same media, reading the same newspapers, and scrolling on identical timelines. As 90% of us will not move past the first page of a Google search we are collectively looking at the same information – so how do we break away from this tunnel vision? The workshop helped to drive home several key tools and new ways of thinking:

  • We must allow our unconscious to break free have a beginners mind! The Japanese call this ‘Shoshin.
  • Get distracted – allow your unconscious mind to break free! Break up with routine, take a different walk to work, read a new magazine – take up a new stimulus …you never know where it will take you!
  • Don’t be afraid to be bored – the group were urged to put their phones and pens away and to sit and “get bored” for 1 minute! It felt strange but very striking!
  • Develop a rich empathy for things- try to understand why they are they way they are. Keep asking ‘why’ it will take you on an interesting journey and help you creatively!
  • We were urged to learn the difference between facts and assumptions, in a world of click bait and fake news this can easily happen!
  • Check your cognitive bias – keep questioning and don’t make assumptions about situations!
  • Finally we were urged to be ok with making mistakes – don’t let fear impede the creative process!


A huge thanks to The Future and all their wonderful speakers. It was a powerful reminder to stay curious, to not forget the basics and to keep our mindsets magic!


Rachel Hegarty, Digital Marketing Executive

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