Pattern the dynamics of culture through data visualization. Innovation is wasted by recycling old cultural frameworks from the last 50 years. Using old vocabulary for design research keeps us rehashing old concepts. We see new things, but rarely compelling things. Demographics, screeners and grids stop us short of our intention to create the next big thing. Blue skies and wide open longitudinal studies belabor the issue too. We can move faster and be truly innovative by narrowing focus to patterns of culture. Culture has a past, present and future. It’s dynamic. As signs of culture become more prolific and index higher they no longer mean what they meant originally. Over time and space meaning changes. Sometimes, it wanes. Sometimes, it evolves. And, sometimes, forces inhibit progress. For example, organic food was intended to be accessible and healthy, not expensive and rich with hype. Understanding the whole picture allows us to create an impactful environment for ideas. - See more at:
I am the co-founder and managing partner of scenarioDNA, a leading global cultural insights company with offices in Manhattan and Mexico City. We work with a broad range of clients in all global markets. Our approach is a unique hybrid of semiotics, ethnography and analytics helping our clients solve tough problems from innovation platforms to defining possible futures.
Because selfies are small frames of information, offering limited context, we tend to dismiss the information they hold. A selfie is as a selfie does. Yet, seemingly small details hold big clues as to the greater meaning of the selfie and the cultural context that drives them.
I speak and write frequently on the new state of research.
Today’s big ideas and forecasting live in fast multiplying small networks that are evolving our global culture. Culture Mapping plots the information surrounding these points in the network so that it is actionable in developing powerful product and communication strategies.
I have been a member of the faculty at Parsons the New School for Design since 2006 teaching in the school of Strategic Design & Management. I also taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology prior to that.
I actively conduct academic and professional workshops outside the university with companies and non-profits on how culture impacts innovation.
The underlying system for all meaning creation has its roots in politics and protest. The methodology I have developed reveals patterns and migration of meaning between movements. We have conducted research around Occupy globally as well as other political movements as a way of understanding the relationship between expression and ideology and how that helps us predict possible future outcomes for society as a whole.
The future of education depends on our ability to break through outdated frameworks. The methods I have developed to understand culture have also been leveraged to analyze modalities of learning and help reveal new opportunities that have greater impact.