Effective communication and innovation must start with respect for the people we aim to engage and an understanding of what moves and motivates them.
In the context of the challenges we face and the more complex values that are emerging, this theme will become central.
We must work differently to understand and respond to the needs of a new breed of consumer in order to develop the brand stories and service offerings to fulfil them.
We must overhaul our approach to finding and interpreting consumer insight, in light of a revolution in the behavioural sciences over the past decade.
By Understanding People, we can improve the effectiveness of our work, promote positive values and drive sustainable consumer behaviour change.
Whilst creative communication is a key driver of positive social change, it will only ever be part of the solution.
If we are to effectively drive change based on our Understanding of People and Complexity, we must incorporate a wider range of disciplines into our practice in order to develop more rounded, holistic solutions.
Multi-disciplinary working does not mean media neutrality. It means elevating our approach to range over an inter-connected network of potential solutions, of which media may just be a single element.
By Transcending Disciplines we can redefine our relationships with clients, create new roles for our skills further up the value chain and drive more effective, sustainable solutions.
The social, environmental and economic challenges we face are ‘wicked’ problems: highly complex, multi-faceted and embedded in intricate systems.
If we are to rise to the sustainability challenge and grasp the opportunities it represents we must burst out of the media bubble and understand the issues we face in their fullest context.
Rather than thinking in terms of consumers and communication, we must to elevate our role and think in terms of systems and behaviour change.
By Embracing Complexity, we can add value to our clients much higher up the value chain and use our skills to affect sustainable change, rather than just creative communication.
If we fail to respond our response to climate change is not urgent and effective, the systems that underpin our society will begin to fail.
Before the threat to our species and planet manifest themselves, it will be our businesses and economies that start to buckle, with disastrous knock-on consequences.
The advertising and design industries have a fundamental role to play in preventing this outcome: never has the need for creativity and innovation been more urgent.
By Going Lightly in everything that we do and applying our skills to empower brands and consumers to do the same, we can trigger disruptive innovation and timely, sustainable change.
This will stretch us beyond communication to drive innovation in product, service and even business model innovation.
A growing number of consumers, academics and governments believe the advertising and design industries have played an instrumental role in fueling unsustainable consumption.
The reach and influence of our work is such that is has fuelled damaging behaviour and even skewed the values on which our society is based. The materialist, extrinsic value set that predominates as a result is unsustainable: it encourages reduces health, weakens community ties and ultimately hinders individual happiness.
This argument is premised on the assumption that our work has the power to affect fundamental shifts in culture and consumption. If this is the case, the same forces can be leveraged to drive greater health and happiness and build a sustainable future.
In order effectively Create Happiness, we must develop a better understanding of the relationship between our work and society: the unintended affects of brand communication and advertising, as distinct from the actual product or service in question.