Land of Hope

The article from Time Magazine, demonstrates how innovative environmental policies are pushing back the deserts.

Turning threats into opportunity: economists have a word for climate change: externality, meaning a by-product of economic activity not included on the balance sheet. It can be positive (a beekeepers' bees pollinating neighboring crops) or negative (pollution from a power station). If the beekeeper doesn't charge for pollination or the energy company doesn't pay a pollution tax, the price of honey or power does not reflect its true benefit or cost. Climate change is the mother of all negative externalities.

What if the externality could be accounted for, in a way that helped the poor? What if the economic rule book could be rewritten so that fighting climate change became development? Pavan Sukhdev, a Deutsche Bank economist working with UNEP, is doing just that — or rather, as Sukhdev prefers to describe it, he's "rediscovering" some long-lost economic principles. In the 20th century, he says, two bad assumptions crept into the dismal science. The first was that public goods — things we consume together, like clean air and sewage-free seas — were subordinated to private goods, like cars and iPods, which are consumed individually. Second, we assumed natural capital like trees, grasslands, wind, sunshine, water and soil had no value because it was mostly free; we also assumed it was not as good as industrial capital at creating wealth. "Guess what," says Sukhdev. "That's some pretty bad economics." To make his case, he cites an effort to remove imported water-intensive plants from a drought-stricken part of South Africa; the project restored the water table, revived farming and gave paid work to hundreds. He also points to environmental activist Wangari Muta Maathai's Nobel Prize — winning tree-planting project on Mount Kenya, which improved farm productivity by boosting soil quality and water retention.

Lego's Social Media Strategy

Diving into LEGO's Strategy Behind Connecting Their Amazing Network of Fans -- presented by Jake McKee from GasPedal on Vimeo.

This article is written by Digital Buzz

This is a great video from Jake McKee (formally LEGO’s Global Community Relations Specialist) discussing how LEGO found, supported and incubated their biggest fans from around the world to help pull the company out of a pretty dark time to be back on top of the world, lead in part, by a strong social media strategy.

A word of warning, this is a 30 minute video, from a conference late last year (so skip the first 30 secs) and is not exactly their strategy, but more a case study of success, however, it’s well worth the time, and probably something you won’t have time to watch at your desk today so just make sure you remember to watch it later!

Jake McKee makes three really strong, but incredibly simple (how often do we see simplicity works socially?!) points.

1. Look beyond your target customers
2. Support existing fans
3. Find what works and replicate

1. Look beyond your target customers
Your target market isn’t always your biggest group of talkers. For years, LEGO was focused on kids — that is, until they realized adults had created their own community of enthusiasts. When LEGO started connecting these talkers, not only did they increase their word of mouth, they immediately helped their bottom line. Whereas kids were spending $20 a year on LEGOs, these adults were spending around $1,000.

2. Support existing fans
Without LEGO’s knowledge, adult fans had already created an online LEGO community and marketplace. LEGO approached this group by offering support and resources in the form of an ambassador program. By offering to support what these fans were already doing so well -instead of demanding ownership and control -LEGO was welcomed into the community.

3. Find what works and replicate
The enthusiasm of the adult fans helped teach LEGO how to gain more participation from their other fans- including kids. Jake says that when you find something that works with one fan group, try applying it to other groups of talkers. Because the fundamentals of great communities are the same, strategies behind one fan community can often generate similar success for another community. (via
Igor on Viral Blog)

Coca Cola sharing what matters...

Coca-Cola: Sharing What Matters, Adam Brown; presented by GasPedal and the Social Media Business Council from GasPedal on Vimeo.

Notes while listening to the video...

First, listen and Review what is being said. Not just in a crisis, what are people talking about already? Then create content like that (gives ideas of what to say).

Secondly, Respond to the community.

Thirdly, Record - video is the future - dah.... take with a specific purpose - be educationally entertaining. What is the most interesting content.

Redirect - Cross pollinate and link everything together. Goal is to make sure everyone can find everything. Link to other websites who talk about similar information.

Politics and Social Media

I believe social media and political activism go hand-in-hand. Social media has provided individuals with the tools to participate in the political system and subsequently reinvent what we call activism. Voters used to primarily participate at the ballot box; now they can engage, interact, follow, share, etc with politics online on various digital platforms. I'd like to call this process the democratisation of media. Only publishers could create and distribute content, now everyone can participate in the debate.

Go Green Challenge

Fairfield city and Circul8 have designed the Go Green Challenge. It's an interactive game where the individual player (called the Go Green Hero) mission is to improve the health of the planet and people by "blitzing" the suburb of Fairfield into a clean and green space. The players have four minutes to find and change as many inefficiencies over to sustainable technology and practices. When the game begins you write your name and take a photo of yourself which is uploaded into the system. When the game ends a newspaper appears with you score, photo and what changes you have made to become more sustainable. This is an engaging and educating online application!

What principles should guide your sustainable communications?

I am just amazed at the lengths the Peats Ridge festival has gone to intergrate sustainable practices and technologies. Brands can't organise their events in the same way - the benchmark is here. We are so conditioned in our habits and behaviours!

Issues ranging from:

1) Recycling- four bin system of waste sorting
2) Container deposits - patrons can earn money from aluminum can recycling
3) Cutlery & Crockery - Traditionally they used cornstarch cutlery a more readily biodegradable material then traditional disposable products. While cornstarch will eventually break down it will not compost in the majority of commercial composting systems. Instead they are moving across to FSC certified wooden cutlery.
4) Powering the event - Through biodiesel and solar energy
5) Water Management - Grey Water treatment, drinking fountains for refilling stations to minimise waste generation and transport emissions.

For more details check out the website

"Green marketing is a key point of brand differentiation and honest communication of environmental outcomes has the potential to inspire real loyalty in your audience. However care must be taken with any green claims made by the festival. False or overstated claims have the potential to seriously damage the integrity of your event and at worst could result by fines and penalties imposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Even worse false claims damage consumer confidence in environmental business and hamper environmental action in general.

Here is an excerpt from the Total Environment Centre’s Green Cred Checklist a great quick guide to environmental claims.

1. TRUTH - If I make this green statement, can it be proven to be true 100 percent of the time?

2. MATERIALITY - Even if it is true, does the green statement really matter i.e. is the problem being avoided or remedied substantial and significant, or trivial and insignificant?

3. FULL DISCLOSURE - Are there any other environmental or sustainability issues being overlooked, especially negative ones?

4. SUBSTANTIATION – Whatever is being claimed, and whoever is making the claims, are they backed up by firm evidence? "

Thoughts on Social Media

The rapid change in technological advancement has facilitated new digital platforms. Indeed it has fundamentally changed the way that brands engage with consumers, companies and society. It’s a cultural shift in behaviour, in particular with smartphones, social networking sites and digital technologies (iPad). The debate surrounding these platforms (Facebook) if they will they stay or go (MySpace)…. only time will tell. The shift of consumers participating, engaging, creating communities and sharing (UGC) with brands is here to stay.

Social Media is the interaction and connection between consumers. Digital platforms such as Facebook and Twitter facilitate these connections. The future of Social Media is within ‘trusted economies and networks’ whereby brands partner with influencers and create ambassadors to distribute content. This will be largely affected by Facebook’s development and initiation of the social graph. Indeed friends and influencers’ recommendations will be more important. All media will become social and interactive, and traditional channels like TV will integrate digitally and utilize the social graph. Information will become more personal, highly targeted and highly recommended through WOM. The will be less ‘push’ communications and consumers will ‘pull’ content that provides value and entertainment. The way consumers have conversations have changed, from one-to-one to one-to-many on multiple platforms (Hootesuit) in real time. This will provide more transparent, measurable and granular information.

Vampire Power Awareness

This is brilliant content promoted through TECO. It looks like the vampire phenomena, (shows like True Blood) have provided iGo with an interesting angle to discuss an ordinarily boring topic. For content to spread online, brands need to create entertaining and engaging content.

UN Adopts Wiki-Power To Document Wildlife Conservation

The United Nations Environment Programme has recently turned to the power of the wiki to provide a worldwide picture of wildlife conservation efforts. The new site, ProtectedPlanet, aims to increase visits to and awareness of protected areas. The potential is then generated for increases in upkeep funding and popularity of conservation efforts. ProtectedPlanet links into Wikipedia, Google Maps and the Google photo site Panoramio. According to Charles Besancon of the UNEP, protected areas are one of the best ways to safeguard ecosystems and plant and animal life.

Source: PFSK, Getty Images

Sony to launch open-innovation platform with WWF

Open Planet Ideas from Open Planet Ideas on Vimeo.

The platform has been developed on the premise that the technologies that already exist within Sony’s portfolio can potentially be used to help solve some of the world’s biggest environmental issues. The project is designed to develop a community which can share and build on ideas in a variety of stages. The best of the ‘crowdsourced’ solutions will be made a reality by Sony engineers who will take the theoretical concepts to a proof of concept and prototype stage.

Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus

Shirky's concept of Cognitive Surplus reveals how new technologies have enabled us to collectively collaborate and utilise our spare brain power to change society for the good. Traditionally we spent our time consuming media without being able to interact, now within the digital world we can use our time not only to consume but also participate and share.... and these two intrinsic motivation are overiding our economic motivations.

What are the elements that make up our collaborative surplus?

1) The world's free time and talent
2) The media landscape went from passively consuming media to actively engaging with media. Tools such as the internet and mobile phones have allowed us to do more than just consume, now we can create a share.

These things together reveal human kinds intrinsic motivations of creating and sharing and therefore the internet has created a platform for collaboration and generosity. Watch the video for more!

Facebook Learnings

There are currently 456 million active users globally. Facebook has managed to connect with people and influence culture, creating a social phenomenon. Your Facebook identity is the true you - what you say and share reflects how you want to be seen and this will effect your real life.

The move from "Become a fan" to the "Like Button" is representing the "Like is an extension of me and my interest" which represents our core values. In fact, people click "Like" almost twice more than they click "Become a fan" everyday. This change makes it much faster for brands to build a wealth of new followers.

Facebook fans are self-segmented group of highly valuable customers. We need to understand the value of fan as well as their behaviour to develop a long term strategy. Facebook is a great marketing environment, people enjoy interacting with brands that enjoy interacting with them. The race is on to build a fan base and websites that are integrating Facebook Connect and Facebook Like Button.

Source: Uniqlo and Naked - Facebook Marketing Workshop

Incredible Communication Innovation

A really clever banner-advertising campaign that works like scratchies on websites and blogs!


CSR and Sustainability communications

Lessons from the Obama campagin

What is sustainability?

Sustainability could be defined as the ability of something to sustain itself. Living sustainably is about living within the means of our natural systems, the environment and ensuring that our lifestyles don't harm other people, societies and cultures. We need to do is look at our own carbon footprint, analyse what we consume on a day-to-day basis and see how our consumption affect our broader environment? We need to look at all the resources we bring into our lives and what we throw away.

Costa, From Costa's Garden Odyssey on SBS passionately brings to life the concept of sustainability with Aquaponics. Aquaponics is a relatively new and inspiring approach to sustainable food production that cultivates fish and plants in a symbiotic relationship. There are actually three elements involved; aquaculture (growing fish) hydroponic (growing soilless plants) and bacteria. Enlarge the diagram to see how it works.

Collaborative Consumption

Rachel Botswana is freelancing at Naked Communications and she is about to release a book in August called Collaborative Consumption. Collaborative Consumption describes the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping redefined through technology and peer communities.

Collaborative Consumption Groundswell Video from rachel botsman on Vimeo.

Time Shift Viewing

The official source of television audience measurement, OzTAM has recently made adjustments to the television ratings panel to incorporate homes with Personal Video Recorders (PVRs). PVRs such as Foxtel IQ and TiVo have made it easier for viewers to watch what they want; changing their TV habits from ‘appointment to view’ to ‘TV to fit into my daily routine.’ These recent advances in video recording and storage technology have dramatically affected the way we watch television.

What is Time Shift Viewing? (TSV)
Time Shift Viewing is the ability to record programs for later viewing. PVRs such as TiVo allow users to capture more than 100 hours of video to an internal hard drive. In effect these devices are computers attached to a TV.

The Numbers
The new measure system called Consolidated Ratings combines both ‘Live’ and ‘Playback’ viewings. (See charts below) The change to the system reflects the 25 percent of Metro homes and 17 percent of Regional homes that now have PVR devices.

Research from ThinkTV shows that 50 percent of PVR viewers in Australia are fast-forwarding through the ads as well as 70 percent of total US households. Therefore the implications for commercial networks are huge as their previous business model is being challenged. From the recent ratings, Channel Ten has experienced an increase viewership of four percent, this is due to shows being recorded and watched at a later date. However total reach of commercials has reduced as the research shows that half of PVR households are fast-forwarding the ads. Commercial networks are, as a result having to bolster their advertising revenue streams by focusing on multi-platform distributions. For example, Ten describes how The Biggest Loser sponsor Yoplait appears through "on-set use of the product" and an "extensive online campaign", as opposed to ads that appear only in commercial breaks.

The media landscape is changing and the move to Consolidated Ratings system simply reflects the way people are now consuming and engaging with TV. Time shifting is slowly removing the traditional television-advertising model, from ‘appointment to view’ to a ‘when I want to view’ model. Only a quarter of Australian households have PVRS to date, so there’s no need to change overnight. However as PVR penetration increases commercial networks will need to further develop other advertising revenue streams.

Account Management

I'm half way through my Account Management course at Adschool and I came across an relevant Acc M'ment article in Adnews. The article spoke about, what exactly makes a good suit?

Suits are the interface between the clients and the agency, and depending where they're sit... they represent everyone. At the agency the suits represent the clients' interests ensuring the creatives and strategist are on track. At the clients' office the suits represent the agency, and all the values and beliefs to which they stand for.

Account Management is keeping the soil fertile, "allowing great ideas to germinate and flourish." Suits needs to be good at building relationships and to be the ultimate diplomat. We are more effective when we are part of the creative process all the way through.

The Paradox of Choice

I'm currently reading The Paradox of Choice - Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz. It's a social critique of our obsession with choice, and how it contributes to anxiety, dissatisfaction and regret. Whether we’re buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions--both big and small--have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented.

We assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression.

In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice--the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish--becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice--from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs--has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.

By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counterintuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on the important ones and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make. - Google Book Review

jectaspecta: Wireless communications

My friend Jess just posted this brilliant blog about mobile communications. Read her thoughts below and click the link to watch the video.

jectaspecta: Wireless communications

TED video

I watched this video on TED a little while ago from Rory Sutherland. My colleague Zoe Scaman posted it on her blog and thought it was worth sharing. If you enjoy TED you can download the video podcasts from's a productive and inspiring way to spend your time travelling to and from work.

Advertising is....."Tinkering with perception rather than that messy business of trying to change reality"

Razor Fish Digital Brand Experience Report

Digital Primacy is a concept whereby consumers are turning first to digital media to help navigate, connect and make sense of their world. This is making them a more "connected consumer" of which 34% of total media spend is online. Consumers want phones that rival PCs, and therefore it's important for brands to invest in new technologies; location based services and AR browsers.

Digital communications enable a two way conversation with consumers. We can't talk back to a billboard or TV ad. Online we can comment on a brand, share content, watch YouTube and read corporate blogs.

Consumers are becoming fans on social media because it's all about deals and coupons, customer service (solving problems in real time and building loyalty through special offers) and interesting/entertaining content (brands to become content providers).

Food for thought at 8am

For the past few weeks I've been staring at the fastBREAK poster above the toaster in the kitchen. I woke up earlier than usual and attended fastBREAK, which is a monthly series of interactive talks held monthly at the powerhouse museum.

It was a really interesting morning of succinctly explained insights and really passionate people. Favourites of the day were Jessica Miller and Mark Pollard for their ideas and presentation styles. Jess began her presentation by handing out green and red cards. On each card were various touch points in which the audience could crowdsource after the talk.Her point being that collaboratively we can solve the simplest of problems... even if it is helping her find a new home for I found they way Mark presented was brilliant; visually using slides to convey his ideas. There is a video to follow.

Communications Council

Has launched! Check out website

Redscout Spur

Planners are intellectually curious about why people are motivated to do what they inherently. Planners are interested in culture, consumers and passionate about how the world works. They are edgy, tapped in, digitally focussed. A really interesting point; by working on your blog you are giving back to the community. Planners are the voice of the consumers. One brand means didn't things to different people, therefore it is a good thing for planners to be discriminatory! By being racist (kidding) discriminating about who belongs and believes in their brand will ultimately reject the bipolar opposite. Planners create a new reality and allow consumers to look at the world in a new way.

Redscout presents Spur — Episode 3: Are planners glorified researchers? from Redscout on Vimeo.

The future is here

On a rainy sunday avo I watched TED and found this interesting video that revealed our future.. a intuitive sixth sense with Augmented Reality. It's a taste of what's to come.