We’re big proponents of following your own advice. As we’ve immersed ourselves in working with our clients to build new ideas, we’ve been just as busy sourcing inspiration to get our own creative juices flowing. To help make that happen, we’re sharing our list of influential individuals, organizations, and digital platforms to highlight a well-rounded approach, and remind you to think laterally as you ideate.
What She Does: Architect, Co-Founder of Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Why We Like Her: Deservedly, this MacArthur genius “starchitect” made the Time 100 List of Most Influential People of 2018. She was recognized for her “alternative form of architectural practice that unites design, performance, and electronic media with cultural and architectural theory and criticism.” She and her team are responsible for such high-profile projects at the Broad art museum in Los Angeles, as well as the High Line park in New York City. Suffice to say, she’s a visionary paving–nay, steamrolling– the way for women in a male-dominated industry.
Institute for the Future
What They Do: Futures Studies Think Tank
Why We Like Them: As the world's leading strategic futures organization, IFTF is a non-profit that conducts research to aid global organizations in long-term planning. You might see u regularly referencing articles published here to learn about emerging trends, that impact the way content creators may communicate and interact with audiences in the future, as well as tracking cultural and economic shifts. The site is also an excellent source for finding new thought leaders who are future-bent.
What She Does: Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
Why We Like Her: As a keynote business speaker and prolific writer, Handley’s often referred to as the “Queen of Marketing and Content,” as well as being recognized as the most influential woman in social media by Forbes.
Bozoma Saint John
What She Does: Chief Marketing Officer at Endeavor
Why We Like Her: A marketing tour de force and enthusiastic risk-taker, Saint John also known as “Boz” has shown up at companies like PepsiCo, Apple, and Uber during critical moments and led their transformation projects with unapologetic flair. Her leadership style firmly reflects her personality, offering the brand authenticity that has come to be expected in today’s social media marketing landscape.
What They Do: International Design and Consulting Firm
Why We Like Them: Pioneers in the innovation consulting space, the team at IDEO work along an endless range of industries, solving a wide range of challenges. Over the years, they’ve expanded their offering even further with OpenIDEO, a crowdsourcing platform that allows users to collaborate worldwide, and IDEO U, a series of online courses. Their most enduring contribution, the “design thinking” methodology is available as a full suite of courses taught at Stanford Life Design Lab. This spawned Designing Your Life, a book meant to encourage individuals to use this philosophy to build enriching, fulfilled lives.
The Impact Maker
What She Does: Founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy
Why We Like Her: As a corporate responsibility consultant, she connects organizations, creating partnerships and marketing campaigns that hold these companies accountable for their social impact.
What He Does: Managing Partner and Chief Strategist at Verdino & Co., Digital Transformation Keynote Speaker
Why We Like Him: Notorious for his trends forecasting, Verdino’s advised dozens of Fortune 500 companies on how to build content-driven digital experiences, becoming one of the foremost authorities on building brands and businesses in a rapidly evolving digital age.
What She Does: Healing Elaine®, Healer, Medical Intuitive & C-Suite Advisor
Why We Like Her: She’s a self-described Medical Intuitive who has worked with everyone from award-winning actors to C-Level executives, politicians, United Nations diplomats and more. Calling all skeptics: though we know that some individuals may side-eye the idea of counseling from a nontraditional practitioner, we're firm believers that energy plays a huge role not only in someone’s personal life, but also within their business. Elaine has earned her name among New York's elite by helping her clients harness the energy that works best for their goals.
Life Kit from NPR
What It Does: NPR's Family of Podcasts for Navigating Your Life
Why We Like It: Their tagline says it best: Tools to Help You Get It Together. So far, they’ve created Personal Finance and Health casts, not to mention their existing suite of award-winning shows, like All Songs Considered and Fresh Air.
What He Did: American Inventor, Futurist, Architect, and Author
Why He’s Still Relevant Today: As a prolific inventor and futurist, his work and philosophies have paved the way for today’s innovators and problem solvers across countless industries. His noble pursuit, “an experiment, to find what a single individual can contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity”, speaks to us everyday as we design and create solutions. He was an outside-the-box thinker (no Geodesic dome pun intended) as well as a prolific worker, having held 28 patents, authoring 28 books, and receiving 47 honorary degrees.
What He Does: Illustrator, Political Satirist
Why We Like Him: His thought-provoking illustrations tackle a range issues, from politics to pop culture and everything in between. With a deceptive simplicity and certain darkness to his humor, Kuczynski reminds us to keep our perspective in check on the inherent benefits and pitfalls of the digital world.
What He Does: Astrophysicist, Science-Fiction Author, NASA consultant
Why We Like Him: Besides allowing his life to imitate his art via best-selling fiction novels, he has a very active side career as a futurist and consultant, focusing on the societal impact stemming from the intersection between science and technology. We’re utterly intrigued by his exploration of artificial intelligence and the implications of sympathetic robotics.
What He Did: Writer and Lecturer in Leadership Skills Training
Why We Like Him: His time-tested work in self-improvement and salesmanship ushered in a style of thought leadership intended to enhance personal relations following the rapid technological innovation of the Gilded Age. If that sounds familiar, it’s because of the myriad of parallels we can draw to the new business practices agencies and entrepreneurs must adopt to succeed in today’s evolving market. Arguably the original “Influencer”, his 1937 classic How to Win Friends & Influence People remains a gentle reminder that soft skills will always be the name of the game in business development and marketing strategies.