Strategy and Planning Meetup #3 – loving the future and the edge of online learning

Anxiety, hijacking and rhizomatic adventures – that’s just a taste of what went down at the third Brighton Strategy and Planning Meetup.

Talking to a packed crowd on a cold February night, three speakers from the agency/consultancy side of the industry (Merlin Nation, creative director of Atyp, Natalie Lloyd, agency partner at Say Digital, and Jon Burkhart, chief content officer at Real-Time Content Labs) gave different opinions on the theme ‘uncertainty and the edge’.

Merlin Nation – How I learned to stop worrying and love the future

Merlin spoke about the process of setting up Atyp. Merlin and his business partner started with an idea of the culture they wanted to achieve, and built the studio with an emphasis on work/life balance. A core theme of his talk was how to create a creative, experience-focussed, agency and maintain a vision of what it will become, when the essence of the work embraces new technologies, new techniques and is extremely tailored to clients.

He argued that the anxiety caused by uncertainty is a natural human state and essential for creativity. Atyp begins its projects from this state of uncertainty, some examples of which can be seen in Merlin’s slides below.

Natalie Lloyd – Room for curiosity: the present edge of learning

Natalie’s talk focused on the evolving nature of online learning. Once an educational course meant moving through a set of steps in a prescribed order, but we are now beginning to see learning as a network of challenges and experiences. The difficulty and potential of course design and guidance in this new space is what fascinates Natalie. As she put it – ‘enrol in a learning environment. Never. Stop. Learning.’

Jon Burkhart – How to make your brand indispensable: five steps toward creating a daring/dangerous content strategy for the next five years and five minutes

Since 2009 Jon has been working with brands to explore how they can hijack culture and current affairs to enable conversations with their customers and fans.
He walked us through a series of best practice (and worst practice) examples of how brands can, and have, hijacked news stories and current affairs. The crux of his talk, which he communicated while under fire from stress balls he’d bravely supplied the crowd with, was that brands need to assess real-time content opportunities based on how appropriate it is for them to be involved, and whether they have the right and heritage to do so.

He also discussed the importance of having capable (and fast!) systems and operations. The nature of real-time content publishing means it is only truly available to brands who are willing to publish things in a small window.



Thank you

Thanks to Bloom Worldwide for co-sponsoring the event with us, The Lighthouse for letting us use their excellent digital lounge, and Lindsay for being a brilliant host.

Finally, we’d love to hear your comments about the event. Please fill in the feedback and suggestions form if:

  • you’ve got any feedback on the recent event;
  • you’ve got any suggestions for themes you’d like covered, or speakers you’d like to hear;
  • you’d like to speak at the event and have a talk you’d like to pitch to us.