Bizglish: Designed to Disappear

The language of business today is constantly invaded by made-up terms or catchphrases that live and die in newsfeeds, blogs, keynotes, and serious business press like so many semantic mayflies. One minute they’re not there, the next we’re swarmed by them, and – just as suddenly – they disappear. One form of linguistic expression stands…

How Brands Are Using “Play” to Stay in the Game

Childhood: those carefree days of rambunctious young life, where “playing” was a way of exploring; where we deconstructed and hacked our physical realities into our own creative imaginings; where we evolved by being flexible and tolerant of changing playing fields; where we engaged and played productively with one another, sharing a common vision and goal.…

Understanding Body Politics in Retail and Fashion

In retail, fashion, or even wearable tech spaces, it’s easy for designers and design researchers
to focus either on the technical innovations of fabrics and clothing, or on the aesthetic and expressive aspects of a garment. Innovation in these spaces largely focuses on the created object and its production, rather than the cultural consumption of the…

Let’s Get Physical

Why is e-commerce rebuilding the brick-and-mortar store?  In a time when there is a new disruptive technology almost every week and Oxford Dictionary’s Word
 of the Year is an emoji, some retailers are harking back to old habits and returning to an offline, analog way of selling – the brick-and-mortar store. Major corporations, including Amazon,…

Designing a New Class of Luxury

An Intimate Look at the Dorchester Collection Hotel Group Resting in the mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, sits what many believe to be the world’s oldest hotel – Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan. Established in 705 AD on the banks of a natural hot spring, its foundational magnetism came from healing and relaxing baths that, over the…

Building a Better Bot

An Interview With Dr. Angelica Lim About the Future of a More Social Robot I had the opportunity to watch Dr. Angelica Lim speak at the FITC FutureWorld conference in Toronto this past summer. Maybe it was because of her positive enthusiasm about the future of robotics, or maybe it was due to her equally…

On the Origins of Progress

What do we mean when we use the word “progress”? How do we track progress? What drives progress? What is it that actually progresses? We all know what the word means, but I challenge you to answer these questions to your own satisfaction, let alone anyone else’s. Our collective inability to do so demonstrates the…

Rebranding Purpose

Having lived on the West Coast for several years now, I’ve gotten used to being asked things like “What is your calling?” at dinner parties. These questions used to always take me aback; I would awkwardly stand and swirl my wine around in circles trying to come up with something bohemian, yet coherent, to say.…

Reclaiming Aging

Finding Purpose in Later Life  By providing us with a healthy orientation to the future, a sense of purpose increases wellbeing – especially in later life.     Purpose Increases Health in Later Life Retirement age is often experienced as a time of loss. Not only of the opportunities of youth, but also of a…

The Illusion of Value

When Your Purpose Is Actually Meaningless Nothing you do is valuable. Prove me wrong on that, but for just a short while, I want you to entertain the idea that everything you work so hard at and believe so strongly in simply carries the illusion of value. I want you to challenge yourself to that…

The Business Case for Purpose

In business, “purpose” is the new black. 
It has become very fashionable for consultants and business professors to encourage companies to ask “why” they are in business. What is their raison d’être, beyond just making money? Or is that all there is? After almost 40 years of neoliberal economics, the prevailing and very entrenched answer…

Life With Death

Surviving Mortality and Overcoming the “Crisis” of End-of-Life Care   When was the last time you thought about your own death? Not because the possibility of death was imminent – rushing toward you on a busy highway or following you too closely on a deserted street – but because you were interested: feeling curious or…

Something to Believe In

Purpose is the Driving Force Successful Brands Need Successful businesses are built on the efforts and choices of two types of volunteers, both of which play very different roles in the ecosystem that nourishes
 an organization. These two types are more commonly known as “employees” and “customers”; however, categorizing them this way does not capture…

Invisible in Plain Sight

More than the sum of our parts. People are complicated. How we socialize, how we develop our cultural and political institutions, and how our individual
 and group identities powerfully shape all of those processes is complex. We are never just one type of person presenting ourselves to the world according to a single script. Nor…