Food & Drink: Ripe for a Rethink

It’s hard to imagine wholesale disruption of the food and beverage space, where innovation tends to be incremental. Our resident food anthropologist Dylan Gordon provides three prescriptions for change. Vitamins & Minerals Vitaminwater is so yesterday. With natural, unmanipulated foods being the champions of the day, “fortifying” water with synthetic chemicals is a turn-off. Meanwhile, bottled water brands are confronted…

Down with BASES!

Nielsen BASES. Whether you swear by it or swear at it, if you work in consumer products innovation, chances are Nielsen BASES has consumed – and perhaps cost you – more than a few days of your life. Founded nearly four decades ago to help large consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies mitigate the risks of…

How to Win in the Experience Economy

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” These mythic lines from Shakespeare’s As You Like It serve to illustrate a key pillar of The Anthropology of Experience: that identity is created as it is performed. Everyday actions and practices – like taking public transit, attending business meetings, eating meals,…

Enter the Liminal Zone

When anthropologist Victor Turner began writing about the three stages of the ritual process and the role of the middle stage in facilitating experiences of personal, social, and cultural transformation, he was inspired, in part, by the turmoil and transition of the late 1960s. Today, we are living in what feels like another period of…

Gray Malin: Artist from Above

How would you describe your style, both personally and professionally? 
My personal style is classic, but always with a pop of color. This carries over into my work aesthetic, as well as interior decorating style. Describe what you consider the
 lifecycle of one of your pieces – from ideation, to purchase, and beyond.
 Some concepts…

The Second Life of Print

The notion of digital publishing obliterating print is as enduring as it is popular. This is in no small part due to the fact that it fits neatly into a nice and linear narrative of evolution. Just as the introduction of the printing press provided literacy to the masses and democratized the dissemination of information,…

Fixing the Food System: An Acquired Taste

The food system is broken. Environmental and economic drivers necessitate that we transform our standards of production and habits of consumption; find new ways to meet the demands of global nourishment. There are solutions –
old, new, and emerging – but cultural barriers stall our acceptance of them. To change the way we eat, we need…

Nature: The Ultimate Innovator

“He must be a dull man who can examine the exquisite structure of a comb, so beautifully adapted to its end, without enthusiastic admiration.” – Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species As our world becomes increasingly complex with rates of change continuing to intensify, we business thinkers and doers turn to the tools of…