Webinar: Claire Menzies, Istoria Group (2)

One month after we first spoke with Claire Menzies we have invited her back to our webinar series to ask her what the post-Covid-19 era might look like and what can businesses do now to prepare?

Claire Menzies is Founder and Chairwoman of Bristol- and Indianapolis-based Istoria Group, a creative collective of three established sister agencies and two innovative start-ups. She is a proven entrepreneur, sustainability champion and passionate advocate for a triple-pronged ‘people, planet and profit’ business vision.

You can watch Clair’s first webinar here.

“It’s time to be brave and bold about solutions” 5 takeaways from Sustainability Expert Claire Menzies with Design Insider – complied by Blue Dot.

1. We’ve seen that current global supply chains are fragile and risky, and we have an over-dependence on the cheapest solutions. When we emerge, the environment will be different. We will be thinking about moving from the traditional linear economy (take, make, waste), to a more sustainable, circular economy. Any trends in sustainability pre-COVID are going to accelerate.

2. We as a society will re-evaluate how we measure success – GDP doesn’t measure what we value most.

3. Companies should reflect and take stock of their portfolio and consider threats (shut down what is no longer relevant) & identify new opportunities (double down on those).

4. Be realistic about what your clients are going through. Be informed about how things are changing. Don’t get left behind.

5. “Global problems do not always have global solutions” – John Gray in the NewStatesman. There will be an increased focus on self-reliance: planting our own food, shopping locally, and self-sufficiency in supply chains.

Thank you for stressing that “It is more important than ever to be a values-led organization”.

Watch our webinar in full:

Our webinar audience asked Claire 4 additional questions, here are Claire’s answers:

Question 1 – Will we be looking at off-world resources to use – re-use? We now take from this world only and repurpose all the materials we extract / exploit, when these materials run out will we have to go off-world? What would be the alternative if not off-world?

There is still a lot of mileage ‘on-world’. We’re still only at the early stages of scaling up industrial ecology/circular economy tools/approaches such as design for environment, extended producer responsibility, industrial symbiosis, urban mining, material substitution, alternative raw materials, leasing business models, advanced recovery technologies and so on. In addition, the bio-economy is emerging as a source of material replenishment e.g. bioplastics, bio-fuels etc. There is a trend now for Governments to build-in greater resilience in their economies to protect against material scarcity/material security. This trend has been given a boost by the unfortunate Covid 19 and the climate crisis. Similarly, not only are we seeing more investment in these tools but Governments are beginning to take fiscal measures whether they be carrot or stick to push economies in this direction.

Question 2 – Will ‘man-made’ become a hackneyed phrase as we look to robotisation?

It may well be but there are some upsides of robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data etc. in terms of efficiency and reducing waste and energy. The best reference point here is Industry 4.0 https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/manufacturings-next-act

Question 3 – What are some interesting innovations you are seeing to create connections at virtual events (in follow up to your comment on us being tribal beings)?

Without a face-to-face aspect, it’s harder to get buy-in from remote attendees, so you need very careful planning. Make sure virtual events include, for example:

• Goals to guide your event • Compelling messages and a unique story • A format emphasising customer experience • Professional video design and production

The latter might include:

• Pre-recorded videos – Giving leads access to your videos on demand and creating an experience that combines brand elements and clear language with a captivating video presentation.

• Animated education content – Look to produce 2D and 3D content to reduce the production costs found in traditional video. Walk attendees through a product demo or setup process with ease.

• Live-streaming – Get buy-in for digital events with a bit of FOMO. Remote viewers won’t want to miss out on asking questions in this community format.

• Virtual event panels and forums – Live-stream from your office or your home – restrictions relevant. Hosting an online group is a great way to engage your audience with a live Q&A session.

Question 4 – How do we incentivise the generation of ideas from our personnel? There will always be a reluctance to give away ideas, the fear that they will be used by senior management and progress their careers, but the originator of the idea goes unrewarded?

Sadly, not all companies are prepared to push innovation within their organisations. Changing workplace systems and procedures requires resilience and flexibility, and it’s an unfortunate reality that many people are afraid of or continue to resist change. Encouraging creativity is the key to embracing innovation for any company. Company leadership teams could review the cultural benefits of ‘innovation nurturing’ by opening up safe organisational space to allow innovators across the business to bypass barriers and hierarchies that often sap creativity. One of our ‘Innovation Hub’ teams has in fact created an innovation platform that addresses this directly – https://www.solverboard.com/

Join us on Wednesday 13th May at 3pm when we will discuss the importance of caring for your brand, positively positioning your brand and creating the ideal tone of voice during this period of crisis with Steve Haskins, Creative Director at so design consultants. Book your free place on this 30 minute webinar here https://lnkd.in/gQU4Wbe

Steve has been involved in the design industry for over 30 years both as Creative Director in some of the country’s leading agencies and industry contributor to the UK creative university scene. A passionate artist, conceptual designer and lateral thinker, his work has been exposed to a global audience across many different disciplines. Steve set up the So studio in 2000 with the desire to create a different design hub, which would steer intelligent creativity and help make a difference to businesses and organisations.


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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