Recently, I attended a traveling exhibit of work from African artist El Anatsui. I have always felt El Anatsui was one of the most prolific artist of our generation. From the first time I read articles and saw pictures of his work, I found his story and works of art a very personal inspiration.

Until this visit, I had only experienced his art in pictures or publications.

I can say with certain, now, until you see El Anatsui’s work in person can you truly understand the impact of his work.

In pictures, you find yourself trying to understand the bigger picture of his concepts, really not putting all the pieces together. In person, you become captured by the detail of the experience he wants you to take. You truly become involved, connected. Not until now, have I truly understood the genius of his work. God truly is in the details, and god is truly in the work of El Anatsui.

I have put together a study of the textures and detail in El Anatsui’s work to hopefully help those who have never seen his genius up close and in person – the magnitude of his creativity.

We all have much to learn much, even in the smallest of details. As it is in the attention to these details that a story, a connection, a great concept is born.

This textural study of discarded objects touched by El Anatsui reflects (in most cases) only a 5% section of the entire piece. In this detail, you will hopefully see what I saw.

by Robert Shaw West Brand Futurist Commander in Chief The Republik Companies

A study in detail 2 of 16


A study in detail 3 of 16


A study in detail 4 of 16


A study in detail 5 of 16


A study in detail 6 of 16


A study in detail 7 of 16


A study in detail 8 of 16


A study in detail 9 of 16


A study in detail 10 of 16


A study in detail 11 of 16


A study in detail 12 of 16


A study in detail 13 of 16


A study in detail 14 of 16


A study in detail 15 of 16


A study in detail 16 of 16


To instill change in others, and yourself, it often involves being creative. And let me tell you, being creative every single day isn’t easy. Here’s a quote that’s kind of inspirational:

“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through. Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me.” – Ira Glass

by Miles Cartwright Brand Futurist The Republik Sergeant Creative Ops

Photo Credit: via


This week’s blog is in dedication to the latest Apple invention released last week: the iPad. According to Brady Bone, Creative Ops, “The iPad shouldn’t exist yet… Apple has shown us the future,” he continues, “Take the agency, I see strategic/account people using [the iPad] as a primary device.”

As a member of the strategic team myself, I’m privy to the aforementioned assertions. Apple should endorse small businesses with iPads and we’ll give them our valuable feedback (and keep them).

Wishful thinking. Apple didn’t even drop a dime for their role in the main story line of last week’s episode of ABC’s Modern Family, when character Phil Dunphy had only one wish for his birthday: the iPad. While Apple may have lost an opportunity to make a few bucks, ABC lent its show a new level of hipness through Dunphy’s character. An AdAge article explains just why ABC incorporated an Apple device:

“Its gadgets and computers are viewed as status symbols, even cultural icons, so it’s no wonder to see shows that want to make characters seem hip — witness the perennial appearance of an Apple laptop in HBO’s “Sex and the City” — happily weave its goods into scenes and hands.”

While the iPad will continue to generate buzz in pop culture, it certainly won’t fall wayside as a fad. On the contrary, the device is a stepping stone into the next generation of technology for businesses and networking.

by Marisa LaVallee Brand Futurist The Republik Corporal Strategic Ops

Photo Credit: © Apple Inc.


Thanks to Prof. Mike Randall of The University of Endless Learning at The Republik, book reports have returned from the halls of high school to haunt us. Luckily for Prof. Randall, my book assignment did not merely instill applicable marketing principles, but was indeed interesting. Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, offers insight into decision-making processes:

“Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.” Gladwell first got the idea to write this book after he grew his hair long. He began getting speeding tickets, was pulled out of airport security lines and, most disturbingly, Gladwell was approached by police officers on the streets of Manhattan as a suspect in a rapist case.

Gladwell got to thinking about the power of first impressions and began conducting his own research. Through a multitude of case studies, Gladwell aims to convince readers that quick decisions can be equally as valuable as cautious ones, answer when instincts should be trusted and also demonstrate the ability to educate and control snap judgments/first impressions.

I recommend Blink not only for the business world, but for everyone to read in an effort to expand awareness around decision-making and thus alter behavior positively.

by Robert Shaw West Brand Futurist The Republik Companies Chairman/CEO

Photo Credit: Armand Dijcks via Flickr – Licensed CC-BY-NC-SA


After a 17 month journey around the globe, Swiss teacher Louis Palmer pulled into the parking lot outside the UN Climate Change talks in the Polish city of Poznan. He used 0 gallons of gasoline. The small solar car towed a trailer of batteries across 38 countries at a top speed of 55 mph covering around 190 miles per charge. Palmer had the opportunity to taxi around, among others, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Monaco’s Prince Albert and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Palmer plans on repeating his voyage from other forms of natural energy such as hydro-power, geothermal and wind.

Read more here.

“Forget about a bailout. American car manufacturers should probably be requesting some face time with Louis Palmer.”

Where else can one go?

by Mike Randall Brand Futurist The Republik Captain Strategic Ops

Photo Credit: © SolarTaxi


Pentagon Clears Flying-Car Project For Takeoff

Pentagon mad-science division Darpa is helping build thought-controlled robotic limbs, artificial pack mules, real-life laser guns and “kill-proof” soldiers.

So it comes as no surprise, really, that the agency is now getting into the flying-car business, too.

Read more here

Are flying cars a good idea or not? “Hmm, wonder if my kids will be getting a pilot’s license instead of a driving one.”

by David Smith The Republik

Photo Credit: via Wired – Xconomy