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Like most 15-year-olds, my daughter is totally connected. Text and Facebook are her lifelines, or so I thought.  In spring, around the time of the pending Facebook IPO, I noticed a conspicuous absence in her Facebook activity. With a busy school and activity schedule I thought it nothing more than a function of available time.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. She and her friends have simply discovered social platforms that better fit the way they live – mobile. Instagram…take a picture, share it, 20 minutes later there are 65 “likes.” Pretty apt name. Twitter…group conversations and connections to peer group topics.  Pinterest…personal expression of self as individuals. What words can’t capture. Beautiful boards. Very revealing.
That’s the holy trinity for now. Along with ever-present text. This new world of social media supports her, not vice versa. And yes there is still some Facebook activity. But for her generation it is no longer the sun. Look around for yourself. There may be a world beyond Facebook. So far, I like what I see.

And now for the science. Two articles that prompted this post. The first is about Instagram:  The second is about Pinterest:  Both articles reinforce the utility of these relatively new offerings.

by Dwayne Fry Brand Futurist/Commander Strategic Ops

Photo Credit: courtesy of, Has Facebook started its inevitable decline?


Ever heard of someone named Ralph Mcquarrie? Probably not. He’s the art director who concepted, designed and illustrated all the sets for the Star Wars movies. Click on the photo – you’ll see how mind-blowingly unheard-of his ideas were? If you don’t think so, remember, this was in1976. The bad news is that he died earlier this year. But at least take this from his life, that he, along with George Lucas, completely transformed the movie industry overnight. Just goes to show you – if you have big ideas, it doesn’t mean anything until you execute them properly. If you have big ideas and you haven’t found your George yet, start looking.

by Francis George, Creative Director, The Republik. Photo Credit: courtesy of Star Wars is a produciton of LucasFilms.


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

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How come every other week someone there’s another study that says bring drunk makes us more creative? Or we get our best ideas when we’re sleepy? Or in the shower?

It’s your elementary school teacher’s fault. Mrs. Johnson pounded it into our heads to think logically to get the correct answer: When it rains, grab your umbrella. Two plus two equals four. Those with the correct answers get A’s. Those who don’t, gets D’s. Remember your class clown? They might not have been A students, but I guarantee you they were among the most creative.

Logic looks for correct answers, and builds on it, like this: “If A is correct, then B. If B is correct, then C. Therefore, C is the logical conclusion”. Trouble is, all 10,000 people taught by Mrs. Johnson will also come up with the same answer. Think like everybody else in this business, and it’s instant death for you. Being creative, on the other hand, is like this: “If A is correct, then strawberries explode when your cat meows.” Huh? Yes, this is a silly idea that makes no sense in this context, but it’s just to illustrate that the best creative people come up with dozens of crazy ideas, and use their logical mind only at the end, to decide which creative approach might solve the problem best.

That’s why we get our best ideas in the shower, while we’re drinking, or sleepy. The dusty ol’ regions of our brain can conjure up fresh thinking without getting shot down by the logical brain, which is busy thinking about scrubbing, or dozing off.

So, next time you’re looking for that big idea that’ll change the world, do what I do – head for the bathroom. It’s specially equipped with a dorm fridge and a water-proof pillow.

by Francis George Brand Futurist The Republik Commander Creative Ops


Between my social media feeds and my in box there is no shortage of options.

So here is my filter. What should I read today that may make me better at what I do? That may make me understand your point of view? Or that may just be interesting to me? I really don’t want your reading list any more than I want your grocery list. So before you retweet the same article as 50 others stop to consider the value you are adding. Chances are I already read it. And so did most others. If you have a point-of-view, let me here it. If an article supports it, tell me how. Be relevant. Reward me for my effort. Make my life better. And I will try to do the same. Now what should I read today? Over.

by Dwayne Fry Brand Futurist The Republik Commander Strategic Ops


A MAN NAMED PEARL is an awe-inspiring documentary film about the self-taught topiary artist, Pearl Fryer. A film that tells the true story of a man against all odds thats uses his passion to transform an entire community.

Pearl spent his life challenging the stereotypes that plague our world, simply by creating a wonderland out of nature. His works of art, over the course of his life, eventually fill an entire community and attract visitors from around the world. But, most importantly in the process unifies the citizens of the poorest county in South Carolina around a common cause – the idea that a positive experience really can have a powerful impact on those it comes in contact with.

Pearl lives his life by not allowing “the obstacles that get put in (his) way determine the direction (he) takes around them”. A life lesson – much easily said than actually lived. A life lesson we all can certainly benefit from.

Pearl Fryer truly creates miracles and moves many through the visions of his topiary art. A garden devoted to expressing three simple ideals: love, peace and goodwill. A place that makes those feel very different about life than what they may have felt before they passed through his creation.

For more of Pearl’s work visit

To view the trailer for A MAN NAMED PEARL visit

I hope everyone that take the time to read this post can find the time to stop by and see Pearl at work one day while passing through this amazing South Carolina community. Trust me, you will walk away a different person.

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

Photo Credit: courtesy of, A MAN NAMED PEARL is a production of Suzie Films