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This week we embraced another opportunity to implement our philosophy – change or die – in a very deep sense.

We met with members of a very small Southern town to discuss the dynamics of their community. Upon arriving, it was evident that the majority of property/roads were run-down and unkempt – a sight for sore eyes. The community members voiced not only their resentment for the poor physical conditions, but an overall mindset held within the community barring proactive measures to do something about it – ‘don’t rock the boat’.

At an all day session, in the morning we heard mostly disheartening stories of discontentment in quality of life. When we reconvened in the afternoon, however, we shared our experience with changing perceptions and that critical catalyst of a vision. The group began envisioning how their community could actually develop positively. And what it really comes down to – mindset. The ability to change others’ perceptions begins with first changing your own.

While they can’t immediately change the reality of their town’s conditions, the group realized that if they were going to change anyone’s perception of reality, it was going to have to come from them first. To me, the whole experience was truly gratifying. Being able to inspire these weary, skeptical community members to envision a better life reminded me why I love my job and living our philosophy of change.

by Marisa LaVallee Brand Futurist The Republik Corporal Strategic Ops

Photo Credit: Laitr Keiows and NASA via Wikimedia Commons – Licensed CC-BY-NC-SA


I was recently introduced to the popularly growing location-based service called Foursquare. A friend began referring to himself as ‘mayor’ of various local venues, as the social networking service is based on a game-like premise, sparking my competitive nature to become involved and earn top rank wherever my heels take me.

While Time ranked such location-based technology as no. 1 on their list of 10 Tech Trends for 2010, my ambitious spark waned as I considered the dangers of sharing this personal information. Do I really want people knowing where I am 24/7? Please Rob Me.

Aside from privacy concerns, there are incentives. Whenever you check in at your location, you are updated with other nearby places of interest. Then, as your number of visits increase at a particular place, more credibility is lent to your user review.

As other similar location-based services will continue to emerge, such technology is said to develop on already existing social networks like Facebook soon.

by Jenn Yaga Brand Futurist The Republik Corporal Public Relations Ops


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.


“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Change is the only absolute.

This was the subject of a memo I received less than two years into my first job.  It came from the president of our small-but-growing agency outlining some sweeping personnel changes designed to improve our offering by tapping into individual skill sets previously unknown or under-used.  The moves didn’t directly affect my role or responsibility, but it forever changed the way I look at business and the world.

It was the single most empowering message I ever received. Fear of the unknown is replaced by a new world of possibilities. Wake up tomorrow with the expectation of change and you will not be disappointed.  And after 25 years, every day is still a new opportunity.  Change or die, indeed.

For me, it was five simple words.  How about you?  What has caused you to change the way you see things?

by Dwayne Fry Brand Futurist The Republik Commander Strategic Ops

Photo Credit: via