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What the SU Charrette can teach agencies

April 19, 2010

On Saturday morning, I sat on a panel talking about the future of social media and other topics. The panel was for Social Media Futures, a design charrette, presented by the iSchool and the COLAB design center at the College of Visual and Performing Arts. I had no idea what a design charrette was, but you can read about it here.

It was in Syracuse, where my agency has the head office. And if they have another one, you should think about going.

The big deal with this charrette is that it brought people from different schools with different majors into idea creation. So students from design, business, and marketing where all thrown together in what was called 36 hours of collaboration. Here’s the moderator of the panel I sat on describing it:

“36 students. 36 hours. Early mornings and late nights. Coffee, Red Bull, and a lot of snacks. All for the purpose of exploring the future of social media.”

So why should agencies care? Because social media has the power to break down silos where we didn’t even know they existed. Just think about majors in college. Designers will eventually find their way into creative departments, business people will find themselves in the account services department.

From one silo to another.

But here was an event that said “lets come together”. We’ll take a look at marketing on the whole, and see about designing solutions for particular products. It was an event that set out to prove that silos didn’t matter.

It’s somewhat revolutionary for inter-discipline collaboration. But that revolution will eventually occur in business where ideas won’t be the sole responsibility of one department.

Now, don’t get me wrong: designers will still design, and writers will still write, and most of the ideas will still come from so-called creative people.

I’m not suggesting that will change. But letting people collaborate at the beginning will help make for better marketing ideas. That, I’m sure of.

I’m glad I was asked to be a part of it. It made me think. So thanks.

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  1. April 22, 2010 4:16 pm

    “…a liberally educated person possesses the critical thinking skills to analyze causes and effects of current issues, look at available options and make appropriate recommendations. Ironically, a person who has amassed skills that are too specialized may find himself mercilessly unemployed as new technologies render his entire service obsolete. The [person] who has studied many subjects and sees the unity among them is always able to adapt to changing environments.” former Governor of Virginia, Gerald Baliles

    Go Liberal Arts/Interdisciplinary Education.

    David M. Grome, Hobart and William Smith Colleges 2007
    Political Science and Public Policy Studies turned B2B PR Professional

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