Joseph Dumont “Can Advertising Save the World?” SXSW Eco 2013

Joseph Dumont is a co-executive producer of the documentary “The Naked Brand.” In a 15 minute short talk, Joseph asked these questions: – In advertising what is changing for us? – How do we communicate with people moving forward? – How has advertising changed? We were then shown a pretty cool and amazingly old “The Flintstones” cartoon. Joseph quipped that Fred Flintstone had the first environmental car. (It’s cuz, ya know, they used their legs to power their cars made of stone and wood…ya get it? ya get it?) After showing cartoon footage, he then showed us a clip of Fred and Barney smoking cigarettes. It’s kind of amazing to think that this kind of advertising took place…though of course, I’m sure we have shitty advertising going on today as well. The following was taken directly from their site: “The Naked Brand is a story about how corporations can help save the planet one small step at a time. It’s an introduction to a bright new future where companies tell the truth and work hard to create better products and a better planet.” Anyway, that commercial was broadcast many a year ago, when many people really did think cigarettes were not bad but good for you. But even in 1994, Joseph reminded us, we had the 7 major tobacco CEO’s testified before Congress stating that nicotine was not addictive. I guess they were all on something a bit more potent than tobacco to say something as insane as that. So now we have today, where only (according to Dumont) 20% of the people trust in advertising as we’ve known it. What...

SXSW Eco 2013: Grandmotherly Wisdom and Tap Water – a short talk from Kavita Shukla

While visiting her grandmother in India, young Kavita Shukla unwittingly drank some tap water that could very well have made her ill, had it not been for grandmotherly wisdom to the rescue. After she drank the tainted H2O, her grandmother had her drink a home remedy made with spices that prevented her from getting ill. A true entrepreneur at heart, she discovered that she could use the same home remedy that prevented her from getting ill after drinking tainted tap water to keep food fresh. She patented “Fresh Paper” when she was just 17 years old. It wasn’t until after college and after a “real job” did the product come to life on a global scale. She found that she was able to utilize the magic mixture that was formed from spices and made into paper format. According to the Fenugreen website: “Fenugreen was founded in 2010. It all started with handmade batches of FreshPaper handed out at the farmer’s markets and street fairs in Cambridge, MA.” Just by word of mouth fresh paper spread like wildfire, and then the company got its global start with Whole Foods. Prior to Whole Foods, they made fresh paper by hand. They now ship to 40 countries, and their mission is fresh for all. What would’ve happened if she hadn’t drunk her grandmother’s mixture? Check out Kavita in the following Tedx talk in Manhattan: Fenugreen is derived from fenugreek – one of the spices used in fresh...

Chip Giller from Grist: The Importance of Humor and Storytelling

Founder and editor of Grist Chip Giller gave a great 15 minute preso. Before I try to surmise his presentation, I have to say that this talk really resonated with me. Also, it seemed to really flow along with the collective ideal that ecological matters need to be presented in a more riveting and human way. I think these discussions need to be incorporated into mainstream culture, so that eventually it won’t be uncommon to hear a conservative middle class family in Kansas discussing environmental issues (I can dream can’t I?). Chip’s talk centered around how humor and storytelling can help with the green cause. As is the case with many fascinating people, his childhood was atypical in the sense that he was focused and exhibited a higher than average level of maturity. I’m sure he went through the same types of things we all went through during adolescence and beyond, but what he dwelt on in the beginning of the talk was his focus on journalism at a young age. In high school he did in-depth journalism on green stuff, and found that nobody really paid much attention so no changes actually took place. Thennnnnn he founded  Grist in 1999 and used humor and storytelling, which produced results, unlike his high school experience.  70% of the users say they make changes to their lifestyle based on the information found within the site. Now that is something. He then went on to talk about some very fundamental axioms regarding human existence, the main being that storytelling is hardwired into our biology. We tell stories to entertain, to laugh, and to cry. Following...

SXSW Eco Shepard Fairey keynote (Live Blog)

The live blog is done! SXSW Eco Shepard Fairey spotlight  Following is what transpired (in reverse order): 15:03 15:03 That was fast. Big standing ovation.   Well Jeremy, how bad did we screw that up? 15:02 “We’re frequently made to feel inferior if we don’t overconsume.” — fucking brilliant   15:01 15:01 Earlier Fairey said, “Urban Outfitters are conservative assholes.” That’s good to know, Damn, he’s almost out of time. – Stupidgregg   15:01 15:00 Awesome – he’s a philanthropist AND he made some artwork showing non-threatening polar bears.   14:59 Fairey ijoked about how “Communal Use” is frequently condemned being labled as “communism.”  – Stupidgregg   14:59 14:58 14:57 Rock Hill Preservation   14:57 Fairey explained his belief that sometimes it’s really important to do the right thing because it’s the cool thing to do, not because they feel guilty. Edit: I totally effed this. He was talking about motivating people. He explained that using “cool” as a motivator, instead of guilt, is important. – Stupidgregg   14:56 14:55 One of my favorites, “The Toxicity Inspector” (below) was inspired by the way politcians (Cheney)  misrepresent “things.” Kinda’ like the Patriot Act? – Stupidgregg   14:55 14:53 “Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.”   14:53 Philosophy 5: Sometimes the most powerful weapon against propaganda is absurdity.   14:52 On his piece for Smashing Pumpkins, Zeitgeist. He doesn’t do commercial art very often, but when he does, he tries to sneak his agenda into it. The work has two meanings, violations of what the Statue of Liberty symbolizes, and global warming. – Stupidgregg   14:52 He doesn’t need to do...
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