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Brand thyself

For years now, career counselors, management consultants, self-help gurus and many others have encouraged us to apply the concepts of brand management to ourselves. For anyone who is beginning this daunting process, just getting going can be a big challenge considering how much advice there is to be found. Bearing that in mind, I wanted to provide some guidance. First, I invite you to check-out the video playlist I’ve embedded above, which will help you get a handle on the main ideas at work here so you can begin applying them to yourself. The playlist also includes several more in-depth presentations, including a complete course in Personal Branding Education.

Below you’ll find several excellent articles that will allow you to get fully up-to-speed. Finally, for a couple of examples of how everything can add up once you’ve successfully applied these lessons, I invite you to check-out the web presence for author Bret Easton Ellis at http://BretEastonEllis.com. On a more personal note, you might also be interested to see http://RKDarnell.com. Read more

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America’s national parks, part 5: Go!

Last Updated June 20, 2016.

Back on Sept. 27, 2009, Ken Burns and his colleagues began revealing the history and splendor of, and public passion for, America’s national parks. As you can see if you watch the videos in the embedded playlist, this six-part series by Burns and Dayton Duncan tells the story of a radical idea: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved for everyone. From Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades to the Gates of the Arctic, the series explores the stories of the people who devoted themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved.

You can buy the DVD here, and learn a lot more at www.pbs.org/nationalparks. Most importantly, I urge you once again to get out and explore these treasures first-hand, as soon as possible, to the greatest extent you are able.

universal positive: America’s National Parks
Ken Burns, Dayton Duncan and PBS: Thanks for the documentary
America’s national parks, part 2
America’s national parks, part 3
America’s national parks, part 4
America’s national parks, part 5: Go!

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Earth Day 2016 and Climate Education Week

You and your loved ones are cordially invited to join more than a billion of your fellow humans to participate in Earth Day – the only global event celebrated simultaneously by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities – by helping expand its mission into a much more ambitious affair. Read more

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Feature documentary “Kickstarted” readies for World Premiere

If you attend the 13th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Montana next week, or the American Documentary Film Festival in Palm Springs in late March, you will have the opportunity to see the first motion picture in history where I am listed as an executive producer. That’s right: 26 years after graduating from film school, I have added to my scattered IMDB profile the role of Co-Executive Producer for a documentary feature film. “Kickstarted” was co-directed by my friends Jason Cooper and Jay Armitage, and I’m guessing that my unique contributions to their film are probably characteristic of the EP title.

Essentially, Jason and Jay engaged me during the film’s Kickstarter campaign to help them generate more press coverage, and happily, that worked out rather well. The film was ultimately funded thanks to many factors; chief among them were the resourcefulness, skills and determination of the directors, as well as producers including Kim Sherrell, Chris Gartin, JP McMahon and Tristan Drew. In all honesty, I take pride in knowing that I helped, too. Read more

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TASTE: Design Observer Symposium Hits LA on 12 February


Coming up on February 12, leading international design blog Design Observer will host a symposium on the relationship between design and food. Held in the Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown LA, TASTE will feature prominent speakers from around the world. Here is more of an introduction from the illustrious staff of Design Observer.

Agrarian economics. Dry farming. Engineered waste. Vaporized nutrition. Synthetic flavors. Moral food. How are any of these things a function of design? On the other hand: How could they be anything else? We’ll consider Read more

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Our common fascination with uncommon videos

I firmly believe that life is as different as all of the organisms that experience it, and even if we’re just talking about humans, that is an infinite amount of diversity. What’s important or interesting to me may be the last thing in the world you want to think about. Still, when you find a piece of video content that has made it onto one of YouTube’s “Most Viral” charts, there’s a pretty good chance that most people will want to watch it.

As you probably know, YouTube released its latest news about these charts about a month ago. The news and accompanying videos were subsequently splashed in feature stories in these media outlets, to name but a few. Read more

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World AIDS Day 2015

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. The official website and social media hub for the event is www.worldaidsday.org. As reported by Rosemary Feitelberg this week for WWD, this is the 10th anniversary of Red and The One Campaign, and many united advocacy efforts will take the spotlight today and in the days to come.

In the past 30 years, 39 million people have died from AIDS, which can now be treated for as little as 30 cents a day. To date, Red has raised $324 million to help provide a sustainable flow of money from the private sector to fight AIDS. Read more

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TNW Conference this Wednesday at The Manhattan Center

Very soon, six months of hard work and careful curation will pay off, when the sun rises on 18 November and the 2015 TNW Conference convenes in New York City. The Next Web’s marketing manager Matthew Elworthy has kept me posted on developments over the past several months as the program, attendance and other details on the festivities have firmed up. For example, in mid-October he let me know that this year’s Conference will take place at The Manhattan Center. “The Manhattan Center is one of New York’s most elegant and versatile event destinations – pairing a century-old former opera house with fully integrated 21st century media and entertainment production technology.”

Some 1,500 attendees are expected in total, representing over 800 companies. Here are a few more highlights to whet your appetite. Read more

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Join the fun at FITC FORM Fest, 2-3 Nov. in Chicago

FITC has a 14-year history of uniting leading design and technology professionals and students in Amsterdam, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Tokyo, Toronto and other major international cities, but its last event to hit Chicago was back in 2008. On Nov. 2-3, a brand new Chicago-centric event conceived and produced under the auspices of FITC and its founding director Shawn Pucknell will take place at the Chicago History Museum. Entitled FORM Fest, the conference is aiming to be a landmark gathering of digital creators and technologists who are passionate about creating innovative work.

The impressive line-up of speakers includes bona-fide design-industry stars from elsewhere – like Stefan Sagmeister, GMUNK, Jared Ficklin and Rama Allen – but also local heavyweights like Erin Sarofsky, Jason White (Leviathan), Kim Alpert, Chuck Anderson and Chicago Design Museum’s executive director Tanner Woodford, among many others. Other featured speakers include Anton + Irene, Nicholas Felton, Jason Peterson of Havas Worldwide, Carlos Segura of Segura, Inc., and Anthony Vitagliano of Digital Kitchen.

Alpert and White are both past FITC speakers, and with support from conceptual design company Leviathan, they worked closely with FITC to create FORM and custom-tailor it for Chicago’s booming creative community. Read more

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Let’s stand up together for good: #UnityDay2015

As a parent and someone who has the good fortune of working with creative industry leaders around the world, I feel it’s very important to support younger budding intellectuals. Thanks to my involvement with executives at agencies Leo Burnett and Sid Lee, organizations like United Nations Women, Procter & Gamble, and Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center, I have had a chance to better understand both bullying and cyberbullying. October is National Bullying Prevention Month, so I feel this is a great moment to consider just how damaging these intentional acts of cruelty (which in cyberbullying are typically anonymous) can be. Read more

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