Take Radiohead’s “Everything in its right place”, add 15,000 paper lanterns and the beauty of the human spirit and you create an unforgettable moment and a Guiness Book of World record in Poznan, Poland.
50 years ago, East Germans started to erect the Berlin Wall.
It was supposed to be there forever.
Not matter what they tell you now, almost everybody believed it would be there forever.
My parents weren’t rich, they were struggling throughout their lives.
No matter the times, each year they send care packages to some strangers in East Germany. Filled with goods you couldn’t purchase on the other side: oranges, candy, canned goods.
Millions of West Germans did the same.
Telling East Germans: We can’t tear down the wall for you but we are there for you. We haven’t forgotten about you.
And, just like that, 28 years people were dancing on that damn wall. Tearing it down.
Times are tough for many people.
We have real unemployment of above 20%.
I see people sleeping in cars that used to have an apartment.
The coffee shops are busy with people desperately looking.
While the pundits yell and the politicians scream, the desperate minority is quiet and hiding from the world.
Times will get better. Hell, the wall came down eventually.
When will we see an improvement?
I don’t know.
But I know that the one thing we all can do is not to forget them. Show them you know they’re there. Give them a hand.
People tore down the wall, not politicians.
People will get us out of this terrible recession/depression.
You and me.
Bonus Link: It’s in German but worth it. A look at the Wall from the East German side.
Can you imagine playing for that hasn’t won a game in 26 years? With a record of 310-0?
Caltech has Nobel laureates, was essential for the Mars landing but they couldn’t figure out a way to win. They did Tuesday.
“It’s never about winning or losing around here,” said Julie Levesque, Caltech athletic director. “It’s about learning from the process.”
I wish all of us would think that way.
Read the story here.
Attending ad:tech Tokyo last week, I wandered through the streets of Tokyo, discovering the lovely old parts and the stunning new architecture.
And I was thinking: Remember when everybody talked about Tokyo as the city of the future? It was replaced by Dubai very quickly (until nobody couldn’t pay for the Real Estate anymore) and now it’s Beijing. Some folks in the media and advertising industry still hold on to the idea and imagery of Tokyo being the future: ambient voices, large screens with smiling faces – you know, the Minority Report thing. Applying old thinking of the power of disruptive advertising to a new century, world and mindset. It’s just easier to put lipstick on a pig than coming up with an idea how the world will really evolve and change. And how advertising will evolve with changing habits, desires and needs. We could blame Hollywood but we have to take part of the blame because you attend any marketing conference and here it is: Tom Cruise, ambient voices, screens. Again.
When people think about the future, they often assume that people change rapidly. We will turn into the Jetsons. In reality, we’re still the caveman family. We’re hardwired to think, feel and act a certain way. It took millions of years for us to become the way we are right now. Any smartphone or iPad won’t change that. Technology just amplifies certain behaviors, changes daily routines, and makes us behave differently. No matter how advanced technology will become in the future, we’re still cavemen trying to crawl out of our dark hideout. We’re not social because of Twitter and Facebook. We’re social because we’re human beings. We like to play games and get acknowledged by others, that’s why we check-in. (I’m sure there’s something deeper going on. But I leave that to anthropologists.) And, guess what, we’re damn lazy. When you had to know HTML to have a web presence, nobody was socializing. Now everybody is social because it’s so easy and doesn’t take any effort.
When you think about the future, when you think about how to connect to people, how to engage them: forget about the Jetsons. Forget about Minority Report. Forget about the city of the future. Think about a campfire. Think about caves. Tell a good story. Tell something they want to share with others because it’s so interesting. The more things change, the more they stay the same.