We are living in loquacious, changing times. Times in which some words try to take away the power of action. Times in which society has chosen to exchange the right to know the facts for the opportunity to see its words in the digital shop windows that collect its desires of unsatisfied emptiness. It is in that debate between truth and post-truth (or post-truth), between uncertainty and stability, between the old that has not yet died and the new that has not yet been born, that I found myself face to face with the future that years ago I thought would take longer to arrive. And in that future the action, the truly transformative took ahead the emptiness of words that seeks clicks over the meaning, the purpose or the awakening of a transformative consciousness.
That new world to which we were heading has arrived. Branding is not only not oblivious to the situation, but also contributes to create it, to give it shape, context and content. Branding creates, communicates and shares, based on people, trust, relevance and impact on society. The last few weeks have been intense and interesting to confirm that many new things that Branding was building are no longer in words but in action. Looking, listening, observing, I could also contrast that the Digital Era is already shaped, grows, evolves from the actions of many people, companies and organizations. Speeches have given way to actions and the promise of a digital, innovative, creative and human future can be felt. Looking at the positive side of progress, but without ignoring the challenges and pitfalls that the new also proposes. Let’s take it one step at a time.
How, when, where, who?
In a meeting with Human Resources referents, I heard that, although they do not admit it in public, they hate the term “human resources” and that it has long been on the agenda to change it for a denomination more in line with the 21st century. It is only a matter of months before “Human Resources Departments” are renamed “talent”, “team”, “culture” and so on. In another forum, we had an intense discussion about the use of automobiles in the coming years. What for some was “logical”, i.e., if 90 or 95% of the time your car is not in use, why not “monetize” it through uber or amazon or other platforms that provide you with an economic return. For others it was completely illogical, who said that my parked car is not in use? The debate was interesting, not least because of the passion that driving, and the car, continues to arouse. It is uplifting to see issues that really affect and have a real impact on traffic, the environment, sustainability, energy and so many other areas being discussed.
The next debate was about education, many young people are about to start their university entrance exams. Some, the majority, mentioned that the most important thing when choosing a career is the job opportunities. A few mentioned that the most important thing was the fulfillment of the young people. That they should study those careers that really thrilled them, or excited them. Life is too short to always think in terms of the market. The last two meetings were no less interesting, on the contrary. It is curious to talk about job opportunities when most of the jobs of the future are still unknown and do not exist. All that is known today is that they will be essential factors: creativity, the ability to communicate, the ability to solve complex problems, social skills, managing people (and machines) and embracing diversity. What career or careers will prepare young people for this?

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The morning after the conversation on education, the star of the show was content and the transformation of media and advertising agencies. We talked about the post-truth, about content that lives adapting to new uses and customs, about a television that continues to act and think for older people and a new generation that consumes what it wants when it wants and where it wants on social platforms. Of course, there is no encounter in which you are not recommended or asked to recommend series to watch on Netflix. It is not surprising that a brand that has contributed to people’s entertainment in a direct, personalized and accessible way is so successful. The last meeting of the day was about the luxury market, and a new debate looms about what luxury means to those who can afford it. Is luxury time? experiences? service? what is the new luxury? perhaps luxury is all of those things. what is the new luxury? Perhaps luxury is all of these. What fills a person who can compare everything material? How do brands have to act in this new scenario where luxury is more associated with intangibles than products? What if true luxury were to give value while helping to build a better world?
Think differently, act differently.
In a few days, talent, self-driving, education, content and luxury became intertwined. Inevitably, in this Digital Age, everything is more connected than ever and will be more so every day. What really excites me is that everything we thought would happen in the future is already happening, is happening to us. Or rather we are making it happen. We needed new questions, new ideas, new solutions for a new time. Surely there are many issues that are far from being at their ideal point, basically because embracing the new takes time.
Curiously, while I was trying to recapitulate on all that I had heard and learned, I was receiving requests for articles about brands and internal and external communication; about the role of entrepreneurs and innovation in the tourism of the future, as well as new developments that help people to monetize their time in the black hole of the Internet. And one that caught my attention because it was not about technology but about culture. It is interesting how culture is affected by new technologies and the debate is enriched by it.
It is very stimulating not to have to travel to New York, Vancouver or California to experience the future in first person. Certainly in Spain there are many highly prepared, talented, curious and creative people who are laying the foundations of a different present and a very hopeful future starting from what they are doing.
Too much time is wasted on talking about what sells (scandals, tabloids, tabloids, articles that generate clicks, not even about soccer anymore, everything is about referees, and trashy gossip) and very little on what really builds a country: the talent of its citizens, beyond their age, their origin, their sex or their place of residence. The mind, creativity, talent and courage do not understand labels, barriers or borders.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the concept post-truth was chosen as word of the year 2016 and refers to “circumstances in which objective facts have less influence on the formation of public opinion than do appeals to personal emotions and beliefs.”

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With great challenges, great solutions.
But I am an optimist. These weeks I have been more than aware of all that we have to learn as individuals and as a society. That we are on a permanent journey towards knowledge and that the more open our eyes, our ears and our minds, the better. The post-truth is a fashion that tries to describe a specific situation, but that does not transcend because it stays there. We will agree on many points, especially on the one in which what is logical for one person may be just the opposite for another. But at least, if we generate a constructive debate about the future we want to build, even if we think differently, surely the future will be enriched.
As I write these words, there are Human Resources Departments that are already changing their name and uber announces that in 2020 we will be able to order flying cars, one could be yours. While the selectivity fills thousands of young people with anxiety and nerves when they graduate in 4 or 5 years they will see dozens of new jobs that do not exist today. The media will have to stop blaming the internet for all their ills and make a deep examination of conscience of the kind of role they want to play in the construction of our tomorrow. And how much truth, fake news and post-truth they build. Perhaps we will witness the real luxury: to see a country that invests in young people, in its people, in the talent of its workers, in the experience of those who are stepping aside and above all in education, the true and inescapable bet for the future. May the era of post-truth give way to the era of learning, of creativity at the service of good and talent. The new world to which we are heading has arrived, now it is up to politicians, businessmen, teachers, parents and also children to rise to the challenge. And I am convinced that they are.
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