2016 Must-Reads

27 Dec 2016|Added Value

It’s already that time of year again, so as some of us head out for year-end holidays, here are some of our favorite reads from 2016.

The Edge of Seventeen
After we’ve just about got to grips with Millennials, a new group is on the horizon; Generation Z. Those born around the millennium are coming of age in 2017. More diverse, complicated and nuanced than ever, this group is already affecting seismic shifts in culture, and as brand consultants we think that these are the people brands need to be marketing to right now. Click here to read what our Cultural Insight team has to say…

Looking back on 2016
Here are 5 emerging themes shaped by the events of 2016, and questions every brand should consider in relationship to them, as our organizations seek to play a role in supporting human flourishing. Click here to read what Joanna Franchini, VP Cultural Insight, has to say…

Kantar Information Is Beautiful Awards 2016
In the age of Big Data, storytelling has become a critical source of competitive advantage. Information is Beautiful is an initiative launched by data journalism guru David McCandless in partnership with Kantar. Every year David presents the winners at an annual Award ceremony in London and New York, rewarding the best in data visualization, infographics and information art. Among this year’s winners were The Earth Temperature Timeline in the ‘Data Visualization’ category, and Spies in the Skies in both the ‘Data Journalism’ and ‘Most Beautiful’ categories.

Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends
In his latest book, Martin Lindstrom goes against the flow and argues the case for ‘Small’ data: looking at glimpses of human behavior helps uncover the most insightful and disruptive trends. Running counter to the current orthodoxy, Lindstrom believes the ‘why’ behind Big Data can only be found by anthropological methodologies – a research method that includes going to visit people in their homes, and observing every tiny detail. This ethnographic approach is based on the assertion that humans – not data- must remain at the core of consumer strategies.

Machine Learning: The New AI
From the victory of Google’s AlphaGo to Westworld, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been some of the hottest topics this year – sure to continue in 2017. If you are not a tech expert, it can be a daunting new world, but this book by computer engineering Professor Ethem Alpaydin offers a nice introduction to a technology that may change our world dramatically. And sooner than we might expect…

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations
Technology and digitalization are making our world go ever faster. Today, less than 1% of everything around us is connected to the internet, but this number is growing fast. Similar to pre-World War One, the whirlwind of transformations and accelerations is casting a palpable feeling of anxiety over our societies. But Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman has an antidote: daring to slow down and “be late”, taking the time to understand the acceleration and reflect upon the changes, will give us the unique opportunity to reimagine ourselves.

The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter
The rebirth of vinyl, the popularity of the Polaroid, the persistent preference of print books over digital formats… In a world perceived as tech-driven, David Sax offers an entertaining analysis of the “analog” counter trend. According to the author, analog gives us joys that digital does not – the pleasure of ownership, of touching and interacting with “real things”. Sax also reminds us that even though they often make our lives easier and more efficient, digital tools are not always the best solutions for every job.

The Hustle newsletter
“If The Daily Show and The Wall Street Journal had a baby, it would be The Hustle” – this is how The Hustle describe themselves. Every morning, subscribers receive a few pieces of news about business, technology and entrepreneurship. The newsletter mainly targets Millennials, and editors strive to provide quality content with a modern, sharp and witty voice. Conciseness ensures you can actually read it, but if you want to explore further, the newsletter is also enriched with links to carefully curated external articles. Definitely a must-subscribe.

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
In his new book prefaced by Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant explores originality and creativity. Through the stories of various unconventional approaches by leaders in history, he advocates in favor of “Originals” and the rejection of conformity to successfully innovate. He also provides practical advice to unleash our own creativity, and that of our children and co-workers. Interestingly, Grant makes the point that procrastination leads to the best results because the brain wants to work on the problem up to the deadline. Masterpieces such as the I Have a Dream speech and the Mona Lisa are some examples of this last minute genius…

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
J.D. Vance was born in the so-called Rust Belt, in one of the many towns that was hit by deindustrialization and addiction. Unlike most of his counterparts, Vance attended Yale Law School and started a successful career in California. His memoir is a depiction of the American rural working class – a portrayal that has become particularly relevant in the light of the political developments in the US this year. No surprise that it is now ranking high among the New York Times’ 2016 bestsellers.

Get in touch if you’d like to hear how Kantar Added Value can help you find growth in 2017 and beyond.

Jonathan Hall, Global Chief Innovation Officer, Kantar Added Value
Follow Jonathan on Twitter @HallCJonathan

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