So right now I’m sitting at the airport in Vienna, waiting for my delayed flight to Hamburg. What I’m going to do there? Listen to smart people talking about selection in all kinds of different areas. From ideas, to news, to beauty, to nature, innovation, recruiting, investment, sports and taste.

First of all, I think APG Germany came up with a brilliant selection of speakers and industries, and I particularly like that they haven’t invited loads of people from the advertising industry – except of course Russell Davies, but then again he’s got this history of not talking about advertising but rather about ‘interesting’ stuff. (Nice that this is most of the time a contradiction, isn’t it?).

But second of all, I think the topic itself is highly interesting. Recently, there is a lot of talk in adland about design thinking (see Neil Perkin’s brilliant FireStarter events with Google) and the divergent thinking process within individuals and systems – something I covered also in my bachelor thesis and I think is really important (but not really new). But then again, I don’t think that agencies or organisations of all sorts have that much trouble coming up with ideas per se. What they often do have trouble with, however, is to come up with relevant ideas. They also don’t seem to lack data. What they sometimes lack, though, seems to be relevant data. Often times in my little time in the industry, I’ve seen organisations overwhelmed with loads of information and struggling to filter it to generate knowledge and wisdom out of all the data they are generating.

These times of complexity, chaos and speed necessarily make selection and reflexivity both about the ways of working and the environment critical, and there are obviously different ways to go about that. The discussions about weak signals monitoring, a big board and Chief Culture Officer as sketched by Grant McCracken, pattern based strategy, real time data analysis, experiments data based prediction (see Google FireStarters #1, Google Correlate, Google Prediction API) show how important this whole issue of sense-making has become. In this process of making sense about the environment, both divergent thinking – coming up with possible realities, hypothesis and relevant options – and convergent thinking – selection of the most appropriate, but still contingent options, are important.

To be honest, I’m still struggling a tiny bit (= a lot) with the selection bit. More often than not, I find myself with various options that I think are worthwhile and possibly effective, both in the part about inspiring with context and in selecting solutions. Let’s see if these guys can help me:

Selection of Ideas:
Russell Davies, Ogilvy & Mather

Selection of News:
Thomas Osterkorn, Chefredakteur des stern

Selection of Beauty:
Armin Morbach, Herausgeber TUSH-Magazin

Selection of Nature:
Dr. Björn Brembs, Neurobiologe FU Berlin

Selection of Innovation:
Ulf Pillkahn, Siemens AG

Selection of Talent:
Prof. Dr. Björn Bloching, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants

Selection of Investments:
Lars Stein, Gründer & Präsident von

Selection of Football Talents:
Ernst Tanner, Sportlicher Leiter TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Selection of Taste:
Sylvia Kopp, Biersommelière – mit Verkostung –

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