Mind Sparks: Thought-provoking roundtables

Part of our creative leadership content series, Mind Sparks are roundtables curated by our experts to tackle the business realities and issues of some of the most promising categories.

Our experts connect with influential players from various fields to deep-dive into what matters today in a specific sector, category or market, in order to brainstorm and showcase how solutions to those issues can arise from creativity and innovation.

Go through our roundtables and takeaways here below.


Fostering strong communities

Given how 2020 unfolded, it isn’t surprising to see how virtual experiences have exploded, but they’ve been gaining in momentum for some time, with online gaming at the vanguard of this growth. Online communities are expanding as well, as are people’s acceptance and understanding of them. It’s fair to say that what was once a subculture has become mainstream, forcing organizations of all kinds into a turbocharged evolution as they pivot to adapt to this global digitalization.

Eric Cruz
Executive Creative Director, Innovation & Design at Sid Lee Los Angeles

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Cities and communities 

The urban future is a human issue and facing it will take human-centered thinking and planning. Hosted by Benoit Lagacé, Director of Strategy and Urban Design at Sid Lee Architecture, and Fanny Eliaers, Sid Lee’s Global Director, Growth and Innovation, our most recent round table examines the future of cities through the lens of co-creation, design, partnership, planning, activism, and data.

Benoit Lagacé
Director of Strategy and Urban Design at Sid Lee Architecture

Fanny Eliaers
Global Director, Growth and Innovation

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Brand action 

To call the current political and social climate a massive shakeup is an understatement. Is this calling to accounts an opportunity to redefine the place of business in society? In this Mind Sparks roundtable we examine the evolving interactions between brands and people. From brand, marketing, academic and cultural activists perspectives, our conversation explores the potential of becoming partners in effective and authentic social action.

Kirstin Hammerberg
Global VP, Business and Experience Design

San Rahi
EVP, Brand Growth and Innovation

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Buy local

Given that the economy is largely supported by small and medium-sized businesses, its survival inevitably depends on buying local. During this roundtable, we explore the strength of the buying local movement, the flexibility of the word “local,” the need for consistent regulations, and the significant impact of digital during this pandemic.

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With online retail surging, brands, agencies and technology vendors have had to come to terms with the real parameters of their virtual reach. Hosted and moderated by Sid Lee’s Corina Boland, and auspiciously timed for National Accessibility Awareness Week in Canada, our sixth Mind Sparks round table explores new ways of thinking about accessibility and how we can better serve more people in a world remaking itself in-line with the principle of radical inclusion.

Corina Boland
Senior Director of Growth and Innovation

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Retail rebirth 

In this special roundtable moderated by Retail Prophet Founder Doug Stephens, we explore scenarios retailers can plan for post-COVID-19. What long-term shifts can retailers prepare for? What should leaders be doing differently? What will consumers need most from retail? And how can we better prepare ourselves should another crisis occur?

Doug Stephens
Retail Prophet Founder and President

Elana Gorbatyuk
Chief Strategy Officer, Partner

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Accelerating digital health 

Digital health is one of the key areas that will push the limits of what healthcare can do, changing our expectations, our interactions with providers, and our health outcomes. COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of many digital and telehealth innovations. We’ll explore the major shifts and what comes next for digital health in a post-COVID-19 world.

John Breen
Executive Director (Health Strategy)

Sports’ new era 

We will focus on what can sports teams do right now to help create their “new normal” for the post-COVID-19 era.

Jared Stein
EVP Growth and Innovation, Partner

Tom Koukodimos
Co-Managing Partner

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Future of work 

We will be discussing how COVID-19 has kick-started “future of work” practices that align with many brand aspirations, and what brands may be able to do to maintain these practices to advance the culture of their future organizations.

Fanny Eliaers
Global Director, Growth and Innovation

Kirstin Hammerberg
Global VP, Business and Experience Design

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From the same series, also watch Mind Snack, our series of videos of two minutes or less that answer today’s most pressing business questions.