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Obama Vs. McCain in The Most Transformative Election in Recent History.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on November 3, 2008

Whoever wins on Tuesday, November 4, this election will turn out to be one of the most transformative events of our lives. The role of social media in the electoral process has been nothing sort of phenomenal, with vast generational differences becoming obvious. The integration of old and new media, not the total displacement of one by the other, is just one of the many surprises to me. SNL and the Obama infomercial over TV and dozens of videos on YouTube all played significant roles in framing the candidates. It all boils down to screens—we now have two or three of them (TV, laptop/PC, mobile phone) and absorb information from whatever source over them. The distinction between Old and New Media is dissolving to people. It’s the information that’s important, not the source.

And, of course, to anyone who still remembers that marrying across race was still illegal in most Southern states until 1967, the strong showing of Barack Obama, win or lose, is nothing short of culturally revolutionary. We increasingly live in a mash-up society, culturally and digitally. We mix and match. It’s inclusive and creative. This election highlights the inclusion of the Gen Y population in the political process and society in general. Ditto for African-American and Hispanic populations. It marks an important turning point in US history.

But what next? Bruce Tempkin, VP of Customer Experience at Forrester, has 6 interesting ideas on how to bolster the tarnished brand of America around the world. Here are his six suggestions on relaunching Brand America:

1-Invest in culture as a corporate asset

2- Make listening an enterprisewide skill

3- Turn innovation into a continuous process

4- Provide a clear and compelling purpose

5- Extend and enhance the digital fabric

6- Practice good social citizenship around the world.

This is a good beginning to the beginning.

Reader Comments

Gong Szeto

November 4, 2008 3:08 AM

you should take pause and actually listen to some of the disenfranchised, (still) apathetic, and angry voices at government in general (nevermind choosing a candidate - there are still many who are choosing not to choose).

go to and listen to the "not voting" messages. this is one of the more interesting election related (maybe social media) sites out there.

bruce, i have noticed a tacit statement recently. you are saying, "the same modus operandi in "innovation" in the private sector works in the public sector and government."

i would challenge you to prove that this statement is true.

and i challenge you to come up with a plan to re-enfranchise the disenfranchised.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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