This post is about the future, but it begins in the not-too-distant past.
For me, it began 50 years ago when I first began reading Marshall McLuhan as a Junior High student in the Bronx. It picks up a decade later, when I started covering media as a reporter for Adweek in the early 1980s and got to meet and write about the views of an early generation of ad industry futurists – Doyle Dane Bernbach’s Jay James, J. Walter Thompson’s Ron Katz, as well as a follow-on generation of pioneering digital ad executives including McCann-Erickson’s Ira Carlin, Ogilvy & Mather’s Martin Nisenholtz and Publicis’ Rishad Tobaccowala – people who didn’t just see the future, but tried to shape it by influencing how others could see it too.
It resumed a few weeks ago, when I had lunch with UpperRight Co-Founder Alan Schulman, a media visionary in his own right, who asked me what might have seemed like a simple question not too long ago, but really got me scratching my head in early 2023, so I’m hoping this column will help me crowdsource it.
“Who are the industry’s new futurists I should be following?,” Schulman asked me.
Or the years I spent covering various generations of IPG Mediabrands’ Media Lab – from Lori Schwartz through Brian Monahan to the current team led by Chad Stoller and Adam Simon.
Read more on MediaPost.