McCann Talks: We are living the future

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Author: Vladimir Ćosić, Digital Creative Director at McCann Beograd and Editor in Chief of the third edition of McCann Talks

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Regardless of the fact that in the all-out frantic race to provide for our existence we often forget that there are certain projects, clients and segments of our work that we’re not doing for money, glory, signatures, prestige or mere fulfillment of the norms. For us at the McCann Beograd agency, the McCann Talks project is one of such projects – something we do for ourselves, for research and finding new things, because we are interested in dealing with certain issues in a slightly different way, because we want to open a dialogue with the advertising industry in the broadest sense, and finally, to enjoy it.

The third issue of McCann Talks publication was released a couple of days ago, this time in an online edition, and I was selected as its editor. It was an honor for me, and, as I have already said, a pleasure, because not only was I given the chance to determine the subject of the publication, but also its form, and the authors of the texts.

McCann Talks: We are living the future 1

Without much deliberation, following my instinct and listening to the subconscious, I decided on the topic of FUTURE. When I retroactively think about and rationalize this choice, one of the reasons that first come to mind is that, in my opinion, we as an industry are almost exclusively turned towards the future, afraid on the one hand of everything it brings, but also satiating our curiosity through experiments with the new technologies, techniques, and styles, communicating with people who, in that sense, grow at an unimaginable pace. In addition, it seems that the whole of mankind has never considered this topic more than these days. Everywhere you turn, almost constantly, people are talking about artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality, devices, and tech that is advancing faster than we can think about it, and talk about it.

The future has always been unpredictable, but never as today. The ways in which we can potentially destroy ourselves as a race have multiplied and gotten more sophisticated. Experiences have become shared, global. No one can safely say how our children will behave, look and think. We can’t say that even for ourselves for a timeframe of a decade or two, because technology has never had so much influence on the change of the individual and collective behavior of people. Such overwhelming focus on the future has brought about some sort of collective fear of what awaits us, the consequence of which is that anxiety has become a psychological issue number one in the world.

Without any doubt, and despite the fact we live in the Balkans, WE ARE LIVING THE FUTURE.

The third reason for me is a bit more personal and deeper, because I have the impression that I’ve been interested in the topic of the future almost since I became aware of my own existence – my own future, the future of people close to me, and the future of mankind in general.

A great role in this impression was probably played by the movies that were shown on television and in the theatres, without the censorship that is so prevalent today. Thus, since my childhood, I began to think about distant galaxies from the Star Wars saga, the artificial intelligence from Space Odyssey, the androids of the Blade Runner, cyborgs from Robocop, and friendly and hostile aliens from the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Alien and E.T. Terminator 2 taught me that we create our own destiny. Back to the future taught me that traveling through time will certainly be possible. Escape from New York taught me that apocalypse is inevitable. And 1984 taught me that if they want to know something about us, they’ll know everything.

Countless times I had fun with my friends since the early childhood, imagining how we will look, what we will do and how we will hang out when we grow old. And as the years went by, my vision of the future changed. But objectively speaking, most significant changes have been happening in the last couple of years, when all of us from the generation X started to live our own vision of the future. Slowly but surely, cars are starting to ride themselves without our active involvement, robots become more intelligent and almost autonomous, and human bodies are rapidly being “improved”, and in so many ways than we can’t even perceive it all.

For all these reasons, as editor of the third edition of McCann Talks, I have decided to give all authors the task to write about the future. In terms of the form, we jointly chose the interview, wanting to turn this issue into a dialogue and conversation with people we thought were relevant to this inexhaustible topic. Dialogues with colleagues, celebrities, fictitious characters, artificial intelligence, or even ourselves.

At the end of this article, I would like to thank all the authors for their contribution to this interesting edition, as well as all future readers who have given us the most valuable thing they possess – their NOW.