Engaging the Future Faster:
If You Have a Passion for What You Don’t Know, Start Here

Blockchain and new cloud platform nodes are revolutionizing interactions and transactions. Entrepreneurs and developers of today’s technologies are rapidly and drastically disrupting industries, society, and daily life.

Today’s corporate entrepreneurs and entrepreneur/developers’ greatest challenges include defining competitive strategies, driving innovations, and pivoting rapidly to market.

Today, my clients’ businesses are either disrupting markets or initiating a stealth state of preparedness for disruptive competition.

How do we challenge ourselves to discover what we don’t know? How do we identify the right tools to expand our knowledge, innovate, and create new value today? How do we prepare clients for the steep learning curve to survive the future faster? Some answers include taking a power-packed Fintech course at MIT for enlightenment about future commerce and innovation, reading voraciously, and valuing collaborations above all. My personal pursuit of an elastic mind includes all of the above.

I will write further about my MIT Fintech–Future Commerce Capstone Project, and how our team’s business plan for a world class Fintech Cloud Platform and marketing innovation soared. Moreover, later look for my creative exploration of the elastic mind.

For starters, I strongly recommended 7-books from my most favorite authors today:


ValueWeb: How Fintech Firms are Using Bitcoin Blockchain and Mobile Technologies to Create the Internet of Value

My friend and brilliant colleague, Mini Suri initially suggested Chris Skinner’s book to me. ValueWeb is one of the most important business books I have ever read. Skinner states, “The next generation Internet, the Internet of Things, cannot work without an Internet of Value. The Internet of Value ― or ValueWeb, for short ― allows machines to trade with machines and people with people, anywhere on this planet in real-time and for free. The problem is that our old system cannot work that way, as it takes days to process and costs a fortune. By using a combination of technologies from mobile devices, wearables, and the bitcoin blockchain, fintech firms are building the ValueWeb regardless. What does that mean for financial institutions, governments, and citizens?” This book provides the answers.

The Industries of the Future

In The Industries of the Future, Alec Ross shows us what changes are coming in the next ten years, highlighting the best opportunities for progress and explaining why countries thrive or sputter. He examines the specific fields that will most shape our economic future, including robotics, cybersecurity, the commercialization of genomics, the next step for big data, and the immediate impact of digital technology on money and markets.

The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life

Full disclosure – Michael J. Casey is one of my all-time favorite writers.

In The Social Organism, Oliver Luckett and Michael J. Casey offer a revolutionary theory: that social networks — to an astonishing degree — mimic the rules and functions of biological life. Memes are the basic building blocks of our culture, our social DNA. To master social media — and to make online content that impacts the world — you must start with the Social Organism.

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Future Faster

The future will run on an entirely new operating system. It is a major upgrade, but it comes with a steep learning curve. The logic of a faster future overturns the received wisdom of the past, and the people who succeed will be the ones who learn to think differently.

In WHIPLASH, Joi Ito and Jeff Howe distil that logic into nine organizing principles for navigating and surviving this tumultuous period. From strategically embracing risks rather than mitigating them (or preferring “risk over safety”) to drawing inspiration and innovative ideas from your existing networks (or supporting “pull over push”), this dynamic blueprint can help you rethink your approach to all facets of your organization.

Filled with incredible case studies and leading-edge research and philosophies from the MIT Media Lab and beyond, WHIPLASH will help you adapt and succeed in this unpredictable world.

Frontiers of Financial Technology: Expeditions in Future commerce, from Blockchain and Digital Banking

David Shrier, Managing Director of MIT Connection Science and others answer questions like, How can you capitalize on the disruption that blockchain is introducing into the global financial system? What are the risks and opportunities that this new technology represents? What roles can government, academia, and private industry play in shaping the future that blockchain can enable?

Shrier’s book is the precursor to the MIT certification course, FINTECH: Future Commerce.

Good Is the New Cool: Market Like You Give a Damn

Afdhel Aziz’s book is the social conscience blueprint for every new marketing endeavor. No new business plan is complete without a focus on best serving and sustaining the world through our work.

Aziz advises, “We are at a crossroads: Either we can try to prop up the old, broken marketing model, or we can create a new paradigm, one that evolves from a business mission statement that shows you can market like you give a damn.”

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Jonah Berger’s Contagious provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and content that people will share. Whether you are a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.


I recently completed the MIT certificate course, FINTECH: Future Commerce to pivot my design and strategic communications company to support collaborative Fintech breakthroughs, build new brands, introduce new narratives, and help establish new markets. We are the first agency of its kind to be Fintech certified.

Our advisory of strategists, designers, and developers understands the language of Fintech, complete with today’s toolsets to evolve your new strategic mission and speed you to market.



Multilingual, multi-cultural builder of international brands, Jorge Gotuzzo has digitally transformed Pace International—and offers his insights to avert the food crises in 2050.

A thought leader and innovator, our colleague, Jorge Gotuzzo embraces technology in an industry that’s been slow to digitize: produce. He’s traveled extensively, lived in multiple countries, and managed diverse food-related brands around the globe, always focused on sustainability and shared responsibility. Since 2014, he has been applying his skills as Global Marketing Director at Pace International, the world’s leader in post-harvest produce solutions, in order to do his part to help prevent a global food shortage.

Pace International is a subsidiary of Valent BioSciences Corporation (of Sumitomo Chemical Company) and the leading provider of postharvest solutions for produce, Pace International works to improve the quality of fruits and vegetables through innovative solutions and services.

I recently connected with Jorge to discuss food production in today’s world, and how we can avoid world hunger in 2050.

Mary Olson

You’ve said that the world is in danger of running out of food, and I believe you, since you understand today’s food production systems better than anyone I know. I wanted to dive into root causes.

For example, we Americans have been conditioned to select fruits and vegetables that appear cosmetically perfect. How might that impact us in the decades to come?

Jorge Gotuzzo

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), when you measure all produce from harvest to consumer usage, more than 45% of all fruits and vegetables go unused. That is almost half our global production!

7 billion people are alive today. By 2050, that number is expected to reach 9 billion. The question isn’t just how we produce more food to feed the growing population, but how we reduce overall waste. The looming crisis requires both food production innovations and changes in consumer behavior.

We must do much better. Imagine if the discarded product can get distributed to food programs in poor communities, rather than going straight to landfill? Imagine replacing processed snacks at schools with healthy and nutritious food, made from fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be thrown out. Just these things alone would be game changing.

Earthquake devastation in Haiti. Alltech 2010

Mary Olson

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. It was devastated by a 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 160,000 and displaced 1.6 million people.

At the time, you were with Alltech—and living in Port-au-Prince. For a decade, you managed marketing initiatives in dairy, beef, and aquaculture on behalf of this global biotech company working to boost the health of plants and animals using nature and science.

After the earthquake, you led the Sustainable Haiti Project, and Alltech adopted a small school. What can you tell us about your experience there? How did the widespread devastation affect your views on humanity, corporate philanthropy, and the need for sustainability?

Gotuzzo, speaking of his mission in founding the Sustainable Haiti Project.

Jorge Gotuzzo:

While at Alltech, I was able to spend three months working with Haitian children and helped develop a sustainable coffee project. After the earthquake, Alltech adopted a small school to resume education—in spite of the widespread devastation. All of these experiences were life altering for me.

At that time, the company was the title sponsor of the World Equestrian Games (WEG2010) and our dream was to put together a children’s choir and to bring it to the U.S. for the opening ceremony performance. We wanted to show Haiti to the world through these beautiful little voices—and raise awareness about the recovery efforts.

Three months later, in time for start of the games, I found myself in Lexington, Kentucky with 26 children, two teachers, and one Catholic nun. That experience changed my life forever and helped me understand how lucky we are and how grateful we should be every day we’re alive.

Mary Olson

That’s beautiful, and very inspiring.

Data allows us to listen, engage, communicate, and act faster—and with greater accuracy. But the food industry’s been slow to adopt it—and embrace the digital advances available today.

You recently led a holistic online rebranding effort—and introduced an innovative digital product catalog that stands out as a “first” among all Sumitomo Chemical companies. How did you help Pace International break the mold of slow adoption?

Jorge Gotuzzo

Culturally, Pace International is all about innovation and technology. We are always looking for new ways of supporting our customers, their consumers, and the industry overall.

But there was a disconnect between our digital efforts and the day-to-day business. The digital experience we offered the customer was falling behind—and causing the company as a whole to miss out on our best opportunity to engage. To stay current, we had to step up our game and create a digital face-lift. We committed to this—and elevated the entire brand experience.

I enjoy operating in an ever-increasing complex digital realm. I look forward to putting my energies toward innovations that sustain the world and meet people’s needs. It’s a win for me, a win for my company, and a win for society. I hope.

Feel free to connect with Mary Olson or Jorge Gotuzzo for further information.

Mary Olson
Email: maryolson@maryolson.biz
Phone: 917.656.1856
Blog: maryolson.biz/blog
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/maryolsonbiz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maryolsonbiz

Jorge Gotuzzo
Email: jgotuzzo@gmail.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jorgegotuzzo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Gotu10

Pace International Website
Wikipedia – Haiti Earthquake
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


My interview series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2015 includes experts in technology, the arts, marketing, and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Some are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; others are creating game-changing paradigm shifts in their market segments.

I recently had a chance to speak with Liz Nightingale, the ultimate expert in relationship marketing.

You can trace Liz’s marketing mindset to every touch-point of a brand experience. I mean, personally and emotionally direct to people.

It doesn’t matter if the market segment is B2C or trade. In the end, it’s people who respond to her remarkable marketing touch. A quick look into her magical toolkit reveals strategic planning, PR, advertising, brand marketing, emotional branding and brand experience.

Philosophies, processes and creativity are the driving elements of Liz Nightingale’s world of marketing. Although she has been the ultimate leader in luxury marketing from legendary brands to global influences, everything is about building and valuing relationships.

I asked Liz recently, “You are at the top of your game. Every brand you touch increases by double digits. What’s next?” She replied, “I envision opportunities to collaborate at the C-suite level with business visionaries who understand the value of relationships. Marketing has never been as competitive as it is today. But it is not just about appreciating how to simplify complexity or creating and managing data, but about understanding and creating a relationship with your market on a personal basis.”

Liz is the ultimate example of a professional who integrates a love of relationships with digital technologies.

A deep look into Nightingale’s world and you find a master strategist who loves creating world-class brands and building lasting relationships with customers—With digital data.

I mentioned the widely held belief in the marketing world that what you knew two years ago is no longer true today. Nightingale dispelled that notion with a twist when I asked, “What do you think about the impact of technology on C-suite marketing careerists?”

She said, “It is likely that the CMO role shortly will transition to the Chief Marketing Technologist. But, remember, CMT’s need interpersonal skills and a deep and authentic respect for people. Process-wise, relating to people won’t change.”

Liz Nightingale Profile (PDF)

Liz Nightingale on LinkedIn

Brand Innovator Twenty Centuries Ago

According to Christopher Lightfoot, the curator of Roman Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Karol Wight, the internationally renowned scholar of Roman Art, curator of ancient and Islamic glass and executive director of The Corning Museum of Glass, and contributions by others, the invention of glassblowing in the late first century B.C. was one of the most significant technological advances in the ancient world.

These advances revolutionized the glass industry under the Roman Empire, making glass vessels accessible to all and allowing producers to create a wide range of shapes, sizes, and usages. Some of the earliest vessels made by mold blowing bear the names of the craftsmen who “signed” the molds.

Two-handed cup signed by Ennion, blown in a four-part mold, 1st half century. A.D. Syria; Palestine; Northern Italy, 25-75. 66.1.36. Photo by The Corning Museum of Glass

What does glass molding and glass blowing have to do with today’s technological innovations, branding and creativity?

What if you could trace your professional lineage to a glass producer who lived twenty centuries ago? Do we 21st century strategists define, design and market premier brands any differently than an innovative master who lived two thousand years ago?

Lightfoot and Wight answer these questions with the grouping of the most innovative and elegant known examples signed by their maker, Ennion, the producer of the finest ancient Roman mold-blown glass. The name, Ennion, is featured prominently in the early literature on ancient glass, and his products were quickly recognizable. His rare, surviving glass mold-blown vessels are unmatched in the history of art, technology, design and branding.

I was extremely pleased to view The Metropolitan Museum’s marvelous exhibition of Ennion’s exceptional accomplishments.

Lightfoot explains that Ennion was quite groundbreaking. Ennion perfected the use of molds for blowing glass and making multiples copies of the glass. His work is remembered not just because he put his name in the molds, which allows us to identify his pieces, but because of the technological invention and the authentic design differentiation from all other Roman mold-blown glass.

Cup. Close-up Signature. Ennion, Syria; Palestine; Northern Italy, 25-75. 66.1.36.
The Corning Museum of Glass

Ennion knew the value of what we 21st century marketers think of as a “brand name”. He was the first glass artist to sign his works, incorporating into his designs a prominent inscription in Greek that reads: “Ennion Made [It].” He did not just sign his pieces, and he made his name a part of the work much as we experience a famous label.

Ennion, the first century glass mold-blown innovator provides a link between the ancient and the modern worlds of technology, art and branding thanks to The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Corning Museum of Glass. ENNION: MASTER OF ROMAN GLASS is must-see exhibition at The Corning Museum of Glass for modern day business, technology and branding innovators.

Shlomo Moussaieff Collection

ENNION: Master of Roman Glass,
The Corning Museum of Glass
Opens on May 16th and runs through January 4, 2016.

ENNION: Master of Roman Glass
Largest Ever Exhibition of Mold-Blown Glass from Ancient Rome
The First Brand Manager was a 1st Century Roman Glassblower
Alain R. Truong


C-Suite executive roles are diminishing at a rapid pace while technology and social culture are generating new levels of complexities for leadership and governance.

The bias is toward short-term solutions. Materialization of rapid results is de rigueur these days.

Today, many C-Suite execs operate without an explicit contract(1) and face obvious decreased job security. The probability of turnover is the highest in today’s market mainly because of the shortened executive contractual time horizons.

Many C-Suite executives see the end of the runway as these forces cause them to transform into outside advisors.

Here are the primary attributes of today’s outside C-Suite advisors:

  • Appetite for the forces of change
  • Entrepreneurial mindsets
  • Focused on brand value, customer experience and technology

What’s next for you? How do you leverage your expertise? Most importantly, how do you frame your identity, create new opportunities and communicate your value?

It is useful to consider personal branding. A well-designed personal brand is a major driver for leveraging your value, identity and attracting new opportunities.


Those of us who perceive the value of personal branding already appreciate logo design, brand identity systems and the financial valuation of the brands we manage.

Your name is the anchor of your identity. Your core message and its relevance demonstrate the value you offer. Developing a meaningful relationship with your brand’s viewers is a vital part of the path to engagement.

Personal branding requires a commitment of time, budget and resources. Invest in yourself.

Consider the value of making yourself invaluable.

(1) Ref: http://www.lse.ac.uk/finance/people/profiles/pdfs/xu/costsandbenefits.pdf


This new series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, well-being and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Individually, they are inspiring new models or trends; are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; or are writing and publishing hard-fought insights.

Tim Anderson discusses his professional background, current focus, and insights about how the world is emerging.

Profile: Tim Anderson is the founder of In My Backyard Health and Wellness, a grass-roots urban community prevention model that engages individuals to adopt and sustain a healthier lifestyle of an entire culture of African-Americans: A population that has among the highest rate of chronic disease health disparities in the United States. In My Backyard Health and Wellness provides health education and physical activities that focus on chronic disease prevention and reducing the risk of chronic disease complications.

Tim recently innovated the African American Men’s Health Check-in and Conversations in collaboration with Dr. Charles Modlin a urologist, kidney transplant surgeon, founder and director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Minority Men’s Health Center and the monthly co-host. Together, they are providing African American men living in urban, suburban and rural communities across the United States free health and wellness conference calls with highly accomplished medical, health and wellness experts.

Mary Olson: Tim, how have your views changed as you look back on your past?

Tim Anderson: Beginning in 2001, my focus was on health screenings. I viewed health screenings as the number one objective in addressing health disparities. Health screenings for diabetes, hypertension and other metabolic disorders were the primary tool addressing health disparities at that time. The importance of health screenings remains and effective public health engagement, however, screening does not engage in “moving the needle” towards the elimination of health disparities.

Improving health outcomes in high risk communities and populations requires a critical alignment of the following:

  • Health and nutrition education
  • Health screenings
  • Preventative infrastructure
  • Collaboration between healthcare systems and communities
  • Realignment of local and state government public health resources
  • Changes in public policies

Prevention is not clinically-based, it is community-based. I think by and large the medical community understands the need to engage more in community health initiatives addressing disease prevention.

By 2004, I had created the diabetes lifestyle center in my community. Since that time, I have continued to focus on a holistic approach in addressing health disparities. By connecting the dots, I have build a model of prevention that is sustainable and replicable. Thereby eliminating or reducing health disparities and improving health outcomes.

Mary Olson: Tim, How do you see the way the world is emerging?

Tim Anderson: For me, I am concerned about technology’s effect upon human development. I do not think we have the answer. We are projecting that technology will enhance our human existence. However I also think if we are not careful and diligent in the use of technology, our human development may be disrupted by such technological advances.

Like the natural elements of our world that have shaped our DNA it appears we now have a powerful synthetic element that may also influence our DNA. We are on uncharted waters, never in our human history has our life been impacted by a revolution of advancement that affects everyone on the planet simultaneously..

Mary Olson: Tim, What do you think about as you look forward?

Tim Anderson: I contemplate the impact of chronic disease epidemic not as a crisis, but the warning bell for things to come. Chronic disease is the tip of the iceberg. Throughout human evolution, our DNA has adapted to our environment. It is this adaptive ability that has ensured the survival of mankind, but there are two sides to this adaptation. I do not know the scientific term if there is one, but I refer to it as a harmonic adaptation.

Where our DNA is programmed to receive environmental codes that allow are genes to adapt accordingly. I believe this harmonic adaptation has existed from the very beginning. Conversely, I believe that stress or crises can trigger long changes in DNA. Under this scenario, adverse emotional or environmental factors can trigger gene mutation that can result in a host of health crisis.

The perfect storm consists of poor nutrition, high sodium diet, unhealthy fats and sugar, obesity from poor nutrition, low physical activity, chemicals and additives in products that we consume and use, as well as, other factors that impact our health. I believe these adverse conditions are now laying the foundation towards gene mutation of diseases.

I believe if we fail to change the harmful conditions in our behavior and environment, future generations will be born with genetic mutations contributed by the current chronic disease epidemic of today. We will have babies born with diseases like type 2 diabetes that are a result of genetic mutation and untreatable by current treatment intervention. In many instances, genetic mutations resulting in diseases will be incurable. Today, women who carry a specific gene for breast cancer elect to have a mastectomy even though cancer is not present. What will the options be for future generations whose gene mutation resulted in either untreatable and/or incurable chronic diseases?

The harmful conditions in our environment are sending our DNA into crisis mode. What we are witnessing in the world wide epidemic of chronic diseases is not a crisis, but the warning of imminent change in genetic mutation. I believe we may still have time to switch our DNA to the harmonic adaptation by making significant changes in our life.


My new series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, luxury brands, well-being and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Individually, they are creating important new models or trends; are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; or are writing and publishing hard-fought insights.

It is difficult to name anybody in the luxury goods industry more respected or revered than Thierry Chaunu.

It is pleasure to explore Thierry’s experience and learn his views about how the world is emerging.

Profile: Thierry Chaunu is a luxury goods industry leader with vast management experience of iconic brands such as Cartier, Christofle, Chopard, Leviev Diamonds, Marina B, Damiani, and lately Mauboussin Jewelers.

Thierry started as a product manager at the Cartier headquarters in Paris and was promoted to vice president marketing at Cartier North America. He evolved as a world class C suite executive as president of Christofle, president of Chopard and president & COO of Leviev diamonds. Thierry oversaw domestic and global expansion; opened stores and wholesale distribution. He inspired new sources of revenues and produced engaging customer experience that is emulated throughout the industry. He is passionate about technology, entrepreneurial growth and fresh ideas.

Mary Olson: How have your views changed as you look back on your past?

Thierry Chaunu: The luxury industry has matured significantly since the early eighties. When I started my career at Cartier headquarters in Paris, we were elaborating all the codes and recipes (such as selective distribution, marketing methodology, etc…), at a time when other luxury brands were still very much family-owned and parochial. Others quickly followed suit in the nineties. They emulated our practices, adopted our strategies and set codes. Then they became what they are today — usually parts of big conglomerates.

Cartier was a pioneering firm and I am proud and grateful to have been associated to the incredibly exciting years of world expansion.

Mary Olson: How do you see the way the world is emerging?

Theirry Chaunu: The world is now linked electronically with the Internet and social media networks. New dynamics are constantly coming to play. Cultural boundaries are merging and creating new level-playing fields. Even small companies, if they have creativity and talent, can accomplish, in a short few months, what took years to achieve. Today, luxury entrepreneurs can create their own dynasty.

Mary Olson: What do you think about as you look forward?

Thierry Chaunu: The world has opposed experience in favor of youth. At this stage in my professional career, I think more entrepreneurial than ever. Experience IS youth. Human values and ethics are more important than material assets.


My 2014 BRANDS TO WATCH campaign has concluded successfully in Q1 with attention in the business media and fostering not-so-surprising business-building deals.

These exceptional innovators represented the worlds of art, fashion, finance, research, technology and writing. These are companies I’ve watched; some are one’s I know well and have believed in them

The leaders demonstrated unparalleled management, vision, innovation, 2013 financial results, and/or exceptional customer experience.

Thank you to these remarkable brands for participating in the 2014 campaign and for setting the gold standard for 2015:


View the top ten 2014 BRANDS TO WATCH below.


Rachel Vancelette, the owner of VANCELETTE Inc., manages a multi-facet art, fashion and technology company which currently includes the brands; VANCELETTE SIGNATURE, a custom handbag and accessory line and VAN-ART INC, a global art consultancy. She remains a top contributor and NY correspondent for Vogue Italia since 2010.

Rachel’s creative and artistic vision after many years of worldwide travels in the contemporary art circles, lead her to create VANCELETTE SIGNATURE, the inspired specialized handcrafted accessory line. The innovative design with unique interior compartments speak to women’s everyday “on the go desires.” Vancelette launched her signature line of handbags to the public in November 2012 to help solve women’s everyday needs.

Rachel continues to expand her vision of sophisticated fashion with new hardware designs along with gorgeous selections of fabric and exotic skins from across the world.

VANCELETTE SIGNATURE is a brand to watch in 2014 based on Rachel’s fascination for studying fashion innovations. Look for her newest foray into jewelry combining 3D printing and traditional techniques involving intricate stone-settings and time-honored casting also used by royal families worldwide.

Constellation Ring
22 carat brushed gold finish
Diamond Faced: approx 0.05 total diamond carat weight
Size: Top Face: 26mm x 23 mm

VAN-ART INC holds a unique position in the fine arts after many years of worldwide travels in the contemporary art circles. Rachel’s personal reputation for art appraisals and expertise in blue chip, mid-career and emerging artist sectors of the contemporary art market is stellar.

Rachel provides private art consultation services including acquisition, sales, appraisals, and curatorial management for leading art collectors, artists and art advisors; multiple private and public art collections; non-profits, art foundations and museums in Asia, Europe, South America and the United States.

Email: press@vancelette.com
Brand Website: Vancelette.com
Art Consultancy Website: Vancelette.net
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/rachel-vancelette/69/51/558
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VanceletteInc
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RDVancelette
Instagram: http://instagram.com/rvancelette