U r b a n aT u r a l trendsThe New Face of America: Contrast, Creativity and Community 1. more interested in sustainability and eco-Few of us would disagree: our country is inenormous flux. This paper is written for those sensitive products or causesexecutives responsible for responding to that 2. less driven by external considerations andchange in a foresighted, proactive way. circumstances, more ‘inner directed’Chamber of Commerce officials, business 3. less interested in accumulating wealth thanowners, marketers, designers, conference in achieving quality of lifeorganizers, social entrepreneurs and urbanplanners can use this document to remainrelevant, focused and competitive. by Lynn Hinderaker, innovation coach,corporate trainer and Vistage Trusted Advisor I n 2003, demographer Richard Florida intro- duced us to the Cultural Creatives, young tech- “Town and country must be married, and out of this joyous union will spring a new hope, a new civilization.” savvy entrepreneurs and knowledge workers world- Ebenezer Howard (1898), world-famous who thought differently about work, progress urban planner and former Nebraskan and quality of life. These people comprised about 25% of all America...about 50 million of us. Well educated and independent, Cultural ‘Urbanaturalism is a combination word that Creatives were opinion leaders because they pulls together opposites to create something were attracted to media industries, understood entirely new (a common strategy for fostering web based interaction and were sensitive to entrepreneurial success). Urbanaturalism de- pop culture. Many economic development offi- scribes ANY PERSON, PLACE OR THING that cials tried to attract Cultural Creatives to their blends and fuses these contrasting elements: respective communities to pave the way for next-generation growth. "Urban" implies sensitivity to design, high energy, activity, boldness and diversity. Today, there is a NEW TYPE OF AMERICAN that (Envision the sloping glass, cement and metal of is shaping the evolution of our society: the Manhattan, Miami Beach or Hong Kong.) Urbanatural citizen is similar to the Cultural Creative, but differs in three ways: "Natural" implies organic, simplicity, grounded, wholesome and quietude. (Exhale deeply while viewing a beautiful grove of trees.) For more examples of ‘thought leadership,’ visit wowbiztv.com.
U r b a n aT u r a l Page 2 The New Face of America(continued from page 1)When we use the letter N to join these two con-trasting words (urban + natural), we gain a new,linguistic ‘compound’ where one plus one istransformed into something new and fresh.REFLECTING AMERICA’S SPLIT Urbanaturals will pay a premium for trulyUrbanaturalism is a macro-trend that describes green products. This is New Era news.what we as a nation are going through now aswe try to reconcile recessionary sobriety, eco- SUV to yoga class...accepting the contradiction.nomic limitations and respect for the planet Urbanaturals are synthesizers and lifestylewith deep seated materialism and the never blenders.ending desire to expand. About 60% of Ameri-cans separate these two modes of thinking, They are ECLECTIC, SELF AWARE ANDstriving for consistency in values and lifestyle. POWERFUL.Their world view is dualistic. Any organization that wants to be relevant andFor instance, in world politics, they view other responsible can use Urbanaturalism to designnationalistic countries suspiciously: "Theyre new cities, attract new customers, retain topbad. Were good." ( These Americans are also employees and serve the greater good.cynical about green efforts. They view them-selves not as indifferent, but pragmatic.) URBANATURALISM STIMULATES FEELINGSHOW URBANATURALS DIFFER Most interestingly, Urbanaturalism is aboutAbout 40% of us- the Urbanaturals - are com- Emotionomics. In other words, it is partiallyfortable integrating those contrasting world defined by the way it makes you feel. If youre inviews - SOPHISTICATION AND SIMPLICITY, AC- an Urbanatural environment, you will feel bothTION AND QUIETUDE, SCARCITY AND ABUN- stimulated and relaxed simultaneously. ThisDANCE, ORDER AND CHAOS - into one world- notion helps us understand how corporate deci-view, no matter how inconsistent that may sion-making can be fluid, balanced and effectiveseem. For instance: They may drive a, big, old in an Urbanatural office environment. Author and consultant Lynn Hinderaker is available through lynnhinderaker.com.
U r b a n aT u r a l Page 3 The New Face of America(continued from page 2)RE-THINK GREEN DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS?Importantly, Urbanaturalism could replace orrefine Americas green vision insofar as munici-pal planning and development overall is con-cerned. As engineers, architects, planners andbuilders seek to quantify what the Urbanaturalideal really is, creative discussions will unfold Urbanatural people are boundary spanners. They bring the outdoors inside and the inside outdoors.that will enable industry leaders to express their If your company installs outdoor kitchens, covereddissatisfaction with the LEED standards as they patios or backyard ponds, take note: Urbanatu-currently exist. They will appreciate the oppor- rals are high potential sales prospectstunity to create alternative standards and meas-urements. This will give the sustainable move- tions that stimulate growth. New insight willment new credibility and momentum. bring new progress in many industries.URBANATURAL = COOL FACTOR Urbanaturalism should be fundamental to all architectural or engineering firms; indeed, Urba-Leaving this calculating, left brain consideration naturalism could shape the very face of civicbehind, the Urbanatural concept is uber- planning, urban development and mixed usefashionable and could motivate Americans to architecture, according to former Omaha cityPAY A PREMIUM FOR SUSTAINABLE DESIGN, planner, Steve Jenson.even during the Value Era. Urbanaturalism willbe woven into cultural jargon, apparel designand tech products that have a sustainability An Urbanatural office environment—naturalhook. Consumer trend setters will use it to set lighting, live plants, aromatherapy and waterthemselves apart from the mainstream. accents that ‘guide the energy’ of the physical layout - could enhance workplace productivity,ACTION talent recruiting and succession initiatives. An Urbanatural culture in the office encouragesThe idea now is to leverage the various aspects respect for opposite world views and thus,and applications of Urbanaturalism to bring HELPS BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN GEN X/Ypeople together around value-added collabora- EMPLOYEES AND BOOMER MANAGERS. For workshops and keynotes about this topic: 402-208-5519
U r b a n aT u r a l Page 4 The New Face of America(continued from page 3) ica’s new ‘texture.’ MEDIA researchers will use it as a sales tool. Target strategies will be rede-EMPLOYEE MARKETING: Urbanaturalism creates fined. New pockets of opportunity will emerge.a talent recruiting strategy: corporations couldshowcase their commitment to sustainability,diversity and work-life balance by trumpeting By embracing Urbanaturalism as an ideal or“We are Urbanatural” in their recruiting ads. guide for URBAN PLANNING in transition neighborhoods, minority leaders will gain follow-Urbanaturalism represents a fusion of opposites ers and supporters because 1) Urbanaturalismwithout losing anything; in politics, Americans brings diverse people and contrasting ideas to-struggle with this idea, which is why Urbanatu- gether and 2) Urbanaturalism is linked to sustain-ralism could stimulate productive discussions ability, thus rewarding responsible behavior.among America’s THOUGHT LEADERS, tran-scending economic and lifestyle differences. Minority community revitalization could be funded on the back of Urbanatural projects; in- deed, Urbanaturalism could motivate minorities to become engaged with the green movement. The growth of COMMUNITY GARDENING in de- teriorating neighborhood parks demonstrates the potential. Urbanaturalism is a social move- ment that brings people together around sus- tainable projects—a big step forward, culturally. Community level innovation: Urbanaturalism could ‘catalyze’ SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP projects involving private and public organiza-Urbanaturalism has a political side; party leaders tions; it can become the bridge for joint ven-will want to know how to influence Urbanaturals tures and cross promotions that generate newbecause they are a large niche and could become revenue streams.America’s swing voters. INSIGHT INTO THEIRWORLD VIEW WILL BECOME CRITICAL. Urbanaturalism could be an effective BRANDING platform for consumer products in hair care, ap-Urbanaturals could be one psychographic seg- parel/footwear design, and even retail merchan-ment in a segmentation system depicting Amer- dising (Whole Foods is a great example).Consultant Lynn Hinderaker is available at 402-208-5519. Or visit lynnhinderaker.com.
U r b a n aT u r a l Page 5 The New Face of America(continued from page 4)URBANATURALISM WILL SET TRENDSHOLLYWOOD could weave Urbanaturalism intoits trend setting agenda because the creativepeople in the film and music industries under-stand the power of contrast. Performers like JackJohnson or The Black Eyed Peas project an Urba-natural attitude, blending acoustic instruments(natural influence) with funky, street beats THE FUTURE: Urbanaturalism will burst on the(urban influence). scene as a way to re-define the independent and eclectic spirit that always invigorates AmericanVISUAL ART can also be strongly Urbanatural as society and its entrepreneurs. It will move fromraw colors and primitive elements are mixed an abstract, inspirational ideal driven by sustain-with sophisticated, digital images. Apparel de- ability, fashion and feelings to a TANGIBLE CATA-signers will integrate contrasting fabrics and col- LYST for design, development and construction.ors into new sportswear using the same motif.All this creates ‘trend power’ that will motivate As it evolves from the right half of America’sshoppers to pay extra at the counter to be seen brain to the left hemisphere, Urbanaturalism willas fashionable, yet responsible Urbanaturals. shape the metrics and benchmarks that reflect the lessons about sustainability that architectsBoth residential and commercial INTERIORS will and engineers have learned the last 10 years.quickly reflect the Urbanatural influence as de-signers fuse slick surfaces and bold colors with Year after year, America will become more inter-natural woods and granite countertops. Star- ested in 1) Urbanatural products 2) attractingbucks and Panera’s have already tapped into this Urbanatural employees and customers 3) creat-trend, creating environments that both stimulate ing Urbanatural environments that are responsi-and relax their patrons. ble to society and to themselves.FURNITURE manufacturers will not miss the les- This material is copyright-protected (2011) byson here as they reinvent their product lines PointForward, LLC., Omaha, Nebraska. Contactaround the Urbanatural ideal. the author for the right to reprint and distribute.For more examples of ‘thought leadership,’ visit wowbiztv.com.
U r b a n aT u r a l 402-208- 402-208-5519 About author and trainer Lynn Hinderaker entrepreneur of meaning Turnaround time: Rejuvenated 10 companiesLynn Hinderaker is a dynamic platform between 1991 and 2011 through rebranding, employee engagement and leadership coaching;speaker and creativity trainer who helps organi-zations innovate their way into the future. He Entrepreneurial training: Hosted talk show –has worked in 31 industries and specializes in style podcasts for the University of Nebraska-revitalizing firms that are willing to recapture Lincoln with top-tier entrepreneurs that at-their relevance and entrepreneurial feistiness. tracted more viewers than comparable podcasts from Harvard, Wharton, Stanford and MIT;Career highlights: Content is king: Created the first online aggre-Interactivity begins: Pioneered interactive media gation of educational video interviews with localexperiments for Cox Communications that be- business leaders linked to social media;came the precursor to the Internet; Hinderaker is a growth catalyst who serves hisValue Revolution: Spearheaded the most dy- clients by fusing innovation with inspiration.namic turnaround in the history of fast food for Contact him for an audit of your customer andTaco Bell including the introduction of the first your culture...or a brief management tune-up.Value Menu, a trend that’s lasted 20 years; email@example.com. Urbanatural america Presentations: Revenge of the Yellow Brains Vision, Passion and Fusion Beyond success to significance Jumpstart! Turn around your firm c your way to personal growth Get promoted! Think like a genius