The article is written by Greg Taylor, Director of Brand Provocation at Elmwood, London

Having emerged this week from the coldest May for 100 years, the sun has burst through at last and there’s a collective spring in the step of the folks here in Fitzrovia. I never cease to be amazed by the power of nature and its effects on the human psyche. When we experience nature at its best, it magically frees our spirit. Our senses are triggered, we feel more alive, we feel good. But why? And how can we find ways to tap into nature even when the sun doesn’t shine?

The article is written by Greg Taylor, Director of Brand Provocation at Elmwood, London

Here in the UK last week, we hit the first double-dip recession since the 1970s. But there wasn’t wall-to-wall coverage or even that much front-page news. Do we have a collective sense of inevitability? Are we a nation resigned to economic depression? Or do we have a growing determination to take matters into our own hands and build our own futures? Now is the time for each and every one of us to reboot our own ‘home’ economy and build a new ‘homestyle’, a way of living that makes more of the spaces we find ourselves in. After all, home is where the heart is.

The article is written by Greg Taylor, Director of Brand Provocation at Elmwood, London

Feeling under pressure? Caught up in a frenzy of non-stop socialising on Facebook, Twitter and Yammer? Constantly being bombarded by brand extroverts making the most of their newfound ‘transmedia’ opportunities? These days, it’s almost impossible to escape the various digital demands of ‘your community’ or the intrusive molestations of brands. It’s at times like this I long for Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk’s calming lyrics, ‘It’s, oh, so quiet shh, shh. It’s, oh, so still shh, shh. You’re all alone shh, shh. And so peaceful….’

The article is written by Greg Taylor, Director of Brand Provocation at Elmwood, London

Those who’ve been around the block a few times, readily admit that for any industry to remain vibrant, it needs to bring in new talent. It’s what refreshes the gene pool, and without it, progress eventually stalls. Past experience also tells us that it’s when an industry is facing its toughest challenges that it needs to refresh its gene pool the most—no new-bloods, no refreshment.

Have your say, share your thoughts on this article written by Greg Taylor, Director of Brand Provocation at Elmwood, London

General strikes are taking place in Portugal with anti-fascist and Carnation Revolution chants outside the National Assembly. In the UK, unemployment is now at 2.62 million, a 17-year high. And because there is not enough cash in the Eurozone bailout fund, fear persists that the Italian debt crisis on top of that of Greece, Portugal and Ireland could sink the Euro. All this has led us to the rather shocking statement from the IMF’s head, Christine Lagarde, that we’re moving towards a ‘lost decade’, not just in Europe but globally.  Her optimistic call to action is for us to act boldly, and together. It seems we cannot carry on as before. We need a new way of doing things, a new currency for a new society.

Back in the day when Doris Day ruled the earth, brands just used to shout at us their stories of whiter than white and cleaner than clean. The communication was pretty much all one-way as they blared away on our one and only screen, the TV. We had little choice, either tune in or turn off.

Of course today is not like the 50s. In the enlightened 10s, things are supposedly much more democratic. Now we speak of brands and people being involved in two-way conversations. Our relationships with brands are more sociable and we, the people, are in the driving seat.