Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Rory Sutherland

To attempt an introduction to Rory Sutherland is to risk seriously underwhelming his legion of followers, not to mention the man himself.

So in the interests of avoiding disappointment, we’ll keep it brief.

Testament to the fact that being written off as a crap graduate is no barrier to stellar success, Rory’s contribution to the world of advertising and its move into the digital space is the stuff of global renown.

Currently vice-chariman of Ogilvy UK, he’s as fervent an advocate of getting the small stuff right as he is luke-warm on the preponderance of crap strategy. We can’t wait to be held in thrall by whatever he choses to hold forth on or, indeed, whatever he choses to wear.

Making sure you set your alarms for 11am on Monday the 19th of November and head to our Eventbrite page for tickets. You wont want to miss this.

CreativeMornings/London on Friday November 23rd is generously sponsored by Carat and will be held in The Johannes Gutenburg Room, 10 Triton Street NW1 3BF London. The nearest tube stations are Regents Park, Great Portland Street, Euston Square, and Warren Street.

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?

A cafe or train – you are undisturbed, but benefit from the stochastic resonance of background noise.

Is it about what you know or who you know?

It’s about who you read.


What’s been the most pivotal point in your life thus far?

Getting fired and rehired at 24.


Do you think there’s enough discourse between disciplines?

No – the Santa Fe Institute has an interesting approach here.


Can you teach innovation?

Yes – just teach the art of reframing – at school, ideally.


Dollar or Yuan?

The Canadian Dollar – it still has a portrait of the Queen on it.


Do you believe in an afterlife?

A metalife, possibly.


Negative or positive freedom?



Ideal holiday?

Time spent with people you love. It can be anywhere, provided the Sky package and broadband speed are at least as good as you get at home.


Can you draw?



Can you draw us a wave?

Once again, no, but my daughter can (see attached)

Individual or state (or both)?

Individuals, then family, then communities, only then then state.


Favourite LP?

Don’t own any, gramps..


Last book read?

Planet Ponzi, by Mitch Feierstein.


The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Low carb diet – Gary Taubes, John Briffa et al


What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are?

Opportunism gets a bad rap. It beats strategy any day.

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© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.