Taste of the Talk | Simon Mainwaring: From Me First to We First Living


TEDxSF: You have a new book coming out, what can we look forward to?

On June 7th, “We First: How brands and consumers use social media to build a better world”, comes out. It’s a challenge to a lot of the ways we think about branding, advertising, and how we use social media.  It explains how we can acutally use it to not only build brand communities to drive profit but also to have a positive impact…[We First] is a very real expression of my sense of purpose and a contribution that I want to make. I’m excited about it as a man, as an ad guy, and as a father.

TEDxSF: Can you give us a glimpse of the talk?

SW: The context for the talk is the realization that we now live in a mutually dependent intimately connected global community. In 2008 we saw that what happened on Wall Street affects Iceland, Greece, the EU, the Middle East; it affected our families, our friends, our jobs, our homes, our sense of hope. So, that connectedness was driven home very loud and clear. At the same time we can talk to people, post to people, tweet people in real time at virtually no cost anywhere in the world. I believe that we are now in so much trouble in terms of the multiple global crisis’s, we face and yet we are so aware of those crisis’s and capable of sharing information about that, that our survival instinct is kicking in. We’re realizing we are in this together. “We First” is a counterpoint to the ‘me first’ mentality, a recognition that we need to do business, that we need to buy what we want to need, we need to treat the planet in new ways that celebrate the interests of everyone…

TEDxSF: How do you live your best life?

SW: For a long time I tried to live the version of life that was prescribed to me by others… Over time, from multiple careers and from working in multiple places around the world you get to experience various versions of success… The big realization for me was twofold. One, that true fulfillment which is far more permanent and lasting and substantive in terms of your experience of life cannot come from what you seek for yourself but only from the contribution you make to others. Secondarily, as a man, I came to realize that the greatest success I can enjoy is the success of my family. There are lot of temptations in the corporate world to indulge the worst excesses of our personality, to climb all over each other to get to the top, but ultimately you find that that’s not fulfilling.

Listen to the full interview below.

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