Now is the time for us to rethink how we live

Detroit 2025 (

This is Part 4 of an essay series. Read Part 1 here.

I have always been enamored by the built environment. I studied Architecture and Urbanization at University. I have always felt that architecture is the highest expression of art — art in which humans get to learn, play, work, and live. Office buildings, condominiums, houses, roads, public transit, and shared spaces all form and define our cities.

According to the UN,

Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Projections show that urbanization, the gradual shift…

What a brand does is more important than what a brand says

Ellen in her home (Warner Bros.)

I have been a fan of Ellen’s for years. I watched her original sitcom in the mid to late 90’s. She was hilarious and kind. I was personally devastated when her show got unceremoniously axed from the ABC network because she had come out as a lesbian. She was an inspiration to the LGBTQ+ community and had the rug pulled out from under her.

Fast forward a mere five years and things shifted. More and more shows feature gay characters and employ openly gay actors. It’s 2000 and all of a sudden it’s cool to have a GBF (Gay Best…

Now is the time to rethink how we spend our money

A desolate Eaton Centre during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This is Part 3 of an essay series. Read Part 1 here.

Consumption is the ‘engine of the economy.’ Or so some say. This is because consumption drives an estimated 70% of GDP. Consumers consume food, medication, personal care products, makeup, cleaning products, home goods, clothing, gasoline — the list is endless.

The Oxford English Dictionary tells us,

“Consumer” comes from the Latin “consumere” — “to destroy, wear away, to kill, annul, extinguish, wear down, exhaust, to eat, devour, to take (a medicine), use up, expend, swallow up, merge, to spend (money, resources or time), waste, squander.”

By definition, Consumerism…

Now is the time for us to reflect on our behavior towards others

Celebrating Mister Rogers | Google

This is Part 2 of an essay series. Read Part 1 here.

Several weeks ago, Madonna referred to COVID-19 as “the great equalizer.” While the irony of her communicating this message from her rose-sprinkled, oversized bathtub in her New York City Upper East Side apartment is not lost on us, she makes a point. A virus does not discriminate. Not against different races, religions, sexes, or sexual orientations. A virus does not care who it hurts or kills; its sole purpose is to survive. A virus infects a host, multiplies, and works to infect more and more hosts. …

Now is the time to rethink everything

Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum on Unsplash

Many stories, speculations, and conspiracy theories surround COVID-19. Some are convinced that this virus is man-made, born in a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Others believe that this is an act by Mother Nature to control the world’s population size, thus reducing the incredible stress humans are causing on planet Earth. Regardless of how, where, and why the virus originated, it has become clear that change is needed across many aspects of how our global society lives, operates, and collaborates.

Many analogies and expressions are being used to refer to what is happening to humanity right now. Billy Porter calls this…

It’s the most important thing

A Secret Love on Netflix

The new Netflix movie called ‘A Secret Love’ is a unique, tragic, and sad, yet uplifting love story. It is about two women who meet in the 1940’s and become a couple. However, it is not safe for their relationship to be public, so they hide it from their family, friends and colleagues. For decades.

I don’t want to give away more of the plot, however, after I watched it I took a moment to reflect upon the things that this beautifully told story teaches us and reinforces about love:

Love can be found anywhere, even on a baseball field.

What to expect emotionally in the weeks and months to come

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

It’s okay to admit it – you are struggling right now.

We all are.

Our world has been turned upside down. Most of us have not experienced anything like this in our lifetime. And we do not know how long this will last. And we do not know what the future will hold. The uncertainty is causing us a great deal of stress and anxiety. Many of us have a mix of emotions, and this will continue for some time.

A multitude of questions are swirling around in our minds…

This isn’t real, is it?

How long is this going…

Brands do owe their existence to consumers

Brand Managers may be formally responsible for building brands over time, but consumers are informally responsible for building brands through their purchasing decisions.

However, during tough times like a pandemic or a recession, consumer spending changes drastically and wanes overall.

So what should brands do?

Should they continue to advertise as they normally would, convincing consumers who are spending less overall to spend money on their products and services? Or is it a time for brands to give back to the very consumers that have been supporting them for many years with their wallets?

I work for a communications agency…

Striking similarities explained

The following video is being shared across the internet . . .

Every COVID-19 Commercial is Exactly the Same on YouTube

The description below the video reads,

When a company or brand releases a Coronavirus Response ad, they might tell you that we’re living in “uncertain times”, but that “we’re here for you”. They may say their top priority is “people” and “families” by bringing their services to the “comfort and safety of your home”. And don’t forget: “we’re all in this together!”

The way this video was produced — along with the accompanying commentary — suggests a level of…

What can we learn from it?

Photo by Michael Fenton on Unsplash

The time we are living in is as confusing as it is uncertain.

When the pandemic first started, I would go for walks to get fresh air and runs to get exercise. Walking by other people, I would make eye contact, smile, and they would smile back at me.

Fast forward several weeks into the minimization of human contact, and now when I go for a walk or run, people who pass by me no longer look me in the eye. No smile on their faces, no happiness in their eyes, just moving on their not-so-merry way. Perhaps it’s because…

Josh MacKinnon

Josh is the Managing Director of Behaviour in Vancouver, Canada. He has been published in elemente, INToronto, and DNA magazines.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store