Creativity in a time of Crisis - The Future of Post-Covid Retail


About Matthew

Matthew Brown is a London-based retail futurist, and founder of Echochamber, a specialist creative retail intelligence agency, with a global client base of retailers, developers and FMCG brands.

Matthew travels the world tracking retail innovation and evolving consumer trends in order to provide creative and strategic insight for clients across all retail sectors, to empower them to harness evolving global consumer and retail trends for business development and innovation.

Echochamber’s research enables them to energise and inspire clients with new possibilities and work closely with retailers through to global brands such as Nike and IKEA, FMCGs such as Unilever and Johnson & Johnson, as well as leading global shopping mall developers. is a free online magazine of global retail innovation.

2020 is the year that the retail apocalypse finally happened. An unprecedented economic crisis is sweeping across the world and retail will never be the same again. Our high streets need urgent support if we want them to survive, and some long established brands will disappear forever.

During these uncertain times we should remember that the challenges that businesses face don’t come out of a vacuum: COVID-19 has merely accelerated existing trends, and the crisis is proving an incubator for creativity. The post covid landscape will be filled with new entrepreneurial independent brands and inspiring retail ecosystems that combine craft, commerce and community. Successful brands will connect the physical and digital in ways that inspire and add value to the consumer.

Design Leadership is Not Easy


About Christopher

As co-founder and CEO of Cheskin, a firm that pioneered design research in Silicon Valley, Christopher and her partners had ringside seats to unrivalled feats of creation, innovation, reinvention, and the power of design. Her ability to create simple explanations of complex human behaviour and to translate those insights into effective design and development strategies attracted clients from both technology and consumer goods companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Pepsi, Levis, Ford and more.

Christopher has led teams exploring topics like how trends move through the teen population, how music relates to mood, the history of residential architectural styles, the power of play, the cultural and behavioral differences of girls and boys, the emerging culture of “cool” in China, the development of trust online, and the meaning of color around the globe—to name just a few.

She and her partners sold Cheskin in 2007, and walked away with their sanity mostly intact. Christopher is a co-author of Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design and China’s New Culture of Cool, and teaches design leadership and strategy at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program.

Design leadership is proven to improve revenue, profitability, innovation success and employee satisfaction, but knowing its value doesn't make it any easier to enact. Christopher will explore the reasons design leadership fails to happen--even in companies determined to embrace it--and what designers and their companies can do to overcome these challenges. The talk will address common challenges that can be addressed like companies hiring design leaders but misusing their talents, lack of training or mentorship, and corporate cultures that resist change.

The New Possible


The New Possible

About Kim

Based in Berlin, Kim Muller is Experience Design Director at McKinsey Digital and passionate about human-centered design, working to solve problems by combining strategic insights with Design Thinking to create and shape services, experiences and digital products. Kim delivers business value through design by helping companies build stronger design capabilities. She drives digital transformations in B2C and B2B across regions – in Europe, the US, Middle East and Asia.

Before joining McKinsey & Company Kim worked across digital agencies, design studios and start-ups within cross-functional teams.

In April and May, as the coronavirus spread across the world, a team of 15 McKinsey designers embarked on an ambitious research project to understand how the pandemic is reshaping the values of global consumers and workers across the globe, employing ethnographic methods to collect, categorize, and interpret data. Their findings, The New Possible, describes how the pandemic is forcing people from all cultures to become more introspective and think more purposefully about their values and what really matters in their lives, and aligning those values to brands and employers that are truly delivering on purpose. Team member Kim Müller will share insights on the research as well as the implications for business from the importance of listening, empathizing with employees and customers, to leading by inspiration.

The Future of Work: Meaning, Purpose and Belonging


The Future of Work: Meaning, Purpose and Belonging

About Russell

Russell Beck is widely acknowledged as a thought leader across all aspects of talent management and people strategy; from the future of work, attraction, engagement and retention to belonging, purpose, meaning and individual productivity. He couples a research-driven approach to people and work for inspirational and thought provoking insights to unlocking potential and productivity. Russell challenges, inspires and motivates people to move quicker and further than they previously thought possible.

In his role as Director of Inspiration at Think Make Do, Russell connects dots in an informative way to help organisations take tangible actions to unlock the potential and productivity of their most expensive and most important asset, their people. He has consulted and supported boards and leadership teams of companies of all sizes – FTSE100, Fortune500, SMEs – and across many sectors including technology, engineering, pharma, retail, finance and hospitality.

As some of us slowly start to return to the office, others are realising that the next time they see their desks will be in 2021. We grapple with fears of a second or third wave whilst seeking to attain the ‘new normal.’ There is no new normal. Normal is constantly evolving. There is only the ‘next normal.’

Whilst facing uncertainty on every side some things remain true. How you lead now, how you manage relationships (employees and customers) will set the tone for your organisation for years to come.

This talk will seek to give practical advice on how to navigate the future. ‘No man is an island’ and we will show how now, more than ever, by creating meaning and purpose for each employee with a sense of belonging you can, in an era of uncertainty, unlock productivity and creativity.

Pricing Creativity and Identifying Value in Uncertain Times


Pricing Creativity and Identifying Value in Uncertain Times

About Blair

Blair Enns is on a mission to change the way creative services are bought and sold the world over. He is the founder of Win Without Pitching, the sales training and coaching organisation for creative professionals, and the author of two books on selling and pricing for creatives.
His Win Without Pitching Manifesto, published in 2010, has sold over 30,000 copies and launched a revolution in how creative and marketing firms approach developing new business development.
Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour, published in 2018, is a comprehensive guide to value-based pricing for creative firms is available in multiple formats, only at
Blair also hosts, along with David C. Baker, the podcast 2Bobs: Conversations on the Art of Creative Entrepreneurship.
Blair lives in the remote mountain village of Kaslo, British Columbia, Canada. He can be found online at and @blairenns on Twitter and LinkedIn.

In times of economic and geopolitical uncertainty, the tendency is to think the conditions of success are external. Not so, says Blair Enns, who’s got his finger on the pulse of how agencies are performing, the world over, and insights on what the winners do–and think–that the others do not.

While the fundamentals haven’t changed, Blair says he knows 50% more about pricing now than when he published Pricing Creativity - Profit beyond the billable hour, 2 years ago, including that there isn’t just one way to price. Prepare to regain your creative confidence and price accordingly.