Point of view: Planning still waits for Einstein

John Woodward
Publicis Worldwide

Being a judge on The Admap Prize: Planning 3.0 (winning essays featured in June's Admap) was fascinating. Without any disrespect to the high quality of the entries, it's clear that we as a 'profession' are a bit lost. Not that there aren't interesting ideas on the future of planning. Quite the contrary, there are, if anything, too many.

Caught between the era of TV (which won't end any time soon, and will continue to exert a strong force on thinking) and the era of pervasive digital (which is adding huge new currents of thinking), we lack a generally accepted orthodoxy. Newton has been shown to be not quite sufficient any more, but Einstein has not yet entered the building.

The debate is not, if I am strictly accurate, on the role of planning. I think the idea that we are the guardians of the consumers and the fuel for the creative process remains intact. It's more how we might frame that role, and what tools we might use to fulfil it that is a matter for profound debate.