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June 17, 2015No Comments

#PowerWoman Shaping The Face of Business, Art & Tech

Being an Activist, Artist and Feminist landed me on TheWrap's Power Women Breakfast.  Sitting amongst some of our most influential women in entertainment, media, technology and finance renewed my belief in the our ability to come together to promote the change we wish to see in the world. The discussion spanned many of the trends in the constantly shifting media and technology landscape to giving our daughters permission early and often to use art, media and tech to change our world.

Today technology is acting as the great equalizer. We must teach and empower women to use it for progress.

I believe it can serve us as a powerful platform with global reach for our ideas, talents and inventions. Now it's important for us to #ActWithConviction  as change agents with a message of equality for all.

Read more about it at: http://www.thewrap.com/helen-mirren-calls-hollywood-ageism-f-cking-outrageous-at-wraps-1st-power-women-breakfast-in-nyc/


July 6, 2014No Comments

The Future of Digital Television

Investment banker Terence Kawaja, founder and CEO of LUMA Partners, is a big-time player in the advertising technology field. His advisory firm, LUMA Partners, has worked to help companies like Google and Yahoo make multimillion-dollar acquisitions, and his industry knowledge makes him one of the tech world's most respected minds. Kawaja has built this presentation after talking to people in the digital media business as well as people in the traditional "linear" television industry.

See a softer side of Kawaja in this four-minute music video Kawaja wrote and produced from the Cannes Lions advertising festival.

October 15, 2013No Comments


More than 80% of all purchases are made by women. Yet most women say they don’t like the way they’re marketed to. Is it a coincidence that only 3% of all ad agency creatives are women? Are advertisers getting what they pay for?  Through any lens, it’s a ridiculous representation, but there are very real reasons for this surreal imbalance. What are they?

  1. Comfort
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Work/Life Balance
  4. Sexism
  5. Creative Bias

For all our bluster, the advertising industry follows cultural progress rather than leading it. The idea of more women as creative directors isn’t about equality or political correctness. It’s about smarter business — and more effective, intelligent advertising.

So what do we do about it?  If you are in SF this week I would reccomend you join the 3% Conference.

If you are not in SF - Visit http://3PercentConf.com

#ChangeTheRatio via @jpenabickley

April 14, 2013No Comments

ON: Launching The New Nokia Nuron.

From bought to earned to owned media we have used every digital space available to us to launch the Nokia Nuron.  One of this phone's coolest features is Ovi Maps' ability to share your location with your peers. That application inspired the creative to ask consumers to tell us Where are you right now???  Click on the "Share" button and share A Good Thing near you.  [http://assets.hyfn.s3.amazonaws.com/nuron/nuron_widget.swf]

This widget is a demo of how fun it is to share and discover "A Good Thing" with your New Nokia Nuron. The feed above is a live and is a repository for all people posting from Rich media, Facebook and other instances of this widget.

We are using the newest in social technology.  Gigya's Socialize platform was used to allow people to update their status right in the interface of this widget.  

ON: Launching The New Nokia Nuron. via @jpenabickley

June 19, 2012No Comments

Words of wisdom: Get In the game and learn something.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

— Theodore Roosevelt,
Citizenship in a Republic, The Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910


Doing. Failing. Learning and and trying again is more important than never trying anything.  I think most of us, inclusive of our clients could afford to fail more.


Words of wisdom: Get In the game and learn something. via @jpenabickley

June 18, 2012No Comments

#CannesLions Contenders

As the Cannes Lions festivites have gotten underway and the predictions have been noted and posted, the shortlist for 2012 is about to reveal a few winners.  For me, I ask a few simple questions - did the work change the industry? Was there a value exchange that linked business objectives with consumer interests in a way that was ownable to the brand. Did the idea provoke a connection to brand?

As I peruse the submissions here are a few that caught my eye.

In the Promo category
Year 2 of the Small Business Saturday does it for me.  American Express and Crispin have submitted chapter two of an idea that is riding a cultural trend in the states.


What's for dinner tonight?  A common question that is aswered by this app from Hellmann’s which prints recipes on a personlized grocery receipts based on the food that you have purchased.  While some might find this a bit big brother - i think that the use of data creates a value exchnage that will generate more uses of the product.

While Sprite and Ogilvy did not change the industry with this one they did dramatize refreshing for these beach goers in a simple fun format.


This one struck me as pure genius as it played off a simple and true insight. The majoroity of woman question their fashion judement while shopping.  Knowing that, why not offer to let a network of people help you decide.  C & A's Like Fashion app brought the social network to the physical store. This was a great use of technology in the physical world.


Update: The Direct Grand Prix for American Express's Small Business Saturday campaign, which already won a Grand Prix in Promo & Activation.


#CannesLions Contenders via @jpenabickley

May 20, 2012No Comments

Insight – Do you have one or not?

In the agency world, its a word you hear a lot.  In a consumer centric world it's what you NEED to be relevant to a collaborative audience.  For me it's a word I hear misused a lot.  

The dictionary defines it as:  penetrating mental vision or discernment; faculty of seeinginto inner character or underlying truth.

In psychological terms it is: 
an understanding of relationships that sheds light on orhelps solve a problem.

For those of us who create innovations, conversations and stories for on behalf of brands for people it means:

single human truth that motivates behavior.

In a big data world creating impact starts with synthesizing down to a single insight that inspires an idea and provokes an action.

The next time you sell an idea remember you only need truth to create an audacious provocation that could change the world.

Insight – Do you have one or not? via @jpenabickley

April 17, 20121 Comment

Brilliant! Holler Sydney Betas Pinterest As An Agency Platform

Holler Sydney decided to put their main agency site on Pinterest. 

Screen Shot 2012-04-17 at 10.03.51 AM

View their clients, peer around the office, and see some of their work – as this site within a site gives keeps you solely browsing on Pinterest. 


Check it our at http://pinterest.com/weareholler/

Brilliant! Holler Sydney Betas Pinterest As An Agency Platform via @jpenabickley

April 1, 2012No Comments

Help us #MakeTheStage at @InternetWeek

Logo_iwny_lgI love spring!  Not just because it symbolizes a re-birth each year, but because it's a run up to the best internet & mobile shows. First up, Internet Week which runs from May 14 to May 21.  I will be there from the opening party to the closing ceremonies.

We have a great topic this year: The Post-Digital Age

As many of your know, over the years, I have demonstrated that all media is social with the right idea. Now it's time to discuss the greater ramifications of this to the brand world and the agency business. 

Given that all customers are digital & social -- now the day of the Digital & Social AOR is quickly dying and all agencies are expected to be digital. From media planning to creative the game has completely changed new agency models are winning big business with Transmedia story telling and hard core business results. When the old ways begin to give way to something yet to be imagined, we have a choice. Live in the past or get down to the business of imaging the future. What will you do and how will you organize around your the brands you represent in this new post digital age??

I could use your help to #MakeTheStage at this years @InternetWeek. Vote thumbs up for The Post-Digital Age at http://shar.es/rbWQY

Then if your really a cool cat you will get others to vote too.  Help us spread the word by dropping a line (preferably this one: Help us #MakeTheStage at this years @InternetWeek. Vote thumbs up for The Post-Digital Age at http://shar.es/rbWQY ) to your subscribers, friends and followers to vote for The Post-Digital Age at http://shar.es/rbWQY on facebook, twitter, tumblr or what ever platform fits your fancy.

I look forward to seeing you all there - I'll be the one wearing sunglasses inside.

Help us #MakeTheStage at @InternetWeek via @jpenabickley

March 28, 2012No Comments

Writing Your Next Symphony

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Harold R. McAlindon

Over the last few days, I have sat in a number of business meetings with fortune 500 marketers who all seem to have the same problem. There is a huge data conundrum.  Everyone of them spoke of the large agency partners having either too little of an understanding of their data across all channels or that their digital &  direct agencies who were in analysis paralysis and could not produce assets that met the data and technology demands of the new mediums. (Often referred to as perishable assets.)  Now that we are in post-digital era where people and our customers leave digital finger prints behind on everything they touch, why have the people who are supposed to be experts at the customers not figured out how to deliver new value to the Post-Digital client?

One of my early mentors, Marc Beeching once said, "The best stories are like a great piece of music. They have a beginning, middle and an end.  Sometimes you have to decide which pieces go where"  I think that analogy holds true for the data conundrum brands are in.  

Much of the Industrial Age and the Information Ages required focus and specialization.  But as white collar work has gotten routed to Asia and reduced to software, there is a new premium on the opposite aptitude: putting the pieces together, or what I call a Symphony.  What is in greatest demand today isn't more analysis, but synthesis-- seeing the big picture, crossing boundaries and being able to combine disparate pieces in to an arresting new whole.

For marketing & brand leaders and digital & traditional agencies alike who do not wish to follow their competitors down a path to a commoditized value exchange -- which is the typical path that many continue to travel -- They have a choice. Live in the past or get down to imagining and forging a new trail to the profitable future.

I have quickly found that you must marry your creative skill sets to a vastly uncomfortable place to survive. Dare I say "Data Synthesis".  As a creative leader you must act like a composer or a great conductor (my favorite is Gustavo Dudamel) .  Ask yourselves which symphony will you write for your brand or clients?  Will it tell a story? Will it have empathy? What meaning will it carry?  How will it be designed?

Next time your clients or potential clients ask you to show them your value -- create a symphony.  

Your audience will listen and remember you. 

Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Writing Your Next Symphony via @jpenabickley



Joanna routinely to speaks and keynotes at conferences, corporations, non-profits, educational and professional organizations. Her subject matter expertise is customized to meet the needs of each audience. 

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