Home » FEATURES » Feature: Day 2 Highlights / “Go Further With Ford” Trend Conference 2013

Feature: Day 2 Highlights / “Go Further With Ford” Trend Conference 2013



Ford  EVOS Concept Car

Ford EVOS Concept Car



Tuesday June 25, 2013 /Day 2 

Today was jam packed with all sorts of goodies. And since I’ve been up since 6am (which is super early for me!) my brain is working at half tilt right now. So to make things easier, I’ve compiled a cheat sheet highlighting key points from the three seminars/discussions that we had today. Enjoy! 



Bill Ford Q&A

After breakfast we headed to the Ford Campus where Ford Motor Company’s Executive Chairman and the great-grandson of the Henry Ford, Bill Ford took the stage to talk about his noted family’s history in the automotive world and of course his vision for the company. A brief speech flowed into a pretty insightful Q&A where everything from the America’s National Energy Policy to sustainable driving and the electric car movement kept things at a brisk pace.  A self-proclaimed environmentalist, Ford fearlessly delved into the policy world of clean energy, sustainable materials, recyclable world and of course the overall long term vision of Ford with respect to technology.


Notable Quotables: 


About the environment:

“I consider my an environmentalist my whole life…If you wanted to be a green driver, you had to give up rings. It wasn’t until technology started to progress where you can deliver both environmentally responsible driving with creature comforts people look for.”


About a “clean” future:

“The Future is: Cleaner power trains. Cleaner internal combustion engines. Hybrids and plugins. EV’s and Biofuels. Hydrogen. Without a national energy policy can’t optimize anyone of them.”


Handling the global population numbers vs serviceability:

“There are seven billion people on the planet today,  [there will be] 9 billion by mid-century. In major cities around the world, getting from Point A to Point B is potentially a nightmare…We need to figure out how to provide mobility in an ever more crowded world.”



“The auto industry wasn’t on the radar screen of Silicon Valley in the past. Now it is on their radar screen.  Alot of the technology initially being developed are finding their way into the vehicle.”


FORD’s identity:

“We can’t lock ourselves into a static definition of what we are. That happened to us in the 50s and 60s and in the 90s and 2000s. We called ourselves a  car and truck manufacturer, full stop.  But we are much more. ”



Trust Is The New Black 

Discussion about the various ways companies can extend their brand into their communities by building a solid circle of trust via ethical practices and supporting various movements, keeping in mind their core beliefs.







Anjali Kumar / General Counsel and Head of Social Innovation / Warby Parker

Online eyewear company that believe that eyewear shouldn’t cost the same (or more) as that of an iPhone.


Offers up innovative ways to reach out to their community of eyeglass wearers i.e.: “home try-on program” Have  5 days and 5 frames to try out with no fees and no obligation.


Wanted to build a company that also did good in the world.


Realized that one billion people don’t have access to glasses. So put into motion program where they would train locals in 3rd world countries to sell eyeglasses with their “buy a pair, give a pair” program,  to ensure that wages aren’t lost due to inability to see.



Rob Michalak / Lead Advocate /Ben & Jerry’s


“Trust is the new plaid” because relationships are complicated.


Mission Statement must be alive. Social mission must be in balance with the product mission. Model is “linked prosperity,” it must be real and evident in every process of their business cycle.  It’s operated  the way consumers think they want them to run it with social, product and economic missions.


People should make the rules for the corporations.


3rd party certification is increasingly important whereas by fulfilling noted criteria the business can be officially recognized as a holder of a certain type of ethical certificate. Ben & Jerry’s hands out  certification “B. Corp” a specific form of ethical rating.



Tim Erblich / CEO / Ethisphere Institute

Global publication which monitors multi-national companies and their levels of ethical participation in the corporate space.


Noted an Interbrand finding where:

*in 1970, 95 percent of average company’s worth is tied up in physical assets

*today 75 percent of average company’s worth is intangible.


Cost for a brand to recover is approx. 6-10 times more than the fees/penalty that they get for bad behavior.


Fastest growing category in America is “Responsible Investing” where one would watch/monitor  ethical performance of companies and their vision.  Also known as “Conscious Capitalism.”



Jim Farley / Exec VP Global Marketing Sales Service and Lincoln / Ford Motor Company


In last 10 years there has been a 50% drop in trust in brands by consumers. Highly tied to authenticity of the company. “We learned about trust and authenticity when we didn’t take the bailout. It was so clear and so obvious. It drove such a different trajectory for the company”.


Correlation between trust to brand equity brand has gone up 35% in three years.


Trust is important but now has become a brand differentiator. In a category and in a world where where products are equally solid as the next.


In the day and age of personalized advertising, how that company treats that personal information is the differentiating point as well.




Author, Seth Godin; Pixar's Jay Ward; Ford's Chief Creative Officer, J Mays;  Founder of Story Boutique & CUBE Ventures, Rachel Shechtman,

Author, Seth Godin; Pixar's Jay Ward; Ford's Chief Creative Officer, J Mays; Founder of Story Boutique & CUBE Ventures, Rachel Shechtman



Sculpting The Future

 Discussion about the importance and effectiveness of a good design and messaging.




Seth Godin / Best-selling Author / http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/

Henry Ford made us all rich. By pioneering productivity, mass production and interchangeable parts.


Model T was twice as good and a quarter of the price of every other car. It created a design tradition in the United States.


Mass Market = Average stuff for average people.


What is being sold is the story we tell ourselves about the products, it’s history and what we grew up with.


The purpose of not creating /distributing the concept car:  Car manufacturers intentionally bring them to auto show 5 years to soften the audience/drivers up so when the real car comes out it reminds them of “that” time.


Nowadays: The distribution of behaviors had spread to the point with more weirdness outside than the normal inside it.


Important to note that: “All media is optional.”  You can opt-in / opt-out whatever channel/ platform you are using.


Challenge of designers is: We can no longer say ‘form follows function.’ We all have function now. We can all make stuff that’s good enough. We need to understand that we are in the business of telling stories. If that story is remarkable enough, they will tell that story to other people.


It’s not about being successful. It’s about being relevant.



Jay Ward / Cars Legacy Guardian / Pixar Animation Studio

Responsible for  any car-related products ie: theme parks in the movies, video games, products etc.


The Three Men of Pixar: 


Ed Catmull: “Brain”

Steve Jobs:  ”Body ” he was the “guy who made it happen. ” He bought Pixar from George Lucas and paid money out of his pocket for years until technology was established.

John Lasseter : “Heart”


John Lasseter always believed that “Story is King” 

*Create compelling story that keeps audience at the edge of their seats (‘what’s going to happen next?’).

*Populate story with memorable characters that are relatable (even the bad guys).

*Put them in a believable world (not neccsarily the real ) world.


What John wanted in everything Pixar made/did :





Steve Jobs believed to “only make the good stuff and less of it.” – Make the best that it can possibly be. Less quantity and more quality.


Quality over quantity check list when developing a new product: 

Why are we making this?

Does it further the Pixar story?

Does it grow/enrich the brand?

If it doesn’t do the above then why are we doing it?



J Mays / Group VP Chief Creative Office / Ford Motor Company



How does design tell a story?

Being a story teller is at the heart of being a designer.


In automotive design it starts with seduction. Design strikes and emotional chord when done successfully.


Before designing the car, you have to design the customer/driver ie: Ford Fiesta designed after fictious character Anotella a 28 year-old, image conscious Italian woman who lived in Rome, Italy.


The 2015 Mustang is five decades in the making. The Mustang has been a symbol of freedom and possibility. Transcends generation, demographics and geography.


The Mustang has made over 3,000 appearances in feature films. Almost 50 years and 9 million Mustang customers has made this a phenomenon.



Rachel Shechtman / President / CUBE Ventures / Story Boutique



Story Boutique

Founded this Chelsea (New York) based boutique  that storyboards like a magazine, changes their items like an art gallery and is a space where you can shop.


Retail Media

Fresh new twist on media and collaborations. In this case the Media is in the form of a retail space that is bringing that editorial experience to the shopper and to the sponsors who are participating.


Stats: 25% of store you can purchase and  75% of store is pure experience.


Every “Story” has 3 Cs of value: “content” “commerce” and “community.




Ford EVOS Concept Car

Ford EVOS Concept Car



Disrupting The Drive

Discussing the case of the car being completed connecting seamlessly with your life, your health, and your living patterns using the FORD’s concept car “EVOS” as an example.





Molly Wood / Executive Editor / CNET (Moderator) 


EVOS Electric Concept Car 


A FORD concept car that can do the following (among a whole slew of others): 

Monitor traffic situations, weather conditions as well as co-worker’s arrival time  and calculate/adjust your alarm clock accordingly

Be able to retrieve vital information i.e.: health stats, vital stats, stress levels as well as other data from cloud.

Be able to suggest a more “dynamic”  alternative routes if you have more commute time (i.e.: not in a rush). When handling different road treatments etc, being able to automatically adjust the feel of the pedal, steering wheel sensors etc.

Remember / recollect your music listening patterns when going at certain rates of speed and routes.

Filter out pollutants and recognize when routes need to be changed due to high pollutants that may be in the air of the specific routes.



Steve Wozniak / Co-Founder / Apple Computer


Connectivity should be ‘very optional’ where the car can be an escape. You want it to help you drive, improve your driving experience.


This world which is built around the person which is more important than the car. It’s my assistant my helper my friend. Which is how one should feel.


Distracted driving is an issue especially with the touch screens as part of the equation.  Safety and regulation is always important. “I don’t answer the phone anymore while driving.”



Jim Buczkowski / Ford Motor Company


It’s important to understand that the field of engineering isn’t all about just math and equations. Young people who want to make a difference can do so in the engineering space.


Excited about the possibilities of a car being so closely connected with one’s day-to-day activities. Of course privacy concerns are an issue (i.e.: revealing driving patterns, specificities including addresses, locations, etc).


The seamless connection between the person and the car, and their lifestyle is one thing that FORD has always been interested in exploring.



Photography courtesy of Ford Motor Company  

















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