So much has been destroyed in the wake of this COVID carnage, but within the rubble and our collective grief lays a powerful opportunity to redesign, reset, and reboot the systems that no longer serve all humans – specifically the most marginalized and oppressed groups in our society.
The annual 3% Conference – a coming together of change-makers across the creative industries – was intended to be held during the Fall in Atlanta. Amidst the rippling cancellations of the advertising industry’s most illustrious and extravagant events, 3% organizers heeded the call to bring together the creative and marketing community for an unprecedented 3-day virtual conference in July centered around building a “Radically Inclusive Future of Work.”
In the closing Keynote speech of the 2019 3% Conference held in Chicago, Cindy Gallop delivered a rousing call for inclusivity in the advertising industry, pointing to We Are Rosie as the future of advertising. Looking back, Cindy’s speech felt like a crystal ball into our opportunity to break down old systems of oppression and build anew, with different leaders at the helm, representing more identities that reflect our whole society.
In a spiritual baton pass from that keynote, the final day of the 2020 3% Conference featured We Are Rosie’s founder Stephanie Nadi Olson delivering a personal and powerful message to the industry: traditional hiring practices are not built to accommodate inclusion. Her presentation illuminated the seismic impacts of adopting flexible and remote talent models, from increased diversity, to more sustainability, to greater economic prosperity for marginalized communities, to an increase of wellness in the face of industry burnout as the norm. Stephanie closed her talk by sharing insights from We Are Rosie’s inaugural Rosie Report study on the future of work in marketing & advertising.
Following her speech, Stephanie passed the mic to Bumble, a We Are Rosie client, and Analisa Cantú, a Rosie consultant and freelance content strategist, for a live conversation illuminating what a flexible future of work actually looks like in practice. Chelsea Cain Maclin, Bumble’s vp of marketing, spoke about the power and innovation of bringing on flexible talent to level her team up in a time of growth, and Analisa shared her experience working with the Bumble team.
Beneath the surface of common notions about freelance talent, the key theme of this “live case study of the future of work” demonstrated the surprising side effects of bringing on a flexible pro: their unique perspective into the operations of a marketing organization and subsequent ability to identify opportunities for efficiency and optimization. Often, the perception of freelance talent is simplified into “gets the job done” – this conversation demonstrated the refreshing insights a freelancer can bring to the organization, far beyond just getting the job done.
It’s not often that independent consultants take the stage, virtually or otherwise, at tentpole industry events, but that’s what the radically inclusive future of work is about: redistributing power back to the people. This global moment and industry reboot is forcing us to rethink power in all regards. The future of work is the people who make up our industry and who are building a new table with seats for new leaders.