Grant McCracken


Grant McCracken

Leading Cultural Anthropologist

Grant McCracken looks at the places where culture and commerce, anthropology and economics meet. Through his highly-customized presentations, he provides audiences with a comprehensive―but incisive―review of contemporary culture, and strategies for managing it, for clients such as Microsoft, Philips, Coca-Cola, Bertelsmann, and Intel.

McCracken is the author of several books including Culture and Consumption; Culture and Consumption II; Plenitude; Big Hair; The Long Interview; Flock and Flow; Transformations; Chief Culture Officer; and Culturematic.

McCracken has been the director of the Institute of Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum; a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School; a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge; and a research affiliate at MIT.  He consults widely, including for the Ford Motor Company, the Ford Foundation, Netflix, the Boston Book Festival, Diageo, IBM, the Coca-Cola company, Nike, and the White House.

He holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago.

TV Got Better

Quite suddenly, TV got better.  Out with the Dukes of Hazzard, in with Mad Men, Game of Thrones, True Detective, House of Cards, The Good Wife, and Orphan Black.  Grant has done many hundreds of hours of research on this topic in the US, UK, Canada, Brazil and Mexico.  He has observed how a change in popular culture is changing the way we interact as spouses, as friends, as a society.  Against all expectation, TV is becoming the center of our culture and this has big implications for Canadian families, for Canadian culture, for Canadian communicators of every kind.

Culture Matters

Canadians have always been especially good at seeing how and why culture matters.  McLuhan, Ennis, Fulford and Znaimer.  This talk is about how culture serves as the “blue ocean” and the “black swan” for enterprises of every kind. It creates opportunity and disruption. Prepare for the future by taking advantage of the Canadian genius for reading culture.

The Artisanal Trend

Grant has been studying the cultural trend for several years now. What began as an obscure enthusiasm driven largely by Chez Panisse in Northern California has transformed the world of food, spirits, and manufacture of every kind. The results have been revolutionary.  McDonald’s is now challenged by Chipotle. Coca-Cola is now challenged by, um, water!  The old world of consumer capitalism is learning to march to a different drummer and the artisanal trend is now poised to change the very fabric of our society and culture. Listen to Grant has he paints the big picture of this extraordinary trend.

Saving CPG

The Consumer Packaged Goods industry is under attack from new products, producers, channels, and messaging. (Recently Adweek said that while the CPG category is growing, virtually all the big CPG players are losing share.)  The problem here is a fundamental shift in consumer taste and preference. This problem is so big it is not something we can finesse or micromanage. It will take bold ideas and big solutions. Grant will give you the big picture and the specific how-tos needed to sharpen your strategic and creative skills.  He will address a range of solutions: strategy, marketing, new media, advertising, meme making, public relations, and innovation.