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.

Saving the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry

We live in a chaotic and confusing world. Big brands are challenged. The whole of CPG is in crisis. The “life span” of the organization is growing shorter. What we need is a way to manage opportunities and dangers more effectively. What we need is a systematic picture that shows us where the big changes are, when they will reach us, and how we can use them to capture value and minimize commotion.  In this talk I will show you how to build a radar system and how to use it identify and track the changes that matter most to the success and vibrancy of your organization.

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, all for Netflix who asked him to explore how and why we binge.

TV is becoming the center of our culture and this changes what we want from every kind of culture. This talk is a “must see” for cultural creatives in design, marketing, content creation, and new media; it illuminates what people want as the new consumer and the new creators of culture.

The Artisanal Trend

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, and shows what you can do as a marketer, designer, communicator, or cultural creative to tap this revolutionary trend.