Happy outcomes

Happiness abounded at Coley Porter Bell last night as team members toasted the success of their peers in the consultancy’s internal Blue Sky awards.

Ed Silk took top prize in the awards, which offer all CPB staff the chance to live the dream and expand their minds through travel. He walked away a particularly happy man, with £2500 in his pocket and a two-week break for trips to Himalayan country Bhutan, where wealth is measured in terms of happiness rather than financial gain, Copenhagen and Vienna, all deemed to be the happiest places to live. The only catch is he has to report back to colleagues on how it can be integrated more into brands and, in his own pursuit of happiness, so find something of relevance to CPB.

Stephen Bell, creative director of Coley Porter Bell, judged the awards alongside chief executive Vicky Bullen and Design Week editor Lynda Relph-Knight
Stephen Bell, creative director of Coley Porter Bell, judged the awards alongside chief executive Vicky Bullen and Design Week editor Lynda Relph-Knight

That’s the easy part. Ed has already established that happiness isn’t just a new-age hippy objective, it has broader social potency – the Bhutan government, for example, makes policies on the basis of Gross National Happiness – and he’s optimistic that brands can be developed to ensure happiness is our emotional response to them. The tough bit will be persuading his partner a fortnight’s solo break is a good thing.

Interestingly, Ed is a planner at CPB, providing further proof – if we needed it – that creativity is open to all of us, rather than the sole province of designers. But with account director Tom Hearne taking the £250 second prize in a field of 16 entrants representing all areas of consultancy life, the challenge is there for the CPB studio team to do better next year.

Coley Porter Bell chief executive Vicky Bullen was one of the three judges
Coley Porter Bell chief executive Vicky Bullen was one of the three judges

Indeed, only one designer, Charlotte Newbold, featured in the final six – though, to be fair, she did come up with two great concepts with her sights fixed on Japan, on the one hand,  to study wabi-sabi (‘transparency’ to the uninitiated) and China, on the other, to create a multi-media scrapbook.

Oh, and Tom’s idea? His plan is to immerse himself totally in digital culture for half the project (Tokyo was his chosen destination, but London might have to do) and then extract himself from it on a remore Scottish island.

Judging by the number of emails amassing in the inbox, that sounds like pure happiness to me.

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