Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Coolest Private Sector Think Tank of 2015 - Absolut Labs

Think tanks are typically non-profits, but there are a host a corporate and other private sector think tanks in the United States and elsewhere.  One example is JPMorgan Chase & Co. which launched a think tank earlier this year.

Now, the alcoholic beverage company Asolut, known for its vodka, has recently created a think tank to plan for the next 30 years of nightlife (we are not making this up folks).  Here is more:
When you hear "think tank," the first words that come to mind are more likely policy, or government, or economics, or the military, rather than, say, vodka. Afdhel Aziz, however, is not constrained by your limited notions of what a think tank can be. As brand director for Absolut Labs, he's in charge of looking at ways that the company can spur innovation in the world of nightlife.
"It's there to do two things," Aziz says of Absolut Labs. "It's there to be an idea incubator, and to be a think tank, as well."
What that means in plain English is that Absolut Labs is looking for weird, unexpected ways to influence the nightlife experience. They started in August with a virtual reality project involving the Brooklyn band Bob Moses, where they provided Google Cardboard headsets to thousands of the band's fans, so they could all have an experience not unlike the one being enjoyed—live and in real time—by the 400 people in Williamsburg on the night of the band's gig. "That was our calling card," Aziz says of the experience. "To say 'this is what we're here to do: We're here to make nightlife better by using art, music, and technology in new and unique ways.'"
The think tank, meanwhile, is looking at unique ways to apply data they've cultivated to the world of nightlife. "We had been doing research with a hundred of the most influential and interesting people doing nightlife in the U.S.," Aziz explains. "If our purpose was to make nightlife better, we had to first find out what's going on in nightlife, and what trends are driving it. So we created an interesting piece of qualitative research where we identified people from different tribes—the people making the music, the people making the visuals, the people promoting the parties—and we talked to lots of different types of people, to gather these insights to put together the report."

The think tank has just released a "State of Nightlife 2015" report identifying emerging trends in the nightlife scene.  The Absolut Labs website can be found here.

Now THAT is a think tank report that will not put you to sleep...

Update: Mr. Aziz also happens to have the coolest business card of any think tank we know.  See a picture here.