Art, Science, Magic – A Pre-Conference Interview with Mikel Cirkus

Having presented at MRMW North America in 2016, Mikel Cirkus, Global Creative Director Foresight & Trenz at Firmenich,  joins the MRMW series again in 2020 with a visionary and challenging talk that encourages researchers to be more open and bold to pick up signals (and drivers) of change anywhere they go. For Mikel, inspiration doesn’t stay wait at the office desk but happens on the streets of the world and everywhere around him.

MRMW: Without giving too much away – what is the core message of your talk and what would you like delegates to remember?

Mikel: The core message of my presentation is that it is not just a presentation but more of an exercise in awareness. In as such, it will show the process of identifying signals, as well as examples, of the cultural shifts happening now that will have an impact on the consumer of the future.

MRMW: Why did you choose the topic of your talk?

Mikel: My topic has been in constant development for twenty years. I gave it a “research paper” type of title to play on the fact that this subject is in fact part Art, part Science, and part Magic, and when you know what the Magician knows, well, it’s no longer Magic.

MRMW: What motivates you to join MRMW Europe and what are your expectations?

Mikel: I first spoke at, and attended, an MRMW event in Fort Worth, TX, a few years ago. It resonated with me so much in the way that supported my own findings of signal detection – learning of new ways to see and understand where the future is truly bleeding into the present. My curiosity and expectations are peaked for Europe!

MRMW: There is a lot of talk about the current state of research – how would you sum up the current state of research and potential future challenges? And what do you think MRMW Europe as a conference can contribute?

Mikel: It’s funny, but I’m not in Marketing, and I’m not in Consumer Insights. I’m not a “researcher” per se, nor a sociologist in any way. I guess you could say I’m a Cultural Anthropologist in the Foresight space. Futurist? Sometimes. Designer? Always. As I mentioned, my talk is about awareness. Awareness plus Design (Thinking) equals that ideographic approach to qualitative research. However, my approach is more ‘boots on the ground.’ From the streets of the most inspiring cities around the world, in the trendiest neighborhoods, this is where you observe cultural shifts that drive change. MRMW brings a different, closer to home perspective, with a wide array of lenses on the subject that support those changes. Amsterdam is one of my go-to cities of cool, and if nothing else, I encourage my fellow speakers and attendees to get out and see for yourself!


Join Mikel Cirkus and speakers from Twitter, Nestlé, Coty, Google, Mars, Ferrero, Colgate Palmolive, Imperial Brands, Joyn, Spendee and many more top of the line companies at MRMW EU 2020 to hear about the latest innovations, techniques and tools for market researchers.

Check out the full speaker listing and agenda here!

Also read: Beyond reach – how Google factors attention into its audience research


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