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The Planning-ness Grant

The Planning-ness Grant is the way Planning-ness gives back to the creative thinker community.

A minimum of one grant of $10,000 will be awarded each year to an individual or small group for the express purpose of undertaking research or other project that stretches the thinking of or benefits creative thinkers everywhere. Those who are awarded the grant will be required to make their study available to the planning community and share their findings at a future Planning-ness event.


2014 Grant Winner

The Open StrategyPlatform



It’s challenging to level up as a planner, both because of the wide tool set needed and the lack of resources.

This project aims to solve this by creating a platform for planners and strategists to advance their craft – and in doing so, contribute to the overall growth and potential of the planning community.

The Open Source Strategy Platform ill be a community-developed, free and open source platform for learning, practicing and advancing the field of strategic thinking.

• It’s created by and for the strategic planning community – drawing from publicly available information and personal contributions.
• It’s a dynamic and flexible toolkit for strategic thinking across objectives, disciplines, and media.
• It’s designed to be agency-agnostic, so it can be adopted and used freely by anyone, among various levels of skill and experience.
• It’s a living platform – one that will continue to grow in scale and application.


View the full entry here

2014 Grant Finalists

The Transitional Consumer

Emilie Hitch and Valerie Esqueda


This research seeks to gather data and test the idea that people no longer as a rule go through life stages in a chronological order, but rather in a more fluid, non-linear way based on the ever-increasing unexpected cultural shifts, influences, and sometime upheavals that have now become part of our world.

We propose to test our hypothesis that as people go through life, they often do not follow linear life stage paths but instead experience their lives in a more nonlinear fashion. We will apply what we learn to shape the notion that consumers are always in various states, as opposed to stages, of transition. This idea will be expressed through the term “Transitional Consumer”.


View the full entry here

The Post-Modern Joneses

The Kings Indian


A foundational shift is happening in our basic social organization – one that is unprecedented in most human history, cross-culturally. Women in the US are poised to become the primary income earners. The trend data is clear. Women make the majority of college degree earners in an increasingly knowledge and creative-based economy. Women have earned 3 of every 5 college degrees over the past decade (Census Bureau 2014). Meanwhile, the male salary price-premium makes men unattractive recruits to cost-conscious companies and vulnerable to lay-offs.

How do these foundational economic shifts impact family dynamics now and in the near future. What is the impact on division-of-labor, ownership of the household schedule, the core shopping decision-making? Will men, as secondary wage earners, become primary caregivers and run the homes? Will women, as child-bearers, retain these roles even when male earning power diminished relatively?

We want to conduct research among “lead users” of these trends. We will also look to those matriarchal societies where women have the greatest economic and political power, to see the consequences of systemic economic empowerment on the gender relations.


View the full entry here

Past winners

The Cultural Muscle Index

JWT New York

View the full grant entry here

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