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The Unfolding of 2021

Malinda Sanna

I love this week between Christmas and New Year’s. The day after Christmas always feels like a letdown after a sugar high, but then as we start clearing out the wrapping paper and enjoying the relative quiet, it’s a lovely time for contemplation. The news channels lose their urgency and the holiday music starts dialing down (and we’re ready for that).

This year, there are many impatient calls for the new year to begin. It is undoubtedly the introvert in me but I know I will miss some things about 2020. Mostly, I will miss the absence of things, like crowded train cars, noisy airplanes and in-person meetings.

That said, I think the year ahead is going to be fascinating and I can’t wait for it to unfold. A new president! Seeing the number of hospitalizations and deaths come down slowly but surely as vaccinations rise. And all the rediscovery, one by one, of rituals and experiences we’ve missed.

The same way we all appreciated nature in a new way this year (especially birds!) and walks, and board games, and baking and cooking at home and spending precious time with members of our own households, we’ll get to start experiencing the magic of social gatherings, talking to strangers without masks, traveling, and hugging the people we haven’t been able to see.

At Spark Ideas, 2020 was a year of planting seeds, developing new relationships (albeit virtual) all over the world, and now in 2021 we will finally get to see green shoots emerge from the ground. I literally can’t wait for this. In the first quarter we will launch an entirely new LookLook® platform, including a WeChat integration for China.

There are incredibly wonderful people I’ve got to know on Zoom this year in Japan, Korea, France, Germany, the UK, Russia, Turkey and China – all of whom we’ll be partnering with this year.

2020 made me realize more than ever that forging highly curated connections is what we do best. The technology is simply the serving platter. We create collections of relationships that help organizations get up close and personal with their constituents. And we need that direct feedback loop now more than ever as we navigate the opportunities of a new world.

In a year where isolation was the rule, we saw what we really do. We’re not in the market research business or the technology business. We create a place for intimate conversations across borders. Every voice counts, every “participant” is a jewel that we treasure.

May everyone enjoy their own periscope into the unfolding of 2021. It may be the most fascinating year ever.

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