Gunther Sonnenfeld: The Future of Data & Storytelling

Follow Gunther Sonnenfeld on Twitter: @goonth

Gunther SonnenfeldI am currently a Venture Partner at K5, a Southern California startup fund and accelerator, and a Managing Director of the C-PET Futures Platform, a DC-anchored initiative that focuses on emerging tech policy innovation. Most recently I co-founded Heardable, a brand intelligence platform that provides a FICO-like (or Klout-like) diagnosis of a company or industry’s online performance, covering 15mm companies across 1800 industries using over 827 variables. Before that, I served as the SVP of Cultural Innovation & Applied Technology at RAPP/DDB (Omnicom Group). Over the course of my 18-year career, I’ve co-developed an array of approaches and platforms that transform the way we tell stories, distribute content, measure value and build intelligence in a world that is getting flatter by the minute.

Most Significant Links:

A Favorite Quote of My Own:
“For centuries, the way we have communicated and the way we ascribe memories and illustrations to those communications have been confined to language systems, and more recently, media systems, that do not allow us a fluency in what we might imagine or why. Stories have always been the fiber of who we are; they represent the genealogy and action of our existence. They are also the threads that allow us to connect through art and business. Perhaps they are even the answer to the complexities we face in a modern, post-industrial era, and the harsh, sovereign problems that plague so many nations.”

A Favorite Quote From Another:
“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” — Joseph Campbell

Most Impactful Business Book That I Have Read:
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay — because it completely debunks the myths (and pseudo-realities) that have engendered the thinking behind financial markets for centuries.

Most Impactful Non-fiction Books That I Have Read:
The Systems Approach by C. West Churchman — because it is among the first to look at modern complexity (wicked problem solving) as both an art and a science.

Revolution in Poetic Language by Julia Kristeva — because it beautifully introduces the concept of intertextuality; essentially how narrative and its metadata are connected to countless other forms of media and expository thinking.

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