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Starting Up: The Agency of the Future Dec 19, 2012

The Agency of the Future is a recently launched collaborative consultancy and thinktank. We also generate spin-off projects that go on to become independent organisations.

Paul Skinner, founder of the Agency of the Future

Right: Paul Skinner Principle of The Agency of the Future. Photograph: Frances Baker, Big Society Network

We believe that collaboration is the new competition and that stakeholder value is the new shareholder value. Our consulting and thinktank work has included creating a vision and strategy for the future of the global cooperative sector, exploring alternative business models and participatory approaches to funding. Our work also includes delivering humanitarian crisis response and developing open innovation platforms that can help drive economic development by connecting innovative SMEs with big business and local government.

Our first spin-off programme is called Pimp My Cause, which connects charities and social enterprises with pro-bono marketing services. It was chosen by the Big Society's Nexter's programme as one of the top social ventures in the UK.

Our credentials lie in the experience of our team. We have extensive backgrounds in global marketing, product and service development and social innovation. We also have very strong external networks which mean we can pull a lot of support together for projects we take on. And we emphasis embedding ethics from the bottom up and sustainability, which I think attracts people to us rather than if we invested in establishing a traditional agency of bricks and mortar and expensive offices which now feels quite outdated as an approach. Our marketing approach is mainly through word of mouth and client referrals and we also speak at events in our field around the world.

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