The Soda Academy

From the SoDA Board Chair

The only constant is change; and if we believed the 21st century’s digital revolution was the apex, the last year has proven otherwise. We may be closer to the beginning of the journey than we are to any sort of summit. Sudden and unexpected change is the new normal. Surprises everywhere. Out with the old, in with the impossible.

In my home country of France, a young, untested politician from outside the party system was elected to lead the 6th largest economy in the world. In the United States—the place I have called home for 25 years—Mr. Trump won as a Washington outsider. Of course, we could also mention Brexit and the shocking rise of political parties hell-bent on turning back the clocks on globalization. The list goes on.

In the digital world, we are seeing the advance of virtual reality and artificial intelligence—once distant dreams—find real and surprising applications. I, personally, never expected Alexa to come to my closet and help me pick an outfit, nor did I expect virtual reality to take over my inter-personal communications. Not so soon, at least.

And yet, change is continuous, disrupting not only aging industries but also the disruptors themselves.

So, what are we to do about this constant change? While many have noted that the only constants in life are death and taxes, I’d like to add a third certainty on which we can rely in the midst of dizzying change: Society.

We are social beings. We have not only survived but also thrived as a species thanks to our social connections and societal structures. Society gives us access to information, protection, collaboration, wisdom, experience, innovation and (of course) inspiration. Society is the essential ingredient of evolution.

SoDA is first and foremost a society. A group of digital marketers and entrepreneurs who come together to share and collaborate, to offer wisdom and experience, and to help each of us stand upright in the middle of change, riding the disruptive currents as the biggest waves of our life.

I am eternally grateful to this group of leaders for the quality and depth of our society. Without these connections, our lives would be less rich.

I hope you enjoy the SoDA Report—our 8th edition—and may you find the wisdom and inspiration to navigate the next wave of change. You know it’s coming.

Pauline Ploquin
Chair of the Board, SoDA
Chief Relationship Officer & Partner, Struck