3 People Who Made Me Better: Sagmeister, Mäntymaa & Lindkvist

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One of the major benefits of my line of work is that I get to work with a lot of amazing people from all over the world. They are consultants, designers, copywriters, strategists, marketing managers, logistics experts, event people, translators, web developers and all kinds of other specialists. Here are three of the more impressive people I’ve had the benefits of working with so far:

Magnus Lindkvist – Trendspotter, Strategist & Professional Speaker (Sweden)


Trendspotter, brand strategist and speaker of the year in Sweden 2009 Magnus Lindkvist is a one of a kind personality. He’s big, loud, intense and always carries either a big smile or a concerned analytical look that mostly resembles a human supercomputer. Magnus can see the matrix.

I worked with Magnus during my time at Identity Works in Stockholm and had some of the best strategy discussions I’ve had to date. Magnus has also been a great mentor for my own career as a speaker.

If you ever get the opportunity to sit down for a coffee with Magnus (could be hard as he does a couple of hundred lectures per year, including TED 2009) you are more likely to learn something about yourself than about the world. That’s how he approaches things. And that is also what makes him interesting. As a trendspotter, he will try to make you see for yourself rather than telling you what the future will be.

If you have the chance, go listen to one of Magnus’ talks and check out his book “Everything We Know is Wrong – a Trendspotter’s Handbook”.

Stefan Sagmeister – Designer (Austria/USA)


If you’re even remotely interested in design, Stefan Sagmeister doesn’t need any further introduction. He’s one of the great graphic designers of our time, and also one of the easiest people to work with that I’ve met. During a very intense two day workshop in New York a few weeks back we got more work done than I have in a long time, and what I realized is that there is a very productive and rare combination in being a great listener and being very clear in voicing your opinions. And being fun to be around. This is what Stefan is, and it’s a winning combination.

Stefan’s work includes stuff for Lou Reed, Rolling Stones, Adobe, Talking Heads and much much more. He’s also a frequent TED speaker with three different appearances to his credit.

Markku Mäntymaa – Producer (Finland)

You may not have heard of Markku. Yet. And he’s the only one of these three people who hasn’t spoken at TED. Yet. I traveled to Manila in the Philippines with Markku for an amazing week of work where we tried to figure out how on earth to pull off one of the most challenging tasks in my career, and he pulled through meeting after meeting like a machine with seemingly endless energy. I guess it figures that it is this guy who pulled off to get permissions for and produce an extreme sports event for Red Bull on… wait for it… Red Square in Moscow! How many producers do you know who could do that? Not many. I promise you. This is a hard working guy. The fact that he’s also a professional drummer with 20 or so years experience just makes him even cooler.

About the Blog

This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.
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