#HyperIsland @CisnerosMedia

For this next post I asked Jonathan Blum, President of Cisneros Media and Hazel Swayne, Creative Director for Hyper Island, to have a conversation about our experiences working together at our Hyper Island Master Class. – Adriana

By Jonathan Blum:

I remember so clearly a few years ago when Adriana returned from her time at a Hyper Island Master Class in New York. She was extremely excited and eager to share her experiences with the team. Thanks to Adriana’s initiative, a few weeks ago a group of Cisneros employees (representing all our different business units) had a chance to take part in a tailor-made Hyper Island experience. We hosted the class in Miami at our Cisneros Media production studios.


We all had high expectations; from being more connected to each of our business units, to understanding how digital platforms can enhance the potential of our companies, to learning how to incorporate digital strategies organically into all of our activities.

We started the session discussing our fears: what do we do with the information overload constantly bombarding us? Does digital media actually prevent us from having a balance between our professional and private life? The answer was simple: try to do things that make you feel a bit uncomfortable. Realize that technology is here to improve the world and to provide new business opportunities. In order to seize them we need to have the right attitude and mindset. Customers today do not buy products or brands, they are looking for solutions. We must share our experiences, listen to others, and continue learning to develop simple but relevant solutions.

Online Map

The Internet makes the impossible seem possible. It is not happenstance that the largest taxi company, Uber, does not actually own a single car; or that the largest property services company, Airbnb, owns no properties. We learned that we must always be innovating, because we are in an era of constant evolution: in 10 years, 40% of companies that are now on the Fortune 500 list will probably not exist. This teaches us that we must design our plan of action based on objectives that are specific, measurable, attractive, realistic and timely.

Since returning from our Mater Class we have a very clear action plan and priorities. We are creating IFTTT recipes ( which have made it easier to follow up on our conversations on social networks. We are about to hand over to our developers our first prototype using Prototyping on Paper (  At the end of the day, one of the greatest gifts we received from our experience together is the Hyper Island Digital Tool Box.

Thank you to the excellent Hyper Island team responsible for challenging us to change our thinking and helping us understand the magnitude of digital and technological change, and how it will continue to impact our society. Thanks @jocke @LauraSawyer4 @Thnkclrly @hklefevre and @hazeliz. Thank you for encouraging innovative ways of thinking and teamwork to create a positive attitude towards change. But most of all, thanks for surprising us session after session. We had so much fun!


By: Hazel Swayne:

Hyper Island will never be the same after having the opportunity to be exposed to Adriana and her entrepreneurial and dedicated team.

We are fortunate to work with global companies, large and small and we all agreed at the end of our Master Class that this Cisneros team will go far; and they will undoubtedly generate excitement out in the marketplace.

The Master Class began with each team member discussing their “stinky fish”. The “stinky fish” exercise allows the group to expose their fears and doubts about all things digital. It serves not only to create a common starting point for the entire group, but also to level set participants degree of anxiety around digital. I immediately noticed that the group maximized their 3 days with us; without limits or fear but rather with great desire to learn, explore and apply new methodologies and tools with their respective teams and projects.

Stinky Fish

During our 3 days together the Cisneros team motivated, encouraged and challenged us to continue expanding and opening their minds. There was an “aha moment” the morning of the second day during a team exercise when it became clear that although the pace of change can create a great deal of fear, this team was more than willing to take the bull by the horns. They jumped right in with grace, humility, dedication and passion. Where many companies would see danger, Cisneros sees the opportunity to reinvent themselves, continue growing and adopting new paradigms that will ensure their continued success.

One of the lessons we took from this experience is knowing that Cisneros is a super-capable group of people that do not only exist to create content and high profile events with a global reach, but they have a mission to improve Latin America.

HI Reflection Photo

Reflection is an integral part of our methodology at Hyper Island. Here are some of our reflections from our time with the Cisneros team:

Jocke: A company that can embrace three days on the island like this gang did can embrace any change, and actually survive. #makesmehappy. Most media companies I have worked with say they are willing to embrace change, but Cisneros actually got into the situation where they accepted life is changing and being ok with not knowing all the answers. There is something in that culture that makes me truly happy.

Laura: What distinguishes them is their willingness to see opportunity with all the change that is happening at a large scale and all its implication is wonderful to see.

Mathias: I think when they came in they didn’t know what they were getting into, but I felt their culture allowed them to open up very quickly and embrace everything we “threw” at them. While they still have a lot to explore – because there is no “you are done” today – they have the willingness to lean forward in order to continue growing.

Heather: Wonderful people, harlequin group and really enthusiastic and their presence lingers. There is already evidence they are applying what they learned.

Corinne: Present and down to earth to work with. The group had a tremendous willingness to make things happen.

Hazel: There was humility around not knowing everything and being willing to try and explore new things. It takes strength, dedication and ambition to be fully present; Cisneros showed they are in it to disrupt their industry. I am super proud!