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Forever Young.

As we enter the halfway point of our Quote to Self project, our inboxes have overflowed with inspirational advice from across the nation and the world. Of course, in true Fusion Hill style, we’ve also had some fun remembering songs – like Alphaville’s “Forever Young” – that embrace being a teen (with a touch of rebellion, perhaps).

While we’re certainly finding some themes emerge as we sort through all the submissions, we’re also finding joy in the variety of ideas and respondents. We’ve received submissions from all ages including one from Laosue, who is currently attending college and was 15 just four years ago.

Laosue turned 15 in Owasso, Oklahoma, during a time when Drake’s “Hotline Bling” was on the radio, “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” were on the big screen, and Taylor Swift was embarking on her 1989 World Tour. 2015 was also the year Lin-Manuel Miranda premiered his groundbreaking musical based on the life of Alexander Hamilton.

His advice to his 15-year-old self is personable, authentic and also inspiring:

“Trust in the process and stay true to who you are. Things will always get better, so speak your truth.”

Wondering what other advice we’ve received? Follow our Quote to Self Instagram and Facebook pages. Have a nugget of wisdom you’d like to share? Visit our Quote to Self website to participate. We want to hear from you!


| Creative, Culture, Quote to Self Project, Research

Nina Gazel Named a Minneapolis 32 Under 32 New Original.

Here at Fusion Hill, our team comprises intuitively smart, curious, passionate individuals who give back to their community. Ad Fed recognizes 32 up-and-coming professionals in the Twin Cities each year. These influential leaders are driving their companies forward and helping define the future of the industry. This past month, our very own Nina Gazel, director of research and strategy, was recognized and honored with this prestigious award.

Nina has been with Fusion Hill for the last five years, and she quickly went from being an intern to reaching one of our most senior-level positions. Nina puts others first and truly creates long-lasting partnerships with both clients and Fusion Hill colleagues. Nina is innovative and strategic – having led the work of numerous clients to pivotal breakthroughs. She also invests in recruiting the best talent for Fusion Hill and nurturing team members to reach their fullest potential.

Nina’s investment in others goes far beyond Fusion Hill as well. For the last three years, she has served as a board member and now vice president of the Ted Mullin Fund Minneapolis Chapter, a nonprofit dedicated to sarcoma cancer research and awareness, where she leads new fundraising events including such varied activities as kickball, pub trivia and yoga. Her true passion lies in “nonprofit matchmaking,” or connecting other Millennials with local causes and organizations that align with their interests.

32 Under 32 recognizes influential leaders across Minneapolis’ agencies. Hundreds of people are nominated for this prestigious award, and we couldn’t be more proud of Nina’s accomplishment.

| Culture, Research

Three Challenges in Health Care.


This month we headed to the Health Experience Design Conference in Boston to learn more about how human-centered design is sparking improved patient experience and systemic innovation in health care. It got us thinking about three challenges that we, our clients, and other research and design practitioners are tackling across the health care world and beyond:

How might we strike the balance of authentic but appropriate communication?

Patients respond positively to seeing their own language reflected in health care communications, rather than intimidating clinical jargon. At the same time, they expect their health institutions to be the experts—to earn the trust placed in them. We see this challenge in the financial sector as well. It takes thoughtful user research to find a warm, authentic tone that does not cross too far into informality.

How might we prompt long-lasting engagement?

Patient engagement is a priority across the health care industry. But increasingly, research is showing that trendy engagement techniques like gamification do not often lead to lasting change. Behavior change models tell us that the most successful interventions are those that help people connect to personally meaningful goals and that satisfy deeper psychological needs: patients’ sense of autonomy, competence, and belonging.

How might we reverse the course of the river?

As Steve Downs of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation noted, the health care system often asks patients to essentially swim upstream—to practice healthier behaviors in an environment that makes all of the unhealthy behaviors more convenient and more affordable. Rather than telling them to swim harder, our job as researchers and designers is to help “reverse the course of the river”: to find ways to alter the environment and building blocks of daily life to make healthy choices the easier option.

Do these challenges resonate with your organization? Connect with us to continue the conversation.

| Culture, Research

The Big 15.

Picture yourself at age 15. Then – once you’ve stopped cringing at your fashion choices – imagine how you felt at that moment in time. Just on the verge of independence, you might have been getting your driver’s permit, juggling high school activities and even starting to think a little bit about post-graduation plans.

At age 15, we were becoming our own individual, and it was an exciting yet challenging path to navigate. That’s why we’re asking the question:

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

Each month, we’ve been featuring a different piece of advice, and we’ve been impressed with just how humbly wise the submissions have been. This month, we look to Kelly, who turned 15 in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2004 – the year Facebook launched as a social networking site for Harvard students. And Google introduced Gmail to the public. Most of us were watching Shrek 2 and the final season of Friends. And the U.S. brought 102 medals home from the Summer Olympics in Greece.

Looking back, Kelly wishes she could tell her 15-year-old self:

“Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. Do not stress about the future – it won’t turn out the way you envision it anyway. Relax about growing up and don’t be in a hurry. The moment to be young, unattached and living carefree is now. Live it up!”

What memories do you have of being 15? And what advice would you give to yourself at that age? We’d love to hear from you!

Visit our Quote to Self website to participate. And to see the project in action and watch for your own quote, visit and follow our Quote to Self Instagram and Facebook pages.


| Creative, Culture, Quote to Self Project, Research

What We Wish We Knew at Age 15.

In honor of our 15th year of Insight & Imagination, we recently kicked off a special project called “Quote to Self.” If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the submissions on Instagram answering this one question: “What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?” It’s been exciting to hear the sage advice (and see some great throwback hairstyles) rolling in from our research participants, clients, employees and friends from all corners of the country. And while it develops week by week on Instagram, the project will go global in May and culminate in a consumer insight report with an exhibit at our September anniversary party.

Here’s a spotlight on one of our early contributors – Jose:

Born in July 1965, Jose from Hazel Park, Michigan, turned 15 in 1980, when Rubik’s cube and Pac-Man were released and became popular icons. In that same year, Mount St. Helen’s erupted and the USA men’s Olympic hockey team won gold – after defeating the Russian team in the “Miracle on Ice” – while Blondie topped the charts with “Call Me.” When we asked Jose what advice he’d give to his younger self, he stated:

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid of what anyone else thinks. They don’t care or can’t know what you are capable of achieving. Be weird, be bold, be ready to step out and feel new air on your face.”

What memories do you have of being 15? And what advice would you give to yourself at that age? We’d love to hear from you!

Visit our Quote to Self website to download an editable form and submit your responses to quotetoself@fusionhill.com. And to see the project in action and watch for your own quote, visit and follow our Quote to Self Instagram and Facebook pages.

| Creative, Culture, Quote to Self Project, Research

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