Everyone attending this week’s Breakthrough Summit heard Ray Kurzweil speak and admires his intellect. Now, do me a favor: Don’t imagine Ray Kurzweil in a bikini. Don’t think about the red-green floral pattern of his bathing suit. Don’t think about the black flip-flops with plastic flowers on top that fit his feet perfectly.

Oh boy, you really had to imagine it, did you? You couldn’t stay away from it.

When smokers don’t want to think about cigarettes, they think more about them. My point: The more you try not to think about a challenge, the more it occupies your mind.

That’s how I felt about the advertising industry in the last few years: Let’s pretend 0.1%CTR is okay (forgetting that 99.9 basically showed us the middle finger). Let’s pretend mass communication still works, we just need to add a layer of BT and top it with consumer segmentation. Let’s pretend the media world is not breaking apart amidst a consumer and technology revolution. Let’s pretend a beautiful Facebook page and a witty Twitter feed will fix everything, checks the social box off and keeps the consumer in check.

By pretending everything was okay or will be okay at one point, brands and agencies stressed out, blaming each other, trying to sneak advertising in new and innovative ways on consumer’s screens just to be rebuffed again and again. The future of the advertising looked very dim to me, since nobody wanted to admit that we need to change the paradigm of advertising or we’ll be doomed.

Until this week. Until I had numerous conversations with brand marketers and agency folks about the new marketing reality. Finally, the majority of us was open to admit that we have a problem. That the revenue models of yesterday will be the bankruptcy filings of tomorrow. That the business models of yesterday will be the graveyards of failed businesses tomorrow. That change is our only hope for the future.

And I felt an emotional swing from fear to resolve: Let’s change the paradigm. Let’s change this industry. Let’s change how we can converse with people. Make everybody a stakeholder of our brand.

Fear of change has ruled this industry for too long and led to incremental changes. That’s not good enough anymore. As Peter Horan said yesterday: “You can’t research the future, you have to be willing to jump into the dark.”

It’s not that dark anymore, I finally saw some light.