Events

Who and What Drives Innovation and Creativity?

Posted on October 7, 2009. Filed under: Communications Strategy, Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit, logo 2009This same time last year our nation was reeling from a financial system in freefall. We’re still in recovery mode, however, if necessity is indeed the mother of invention, then the situation will ultimately spur a windfall of ingenuity.

Such was the spirit of the Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit 2009, held earlier this week in Philadelphia.

The agenda featured numerous panels and workshops. I often wished I had the ability to be in two places at the same time. Perhaps someone will be creative enough to figure out how to make that happen.

I still packed a lot in. Here’s Part 1 of my condensed notes, plus one of many memorable slides seen at the conference:

A cool slide

Let’s begin with that slide, screened at the panel on Regional Creative Economic Strategies. It’s from the deck of Karen Gagnon who’s the dynamic program manager of a major urban revitalization project in Michigan called “Cool Cities”.

Gagnon stressed that the success of “Cool Cities” in part relies on the fact that it does not enforce mandates. Instead, the program finds allies in individual cities that are able to gain the input and buy-in of local groups and communities. Get a look at how Gagnon illustrated her point here:

Government can NOT mandate cool

Man, you gotta love that one.

Now here’s more snippets from speakers and panelists at the conference:

Welcoming remarks: Peter Kageyama, Partner, Creative Cities Productions

  • The creative economy is all about whales and krill. Google is clearly the whale, but so much of the creative economy is about smaller companies that are the krill in the water, and in aggregate the krill are far bigger; it’s just harder to see.
  • We are the most overly marketed to generation ever, yet we believe almost none of it.
  • Green is the new black: To attract members of the creative class organizations and cities must reflect their values. Green (in the context of sustainability) is no longer a nice to have, it’s a must have.

Keynote address: Elizabeth Gilbert, author, Eat Pray Love

  • The expectation in our society is that we must constantly outdo ourselves, and in this relentless drive, we cannibalize our ability to be true artists.
  • We are pressed to be innovative but we must also be gentle and patient with ourselves.
  • Follow curiosity wherever it takes you; and for writers, take a line for a walk across the page.

Workshop: Get to ‘Shiny Penny Hell’ and Back

  • Shiny Penny Hell is when you have great ideas but you are paralyzed by not knowing how to turn them into things of value.
  • Be a possibility thinker.
  • There is such a thing as productive conflict — seek out divergent viewpoints that challenge your ideas.
  • Explore the outrageous.
  • Obsess over value creation.
  • To avoid tunnel vision have focused flexibility, don’t lose your peripheral vision.

Keynote Address: The Global Promise of Entrepreneurship, Randall Kempner, Executive Director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs

  • Innovation is the generation, development and implementation of new ideas that create social value.
  • Entrepreneurship is often born out of dire circumstance.
  • Entrepreneurship = prosperity

Panel: ABC’s of Mobile Technology

  • Mobile is about where you are and what you are doing at a certain time.
  • When designing for mobile one size does not fill all; but there are in excess of 20,000 devices, so it’s impossible to design for every one.
  • The three most important platforms are the iPhone, Blackberry and flip phone.
  • Mobile web designs must be stripped down to essential needs; keep it simple in terms of tasks and navigation.
  • Marketing tactics that that work well with mobile include coupons, news alerts/reminders, sweepstakes, text voting polls and surveys.
  • The reach of mobile marketing is limited because it’s an opt-in method, but this provides a highly targeted audience that’s receptive to receiving your messages.
  • Mobile and social media, perfect together.

OK, that’s a quick glimpse of insights from the Summit. Stay tuned for more.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think of these ideas from the Summit? Anything spark your interest or imagination? Comments welcome.

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Creative Economy Summit Converges In Philadelphia

Posted on October 3, 2009. Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Missle, Cold War era (bigstockphoto)Whenever I hear the word “summit” in reference to a meeting or conference my mind harkens back to a childhood memory.

A Cold War event

This particular Summit — that occurred in my hometown of Glassboro, New Jersey — brought together President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Prime Minister Aleksei Kosygin.

The Summit was intended to improve diplomatic relations following the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six Day War. The two leaders were to talk about limiting the spiraling military arms race between the U.S. and Russia.

The Summit was a big deal for Glassboro, which back then, was best known for its delectable Jersey peaches and tomatoes. We had a parade, news teams came from around the world, and the whole thing was the talk of the town.

The event put Glassboro on the map — for a New York minute, at least — however the Summit wound up being more symbol than substance.

Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit, logo 2009A creative Summit

Now I’m excited about another Summit. This one doesn’t include high-ranking national officials, however, it will have scads of substance.

It’s the Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit 2009. Hosted by Innovation Philadelphia, the two-day affair is packed with panels, discussions and workshops.

A new supply and demand curve

FYI, the creative economy; not to be confused with creative accounting; is one where ideas, innovation and the power of invention are the coin of the realm. It concerns the web (2.0, 3.0 and beyond), the changing dynamics of the workplace, and other shifts that are occurring with increasing speed.

John Howkins, who wrote the book, The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas, offers this description:

“The creative economy is based on a new way of thinking and doing. The primary inputs are our individual talent or skill. These inputs may be familiar or novel; what is more important is that our creativity transforms them in novel ways. In some sectors the output value depends on their uniqueness; in others, on how easily it can be copied and sold to large numbers of people.”

Creative convergence

As the title of the Summit in Philadelphia implies, it’s all about convergence. Taking a big-picture look at the creative economy the event brings in entrepreneurs, professionals from technology and creative sectors, business and cultural leaders.

The agenda explores elements that drive the creative economy including sustainability projects, public and private initiatives, business ventures, changing workforce models and emerging technologies.

There’s a diverse array of presenters, of which there are way too many to mention. Here’s a small selection to convey the scope of those represented:

  • Gary Ackerman, President and Co-founder, M3Mobile
  • David Bookspan, Founder, DreamIt Ventures
  • Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, Author, Eat Pray Love
  • Sallie Glickman, CEO, Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board
  • Jacqueline Hill, Director, Pennsylvania Minority Business Enterprise Center
  • Randall Kempner, Executive Director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
  • Jane McGonigal, Director of Game Research and Development, Institute for the Future
  • Hilmar Sigurdsson, Managing Director of Icelandic animation studio CAOZ
  • Gary Sorin, Director of Operational Excellence, NRG Energy
  • Kevin Stolarick, Research Director, The Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management
  • Melissa Thiessen, Co-Organizer, Twestival
  • Branimir Vasilic, CTO, superfluid
  • Paul Wright, Executive Vice President, Operations & Business Development, Micco World, Inc.

Online references

If you want the full skinny, it’s listed on the Summit web site, where you can also find a downloadable pdf.

Summit-related conversation is encouraged both in-person and online. Of the latter there are several ways to keep up what’s happening at the confab, including the official blog, Facebook, Twitter (and the Summit hashtag is #GCECS2009), YouTube, Flickr and mobile updates.

I’ll be attending on both days and will be reporting my take on things, once it’s over, via this blog. So stay tuned for more on the substance of the Summit.

-Deni Kasrel

What do you think about this Summit for the Creative Economy? Will you be attending? Comments welcome.

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