Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
I already wrote about the C2 Conference in Montreal (C2 = creative + commerce). I wrote about the main one, held last year in Montreal, and some one-day European versions, as the one in Amsterdam. Allow me to repeat – the last week in May for the last couple of years is reserved in my calendar for this conference. As in the previous four years, the last week of May I spend in this artistically disheveled and commercially developed Canadian city. It’s my fifth time here, exactly as many times this conference has been held.
I’ve been to countless conferences in my life, but none like this. What makes it exceptional is not the roster of great speakers and topics, because there are other conferences that bring together eminent names, but the overall experience a man can take away from here. The whole concept of this conference is designed to take you out of your usual comfort zone, so you can understand the discussed topics differently, and experience them in a new way. This is further boosted by its format – apart from lectures, each participant has at their disposal a wide array of workshops, courses, various demonstrations and experiments and various other activities that encourage direct and personal involvement. And there is so much content that, if you wanted to participate in all of it, the conference would have to last at least ten days. Therefore, already before it begins, you have to carefully choose the activities in which you want to participate, and still be quick in making decisions, because the number of participants for some of these activities is limited. So you become part of the C2 experience even before you come here. And it’s impossible to squeeze this entire event in one text. That’s why this time I don’t write “a letter from Montreal”, as I agreed with Ekrem to send you daily reports from here over the next three days, and tell you about my personal experience of that day. That’s why this is the Live from Montreal and this is the day one.
The topic of this year’s conference is sublimated in the English word ‘many’. The most realistic meaningful translation of this slogan to the languages of the Adriatic region in this case would be ‘together’. The basic idea on which this conference was born five years ago was to explore the links between creativity and business. What unites creativity and business was, and remains innovation, and so it became the third most frequently mentioned term when talking about the subject. A new term being insisted on right now is ‘collaboration’, which is recognized as a key element that allows meaningful implementation of innovations in business in today’s context of IT revolution. I know, it sounds complicated, but it’s not. Let’s look at just some of the accents on the first day of the C2 conference.
Tim Brown is a managing director, and Paul Bennett is the creative director of today already iconic design company IDEO. Today they had their first joint public appearance. They didn’t talk about their successful projects and large and well-known clients. They talked about how the company was born from the personal friendship between the two of them, and that the unquestionable trust that is the basis of any real friendship is far more effective criteria in the face of challenges of the present time than the prescribed business models and organizational charts. Therefore, it is their duty to transfer this culture to the entire organization. At first they believed that the number of employees will never exceed the number of a passengers in a school bus, but when this happened (it would definitely be impossible to pack company’s 700 employees into one bus), they still organize the company in a way of forming teams that are directly connected in one place. They are no longer just one bus, as they say, now they are a convoy of buses.
Elora Hardy, the founder and creative director of Ibuku is engaged in designing and construction of objects using bamboo. She began business in Bali, and now she and her team design and set the most incredible bamboo structures all over the world. She points out that for the success of their projects they first need to understand what the client wants to experience in the building being planned, so each client is also a creator at the same time. And the creators are also the workers who build the facilities out of bamboo, because there is practically no computer program by which workers could build an object from bamboo by only looking at the design plan. They first make a handmade model out of bamboo, so the designers and workers work together already in that phase. Elora is exclusively dedicated to the construction of buildings of bamboo, because it quickly regenerates after harvest, and in three years new one grows, making it a practical and renewable construction material and an ecologically perfect raw material.
An organic follow up to her story is that of James Jackson, CEO of Maker and Innovator Group within the electronic giant Intel. Their task is to work with individual entrepreneurs and small groups and companies. The existence of this department in one such global company reflects the understanding that there are no pre-defined small projects, but that individual initiatives and projects should be stimulated, and that the potential is not just on the side of innovators and artists, but also of ‘producers’ or ‘creators’, whatever you like to call those whom Intel calls makers, and the entire movement maker economy.
Essentially the same logic stands behind the online platform Etsy, through which small individual producers, especially those who produce handmade products, can offer them on the global market. Today the Etsy platform has 1.6 million sellers, and Chad Dickerson, CEO, describes Etsy as the largest collection of small things. The company successfully cooperates with some of its clients, by offering their products through conventional retail, and thus becomes their partner. They are proud of their social role because they now enable millions of people to earn incomes and live from the results of their work.
Dot on the ‘I’ of the first day was David Suzuki, a Canadian of Japanese origin, who through his foundation for more than 30 years struggles to spread awareness about the importance of clean air, clean water, clean land, and clean energy for the survival of humanity and the planet. He says our conviction that the market laws have the force of natural laws is costing us gravely, and warns that the nature and the laws of nature cannot be changed, while the market economy and the market laws are a human construct, and man can change and align them with the need to protect the environment and natural resources. He stresses that time is fleeting. Suzuki advocates for cooperation and joint action of all the individuals, groups and organizations that deal with this issue.
You may wonder what does all this have to do with business and where are the topics on how to sell more, how to convince the customer to buy our product, how to develop and grow a business and the like. Of course the main task and objective of business is making a profit. No one disputes that. But business, especially its creative part, has an interest and responsibility to make the world a better place to live in for us and for generations to come. Without this, everything else doesn’t make sense. And that’s all we can and must do together!