Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
The word of the third and last day of the conference was inspiration. The conference itself is traditionally inspiring, because ever since its first edition it insists on creativity in business. In addition to the topics and speakers, source of inspiration is also the ambiance of the abandoned gas plant, Arsenal, which is already in itself like an oasis where you spend those three days, like you’re on another planet. Plenty of events, art installations, the entire setting of the space including a large courtyard are already a source of inspiration. I’ll single out just a few examples to better understand what I’m saying. In one room there were dozens of handsets from those old fixed phones of various shapes and colors hanging from the ceiling. You go in and grab the first free dangling handset and start talking to a stranger on the other side. I watched people going into the room and saw a lot of skepticism and reservations on their faces. And when they left they did it in a visibly good mood, with a smile on their face. Live communication is our natural need. And along with that, it’s good to have a reminder that not long ago the phone served primarily for the people to talk with each other.
The second example is a variation of the same theme, but still completely different. In part of the conference setting called the Lab, an installation was set with a path and falling snow. You come in, put on a raincoat and take an umbrella, and the first person to come next becomes your companion with whom you walk the path in a circle, while snow falls down on you. And what do you do while walking under the same umbrella? You talk. I know, it sounds and looks silly, but it works.
The third example is a combination of old and new ways of communication. The concept is called brain date. Before the start of the conference you download an app and set up your profile, including the topics that interest you, as well as the topics you want to talk about on dates. Then you look at other people’s profiles and choose who to talk with, while at the same time receiving requests for conversation from others, so you make your own dating schedule. I admit, I’ve been more a voyeur here (not complaining), but the interest was huge, and the special area that was intended for this was packed all the time.
However, inspiration was not the word of the day because of the above mentioned things. The creative atmosphere and well thought accompanying programs have become the trademark of the conference. Inspiration was the word of the day because of the exceptional people and their stories that we had the opportunity to listen. This is the real motive, because you hear firsthand that the impossible is very much possible.
The most striking and most inspiring were the stories about successful business projects that have a pronounced socially useful dimension. Thus, Massimo Bottura, the world-famous chef with three Michelin stars and owner of the legendary Osteria Francescana restaurant in Florence, talked about how he doesn’t want to be recognized only as a chef whose dishes are enjoyed by only the rich who can afford it, so he had launched an entire campaign in which part of the ingredients that remain after regular meal preparation are used to prepare quality and delicious food for the needy. He gathered the world’s most famous chefs around his idea, and the first action was held during the world exhibition EXPO in Milan, and are preparing for a similar action during this year’s Olympics in Rio. He’s also actively involved in the campaigns to protect natural resources – rivers, seas, lakes, land, from which we draw the raw materials in the preparation of food.
Socially useful element is also present in the Shopify’s business model, which was presented by Harley Finkeistein, chief operating officer of the company that now operates in 150 countries and has 275,000 partners who sell their products through their platform, which otherwise they would not be able to sell through regular channels, because they are too expensive and inaccessible to them. A similar socially useful function plays Etsy, about which I already wrote. Such companies simply use new technological capabilities that make geography no longer limits the end consumer to have direct access to any product anywhere in the world, which is a new option for individuals and boutique producers who want to sell in the global market. Because capital is no longer an obstacle, creativity has become far more important.
Creativity is also at the center of the story of Professor Muhammad Yunus from the previous day, who offered beggars mini loans of 3-15 dollars to buy some small gifts and trinkets for that money and then offer them to those from whom they beg, at a slightly higher price. It turned out that they thus receive more money, because they no longer ask for handouts, but sell a product for an appropriate price, which changes the psychology of the relationship. From the first group of beggars who entered the program, 35% of them no longer returned to begging. “Every man has in himself the entrepreneurial potential, they’re just afraid to show it!” said Professor Yunus. He believes he can influence people to no longer ask or wait for a job, but to create it.
And what can we say about the story told by Suroosh Alvi, co-founder of VICE Media, which is today a global presence and recognized as a very influential media company, which began in 1994 when Suroosh did a print copy of the magazine and with it visited potential sponsors and advertisers, because he conceived VICE as a free monthly edition, in English language, in the predominantly French-speaking Montreal. Oh, and one more thing – it was all happening a few months after he left the rehab center. He claims that the secret of success was that they published stories that other media had no interest in, because they seemed small and uninteresting. And he says that there is also something in the fact that “we did smart things in a stupid way, and stupid things in a smart way.” Soon they crossed to video and it was the turning point for global success. Today they cooperate with several global media platforms which publish their content, and will soon move with the project VICE Land – their own media platform.
And finally, a story that is both inspiring and simultaneously sublimes this year’s C2. It’s no coincidence that it is related to the Cirque du Soleil, which inspired the conference five years ago. Cirque du Soleil is now a global phenomenon in the world of show business, and was launched by a group of street performers in Montreal. About these roots of Cirque du Soleil spoke Michel Laprise, writer and director of this company. At the beginning of his performance, he drew a circle around himself with a chalk, and explained that every street performer, when they chooss a place on the street where they will perform, they first do the same thing. This is a “circle of dreams” and in it he can do everything and gives his best. Outside the circle is reality. When they ends the performance, they leave that place, but the circle is not erased, because it then becomes a trace that they leave behind, a trace on the spot where they showed their dreams to others, with the hope that it will encourage someone to stand up and try to change their life for the better. Because desire and inspiration, without work and risks, are not enough for change.
What trace will we leave behind? This is a question to which the answer must be given by each of us, and first of all to himself or herself. Each new idea begins as a dream, when it’s accepted by many it gains potential, but when we start working on its implementation together, it becomes a reality and then we change the world.