Montreal Creativity Summer, 2015!

Montreal Creativity Summer, 2015!

by Madanmohan Rao
Editor, The KM Chronicles
Montreal; June 25-July 3, 2015

Logging in now from Montreal’s Summer School on Management of Creativity in an Innovation Society! (hashtag: #yulbcn)
See my quotes compilation and blogs from the 2014 Bangkok edition: (new links:

I. Context

Lucy Stojak (HEC Montréal): This is the 7th edition of the Creativity School! New spinoffs/talks – Bangkok, Strasbourg, Lille, Grenoble, Rio/SaoPaulo, Helsinki. (Thanks to the Mosaic team: Alexandre, Alice, Lucy, Jeremy, Simon!)
Patrick Cohendet (Professor, HEC Montréal): This all started in Restaurant 7 Portes (‘magnet of creativity’)! Inputs from Strasbourg, Barcelona, Montreal, Quebec. Barcelona & Montreal – narratives of two creative cities.
Laurent Simon (Professor, HEC Montréal): Consider yourself as ‘cognitive ducks’ who will be force-fed till you become creative and ready for the feast (foie gras)!
What is the creative heart of society today? MOSAIC platform: research, networks, training
Jaume Valls (Professor, University of Barcelona): MOSAIC spirit – transversal, exploratory, collaborative

II. Group activity: what are the burning questions of innovators?

How to be creative when you don’t have time, how to keep things simple, how to go beyond product innovation, how to protect data, how to innovate continuously, how to build the reflex of creativity, overcoming fear of innovation, coordinating international innovation teams, filtering/choosing ideas, role of incubators, user centricity, innovation in regulators, improving ecosystems, sustainability, collective innovation, innovation capacity in emerging economies, internal buy-in, metrics, competencies, execution, innovation with minimal change, daily innovations, role of communication; how to have a sense of purpose, how to be innovative and productive at the same time (or with balance); is innovation necessary for all?

III. Pierre Giorgini (President, Lille Université)

These days conference speakers can’t bullshit because the audience can look it up instantly on Google!
Don’t shape creative people for jobs, shape jobs for creative people
We still can’t imitate a flock of birds or swarm of bees
Convergence of the energy and transport revolution triggered a boost in productivity levels
We are going from connected human to augmented human, thanks to intelligent agents and Big Data
Digital is no longer a power, it is a super-power
Jaw-dropping photo of a drone – which is actually a metal robotic insect!
Cognitoys – have intelligent conversations with kids
We are entering the era of cooperative networks: multiple networks, multiple cooperation agendas/models
Vive la Co-Revolution! Co-creation, co-funding, co-use & barters
Techno-scientific factors and Internet convergence are leading to lightning transitions
Intense creativity is as important as efficient production (Edmund Phelps)
Spectrum of skills: strength, manual skills, intelligence, ingenuity, creativity, innovation
The beneficiary is now a partner of the system and is also a player
Focus also on value creation from lateral innovation arising from unlikely encounters (trans-disciplinary)
Create a new form of education which helps learners handle complexity; leads to sustainable humanistic innovation
Innovation ecosystems need to blend physical and virtual networks/spaces and promote co-design between unlikely partners
Future innovation ecosystems = Engineering innovation + Social innovation + Complexity pedagogy
Humanicity = a new space for living (living lab)

IV. Denys LaPointe, Executive Vice-President, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP)

Day Two kicks off at Design and Innovation Center of BRP!
Every 10 years, the Fortune 500 ranking changes drastically; companies caught by surprise/inertia: Kodak. Not all companies succeed all the time, eg Apple & Newton
Four kinds of innovation at BRP: invention (completely new), disruptive (old product still stays; eg. desktop + laptop), evolution (new segment), continuation (new features)
BRP = inventor of snowmobile; also ventured into ATV, Skidoo, sailboats, watercrafts, ‘Spider’ three-wheelers
Design philosophy: products should be exciting, functional, highly innovative
Design for different segments, eg. older riders: larger typeface, more contrasts and lighting
Wow factor = seduction: emotion, touch, feel, balance, rhythm, colours, proportions.
Design language evolution: edge, hard edge, flowing edge, flame, facetises, ‘squarcle.’
Design DNA: positive curves, dynamic feel (even when stationary), facial expressions (sublimal).
Design vision: escape, intensity, muscular, feel magnified, passion, friendship. Photos: card game, highway, DJ, comic hero.
Spyder: open air experience + stability, peace of mind
External challenges: regulation (categorisation of two/three –wheelers).
Product development = design + engineering + marketing, with customer at centre. But remember that consumers are limited in what they can imagine, and are not aware of global trends or new technologies/materials. Ask them mostly for preferences and validation, and probe for their fears, eg. fear of bikes because of danger/falls; three-wheel model offers safety (new segment)
Metaphor for innovation stagegate: gas->liquid->gel->crystal
“People create products, not processes” (Hall of Fame of designers). One engineer learned how to ride a unicycle; realised that it is more stable with a helper wheel!
Creative leader should create a good environment, be sensitive, make employees happy.
BRP has a 3-day off-site Annual Design Forum. Role of facilitator key for brainstorming, stimulation, gets creative juices flowing. Let the voodoo magic do its trick!

V. 3Rs: Review-Reflect-Recreate

Day Three kicks off with a review of Day Two!
Fuzzy Front-end (Koen et al 2001): new product engineering development process. Opportunity identification & analysis; idea genesis and selection; concept & tech development. ‘Blurry spark.’
Idea->Concept->Product. Ideate->Screen->Develop->Test->Launch.
Innovator’s challenge – false negatives, false positives. Who has the authority to judge?
Laurent Simon: The ‘designful organisation.’ The importance of crazy concepts.
Inspiration from nature: bio-mimetism, bio-mimicry. Car front looking like duck beak. Warplane shaped like eagle. Gaudi – shells and snails.
Whirlpool has 100 days experimentation timeline
Patrick Cohendet: Philips has a parallel incubator along with marketing
Visit to Saint-Benoit-du-lac (and Barcelona: San-Benet-de-Bages). Spaces for Life – Time for life. History, spirituality, experience, six senses (silence); challenge – economic viability. Also, monks are not signing up in large numbers. Be in this world but also in other + spiritual worlds.
Mantas/Lithuania wraps up RRR with a musical piece – monk chants followed by motorcycle sound (abbey + Bombardier)!

VI. The creative economy: challenges and issues (Part 1) – Patrick Cohendet, Laurent Simon

Reading resources: The Creative Economy (Howkins 2001), Reports from UNCTAD/UN: 2008, 2010, 2013. Others: Rise of the Creative Class, Creative City, Creativity and the City, Creative Society, Economics of Creativity, Creativity and the Global Knowledge Economy
Crossroads of science, arts, culture, business, technology. Create and circulate intellectual capital; also social inclusion, cultural diversity, human development.
Society: agri – industrial – information – knowledge – creative society.
Productivity = do things with perfect replicability, increasing scale, increasing efficiency
Creative intensity = reinvent permanently the things we know we can produce efficiently
Creation: products -> information -> knowledge -> ideas
Eric von Hippel (‘Democratising Innovation’) – top-down invention is being questioned thanks to democratising of ICTs. Producers cannot conceive of everything. User-led innovation: wind-surfing (sails, parachutes on surfboads). User-developed innovations for the high-performance sport.
Edmund Phelps: ‘Mass Flourishing: How grassroots innovation created jobs, challenge and change.’ Broad involvement of people.
P&G has more chemistry researchers than all US universities. 7,500 researchers in 2000. R&D -> C&D (connect and develop). 35% of its products now have elements coming from outside. R&D productivity increased by 60%.
NikeID – customize your own shoe. Lay’s chips – 24 flavours of chips.
Rewards for contributors – recognition, reputation. Complexity of collective processes.
Paul Romer: “Too often economists have been willing to treat ideas a footnote to the rest of the economic analysis.”
Henri Mintzberg: ‘Rebalancing Society.’ Companies are losing their sense of community; sense of belong to and caring for something larger than themselves
Paul Adler (2001): “Market, Hierarchy and Trust: The Knowledge Economy and the Future of Capitalism.” Market relies on price, hierarchy on authority, community on trust. The balance of these three poles is a must (org, market, community)
UniSoft: matching hierarchies with communities
Jane Jacobs: ‘The Economy of Cities’ – the jumping joyous urban jungle. Diversity, density, dynamism. City = crucible of diversity
Laurent Simon: iPod: weak scientific creativity (combination of existing elements), strong artistic creativity, very strong business creativity. “Constraints are a lever to jumpstart new levels of creativity”
Co-design, business model – very important elements today
Creative economy = diversity (origin of conception & development) + collectives + values from ideas. You need to reconsider innovation processes, management and territories.
Since 1990s, economic growth of creative industries is four times the growth of manufacturing
Reinvention: 80% of IBM’s business is consulting
3M is an innovation machine; 100 years old this year. 2006: introduced Six Sigma, but innovation pipeline reduced by 40%. CEO was fired.
Reboot! The new kind of creative work – failure is normal; ambiguity rules; knowing what to do is more difficult than actually doing it; work is organised around what we do not know also; don’t micro-manage; definition of ‘work’ is changing
In some domains, employees know more than their managers
See YouTube: The Future of Management (Management must be reinvented – Gary Hamel) – tools of creativity are widely distributed, everyone gets heard, communities are also self-defined
Salvador Dali: “Intelligence without ambition is like a bird without wings.”

VII. Jaume Valls, University of Barcelona: 10 Types of Innovation

See my review of the book:
This book is useful as a teaching tool about innovation

VIII. Open Innovation: Laurent Simon

The tin can was invented 15 years before the invention of the can opener!
Chesebro: open innovation
1. Make some friends; you don’t innovate alone.
2. Ask the question: what is important, what will we make a difference, what are we about
3. Go out and play
4. Invite your friends; take your employees with you
5. Explore new playgrounds, contexts
6. Make some new friends: suppliers, techies
7. Invite them home
8. Ask the question again; frame/reframe
9. Listen, discuss, debate (friction, abrasion, collision, conflicts)
10. Tell stories
11. Make it concrete – draw, build
12. Show the prototypes
13. Try, make people try, play with the prototypes again
14. Improve
15. Start again; it’s an ongoing process

IX. Jugaad & Frugal Innovation: Madanmohan Rao (me!)

Jugaad: Quick-fix, makeshift, workaround. Low-cost solution. Flexible approach. ‘Stretching’ available resources. New, unconventional uses of items. ‘Bends’ the rules. ‘Good enough’ and not necessarily the best. Band-aid, and not surgery

Type 1: Individual/community solutions. The problem solver is the one who has the problem (creator = customer). Business model and IP protection are not main concerns.
Type 2: Developed by SMEs. Business model. Sustainability is the main goal (not focused on major profitability)
Type 3: Also called ‘frugal’ innovation. Practiced by MNCs and new startups. Top-level corporate support. Strong development processes. Clearly defined success metrics.
GE: portable ultrasound scanner; SafariCom: mPesa in Kenya; Selco India: solar energy solutions/services; The Sharing Economy: CouchSurfing, ParkAtMyHouse, BlaBla Car;
Tata Nano car; Ford’s TechShop engagement with tinkerers; Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan
Blend structured and improvised innovation
Applicable in emerging and mature economies
Ecosystem linkages (‘unlikely partners’)
3D printing
Maker fairs, hackerspaces, hackathons
Venture capital: Unitus, Acumen
A grilled locust is better than no soup. – Zimbabwean proverb
I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand. – Mandarin proverb
Creativity thrives best when constrained. – Marissa Mayer
Creativity app for innovation – proverbs & quotes! ‘WordSparks’ (Apple) (Android – free!)

X. Pecha Kucha Round 2

Co-Design Olivier Irrmann, ADICODE: 2X2 matrix of proactive, reactive & inactive customers v/s designers
Creative Cognition: Marine Agogue, HEC Montreal: Terrific photos of copy/paste twins, juggling brain/heart. Stroop test and creativity
Design Thinking: Valerie Chanel: Forms of activities – enterprises, associations, collectives.
Innovation projects begin with the vision for change, flows of economic/social value; ideation; proto-typing and exploration. Start with team building as a foundation.
Minh Mai Thai, Associate Professor, HEC Montreal: Who is the creative custodian in an informal/voluntary entrepreneurship model? Network resource planning, value accounting system. See,

XI. Pecha Kucha Round 3

Christian Defelix, UPMF, Grenoble
Step 1: Managing the experts
Reading: Brian Carney – Freedom Inc.
Step 2: All employees for innovation
Step 3: HR strategy for innovation, eg. companies exchanging employees for some time
Frederic Touvard, Centaury France
Go beyond QCD – EAT exploration, achievement, team agility
Rational is good but not enough.
Francesco Sole Parellada, UPC: SMEs and Innovation

XII: The Process of Ideation: Patrick Cohendet, Laurent Simon

Ideas are not born, they are collectively crafted
Spark, Codebooks (manifesto+vision+rules & associated knowledge), Landing
Arthur Koestler (1964): ‘The Art of Creation’- emerges through bisociation. Uncovers, shuffles, combines. Methods – TRIZ, design thinking, etc.
Bisociation: blend elements from two previously unrelated matrices of thought into a new matrix of meaning. Comparison, abstraction, categorization, analogies, metaphors. Matrice = ability, habit, skill, pattern.
The scientist, the artist, the jester. Archimedes; Picasso.
Cirque du Soleil – no curtains, animals! Live music, home-made costumes.
Stephane Cardin, The Foxteam – Ubisoft: Fail faster. Follow the fun (video games).
Epistemic communities – in science, industry, art: commonly understood authority, standards, procedures.
Social construction of the idea: sensemaking, learning by intrusion, aligning the idea.
Fleming, Einstein: urged people outside their domains to help them.
Reconfigure the knowledge base.
Ideation: (1) Spark, eg bisociation, KM – tacit/explicit (2) Social construction – sensemaking, sharing the idea, finding allies, alerting, seducing; CoPs; manifesto, codebook (3) The Landing – Sensegiving. Idea is mature.
Structure of an idea – intention/manifesto, Structure of the network of adherents, New practices/performances, Artefacts (codified knowledge)
The Surrealist Manifesto: Andre Breton, 1924. Creative movement.
Ideation – find the baseline, adapt/disrupt. Creative slack.
Company to watch: Pixar’s creative method. IBM’s Innovation Jam.
Montreal & Barcelona have many open empty spaces for people to gather, ideate, create
Ideas are open for contestation; jazz is always being re-interpreted and expanded
Arthur: Emote CREATE THINK APPLY Evolve Iterate ReSPARK
Q: How should companies nurture more talents for intrapreneurship?

XIII. C-K Theory Workshop for Disruption: Marine Agogue, HEC Montreal

“A design theory and a theory of reasoning in design.”
Expansion of concepts leads to knowledge, eg. ‘a flying boat that is not a seaplane.’ Doesn’t exist yet. Build on pieces like planes, zoology, boats. Cheaper lighter camping chair. Zero legs? eg. just a belt.
C-K: used to explore new creative concepts, mapping an innovative ecosystem, reverse engineering of an existing design, etc.
Exercise: think of a hypothetical object/concept, eg. hangover-free beer, self-cleaning glasses.
Who may need it, why, what are the causes of the problem, who makes it, what are the impacts, what are some other uses, describe the use case scenarios, who is in the ecosystem, what are some potential side-effects, what already exists in the market, what are the business models, what are existing cleaning methods (eg. wipers, cleaning fish, rain, self-cleaning ovens, water repellant, vacuum cleaner). How to get rid of dirt – suck, shake, burn, peel, dissolve.
Reframe the problem: How to make sure it doesn’t get dirty in the first place! Approaches: avoid, remove. Or create a non-dirt environment. Or viewing device without glass, eg. holography. Or self-cleaning glasses are a subset of always clean glasses – play with C-Space itself also. Related category – robot-cleaner or outsourced cleaner for glasses (go up the tree to ‘Always-clean glasses’). Or make it fun to clean glasses!
Shuffle in and between C-space and K-space. Find gaps, fill; match.
Ways of expanding knowledge base – new partners, learning.

Up next: creative competition (‘making the perfect French omelette!) and the Montreal International Jazz Festival!

XIV. Arthur Shelley: Behavioural DNA of Creativity

[Day Four kicks off with Olivier Irrmann, ADICODE: Beware of fixation effect – eg. thinking largely of Steve Jobs as example of innovator!]
Metaphor – ‘Organisational Zoo.’ We exhibit behaviours of different kinds of animals at different times of our lives/careers/jobs.
Arthur shows ‘The Right Way Up’ map – Australia at the top (inverted map with letters the right way)!
Power of metaphor – it builds on something we are already familiar with.
Behaviours in a creative environment: core (expected), accepted (desired), tolerated, rejected (not tolerated). Activity – slot animals into four layers of roles. The card game generates team conversations, unearths assumptions (within/across tables).
Team composition for productivity is different from innovation
The conversations that don’t happen also can cause conflicts/stress in an organisation.
Conversations can differ across countries/cultures, depending on the animal eg. cow, pig, lion.

XV. SAT Dome: Monique Savoie (President, Founder & Artistic Director)

Mind-boggling demo of ambi-sonic movies in SAT Dome, Montreal! Great opportunity to create a global network of Domes for sharing content/methods in immersive video/audio/animation for music, entertainment, architecture, medicine, etc. @SATmontreal

XVI. Live jazz performance and masterclass by Kevin Dean quintet!

Kevin Dean
Jazz musicians have a common repertoire for collaboration with others around the world.
Any musician can start the tune, others take the cue/beat from him/her.
Same tune can be played in different version, eg. ballad version of A-Tune.
It’s always up for grabs, there’s always a strong element of surprise.
Collaboration but also a sense of individuality; identified in a distinct manner.
Mistakes etc can be very subtle, especially if the people know each other. Cues – body language, relationships, trust.
General pecking order – bass solo comes at the end.
Creation modes – live improvisation; composition. It’s more than notes, it’s a language, a way of thinking.
Even if I don’t practice trumpet for two days, I can feel the difference. Ballet dancing with your lips!
Time is limited – pick/prioritise what you want to do, eg. improve what you do, do contemporary jazz.
Music of your youth is the foundation of what you like/do; they are in there really deep.
As jazz musicians, the music has affected my life; I am receptive to more different ideas/people. Be aware of not just the loud people but also the quiet ones.
Part of being a great musician is to know your limitations.
I know and can do some things even expert trumpeters cannot.
Hilarious session as musicians ‘pretend’ to make mistakes! eg. bass slows down too much.
Pianist: I sometimes make my students jam with eyes closed/blindfolded! Try having a business meeting that way.
Q: How long does it take to be good? A: Years! Like any other pursuit.
Profound Q: What does practice mean? So much work! A: It also depends on the goal you set for yourself; you can learn faster
Pianist: you also need to learn how to extricate yourself from a problem. Be as prepared as you can. Beyond school learning – it’s about paying attention to those musicians around you.
Drummer: you can respect jazz conventions but also innovate within them, push the envelope. Everybody has ideas everyday – the successful ones keep pushing and exploring and developing them. For improvisation, you need to have a sense of playfulness – have fun and don’t be worried/afraid of making mistakes or being judged. You have to learn about yourself.
Saxophonist: sometimes the solo goes well and then you think you can do better, then you mess up!
Q: How to go from just following notes to creating and improvising?

XVII: Creative territories: Patrick Cohendet, Laurent Simon

Alfred Marshall (1890): city = production of externalities. “Principles of Economics”
Michael Porter: Local clusters in a global economy.
Jane Jacobs: Death and Life of Great American Cities; The Economy of Cities.
Charles Landry: The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators; The Art of City Making. Need top/organisational + bottom (people) diversity.
Richard Florida: The Rise of the Creative Class.
Need upperground, middleground, underground. Upperground: top-down, formal entities (eg. companies, museums). Underground: artistic, hackers, deviants! Middleground: collective codebook making, identity building, tension between exploration/exploitation; makes connections between people and organisations – eg. festivals, industry organisations, open door workshops.

XVIII. Jazz & creativity in knowledge organisations: Madanmohan Rao (me!)

Ideas are important in the organisational knowledge cycle; creativity helps think out of the box; jazz helps get creative ideas/concepts. Jazz as a creative intervention in leadership.
The Knowledge Cycle: New practices (creativity, invention), Next practices (innovation, entrepreneurship), Best practices (knowledge management, performance excellence)
Creativity: Thinking out of the box. Identifying & questioning assumptions. Customer participation. Re-draw the sandbox. Change the platform. Find a new channel. Ecosystem linkages. Using new tools.
Creativity techniques: Storytelling. Travel diary. Quotes, proverbs. Metaphors, analogies. Art, movies, photographs, music. Brainstorming: K-café, thinktank, drinktank!
The Jazz alphabet soup:
Acid jazz, African jazz, Ambient jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Bebop, Big Band jazz, Bossa nova, Cape jazz, Chamber jazz, Club jazz, Cool jazz, Cubop, Dixieland, Electro jazz, Gypsy jazz, Indo jazz, Jazz funk, Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Modal jazz, Nu jazz, Post-bop, Punk jazz, Reggae jazz, Ska jazz, Smooth jazz, Straight-ahead jazz, Swing, West Coast jazz, World jazz …
The Jazz Process for Creativity
World Jazz & Creativity: Respect, reciprocity. Immersion, intensity. Long-term, longevity. Fusion, not confusion. Full-spectrum strategy.
‘Oktav’ app – quotes/proverbs about music; by musicians.

(Arthur Shelley: Asking rapid-fire questions helps keep audience engaged!)

XIX. Mantautas (Mantas) Krukauskas (Lithuanian Academy of Music & Theater)

Cognitive aspects of sound perception influenced by video (McGurk Effect): (bar/far)
Composition techniques (from music, which can be used in business): reverse, invert, shift, augment/dimunition, sparse/dense, gradual/contrasting, functions/layers
Activity – each table should compose a piece of music (if it doesn’t sound good, call it sound art, eg. !). Depict it as a drawing/photo, how would you make it come to life (instruments), what kind of space would you need?
eg. (1) Classroom Sounds – clicking pens, moving chairs, rustling paper, coughing, whispering! (2) Office Sounds (eg. coordinated typing sounds), Restaurant Sounds (3) Elevator concept – different sounds for each floor button (4) Sound exchange – street sounds from different cities
Up next: group jam session – part conducted, part spontaneous!

Up next: Spain & South Africa music showcase at Montreal International Jazz Festival!

Day Five kicks off with Mantas asking everyone to switch on their phones/laptops and play their favourite ringtone/tune!

XX. Voices in my Head: Marine Agogue, Professor, HEC Montréal

Watch yourself re/create. Ask questions before jumping into creation.
Reflexive techniques: metaphors, improvisation, space/media.
Practice with generative techniques to improve creativity. Change your tempo: slow down, speed up. Have a journal/diary
3 Ds – detach, deconstruct, design

XXI: Elaine Bissonnette, (Director, Brand Strategy, Bell Canada): Creativity Tips

Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. – Alexander Graham Bell
Bell Canada – “Let’s Talk.” Bell in Quebec – founded 1880. Bell Canada traffic – 1980: 1.8B calls/year, 2015: 1.02B texts/week
We give our team permission to try, fail – and try again! You must learn from your failure and show that you have learnt
The Brand Office is a facilitator/influencer. We connect the dots, people, budgets.
Harvest massive information circulating internally, and process it into knowledge.
10% of evaluation is on innovative projects out of their scope.
Bell’s logo elements – Bellements. We let employees tweak the logo design
1. If you want to learn, listen
2. Breathe – too much theory is not enough.
3. Validate what you do in real life
4. Reflect, ask if you would do things differently and in other environments. Be ready to be surprised
5. Ignite your creativity, adopt good ideas from elsewhere; imitation is a form of flattery
6. Be prepared to let go of your ideas – you might not be the best person to lead it

XXII: Creativity Processes: Richard Speer (President & Founder, Attraction Media)

Content creatives for TV and other platforms. Films, ads, digital projects (old ‘new’ media is not new!)
We are storytellers. Creativity is the key resource – how do we recognise/build/strengthen that talent?
I let the creatives create and handle the business model aspects of the company
Operational best practices are as important as creative best practices. Build teams and processes around talent. Talent attracts talent.
Recommend reading: From Good to Great; Breakthrough Company; Blue Ocean Strategy
“Get the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the bus. Get the right people in the right seats.” – Jim Collins
Put your top talent on your top opportunities – not just on big clients but new frontiers
“Build an environment that allows ordinary people to do extraordinary things.” – Keith McFarland
“You miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
If you over-analyse, you will never make a move or take action (MBA syndrome). At the same time, luck is not a business model
Make a good business model – and then make it stronger. Diversify, spread pressure.
Give your creative talent team a Business GPS! Share your vision, business plans. If you want creative independence, become profitable. Don’t be uncomfortable talking about money with artistes.
Be passionate but not emotional.
French are more passionate/emotional than Germany, Anglos.
Don’t be blinded by emotional love, don’t fall in love with your projects – learn how to step back and assess
Know when to pull the plug
Hiring tips: build the “A” team. But never be intimidated by someone better than you.
Values – are they in synch with your business.
It’s hard to learn judgement
Build fun and a stimulating environment – you are spending more time with your company than with your family!
Don’t be afraid to be grow up, don’t indulge in too much nostalgia.
Adapt the team culture as it scales, what works early on may not work as you grow
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein (@rSpeer – so this must be true!)
“Wake up and dream” – motto of @RSpeer. #Bravo!
Creativity comes via inherent talents + special roles/activities.
Chief Creative Officer, or a leader to nurture creative culture. Create a culture of comfort where people are OK with ‘dumb’ ideas. Create a culture of excitement and magic, eg via a metaphor of sports.
I like to work with employees and clients who blow me out of the water

XXIII: A Celebration of Creativity: Rick Seifeddine (Senior Vice-President, Brand Strategy,Bell Canada)

Montreal is a mix of Europe and US, island and continent, large and small, scale without being dwarfed.
Constraints drive you to creativity. Hilarious photos of artist Anna with tissue paper in an airplane bathroom!
Bell invented telephone in Canada, went to US to tap the opportunity from the patent. Isn’t that the story of Canada?
Element – Visual/textual vocabulary. “XYX just got better” – eg. recording, business, sharing, enjoying life, babysitting (‘500 channels of TV’). Music – ‘multiple eargasms.’
The way brand values propagate has changed over the last 5 years. Eyeballs are everywhere; all in one place only during mega-events like sports
Bell brand descriptors – consistent, innovative, optimistic, clean/simple, Bell-centric, meditative
Mediation = rendering of complex things in simpler ways, eg. Apple, Google, Ikea. Unmediated: WalMart, Home Depot (‘it’s all here’), Samsung (blast – ‘here’s 400 smart watches’)
Courage in creativity: Google simplification of Search
Music tech: Stingray (playlists via cable TV), Songza (music app – for bedtime, getting high, cool friends, etc.)
If you don’t watch your garden, someone else will mow your grass
Challenge for brands – balancing consistency with creativity/novelty.
How will you compose your company?
Apple is fanatical about their image control; the toughest bastard you ever worked with!
When you keep creativity pure, you don’t need sheets of papers and layers of processes. Don’t kill with complexity
Be a stallion but don’t be Stalin
Have meetings standing up – they won’t last beyond 15 minutes!
Screens are everywhere: my daughter’s first drawing had ‘Mom’s iPad’ in it!
Bell is now more about screen/content/service delivery than wireline connection
Next major trend: #IoT. It will be in all consumer devices you buy, eg. control lightbulbs from iPad anywhere in the world
I tease my wife by changing home lights remotely. I have ‘grand welcome’ setting to flash all lights when I get near home and make me feel like an emperor!
Sensor alert for parents: “Tell me when my liquor cabinet is opened!”
Pay attention to your choreography of pixels (app design)
A relishing challenge – resurrecting a great brand. Bell was shitty for a while, ‘bad smell’ – now our quality is improving, complaints are dropping.
App ratings are more important than Nielsen ratings for our brand
Your company is not an office, it is an orbit for employees who have multiple choices today

XXIV: From Selling to Co-creating: Prof. Pierre Balloffet, HEC Montreal

Team: The biggest problem for CRM is CRM! Just installation automated processes is not enough. Align software with existing work processes; find out what employee resistance is.
Think also of CEM – customer experience management.
The way you handle failures can create even more exceptional customer appreciation than with a successful product.
Rest of presentation delivered with attendees blindfolded!

XXV: Prof. Yves Pigneur, HEC Lausanne (author, ‘Business Model Generation’)

Activity – discuss business model of a company. Who talked, wrote, bullet points, drawing.
Business model canvas was designed for entrepreneurs, but also used now by big businesses
Double-sided business models: AirBnB. Incumbents’ reaction to sharing economy: go to court!
Value proposition canvas: how to better tell the story of our value to customers?

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes/mind/heart. What are you trying to do?
Hilti case.
1. What is the profile of your customer? What are customers trying to do (job)?
2. What are the customers’ pains, risks, obstacles?
3. Customer gains: describe the expected benefits customers are seeking
Describe the pains solved (pain relievers) and the gains achieved (gain creators) through customer use of your offerings (product, service)
Second activity: The Marshmallow Challenge!
Best teams tend to have engineers/architects (not MBA graduates), or kindergarten students! Or CEOs with admin/facilitator types.
Prototyping practices differ across industries, eg. sketches, mock-ups. Blend of predictable, opportunistic. If you refine your idea too quickly, you become attached to it (Jim Glymph)
A prototype is the same as a refined picture of your first idea.
Second activity: work in two sub-groups per table, on business model. Tear up Idea 1 – don’t fall in love with your first idea! Back & forth – zoom in and out.
Pitching – don’t just show the canvas, that’s cognitive murder! Tell stories box by box. Give numbers and personas, hypothetical names.
Startup business failures: no one wants it (hypotheses not tested scientifically – eg LogiTech TV-Internet);
A startup is a faith-based enterprise (Steve Blank); you are hallucinating – unless you get out of the building and test (customer development process).
What people say and do are different.
Superb animation of CDs swallowing up the music product pie away from cassettes – and then getting swallowed by MP3s and streaming

XXVI: Cirque du Soleil: Creative Production

Founded 1984; shows now in 350 cities, 50 countries, 25 languages, 35 orignal shows, 150 million spectators.
Costumes, shoes, headgear etc made in the Montreal studio. Tight fit is critical for high-performer acrobats; even six-packs are painted onto costumes!
Creation process can take two years. Designers drawn from Montreal design/textile schools. Thermal printing on plastics (also for glitter); 3D printing used in design and manufacture. Two-three copies made at a time; repairs done on show sites also.
3D scanning (eg. heads) and sculpting of models is done by USIMM
R&D team – taxonomy/folders of all projects, masks (one copy) from all shows. SAP + objects
Training room – 8 foot foam pit, 25,000 cubes of sponge. Security = top concern.
Artistes speak 25 languages, get manuals for everything including makeup.

XXVII: Cirque du Soleil: Creative Entertainment

C:Labs – creative lab of CDS. Challenge: don’t copy what we already do!
“Create surprises: small and big miracles on stage.”
Roots – street performing around the world.
From tents to casinos today. Innovative elements – side trampolines, water, blend of wall/water/balcony/trampoline. Use of cranes, transformation of set into wall/platform.
(1) Context (2) Blending (3) Performance.
Objectives: (1) Renewed sense of originality and relevance (2) Playground for radical evolution (3) Incubator of external/internal ideas.
Entrepreneurial collaboration for creative content, art installations.
Partners for ideas:,, Adriend & Claire ( – juggling + computer programming/visuals), (Canada), (wearables), Francis,, Mortiz AutoDesk Pier9.
Lessons: never dismiss others irrespective of domain (“My student runs PixMob!”)
Ideas from partners – Zurich drone studio (drones inside lanterns!). Use great tech, but make it disappear; use tech to tell a great story.
Periodic revisioning (‘archaeology’) – how do we relate to the world, to our past. How do we bring the outside world in; classic + new shows.
Richard Dagenais: Director – Creation, Events, 45 degrees.

XXVIII: Roger Parent: President, Ré

“An idea company that masters technology.” Established in 1997. Now Montreal studio is the biggest in the company (85% revenue last year)
Montreal is in Top Five game developer hubs of the world.
Realisation = understanding + giving shape to an idea.
Creativity – refuel yourself and your contacts. Listen carefully and express yourself truly/authentically.
To be hired here, you must also have a creative hobby, eg. music. Need to have another language in your mind.
Create the team first. Leave room for the unexpected (eg. mosquito = idea!). Take risks together. Unite simple ideas.
Clear out the space to get in new ideas.
Creative combinations: shower head + tea pot.
Domains: screens, stages, spaces (urban).
One World Trade Centre observatory – 102nd floor – See Forever Theatre. How do you mend the opening in the tissue after 9/11. Gestures of NYC people.
Mihaly C – Flow. Low-High skills; low-high Challenges.
Apathy, boredom, relaxation, control, flow, arousal, anxiety, worry.
Wooden iPad for aquariaum. Work = learn+grow; get recognition for contributions; be fairly paid for effort.
Atrium design: like a small aquarium. Model – goldfish. Courage -> dragon. Fish: drones.
Hudson Yards Observatory.
Question concepts, not people. Listen for resonance. Look at the big picture. Integrate in our work what matters in life (life is short). Act decisively.
Creative content: you spend money first before recovering any (eg. movie). Intangible goods; public reaction not predictable.
Invest in R&D (25% income), school links. Enlarge the playing field. Get access to friendly funds (gov). Work with new people of different profiles.
Support others – Mutek Festival. Share – Mosaic.
Nourish the crazy ideas because the good ones hide inside them.
Our model = yogurt! Bacteria. Communication: intra-species, outside species.
Put the right people together and shake the bottle/box/cage! Strength comes from ecosystem interaction.
When in doubt, break away from conformity; choose what can open up possibilities.
Focus: latent content, ambient intelligence.
Direct v/s mediated experiences. Resolution, time, continuity, deliberation.
Malcolm McCullough – interactive experience map. High-low: focal attention. High-low: cognitive load.
Our brain can treat 400B bits/second. We are conscious of only 2K bits of info per second.
Artists have a responsibility to see and translate what they see into a form that others can grasp.
Roger Parent: what you see is not what you hear. English language ambiguities.
Only a handful of people understand how the world works and can affect it.
What is common between deaf and death? Silence.

XXIX. UbiSoft: Creativity in Games: Julien Lafferriere, Vimal du Monteil (producers)

Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag.
Creative core team – creative, art, game, level design directors; lead writer.
1. Learn historical context of game. 2. World structure. 3. Story characters. 4. Design & systems. 5. Immersion (art/audio).
The Golden Age of Piracy – internal concept video. Crafting a logic and credible world, draw on historical facts. Maps, locations, gameplay.
Craft the narrative pillar.
Game features have to be fun, have a purpose and be credible.
Whole game design fits on one huge one-pager.
Categories: map, content, tools, enemies, locations, rewards.
Artistic direction: also specify what are not: caricature, simulation, dark. Add emotions through character and environment design. We are creating an adventure, not an epic.
Authentic elements – actual photos, eg Costa Rica coastline. (Fun, but almost got bitten by a snake!) Contrasting vistas – narrow jungle roads, open beach coastline. Paintovers on top of photos.
Dramatic – excitement. Used paintings of ancient boats.
Vision/visuals are great – but now you must communicate this to the users.
World & tech intertwined. Mapping of people jumping over boxes in a gym; overlaid on environment, eg. houses.
Volumetric clouds – technology for super-realistic skies.
Other techs – for hair, clothes. Map/film emotions on a face, morph it onto other animated characters.
The Art of Production – co-developed across studios: Chengdu, Shanghai, Singapore, Kiev, Montpellier. Virtual fabric/weapon design outsourced to China (just like physical world!)
Montreal – 450 people, 5 levels of management, 70 different job titles.
Conceptualisation – full of excitement, ideas, creativity. Production – make it real; tools and processes. Software, not movie. Clock is ticking, have to measure productivity: 1 year deadline.
Marketing. Conception – Pre-production – Production – Operations.
Customer focus, market positioning, announcdement plan, trailers, screenshots/images, PR, local events.
“I didn’t slap you, I high-fived your face!” Optical illusion – 3 or 4.
Studios – Japan, Australia, Abu Dhabi, San Francisco.
Your creative vision should travel (to other countries; does it make sense for them)
From brand pillars to brand attributes.
Yves Guillemot
Coherent mythology. Narrative context. Community engagement. Visual tension between the historic and the temporary. History is our playground.
Epic, authentic, idealist, explorer, cunning.
“Assassin’s Creed: Call of Duty.” Narrative cross-references
3 Rs: (1) Women bring balance to a company, men look for growth. Growth has consequences. (2) What is the social externality of your company? eg. social responsibility of a gaming company with games about killing.
Mantas (rolls his tongue: rrrrr!): soundclip of drum jam at Cirque du Soleil

Up next: Montreal Jazz Festival – Calum Graham, Jordan Officer; Rodrigo y Gabriela (Mexico)!

XXX. Marlei Pozzebon, HEC Montreal

Creativity networks for musicians/festivals: examples from Brasil
Produce, not just consumer
South America: appropriate technologies, frugal innovation. ‘Social technologies.’
Social innovations lead to social change.
Fora do Eixo. Feira Noise Festival. Cubo Card – social currency (virtual bank).
How about a Mosaic Card? :-)

XXXI: India’s Innovation Ecosystem: Madanmohan Rao (me!)

‘Silicon’ India; Aspirational India; Inclusive India. ‘Fusion’ innovations. Incubators & accelerators; Impact investing. Innovation & entrepreneurship networks
“We came to India for the costs, we stayed for the quality, we invested for innovation, and now we are creating a new industry.” – Pankaj Patel, Chief Development Officer, Cisco
‘Fusion’ innovation: Blend of East and West; India and other parts of Asia.
Food, appliances (Kaathi Rolls; Dosamatic)
Fashion (FabIndia)
Music (Raghu Dixit Project; Karthick Iyer)
Arts (K. Muralidharan)
Medicine, healthcare (ayurveda, yoga)
The ‘8 Is’ of design thinking for startups
App – ‘Indian Proverbs and Quotes’
Video: fusion – Anoushka Shankar: ‘Raga Flamenco’

XXXII: Founder Fuel: Sylvain Carle, Real Ventures @Sylvain @FrogInTheValley

Started meetups like Silicon Valley. Sold a startup in 2012 for $4 million.
I went to SF and liked it, but yearned for Montreal and doing something here. Joined RealVentures accelerator.
You can be the best in the world and can even visualise/project/pretend that you will be the best in the world.
When you fail, your community will support you. Core enabler for creating environment for entrepreneurs. Xooglers (ex-Googlers), Paypal Mafia.
Also need cadence. FounderFuel – $50K, 6% equity, 3 month programme. You are shipping every week.
West Coast engineering spirit: do something, show it, talk about it, learn about it, iterate – fast.
I joined Twitter to tap their social networks.
Meetups – good for benchmarking the way you are thinking.
‘Startup compost’ – failed entrepreneurs fertilise the community and join other startups. Entrepreneurship is a cult in Montreal.
I am the Chief Unstucker – I fix your problems.
20% of our startups are in hardware. Flatboard
Flatbook: Canadian startup taps the fact that students in Quebec take 1 year leases but don’t use their flats in summer; rents them out on AirBnB

XXXIII: Frank Escoubes, – Social Collective Intelligence

Metrics – number of consumers, creators, collaborators in a community
Crowdsourcing – ask the crowd to solve a problem
Wisdom of the crowd (one to many; parallel task processing) – Wikipedia, Tela Botanica, Fold It, Galaxy Zoo
Collective sensing -> sensemaking -> ideation -> decision making -> action
Group sizes: 1-10 (everyone can be active), 10-100 (imbalance between contributors and creators), 100-1,000 (good for collaboration), >1,000 (proactive contributors influence the debate)
Success factors – curation, problem finding, effective engagement (community build-up practices)
Key roles for successful social intelligence: Harvester, Synthesiser, Community Manager
Harvester – extractor, table of ideas, mind map, tree of topics. Synthesiser: summarise the debate periodically, illustrate progress. Community Manager – build-up, engagement.
Future trends: AI (intelligence scaling via NLP, machine learning), blend (AI + human-powered collective intelligence), ephemeral community management (collaborative ideation – process, analytics, management)
Rules of engagement: gamification, reputation, R&R, pledging, buddies

XXXIV: Social innovation & entrepreneurship: Valérie Chanal

Hybrid organisations – different models of value creation, managing complexity. Inspire students with stories (text/PPT/video/audio), case studies, work with entrepreneurs (eg. internships in India, Cambodia, South Africa).
Ref: Valerie Pache: prototype of smart shop windows

XXXV: Shamengo Workshop: Pioneers of the New World, by Catherine Berthillier

Catherine Berthillier, Founder, Shamengo: MOOC – entrepreneurs, students

Discover, Be Inspired, Connect, Collaborate

Up next, Montreal Jazz Festival: Nova Lima, Bet.e and Stef, Vijay Iyer, Paul des Lauriers & Anwar Khurshid!

XXXVI: Social Mobilisation and Entrepreneuerhip: Valerie Chanal

Previous day’s RRR (Review, Reflect, Recreate) by Valerie Chanal: role of emotions, cognition, processes, impact.
Mobilisation of people is harder than just asking them for ideas/inputs.
Otto Sharmer’s Theory U: downloading, seeing, sensing, presencing, crystallizing, prototyping, performing. Open Mind, heart, Will.

XXXVII: Luxury: history, culture & consumption

Luxury: history, culture & consumption, by John Armitage and Joanne Roberts, Winchester Luxury Research group, University of Southampton (their background: business studies, media)
20 people.
Coming soon: ‘Critical Luxury Studies: Art, Design, Media.’ Critical methods of interrogation; contemporary ideas of luxury.
Group activity: what does luxury mean to you? Goods/services. Value, experience. Relative scales: train, economy class, first class – depending on BoP, dev nats, etc.
Cost of luxury, impact/perceptions – status.
Size – small elite group.
Sumptuous or extremely comfortable living or surroundings.
“We don’t know what luxury is, that is why we are researching it as academics.”
Close to the body – wearing, consuming, sit/travel.
What is the opposite of luxury – necessity; poverty. Need (given), desire (endless, can never be satisfied).
Luxury is becoming controversial. Conference in Monaco (where else?!) – will inequality make it end?
History changes luxury, eg. we had the first TV in our street, now TV is not seen as luxury.
Geography changes luxury – at the same time, a product will be luxury in one place and not another, eg. Indonesian tree bark.
Moral connotations – negative. Seen as a ‘moral threat’ to society; debauchery (Plato’s Republic).
Some academics – it is wrong to even being studying this.
Positive spin on luxury – David Hume (1780) – Of Refinement. Adam Smith – Wealth of Nations. They de-moralised luxury; we don’t see it as a problem any more.
Luxury brands – Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, Germes, Dior, LV, Burberry, Versace.
Breakup (Bain report): personal goods, cars, spirits/wines, fine food, private jets, yachts, luxury cruises, hospitality.
Creativity: good design, painstaking effort, exclusive materials (scarcity), lots of effort/time, personal attention.
James March (1991): organisations must find a balance between exploring and exploitation (innovation v/s competitiveness).
Telephony was seen early on as a luxury. Today iPhone. British designer Stuart Hughes’ Black Diamond iPhone, with gold. $19M.
First phone = exploration, gold smartphone = exploitation.
Grandmaster Chime Patek Philippe. $2.6M. Six patents.
Another aspect – luxury as preservation of local traditions, history, eg. Dimitri Gomez. Takes 6 months, customised, made by hand. (Parallels with India)
Wright & Teague: jewellery made at the bench, based on old techniques.
As with jazz, in jewellery some traditions must stay the same, others can change.
Luxury has existed in all society; it may be seashells, it is often gold, but varies.
“I’ve been here for 20 years and I always look in awe at the gold bar when it comes out.”
Ethical issues and role of luxury – blood diamonds.
Q: Can you turn luxury into helping the world, and not just ‘sucking’? eg. how much you donate/fund is a badge of honour (Ukraine – copper replicas given in return for gold)
Public luxury v/s private luxury.

XXXVIII: Powering a prestigious & historic jewelry brand: Maison Birks

Jean-Christophe Bedos, President & CEO Birks Group
Check out the World Wealth Report. Never before has there been so much wealth in the world, and now in every continent, and growing so fast.
Changes: e-commerce. Zappos, Hublot (retail instead of home visits).
During economic crisis (2007-2012), many watches/jewellery companies went bankrupt – but luxury brands doubled. They grow through crises. Many became global (went to Asia).
Audiences: GenX, affluent millennials, international luxury. Chinese come to Europe to buy luxury goods because they are cheaper than in China (marked up)!
Historical monuments are similar to luxury – solid, long lasting. Metaphor of Greek temple – brand architecture.
Montreal’s USP – British-French fusion, and now US proximity.
Birks was also loved as a local brand by Canadians.
Our Brand Manifesto (like temple): Foundation: Brand DNA, Roots, Heritage, Histry, Value (Brand Positioning)
Brand Statement (4 pillars): identity, expressions, promise, attributes.
Roof: Mission. Sun = Vision.
Brand vision: A Never-ending Love Affair. Given largely as gifts. ‘We sell love.’
Brand mission: Build a prestigious brand that always delights.
We have removed the word ‘luxury’ from our branding, ‘prestige’ is a stronger word for us in the Canadian context (‘luxury’ is seen as something from outside Canada). Younger, happier = more Canadian; not distant, arrogant (European).
At the same time, we don’t want to push too much on the Canada angle, we are not the tourist bureau of Canada!
Choose your niche – and scream!
Positioning – build brand personality on the creative tension between warm prestige and refreshing experience.
Canadians are proud but not overly patriotic or showoffs like the US. Canadians also smile more than the French.
European luxury connotations = look reserved. Canada – fresh, youthful.
Poster girl – with pearls and bubblegum.
To understand your brand as a country, talk to people outside your country
CSR: responsible, traceable, ethical. All Birks diamond purchases now in Canada only. No issues to deal with regarding war diamonds, blood diamonds, child labour.
Brilliant case study on how to build a national brand in the global economy, by Jean-Christophe Bedos, President & CEO Birks Group
Birks – instead of celebrating our anniversary like every other brand, we decided to celebrate the future. Bee colonies are dying because of the stupidity of mankind. If bees go, we are gone. Bees for Birks, Birks for Bees.
Celebrate heritage, Gifts for special moments, Reflect nature (wood, water, sky).
Snowflake, Pebble, Bee Chic. Amorique
Logo – diamond shape. “Maison Birks Est. 1879” – blends English and French.
There are lots of distinctions between Canadian regions, but the outside world sees it as one entity, so we don’t drill too deep.
Ads – coherent colours. Red and blue in colours; red hair, blue eyes. Diamond shape, frosted glass windows (& chandeliers), wooden beams (Canadian forest), touch of red (maple).
Some of our products are not ‘ultra luxury.’ (Gold phone = $19 million joke!)
Keeping up with digital media: lifestyle magazine instead of print catalogues. Move from transaction to relationship.
(1) See Apple stores, spot their retail genius. (2) Nespresso – different experience.
Invest in marketing to create superior brand value, improves margins. Brand management is a 360-degree activity.
Q: Aren’t there stronger brand associations? Winter: Russia. Tech: US. Quality: Germany. Design: France, Italy!
A: Canada has better perceptions of trust, space (Arctic)

XXXIX: Sensory Marketing at Monsillage: Perfumer of the Perfumery

Isabelle Michaud: Perfumer, Monsillage.
Niche perfumery is growing because of awareness, education, social media, reality TV shows.
Mon Sillage – my trail/wake. Symbol: bird. Feather on every bottle!
Romantic, exotic, sharing, even banal (celery!). There is beauty everywhere.
‘When you follow your nose, anything can happen!’

XXXX: Harricana: Eco-Luxury: Mariouche Gagné

Women’s outdoor clothing design was like sleeping bags!
I could not pay for college so I designed and sold coats made from recycled fur, won prizes and sponsored my degree!
Started a company, had 25 employees at the age of 25. Learned the hard way about hiring practices, etc.
Recycled can also be a better way of consuming luxury: ‘eco luxury,’ create without destroying. Make without destroying the planet. We also buy used garments from the US, eg. silk, cashmere.
Harikana – longest river in Quebec. Model – Inuit singer. Next steps: EcoLuxe certification?
Audience member narrates how she had a new coat made from her mom’s recycled coat; “you sell emotions also!”
Mariouche: your grandmom’s coat can become gifts/accessories for the whole family!
‘Luxury frugal innovation’ – we recycle silks and scarves and other kinds of garments also, and make new accessories
We are small and can’t make this on a mass scale, so we concentrate on luxury materials. Niche – fur.

XXXXI: Laurent Simon: Luxury goods & new business models

Mass entertainment: Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
Luxurising consumer electronics – expensive digital phones/watches
New channels: NetAPorter (the NetSet generation).
Personal jets. Mars tourism. Luxury tank.
Is luxury the elegant conquest of the useless? eg. congnac bike flask, basketball made of alligator skin.
Glamburger – with gold on it! Darth Vader seaboat. Cinderella glass shoes. Balkan donkey cheese.
Once your brand drifts (eg. after others appropriate it), it can be hard to come back and revitalise it.
Sidney Toledano, Dior: “Today’s luxury customers want roots and a story, but they also want modernity.”
New rules, roles – Creative Director, Director of Creation, Director of Co-Creation, Brand Director
Coming soon: Special issue of JOTMI on #Creativity and Management (Journal of Technology Management & Innovation)

Lunchtime chatter: How much of luxury is vanity? Where does fashion end and luxury begin? What is the high point of design: luxury or simplicity?

XXXXII. The transformation of Radio-Canada International

Soleïman Mellali, Radio Canada International’s Editor in Chief
Case study of reinvention, not invention/startup.
80% budget reduction in 2012; cut Russian/Brasilian languages, kept only 5. Swift transition – still had to maintain quality, add Web/mobile channels (capacity building).
Change the production rhythm. Had to get out of the comfort zone to the magic zone.
Change management – insecurity, fear, resentment, ignorance, discomfort.
Media shift – from one-way audio to digital, access/listening at any time,
Allow people to ask dumb questions, let them brainstorm and learn collectively.
Peering with web experts. Public is also not passive any more. Radio was losing some audience but gaining new ones.
Embrace Facebook as a platform; add photos. Call-in rates during competitions – from 75 to 1,500 (Web). Results: Facebook participation increase 5-fold.
Online medium allows you to archive and reference; must also add context for international listeners.

XXXXIII: Luxury and Visual Cultures: John Armitage
(ooops, what comes next in Roman numerals?!)

Creativity is about plagiarism! Plagiarise all the time, that is the only way things develop!
No one in the arts believes about originality.
Creativity is about learning from others.
Imagery is fundamental to the luxury industry, lots of expenditure on ads/images.
Luxury = abundance of wealth, scarcity of luxurious product.
Imagined locations of luxury – cities like Paris, Milan, London (not so much the country).
Burberry ad in China: “Back home in London” – makes no sense to Londoners!
Some visual elements – debauchery, lust, adultery, indulgence.
BMW Vision Future Luxury model (name used by BMW), launched in China. BMW now owns Rolls Royce.
Photos all have ‘bounce’ effect.
Luxury is about being close to perfection. Germany’s USP: combination of technology and luxury, eg. Audi.
A lot of luxury consumption is for the eye, not pocket. Gaze of male lust: perfect car, perfect woman; adultery.
Silence is a key theme in luxury imagery. Hotel, beach is only for you.
Things happen with ease: concierge, touchscreen.
“The working rich” – the Zuckerberg types. London is different from the UK, and some parts of London are different from others (eg. Russians). The super-rich don’t care about the rest of the country. ‘Made in England’ is seen as better then ‘Made in Britain.’
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are trying to project themselves as a luxury city.
Burberry is not seen as a top brand in the UK but pitches itself as luxury in China. Faking of luxury goods is a huge boom in China, so Chinese buy originals in the West. Their flagship store is designed as a Web page.

XXXXIV: Digital Writing: Lise Boily, University of Ottawa

Humanism and singularity: how to move creativity forward.
Need bilingualism between tradition and new devices. Understanding the new power.
Museums and ICTs: cyber-museology.
See TED video: Amit Sood, Head of Google Art Project: bringing museums online – you can zoom in and see details of photos; make your own ‘collection’ and commentary and share it online
Spiral model – nothing is destroyed but re-written, reinterpreted in an exploratory manner.

Wrap-up of the day: Hybridisation of tacit and explicit knowledge to revitalise brands and products.
Up next: Montreal Jazz Festival with Sofian, plus Marie-Christine and Somi!

XXXXV: Visit to La Tohu: premier and launch of the Complètement Cirque Festival!

Re-inject meaning with technologies and practices for local communities in Quebec
Tour of Circus Museum – gallery of photos, centuries of circus photos from Americas and Europe
Premier & launch of the Complètement Cirque Festival

XXXXVI: Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium and Biodome: Creativity and the ultimate act of creation itself!

Art and cosmology: immersive presentation on the meaning of time (Vertiges)
Animals: capybara, callimico, puffins, red herons, Canadian lynx, sloth bear
Show humans how ingenious and absolutely irreplaceable nature is; create public commitment to preserve and appreciate biodiversity.

Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director, Montreal Space for Life
58% of smartphone users in the can’t go for one hour without looking at their phone.
Kids’ drawings these days are more sketchy and have less details about face, clothing, limbs.
‘Space for Life’ – a place, a commitment, a movement. Three climatic zones to reconnect to nature.
Inquiry, projects: art, science and emotion.

Rachel Leger, Director, Biodome.
You will hear the diversity and creativity of French accents!
Meetings with experts to enrich thinking, discussion, creativity.
Meetings in different venues spur new perspectives, emotions.
Theme: Migration (annual journey of animals).
Biodome design – competition launched, 11 designs submitted to support Montreal’s position as a UNESCO City of Design. AKN architects (winners).
Immersive experience: catwalks and footbridges over and through landscapes.
Entrance itself has elements of nature, window into the rest of the museum.

Rene Pronovost, Director, Botanical Garden
75 hectares, 30 thematic gardens. Chinese, Japanese, First Nation gardens. Glass Pavilion – LEED certified.

Anne Charpenter, Director, Insectarium
Ingredients for a memorable museum experience (four categories): intellectual, relational, senses, movement.
If insects were to invite us into their world, what would it be like?
Interior designs like ant nests; bugs lab; evolutionary timeline videos.
Q: Can you include a sense of art about insects; smell, taste?

My suggestion to Space for Life: use proverbs about nature to show historical connections between humans & nature!
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. – Chinese proverb
A peacock’s eggs do not need to be painted. – Gujarati proverb
No man fears what he has seen grow. – African Proverb

Charles-Mathieu Brunelle: Co-creation sounds super but is a mess to organise!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>