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Looking for the Big Picture
By: Jakobson, Leo, Successful Meetings, 01484052, Nov2012By: Jakobson, Leo, Successful Meetings, 01484052, Nov2012

GET TOP EXECS BRAINSTORMING WITH THESE CREATIVE MEETING STRATEGIES

When Paul Fa...
ideacity  brainstorming  meetings  the_big_picture 
november 2013 by jerryking
The future of the ideas festival - Future Tense - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The future of the ideas festival

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Sunday 27 October 2013 11:30AM

The idea of having an ideas festival is a popular idea indeed. But the idea that they’re universally ideal as a way of fostering creative new ideas is an idea that’s hotly contested. Andrew Zolli, the curator of PopTech, has an idea that the popularity of the ideas event is linked to the idea that we still need to physically congregate together in order to create and share new ideas, even though we’re increasingly living in a digital age. But critic Eygeny Morovoz thinks Zolli and his ilk simply have no idea. Morozov argues the whole idea of idealising the idea of the idea is, to be quite frank about it, a really bad idea. And, more than that, he argues, it’s an idea whose time has past.
ideacity  conferences  future 
november 2013 by jerryking
One final ignominy for a pioneer of abstract art
Sep. 26 2013 | - The Globe and Mail | RUSSELL SMITH

We Canadians shouldn’t be shocked – we ourselves have little concept of placing historical markers of cultural grandeur in our cities. We don’t name our streets after our artists, even when a great artist lived there. We don’t even put up plaques on their former houses. Our municipal governments have no interest in turning our dull concrete grids into a series of references to fantasy – as the streets of Paris and London, for example, are; there, you can walk and meet ghosts of both authors and fictional characters; not only can you see who died of consumption in a garret upstairs, but also whose character did. These plaques lay a fictional city over a real one. (Oh well, you might say, Canada is not famous for its art anyway. And I would say, yes, and this is why.)
Russell_Smith  art  Russia  ideacity  culture  history  overlay_networks  fantasy  wayfinding  artists  cities  virtual_worlds  cityscapes  iconic  street_furniture  landmarks  metaphysical  London  Paris  imagination 
september 2013 by jerryking
The virtual challenge usurping the traditional conference market
CONFERENCES bring money to their host cities. In the case of Liverpool's awardwinning venue, the BT Convention Centre, the economic impact has been greater thanks to the simultaneous arrival of its n...
TED  ideacity  conferences  disruption 
september 2013 by jerryking
Ideas Conferences as Brand Builders
11/19/2012 | Forbes | Marian Salzman, Contributor.

Smart talk is today’s hot commodity, whether you’re speaking, listening or, perhaps most important, hobnobbing after the formal sessions...But what do they say about your personal brand? Are Davos people different from TED people different from SXSW people? What about the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and Renaissance Weekend? Is there a big half-dozen in conference-going that lets you borrow for your brand (today’s equivalent of name-dropping) and build it up? And if there is, do you have to attend all of them (who has time?), or do you need to decide what each stands for and how it helps make a person a brand? Does your choice of conference send a message about what generation you see yourself in?...I’d argue that some conferences are becoming so ubiquitous and trendy that their velvet ropes are being pulled back.
personal_branding  trends  trend_spotting  public_discourse  Clinton_Global_Initiative  Davos  SXSW  ideacity  TED  Renaissance_Weekend 
september 2013 by jerryking
TEDx: The Observer's festival of ideas - where inspiration meets action | Technology | The Observer
23 January 2011 | The Observer| John Mulholland.

TED has brought a passion to the spreading of ideas. It's not alone, either: over the past decade, festivals and websites dedicated to discourse and debate have blossomed. In Britain alone, there's the Do Lectures (the Welsh "TED in a tent" in Pembrokeshire), Alain de Botton's School of Life, the Bristol Festival of Ideas, the Battle of Ideas, Editorial Intelligence's Names Not Numbers, Interesting North, Interesting South, the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, the Derby Festival of Ideas… and further afield there's PopTech, the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas or try Google's Zeitgeist, or the Skoll World Forum, or DoSomething.org… and so on. That's a lot of ideas. Mating and breeding and bringing forth other ideas.
conferences  events  TED  ideacity  Aspen_Ideas_Festival  Google_Zeitgeist  zeitgeist 
september 2013 by jerryking
How an endangered Walrus was saved - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SIMON HOUPT.

The Walrus is no longer just a magazine published 10 times a year; it is a multiplatform brand that finds expression in a tablet edition, a blog, podcasts, e-books, a series of short non-fiction films, speaking events and sometimes even a cruise through the Northwest Passage.

Each feeds the other, sometimes in spirit and promotional force (a podcast may offer a reporter’s reminiscences of grappling with a particular interview subject), and sometimes even financially: The events business, which will present about 30 live events this year, is now one of the primary sources of revenue.

(While other publications, such as The New Yorker, produce live events, those are usually brand-building exercises rather than major sources of revenue.)

The Walrus Foundation, the education-oriented charitable non-profit that publishes the magazine, procures corporate sponsorship, such as the one from RBC for an evening dedicated to conversation about philanthropy.
brands  conferences  content  conversations  endangered  events  Ideacity  magazines  multiplatforms  nonprofit  Simon_Houpt  sponsorships  TED  Walrus 
september 2013 by jerryking
An invitation to eat, think and be wary -
Sep. 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SIMON HOUPT
The Grano Speakers Series brought the world to Toronto. Launched in the fall of 2004 with a season of discussions about The American Empire – William Kristol was its opening speaker – it quickly became one of the hottest tickets in town....The idea was hatched in the summer of 2004. Rudyard Griffiths, then the executive director of the Dominion Institute, and Patrick Luciani, a former executive director of the Donner Canadian Foundation, were chatting with Roberto Martella, the proprietor of the North Toronto trattoria Grano, when they began commiserating over a shared frustration of modern life.

Rudyard Griffiths: All of us were tired of the hotel ballroom speech: the Cornish hen and the not-so-great wine, and 500 or 800 people packed into these horrible tables of 10. The idea the three of us came up with was, let’s really blow up that model and try to do something different that gets back to the insight of the salon in the 19th century, which was: good conversation, intimate group, intimate setting.
Simon_Houpt  restaurants  Toronto  Rudyard_Griffiths  speeches  salons  ideacity  TED  conversations  19th_century 
september 2013 by jerryking
TED Spreads Ideas Beyond the Elite Few - WSJ.com
March 7, 2012 | WSJ | By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO.

"TED has become a media company," says June Cohen, executive director of TED Media, noting that some of the new efforts are designed to reach people in parts of the world without high-speed Internet access.

The moves are risky. While TED has become better known through an increasingly global series of TEDx spinoff events in recent years, it is still best known in the relatively clubby worlds of technology and design. How broadly its content—which ranges from hyper-intellectual talks about philosophy to demonstrations of lifelike robots—can appeal remains unclear. Some attendees wonder whether it can maintain the same quality of content while feeding so many outlets. At least one previous media effort, a project for delivering TED talks through a handful of television broadcasters, is on hold....TED says it isn't earning any revenue from the new NPR and Netflix deals, and declined to say how much the new media ventures will cost. The nonprofit—owned by a foundation established in 1996 by Mr. Anderson, a former journalist—is supported by conference tickets, patrons like the family of Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos and sponsors who pay as much as $1 million a year or more. This year's sponsors include Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Google Inc.
conferences  TED  growth  ideacity  Jessica_E._Vascellaro  ideas  virality 
september 2013 by jerryking
5 Ways to Optimize the Business Value of Attending Conferences
5 Ways to Optimize the Business Value of Attending Conferences
By Lee Odden
ideaCity  conferences  value_creation 
august 2013 by jerryking
Taking the cons out of conferences
14 Mar 2007 | The Globe and Mail pg. C.3. | Harvey Schachter.

Review of Seven Rules For Designing More Innovative Conferences By Ed Bernacki
The Idea Factory, 82 pages, $34

If you think back...
conferences  ideaCity  book_reviews  Harvey_Schachter  networking 
august 2013 by jerryking
Fewer break-ins? Turns out thieves are economists, too - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 01 2013 | The Globe and Mail | TODD HIRSCH

Special to

Last updated Thursday,
criminality  economics  ideaCity 
august 2013 by jerryking
Wake up, Canada: It’s okay to fail - The Globe and Mail
JAMES MARTIN

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Aug. 15 2013,

In 2011, the Harvard Business Review devoted an entire issue to failure – yet, in Canada's risk-averse business climate, the belly-flop is still something people believe should be avoided at all costs. So we put this question to four Canadians who have thrived in different fields: ‘How can we learn from our failures in order to ensure future success?'
ideaCity  failure  HBR  Canada  competitiveness_of_nations  lessons_learned 
august 2013 by jerryking
11 ideas to make ideaCity a little more compelling
June 2005 | National Post pg. A13 |Siri Agrell.

Every great concept can be improved upon, and the heady group of conference attendees at ideaCity in Toronto yesterday had their own ideas for host ...
ideaCity  conferences 
july 2013 by jerryking
Cirque, Sid Lee team up to create marketing ‘events’ - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 20 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER.

Cirque du Soleil is bringing its sense for spectacle to the marketing world, teaming up with Montreal ad agency Sid Lee to launch a branded entertainment company. The joint venture will aim to help brands create experiences that people actually want to watch, listen to, and experience. The joint venture, Sid Lee Entertainment, has been a year and a half in the making, and is an attempt to address a fundamental shift in advertising: away from pushing messages to consumers, and toward creating engaging content....Marketers have been approaching Cirque for years to develop entertainment projects, Mr. Lamarre said, but the company was unable to figure out how to do that without having it conflict with its own brand.

The goal is to create events engaging enough that the brands behind them can sell tickets, Mr. Cesvet said – and to potentially create a new economic model for an industry in flux.

“With advertising, we’re still selling hours,” he said. “What we want to do with this entertainment division is transform the revenue stream of our business … what clients expect from agencies is a lot more complex. You have to do an app, you have to do interactive experiences. I don’t think the value is recognized.”
marketing  branding  brands  Cirque_du_Soleil  Montreal  advertising_agencies  partnerships  joint_ventures  events  event_marketing  ideaCity  product_launches  customer_experience  experiential_marketing  content_creators  live_performances  interactivity  inbound_marketing  entertainment  Sid_Lee  Susan_Krashinsky  creating_valuable_content  fascination 
june 2013 by jerryking
What's The Big Idea?
Mar 12, 2011 | Financial Times. pg. 28 | by James Crabtree. Forward to R. Mayot re. IdeaCity

From Davos, to Long Beach, to north Wales, 'ideas conferences' are burgeoning. But, asks James Crabtree, are they really the new crucibles for creative thinking - or just exclusive talking shops?

Aficionados of cult television know Portmeirion simply as "the village". Here, in the 1960s show The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan insists "I am not a number, I am a free man," and plots his escape from a mysterious captive community. But, last weekend, the town hosted a different sort of exclusive gathering - and one perhaps better known for those trying to get in, not out.

Against a backdrop of pastel-painted Italianate cliff-top villas, around 120 specially invited guests descended on the Welsh coastal village for what its organisers describe as a global "thought leadership symposium". Such self-selected elite groupings seem, at first glance, to be little more than a weekend break for an already-fortunate section of the chattering classes; what one Portmeirion participant dryly described as "a socially concerned Saga mini-break, dressed up as something more serious".

But such events are also part of a wider trend in the burgeoning market for "ideas conferences" - exclusive conflabs that bring together groups of leaders with the aim of sparking creative ideas, untethered from the niche subjects, academic specialisms or industry segments that have long dominated professional events.

Examples are not hard to find. The business summit in the secluded Swiss mountain resort of Davos is the most famous. But the first week of March also saw the latest TED conference, an exclusive annual USD7,500-a-ticket gathering in Long Beach, California, dedicated to "ideas worth spreading". Elsewhere Google runs an annual invite-only conference, known as Zeitgeist, while American internet evangelist Tim O'Reilly hosts excitable technology entrepreneurs at Foo Camp, which modestly stands for "Friends of O'Reilly".

Dozens of smaller meetings are popping up too, such as Portmeirion, now in its third year and with the FT as one of its sponsors. They represent a shift in the market for conferences, now forced to be more eye-catching to attract the attention of more demanding and distracted audiences. But their blossoming also illuminates a wider trend: the growing importance of unusual ideas and rich social networks, in an economy in which information is both increasingly valuable and confusingly abundant.

Those gathered at Portmeirion this year formed an eclectic group, ranging from polymathic finance expert Nassim Nicholas Taleb to actress Miriam Margolyes and rock concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith. Elsewhere the resort's narrow streets were thronged with a mixture of senior bankers, newspaper columnists, politicians, entrepreneurs, authors and think-tank boffins.

Portmeirion itself used to be something of a salon for London's recuperating elite, hosting guests such as Noel Coward and Bertrand Russell. The idea of hosting a contemporary event there stems from this: it is the brainchild of British public relations guru Julia Hobsbawm, whose father (the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm) brought their family to the town for summer holidays.

Top-level gatherings have long been a feature of politics and international affairs. Historian Simon Schama points to The Poker Club, a distinguished salon at the heart of the Scottish Enlightenment of the late 1700s, which counted David Hume and Adam Smith among its members.

Today's ideas conferences are less serious affairs than their antecedents, with agendas that go well beyond the straitjacketed worlds of politics, foreign affairs and business. Videos, jazzy graphics and blaring music between sessions all help keep participants engaged. Informal, unscripted agenda-less "unconferences", are also popular.

A defiantly cross-disciplinary ethic marks out this new class of events, whose programmes are seemingly incomplete without sculptors, comedians and bioethicists to balance out the economists and business gurus. Portmeirion's two most memorable sessions were its most eclectic: a plea to save the seas from oceanographer Sylvia Earle, and a moving film about Indian prostitution from filmmaker Beeban Kidron.

The flipside of this variety is a certain intellectual vagueness, as organisers try to hold together a programme full of clashing insights. The gnomic theme of the most recent TED, for instance, was "the rediscovery of wonder" - featuring a live talk from an astronaut in an orbiting space station, and a demonstration of a machine that "printed" human body parts. The theme of Portmeirion, meanwhile, was simply "community and values", into which one could read just about anything.

Certainly, it isn't always clear what these conferences are meant to be about. The ideal speaker, therefore, is someone able to cross many intellectual boundaries at once [jk: does this meet the definition of "transgressive"??] - as with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan, who kicked off the Portmeirion gathering with a magisterial address on the topic of "anti-fragility" in complex social and economic systems. His remarks ranged from mathematics and economics to political theory and Greek history, leaving attendees at once stimulated and more than a little perplexed.

There is an underlying economic rationale too. Delegates often work in professions that place a premium on finding and exploiting the ideas central to processes of innovation in modern businesses. This makes the events business-friendly too - a fact compounded by their need to win extensive corporate sponsorship, which in turn pays for the meals and accommodation that non-paying guests and speakers enjoy.

Yet if the ideas are a little fuzzy, and the business jargon a little too prevalent, this is because, more than anything, these conferences are meant as a celebration, and a test, of the individuals picked to attend - those high-powered, busy, professionally successful types who make a living telling others what they should watch, read or buy.

RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor notes the importance of intellectual cross-dressing at such events: "They allow people to throw off their professional persona for 48 hours: journalists become social theorists, businesspeople become green warriors, and academics become showmen. But on Monday morning - perhaps to everyone's secret relief - it's back to work."

Although their easygoing participants would tend to deny this, these events are a new form of elitism: a novel way of marking out a social and professional hierarchy, in which sensibility and interestingness replaces class or creed. What follows is stimulating, but also reflects the similar outlooks of the media and intellectual elite in a post-ideological world: an ersatz form of intellectualism, which might have raised an eyebrow in Eric Hobsbawm's day.

Even so, such ideas events prosper because they solve a problem faced by many at the top of their professions. The much-discussed "death of distance" never happened; globalisation and the profusion of technology makes place more important. Similarly, a world of abundant, instantly accessible information seems to make personal connection more vital. This puts a premium on private events, which force their participants to spend time developing ideas without distraction. The ideas conference is here to stay.

The Polymath

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

As the guru credited with spotting the unexpected "black swan" events behind the global financial meltdown, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (illustration above) has a track record for spotting unusual ideas. He worries that we have still not learnt the lessons of the crisis, identifying ongoing major threats arising from "expert problems". The risk, he notes, is that "a pseudo-expert astrologist doesn't have many damaging side- effects, but a pseudo-expert economist certainly does".

Taleb is sceptical of some ideas gatherings. Davos is a particular bugbear; he turns down the annual invitation on the grounds that it is "too big, on the wrong topics, and with the wrong people". Other events have their problems too - in particular their tendency to turn "scientists into entertainers and circus performers".

Taleb is currently developing his thinking for a forthcoming book, which he describes as a deeper "volume two" of the themes he explored in The Black Swan. His new big idea is "anti-fragility", or the stability that comes from decentralised, complex systems - such as those found in nature (i.e. biomimicry), or artisan industries - which allow regular small acts of self-destruction, but adapt to keep the system as a whole stable. He contrasts this with fragile, centralised systems - such as the post-crisis banking industry - which prop up their failing parts.

The Agent

Caroline Michel

It is the books with the "big themes" that sell well nowadays, explains Caroline Michel (below), one of London's leading literary agents. Her job, she says, is one in which "amazing people come to me with brilliant ideas, and it is my job to work out what to do with them". In this role she styles herself as part of a new class of "professional mediators", a cadre of ideas professionals whose role it is to weed out "Pot-Noodle knowledge", and give the public new ways to find the valuable information they need.

Consequently, she is a confirmed ideas conference fan, citing book gatherings such as the annual Hay Festival as a source of inspiration. But when facing "an extraordinary spaghetti of knowledge and information", she says, even knowledge professionals find themselves struggling to "to pull through strands" they can understand. A world in which "we have access to this huge mass of information, and in which we are all instant doctors and instant reporters" therefore only increases the importance of those few "people you trust to show you the way through it" - and makes doubly important the chance to listen to them, and to interact with them, in person.

The Entrepreneur

Will … [more]
antifragility  conferences  cross-disciplinary  cross-pollination  David_Hume  Davos  fragility  hierarchies  ideas  ideaCity  invitation-only  Nassim_Taleb  self-destructive  TED  Tim_O'Reilly  thinking_big  trend_spotting  Zeitgeist 
march 2011 by jerryking
Civilization Magazine Gets a New Publisher
January 27, 1997 | Library of Congress Information Bulletin |
magazines  venture_capital  ideacity 
april 2010 by jerryking
Now class, sit up straight in your chaise longues
Sep 6, 2008 | The Globe and Mail. pg. R.3 | by Elizabeth
Renzetti. Sophie Howarth and the School of Life. Howarth saw a hole in
the market. Specifically, in the continuing-education market. "I was
frustrated that people took all these courses but never confessed to it
because it's all so dowdy," she says, holding out the word "dowdy" as if
it were a dead mouse. "I thought, why is education synonymous with a
lack of style?" Howarth spent a year developing a curriculum for the
School of Life, which centres on five areas: work, love, politics,
family and play.
continuing_education  ideacity  life_long_learning  ProQuest 
april 2010 by jerryking
London’s School of Life
July/August 2009 | Departures | By Rhoda Koenig. Equal
parts self-help, continuing ed, and highbrow social mixer, the School of
Life is an idiosyncratic temple of the mind. Possibly run this by Ross
Mayot as a way to grab market share from U of T' School of continuing ed
as well as growing a lead-in to June's idea city or November's CARP GM.

ideas for ideaCity:
buy ads at U of T continuing education.
buy ads at the continuing education programs for Toronto-area alums of Queens, UWO, Waterloo, etc.
crowdsource seeking the best ideas for how ideaCity could expand its market.
position ideaCity as a unique retirement gift.
position ideaCity as a unique retirement gift spousal gift
continuing_education  serendipity  London  ideas  life_long_learning  ideacity 
january 2010 by jerryking
Pursuing Big Ideas
October 22, 2008 | NYTimes.com |

Innovators at the 2008 IdeaFestival offered the following suggestions on how to come up with new ideas:
ideas  inspiration  NYT  innovation  conferences  TED  ideacity  creative_renewal 
april 2009 by jerryking
Practically Speaking - Creative People Say Inspiration Isn’t All Luck - NYTimes.com
Published: October 22, 2008 | New York Times | By MICKEY MEECE

Serendipity often plays a role in generating big ideas...inspiration,
but equally as important is having an open mind — especially in
tumultuous times like these. Big and small ideas are out there--if you
are looking for them.

2008 IdeaFestival was created by Kris Kimel whose own “Aha!” moment
occurred after attending the Sundance Film Festival and wondering about
hosting a diverse festival that celebrates ideas. In 2000, he helped
create the IdeaFestival, which brings together creative thinkers from
different disciplines to connect ideas in science, the arts, design,
business, film, technology and education. The goal is to promote
“out-of-the-box thinking and cross-fertilization as a means toward the
development of innovative ideas, products and creative endeavors.”
Aha!_moments  chance  conferences  contingency  creativity  creative_types  cross-pollination  entrepreneurship  ideas  idea_generation  ideacity  inspiration  luck  Mickey_Meece  open_mind  out-of-the-box  science_&_technology  serendipity  small_business  TED  thinking_big 
april 2009 by jerryking
Conference to explore creativity in urban centres
Posted on 11/02/09 by JEFF GRAY.

In a partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto - headed by urban thinker Richard Florida - the city of Toronto will spend $10,000 on an international conference this June on "cultural mapping."

The conference, highlighted in yesterday's city budget, will be called Placing Creativity. It will include international cultural policy researchers and "explore the connection between place, creativity and the economy."

The event, billed in a budget document as a "major gathering of international thinkers," will focus on the geographic discipline of "cultural mapping," which looks at the way artists and art institutions cluster and the effect they have on neighbouring businesses.
creativity  Jeff_Gray  conferences  physical_place  spillover  ideacity  creative_types  urban  cultural_mapping  clusters  artists  cultural_institutions  Martin_Prosperity_Institute 
february 2009 by jerryking

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