Digital/Online Marketing Communications Strategy

Who and What Drives Innovation and Creativity?

By on October 7, 2009 in communications strategy with 0 Comments

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

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

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

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

A cool slide

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

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

Government can NOT mandate cool

Man, you gotta love that one.

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

Welcoming remarks: Peter Kageyama, Partner, Creative Cities Productions

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

Keynote address: Elizabeth Gilbert, author, Eat Pray Love

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

Workshop: Get to ‘Shiny Penny Hell’ and Back

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

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

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

Panel: ABC’s of Mobile Technology

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

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

– Deni Kasrel

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


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About the Author

About the Author: Deni Kasrel is seasoned (slightly spicy) specialist in digital/online communications. .


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  1. Merilyn Jackson says:

    Your keen critical skills came in handy here. You bulleted many salient points for those of us who couldn’t be there

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