Day Two at ideaCity…
Frank Palmer, head of ad agency DDB Canada, started the day and delivered his 10 rules on how to be an agent of change:
1. Love experiments.
2. Learn to collaborate.
3. Ask different questions.
4. Try not to critixize.
5. Sweat the small stuff.
6. Never stop learning. Never stop moving.
7. Seek better ways.
8. Bury the ego.
9. Celebrate your success.
10. Love your job or leave it. Be fearless.
Contradicting much of the above (and many others) was Corinne Maier, author of the best-selling book Hello Laziness. Drawing on her European upbringing, she offered tips on how to work less, not get fired, and not be a “boring corporate slave.” An amusing discussion that seems to have generated a bit of buzz in the lobby amongst attendees.
Steven Rechtschaffner, former CCO of Electronic Arts, touched on several creative points. When presented with an idea, he says that the best response is the simple question, “What inspired it?” Learning of the inspirational root helps ground the idea, attaches a story to it, and fleshes it out a bit more. He praised the power of naivete, remarked on how art imitates life imitates art, and advised that if you’re an idea person you must seek out cultures of “yes” and leave cultures of “no”.
One of the real highlights so far was a demo this morning by Jerry Riopelle of his laser music device “Human Beams”. Looking a little bit like a W-shaped music stand, the upright device has six laser beams that when broken trigger pre-programmed sounds. The effect when played is a dramatic conductor-like performance. Apparently musical bigshots like Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Yo-Yo Ma are enamored by it but where it may prove most popular is in schools and children’s hospitals. Something to keep an eye on.
The late morning session was heavier stuff. Former Middle East prisoner William Sampson, former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, columnist and advocate for the disabled Barbara Turnbull, and pro-cannabis criminal lawyer Alan Young shared passionate social justice stories with the audience. Later in the day, MD and humanitarian dynamo Samantha Nutt gave an incredibly articulate firsthand account of the sorry state of affairs for kids in wartorn regions of the world (Did you know that 70% of guns go to developing nations and that 90% of that amount come from five UN security council nations). In particular, she laments the disappearance of the “neutral space” necessary for NGOs to operate effectively and somewhat safely.
The first afternoon set featured a couple remarkable and inspiring athletic achievers. Urszula Tokarska, the first woman to ever ascend the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, discussed quite simply and eloquently how her inspiration came from people and their ideas. Often we overlook the obvious fact that ideas happen because of others’ ideas. And Warren MacDonald spoke of how he’s overcome a climbing accident that crushed both his legs under a boulder. There is a lesson in everything and it’s up to each individual to create their own reality.
Undersea explorer Joseph MacInnis ran through a widely-applicable list of the four phases of a disaster:
1. Assumptions that all is normal and as it should be.
2. An intrusion of a non-linear event.
3. A cascade into chaos.
4. The escape of a fortunate few.
Also presenting: partneryoga by The Davids, a rant against the US right wing by US Air America talk radio host Mike Papantonio, a little nervous optimism from Peter Bergman, and a rousing Arab/Jewish/Jazz fusion performance by the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band.