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Boston Marathon 2013: Looking Back

April 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Boston-Magazine1-320x421

The reporting during this tragedy was pretty awful across the board with the media’s rush to deliver up-to-date news. Fortunately, some news outlets were able to provide thoughtful analysis.

If I were to summarize these articles I’d say many Americans just lack information – especially about what happens in the world outside its borders –  and that’s why their default reactions during these tragic events tend to be fear, panic and stereotyping.

The other point I’d like to make is how much power we can attribute to the element of surprise. Roughly 34 people are killed by guns every day in the U.S., but this year’s Marathon got so much attention not because of the number of people wounded, but because no one expected it to happen.

Czechs and Czechens: They Both Start With C – The Economist

Why Does American Lose Its Head Over ‘Terror,’ But Ignore Its Daily Gun Deaths? – The Guardian

The Boston Bombing Produces Familiar and Revealing Reactions: As usual, the limits of selective empathy, the rush to blame Muslims, and the exploitation of fear all instantly emerge – The Guardian

Boston Marathon Terrorist Attacks (April 2013): Why Do The Three Deaths At The Boston Marathon Attack Weigh So Much More Heavily Than The Thousands Who Died In American That Same Day? – Quora

TEDx Goldstar and TED 2011: Day 2

DISCLOSURE: This post was originally published March 8th. See the original + follow up comments on the Casanova Pendrill blog.

If you could spend a week with the most interesting people in the world, who would you choose?

That’s basically the premise behind the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference held annually in Long Beach. I was fortunate to attend a live simulcast of Day 2 of this year’s conference through TEDxGoldstar on March 2nd at the Downtown Independent Center, a day filled with musical performances and engaging presenters from the worlds of science, film and even graffiti.

Instead of recapping the entire day I’m going to focus on three of this year’s presenters:

Salman Khan is the founder of Khan Academy, a non-profit that provides students in teachers with online videos covering an array of topics from algebra to venture capital. One of the most fascinating parts of Khan’s story is how Khan Academy was born.

Khan had created and uploaded videos to YouTube as a way to help his cousin in school, never imagining that other people would find these videos interesting. But they did. People posted tons of comments, offering positive feedback and questions, which led Khan to realize that his idea could be something much bigger. For a more thorough examination of Khan Academy’s impact on education I highly recommend this GOOD article: “Big Ideas from TED 2011: Letting Students Drive Their Education.”

Indra Nooyi is the current CEO of Pepsi. In 2010 she was named #1 on Fortune’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women” and #6 on Forbes list of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”. Every marketer in the world has heard of the successful Pepsi Refresh project, but what really got my attention was Nooyi’s announcement of the Refresh University, which will help provide 1,000 Pepsi Refresh grantees with the tools necessary for succession planning. It would have been very easy for Pepsi to discontinue the Refresh project, so I was impressed by Nooyi’s commitment to continue building on the project’s success.

Last, but not least, was French street artist JR, undoubtedly the day’s crowd favorite and this year’s TED Prize winner. The TED Prize is “…awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, “One Wish to Change the World.” Designed to leverage the TED community’s exceptional array of talent and resources, the Prize leads to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact.”

It was during his presentation that JR announced his TED wish, a large-scale participatory art project. Check out http://www.insideoutproject.net/ for all the details.

RECAP:

This is the 2nd TEDx event I’ve attended. Going to an event vs. watching TED videos on your computer are like night and day. What makes TED really special is the vibrant community of people – everyone from presenters, to organizers to guests.

Thanks to @ktischhy at talkTECH Communications for inviting me to join the exclusive group of 150 attendees at this year’s event produced by Goldstar.

 

Gift bags for all attendees

 

Watching the live simulcast in Long Beach!

 

TEDxGoldstar agenda and featured beverages

 

Bill Gates introducing the next presenter

 

Complimentary ice cream sandwiches provided by @Coolhaus

 

Above photo credit: Daniella De Varney Photography.

Lunch on rooftop of Downtown Independent Center

 

Banner for OUR "Ideas Worth Spreading"

 

Also thanks to Rosie Nguyen for sharing the last two pics.

LINKS:

For a more comprehensive look at TED Day 2, check out TED 2011 The Rediscovery of Wonder, Day Two on the Brain Pickings blog.

Also, there are lots of great links, pics and articles being shared on Twitter through the #TEDxGoldstar hashtag.

LA Weekly – JR’s Wish and Four Other TED Talks We Loved

Ambitious Technology Charts How Babytalk Evolves Into Language – PSFK. This is an article about one of the day’s TED presenters, Deb Roy.

Learn more about Michigan-based company Boxed Water Is Better

Here’s a Flickr Photoset I created for the event: TEDxGoldstar 2011

Categories: EVENTS

TED X Hollywood: June 5th

June 6, 2010 2 comments

This weekend I was fortunate to be one of the lucky people in attendance at TEDxHollywood, “a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.”

The event was held at the LA office of TBWA/CHIAT/DAY, which is basically the kind of cool, funky, creative environment where every ad guy and girl dreams of working.

An office park...literally

The event was organized by Creative Director Tito Melega, who said during his introduction (I’m paraphrasing) on the evening’s theme, Creativity In The New World: “Instead of creating stories people want to hear, we create stories people want to tell.”

The event moved forward with the first guest speaker, photographer Jay Mark Johnson, who creates stunning visuals through the use of what he calls “Space-time Photography.”

Next up was Rob Schwartz, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA/CHIAT/DAY who talked about some of the work that went into the Pepsi Refresh Project, an excellent case study for brands who want to behave as a tool for positive social change. What was really inspiring is the number of incredible ideas people submitted to the campaign: “There’s so much creative potential in this country coming from regular people.”

I loved when Rob showed us a messenger bag created from a billboard that was used doing the Refresh project. It was a great example of a brand using their marketing to literally create something in line with the campaign message. He closed with this Behance-esque quote.

IDEAS WORTH SHARING —> IDEAS WORTH DOING

Mark was followed by singer/songwriter Elizaveta, who pretty much left everyone floored during her performance with her amazing voice. You can download four free tracks here.

The last presenter of the night was Tears For Fears co-founder Curt Smith, who talked about how social media has changed both the music industry and how he behaves as a musician. The key takeaway for me was when Curt said, “I don’t HAVE to record an ALBUM.” He’s realized that the album format is inefficient and outdated, something Bob Lefsetz has been saying for some time now: people nowadays prefer cherry-picking their favorite tracks over buying albums.

Looking back, I’m incredibly grateful to have been a part of this experience. I met some terrific people and I think that it’s great Tito was able to gather such a colorful group of presenters to educate, entertain and inspire us for a short evening — pretty much everything I could ask for in a TED event.

LINKS:

Check out my full Flickr set here

TED X Hollywood Tweet Stream

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PSFK Conference NYC (Part 7): City As Canvas

April 16, 2009 Leave a comment

On April 2nd I attended the PSFK Conference NYC. I’m using this multi-post series to share some of the highlights.

TALK: City As Canvas featuring Marc & Sara Schiller (Wooster Collective)

This was my favorite talk of the day. It hit on all the points of a great presentation:

1) It was interesting

2) It told a story

3) It left you wanting more

They began the talk by asking a question: What Is It About Street Art That Makes It So Infectious?

  • Site specific
  • Adds context and meaning
  • Personal and intimate
  • Reaction to the proliferation of Advertising
  • Street art has impermanence — Advertising has a purpose

The Schillers went on to show examples of numerous street artists:

SUMMARY: There are a lot of incredible street artists out there doing amazing things. Their work isn’t just visually interesting – it’s often insightful and inspiring. There’s always a story behind each piece; great art will force you to think and look at the world differently, and maybe even question your own beliefs.

Looking back, I really enjoyed the PSFK Conference it was my 1st time). My only suggestion to improve the event was that there were so many terrific, interesting people and a limited amount of time to meet them. For the next conference I’d love PSFK to facilitate some kind of icebreaker so that we could get to know more of the attendees.

LINKS:

Constant Beta – Highlights from the PSFK Conference 2009

iamtheweather.com – PSFK Conference 09

Photos From PSFK Conference NYC

Gareth Kay – Looking Back at PSFK New York

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to comment or re-tweet it. Oh, and if you’re looking for a Junior Planner/Strategist in NYC (or know someone who is) -email me at DennisDemori [at] Gmail [dot] com.

PSFK Conference NYC (Part 6): New Idea Agencies

April 16, 2009 Leave a comment

lightbulb

On April 2nd I attended the PSFK Conference NYC. I’m using this multi-post series to share some of the highlights.

PANEL: New Idea Agencies featuring Bart Haney (Fuse Project), Carl Johnson (Anomaly), Ben Malbon (BBH Labs), Robbie Vitrano (Trumpet)

This panel discussed Intellectual Property (IP) and it’s the one I was most excited about. They touched on the need to reassess the current agency business and compensation models.

Moderator Question: What Are The Current Challenges?

Carl: “The Ad industry is broken because it values crap ideas the same as good ideas.”

Moderator Question: How important is branding, when traditionally, it’s what an agency’s best at?

Carl: “You have to not care if you execute. The purpose is to make a business.”

“You have to understand media more than anything else.”

“You have to embrace collaboration.”

“You’re much more commercially aware…the retail environment is crucial.”

Robbie: “The ultimate integrity of the business (is most important).”

The purest form of marketing is in product development.”

Moderator Question: How Do You Get Funding? What Are The Exit Strategies?

Robbie: We don’t want to own 100% – this ruins collaboration. “We’d rather own 10% of a big success than 100% of a failure.”

BREAK: Rethinking Recession

Sites to check out:

LINKS:

Constant Beta – Highlights from the PSFK Conference 2009

iamtheweather.com – PSFK Conference NYC

Photos From PSFK Conference NYC 09

Gareth Kay – Looking Back at PSFK New York

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to comment or re-tweet it. Oh, and if you’re looking for a Junior Planner/Strategist in NYC (or know someone who is) -email me at DennisDemori [at] Gmail [dot] com.

Categories: EVENTS Tags:

PSFK Conference NYC (Part 5): Reconnect

April 16, 2009 Leave a comment

On April 2nd I attended the PSFK Conference NYC.  I’m using this multi-post series to share some of the highlights.

PANEL: Reconnect featuring Sarah Beatty (Green Depot), Simon Collins (Parsons), Ryan Jacoby (IDEO), Matthew Lush (Hecho Inc.)

Moderator Question: What does sustainability mean now?

Simon: It’s a journey, not a destination. It’s about buying intelligently. Blue jeans are a perfect example of sustainable design – they actually get better with age as you wash them (What if we could translate this concept to every product?)

Sarah: High-quality. The challenge is to offer something better.

Dave: There’s a perception that sustainability means less…but this isn’t true.

Moderator Question: What will the world be like in 20-30 years?

Sarah: “It’s great that we can connect with people around the world, but how will we connect with people next door?

Moderator Question: Who are the leaders in sustainability?

Ryan: Method, Amazon.com, Wal-mart

Sarah: Recyclebank – They encourage homeowners to recycle

Summary: Sustainability is really about reversing the trend of over- and hyper-consumption that has been a big part of this generation’s habits. This panel reminded me of something Thomas L. Friedman said on TV the other day about the Green movement.

He was asked when we would know that going Green has been successful.

His answer was that there will be no more “green” cars, “green” houses, or “green anything. A car will be a car and a house will just be a house. We won’t know the difference anymore when there’s nothing to differentiate against.

LINKS:

iamtheweather.com – PSFK Conference NYC

Constant Beta  Highlights From the PSFK Conference 2009

Photos from PSFK Conference NYC 09

Gareth Kay – Looking Back at PSFK New York

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to comment or re-tweet it. Oh, and if you’re looking for a Junior Planner/Strategist in NYC (or know someone who is) -email me at DennisDemori [at] Gmail [dot] com.

Categories: EVENTS Tags:

PSFK Conference NYC (Part 4): This Platform Called Everyday Life

April 15, 2009 Leave a comment

On April 2nd I attended the PSFK Conference NYC. I’m using this multi-post series to share some of the highlights.

TALK: This Platform Called Everyday Life featuring Kevin Slavin (Area/Code)

This was one of the best talks of the day. Kevin says that we’re heading towards a world where objects have online and offline entities. The lines are blurred.

He uses the cell phone as an example. Traditionally, phones were used for PEOPLE to call other people. Nowadays, the phone is still connecting us with the rest of the world, but, more importantly, the other rest of the world.

Here’s a few examples of using the online world to improve what’s going on in the offline world.

  • Nike + “You are in an active communication relationship with your sneakers.”
  • Kogi Taco Truck This Korean BBQ on wheels is famous for updating patrons on its location using Twitter
  • Sharkrunners combines an online game with real life GPS tracked sharks. Events unfold in real time. You get an email or a text when you have reached an actual shark!
  • Citysense.com
  • Path Intelligence

Kevin gave a few more examples of how we can expect mobile technology to control environments, such as Project Blinkenlights:

allianzarenamunichThe above pic is of Allianz Arena in Munich. The stadium can change colors depending on which teams are playing (think of a pro baseball and football team sharing the same field).

513-381-JERK is another example that represents the idea of using a phone not to talk, but to communicate with a thing to remove a person. A little crazy when you think about it.

SUMMARY: The idea of “Treating objects like people; regarding people as objects” was really interesting, and a great analysis of the future potential of mobile technology.

LINKS:

Constant Beta: Highlights From The PSFK Conference 2009

iamtheweather.com – PSFK Conference NYC

Photos from PSFK Conference NYC 09

Gareth Kay – Looking Back at PSFK New York

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to comment or re-tweet it. Oh, and if you’re looking for a Junior Planner/Strategist in NYC (or know someone who is) -email me at DennisDemori [at] Gmail [dot] com.

Categories: EVENTS Tags:
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