C2 Montreal is one of the main international events focused on new business, creativity, and innovation. And if by speaking of innovation you think technology has been at the heart of everything, you’ll be surprised. The focus is on inspiring content, relationships between people, and the ideas they generate. The event application alone accounted for 70,000 contacts exchanged in three days, involving the approximately 7,000 participants.
“C2 is a catalyst. It brings people together for the purpose of transforming their careers, their thoughts, and their relationship with the world,” said Rodrigo Faustino, of Abedesign, a partner in organizing the second CCBC mission sent to the Montreal meeting. Last year, the delegation had 12 members. In 2019, that number doubled, including professionals from Porto Alegre, São Paulo, Campinas, and Belo Horizonte.
This mix of experiences that have been happening all over the world, filled with high doses of creativity, serves as inspiration for the new directions of Brazilian brands. In May 2018, for example, Klabin was at C2. Just four months later, it organized Inova Klabin, an internal event to reposition itself in the universe of innovation.
“There was no talk about creativity in the pulp and paper market. Inova Klabin was inspired by this networking atmosphere, news and lots of knowledge,” said Tiago Belotte, founder of Coolhow, a creative intelligence company that produced a report on trends seen at the event. Klabin is, of course, back to C2 this year.
From Spike Lee to a building that sucks air pollution
The 2019 edition had as its theme “tomorrow” and, as in previous ones, valued projects that seek impact, inviting the public to action, since having amazing ideas is not enough.
“I dedicate myself to problems without the intention of solving them entirely. I want to take at least the first step towards the ultimate solution and bring forth reflection,” explained Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde, who has a pioneering design studio in initiatives to make the world a more inhabitable place.
One derives from the concept of Protopia, created by Wired magazine’s founder, Kevin Kelly. The term joins the words prototype and utopia, in reference to real projects daily improved. That is how Smog Free Projects was created, a set of campaigns whose biggest symbol is a 7-meter Chinese tower that works on low electricity. The building purifies 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour and improves the quality of the surrounding air.
C2 went far beyond sustainability and the environment. Speakers included filmmaker Spike Lee; former Apple Senior VP of Retail, Angela Ahrendts; Google Canada President, Sabrina Geremia; Endevor’s CMO, Bozoma Saint John; and Cirque du Soleil founder, Guy Laliberté. In discussion, topics such as:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Climate and sustainability
- Circular economy
- Bias and inequality
- People-centered organizations
- Machines vs. Human beings
- Branding 5.0
- Chief Executive Changemaker
Goats also do yoga
The largest social media on the planet was at C2 and didn’t talk about social media all the time. On the contrary! One of the activities promoted by Facebook that most caught the attention of the members of the Brazilian mission was goat yoga – yoga sessions in which participants shared the space with goats and everything else that can derive from this unusual experience.
If in technology everything (or almost everything) becomes predictable, C2 has invested in the de-automation of looks and chance. By giving up a free seat near the food court, a CCBC mission participant was actually giving way to one of Cirque du Soleil’s directors, a brand that, together with branding agency Sid Lee, organizes the event. The selfless gesture became an excellent opportunity for the exchange of ideas.
However, not everything happens by chance. What happens is a lot of planning, as in using one of the main tools to promote meetings in C2, the so-called Braindates, combined through the event’s app, Klik. Two members of CCBC’s mission were among the 15 people who made the most contacts at the event through the platform.
Find out some of the main insights of C2 Montreal 2019:
MACHINES AND HUMAN BEINGS
“Automation ‘is not like having an Einstein.’ It’s like having billions of interns who make a lot of decisions, but not all decisions are clear to machines. Human beings will still be instrumental in providing insight, judgment, and creativity.” (Sabrina Geremia – Google Canada President)
“Jobs we can’t think of are just around the corner. That is what I hope. I don’t want to live in fear of what I know is coming.” (Will.i.am – musician and creative professional)
THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY
“In technology sentences, are you the subject or the object? If you believe technology is human-shaped, you can play the game and have a promising road ahead.” (Jameson Wetmore – University of Arizona Associate Professor)
“We cannot disconnect technology from imagination. If we can’t imagine what we want the future to look like, we can’t get there.” (Daan Roosegaarde, artist and innovator)
CONNECT BRANDING 5.0
“Some of today’s most powerful brands are made by people for people, not by branding consultancies to consumers.” (Debbie Millman – Brand consultant)
“We’d rather be connected and hungry than eat and be alone.” (Debbie Millman – Brand consultant)
BRANDS AND VULNERABILITY
“I could have chosen the safe route – jeans and a black turtleneck. But instead, I decided to show up as a whole black woman. With my hair as it should be, with a pink dress that marks my every curve, and I played a song that was personally connected to me. It could have gone wrong. But instead, I found a connection.” (Bozoma Saint John – Endeavor’s CMO)
BE THE DIFFERENCE
“Stop talking, do something. It is better to do less of what is more significant than to do much of something insignificant.” (Marc Blanchard – Havas Group Global Experiences Design Director)
“You don’t need a million followers to have a point of view or a team of 600 people to influence change.” (Bozoma Saint John – Endeavor’s CMO)
“There was a time when we thought you could get some skills, get a job, and that would be the skills that would fit your entire career, and you would go to Florida. This won’t happen anymore.” (Sabrina Geremia – Google Canada President)
“You will always make mistakes. If you are not making mistakes, you are not learning, and if you run away from your mistakes, then you are surrendering. You can’t be stubborn, you have to have an open mind, and you can’t be afraid of making mistakes.” (Will.i.am – musician and creative professional)
PEOPLE FIRST LEADERSHIP
“Real leaders create leaders. Scalability is letting go and trusting others.”
(Dax Dasilva – Lightspeed’s CEO)
“If you are in a position of power, you have a responsibility to put it to good use.” (Spike Lee, filmmaker – writer and producer)
“In this new world, there is no lack of money or technology, but perhaps a lack of imagination.” (Daan Roosegaarde – artist and innovator)
“I didn’t get to a place of influence by being quiet. None of us will have any impact or influence if we are quiet. So don’t be quiet. Be loud as hell!” (Bozoma Saint John – Endeavor’s CMO)
Registration for the next CCBC Mission at the event is now open. This year’s Mission was held from May 18 to 25, and besides C2, it involved visits to local projects and businesses.