"So what's it gonna take? Silver shadow believer..." -Shiny Toy Guns

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Influx Curated Inspiration

Last month, I attended Influx Curated, in SF with one of my Creative Directors. I have been trying to write about it for weeks and now finally made the time. The conference was organized by Influx Strategic Consulting, a BSSP company. 10 speakers were selected to speak and invite two friends, resulting in 30 speakers total, and all were limited to only 5 minutes each. As the invite read, "Their brief was simple to: instigate, stir, motivate, and inspire." There was a lot of hope flying around, I captured some in my notes and will try to give you a little of what they gave us:

Become a part of the notion for common good.
Design can change the world.
The 20th century was all about what we could produce and the 21st century is all about what we can sustain.
Be open-minded.
Be problem solvers and find a way to do things better.
Now is the chance to be both teacher and student.
On a networked planet, connection is frictionless.
Roll up your sleeves and get involved!
The two most inspiring words in the English language are: YES & AND. “And” is the word that unites things.
Have the ability to integrate.
Power of the word: YES. Have no fear, be grateful, be open, forgive, love (acceptance), have honesty, and humanity.
Fear as a motivator is a joke.
Find a way to care and make it personal.
Power of the word: No. How to deal with blocks? Change can be a gift. Don’t get discouraged.
People will have similar ideas, don’t let this stop you.
Some of your most creative works will come from sudden change.
Stop trying too hard to be creative and unique and it will come.
Writers: you must keep storytelling active.
It’s never boring to try to improve something.
Don’t abandon advertising, improve it.
Reality is how you perceive it.
What engages an audience? Give the audience nothing and co-create with them.
Be comfortable with silence.
Story tell, the past inspires us.
Build strong stories and roots for our future.
Break rules.
We live in a culture of fear.
You can find inspiration in everything, and if you can’t, look again.
Have a perception altering experience.
Trust your own intuition and have no fear.
Change is ultimately what we make of it.
Define good: the consumer doesn’t know what is “good” anymore.
Be authentic; the brand itself has to connect with its audience.
Create a culture.

These notes I try to reread when I am feeling discouraged. At a time when things are extremely uncertain, we need to look to one another for inspiration. The conference was a gift on multiple levels: as a person who works in advertising, as a writer, and as an art lover. Jeben Berg, who works on Marketing and Creative Strategy at YouTube spoke about online video, its interpretations, and connectivity. But, what I found even more stimulating was that his presentation included a fantastic video of time-lapsed graffiti. I was thrilled to be at a conference for work, all the while watching a beautiful piece unfold amidst a concrete jungle. It was like everything had come full circle, and I was viewing my generation making their mark in more ways than one.

I connected with Jeben to thank him and his response was nothing short of poetic, "One can only hope that a few words of a 5 minute presentation penetrate deep enough to take hold and provide an anchor from which to develop your own courses of action. YouTube is a great free place to launch an online journey but it takes all of the web to give it life."

His art, even more so profound: youtube.com/beakdip

More on Jeben, covered by Juxtapoz Magazine. So many new influences for me to admire and study. I am so thankful to all the people who spoke. A full list can be found here. And a special thank you to work, for sending me.

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