Tag Archives: ocad

Upcoming – Calendar Asplosion!


Holy Events Batman!

The next week in Toronto is going to be an exercise in schedulers staying calm and carrying on despite the amazing lineup of events that starts this Friday (and this has nothing to do with TIFF, unfortunately…) Friday is the start of the inaugural MobileInnovationWeek, the first in what is looking to be an annual event in mobile + wireless awesomeness. I’m thrilled to announce that the MEIC is a proud partner in Mobile Innovation Week, and that we’re co-chairing Mobile Business Bootcamp as well as producing MEIC4.

The events are:

  • FITC Mobile
  • Mobile Media World
  • MEIC4
  • MEF Canada Thought Leadership Series
  • Mobile Business Bootcamp
  • Mobile ThinkTank
  • I’m organizing MEIC4 (which is a free event that will lead into the FITCMobile/MMW main party at The Fifth), and happy to announce the following speakers (more to come!):

    • Alec Taylor, VP Windows Mobile Business, Microsoft
    • TBD, Enstream Ltd
    • Dylan Pask, OCAD + MEIC Research
    • Michael Lewkowitz, CEO Igniter, Ltd

    As well, I have a discount code for the Mobile Business Bootcamp (an awesome lineup of over 25 speakers and 8 sessions that will cover every aspect of mobile business and startup tips) – ping me if you’re interested!

    See you next week!

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    design as derivative – weapons of mass disruption

    last week torch partnership and sLab hosted the latest edition of the unfinished business lecture series, and we were treated to a robust and inspiring presentation by gong szeto, a new mexico-based designer. recently, gong has been designing derivatives trading platforms for financial services, and his hyperacute knowledge of these systems has inspired a unique perspective towards design, as revealing the meta layers of economics, politics, etc, and the implications around an emerging set of ethics relating towards the products, services and systems we design. As bruce nussbaum wrote last year – did innovation cause the crisis on wall st?

    gong gives good reason to believe this, and more importantly, frames why. the blurb from the talk is here as is the slideshow, but be sure to check his notes on slideshare.

    What implications does the current global economic crisis have for Design? For Gong Szeto the answers lie in understanding how design has evolved over the last 100 years in parallel with capitalism. We are in the midst of a global economic crisis, one whose contours are barely understood, even by today’s leading minds. This crisis reveals the very underpinnings of how our world works, and it is the story of finance (a classic tragic comedy) and its colossal role in the development of modern society.

    Design, the myriad ways it is practiced and consumed, owes its very existence to the thriving of a capitalist political economy. Design cannot claim primacy in this system, but is, instead, a shadow or derivative of the priorities of supply-side and demand-side economics.

    Billionaire Warren Buffett has called financial derivatives “weapons of mass destruction.”. Gong Szeto will demonstrate the powerful properties and dynamics of derivatives in financial world, and apply this framework to understanding Design’s origins and future possibilities. He will try to make the case that Design’s complex derivative nature, if better understood, can be combined with the powerful emerging attributes of massively shared social web platforms, and proactively insinuated in a (post) capitalist political economy, taking shape as “weapons of mass possibility.”

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    finding design frontiers: larry keeley at ocad

    larry keeley, ceo of doblin, spoke earlier today at ocad, in a wonderful talk sponsored by torch partnership and the strategic innovation lab – the new incarnation of my alma mater the beal institute for strategic creativity. big thanks to the folks that hosted “the john cleese of innovation.” there were a few key ideas that really stood out for me in his talk.

    the thesis of larry’s talk focused on a new emerging discipline of innovation, one that is still in its infancy and will eventually encapsulate the methods and rigour demonstrated in fully or semi-institutionalized disciplines such as medicine, law or business. at a time of great uncertainty, as the systems we have come to rely on for the exchange of economic, physical and political capital begin to erode globally, larry offers that innovation, far from dead, is thriving.

    as is often the case in times of turmoil, people innovate when they need to think differently, act differently and make different things. they explore the boundaries of what is possible. however, larry asks “what if everything we thought we knew about innovation was wrong?” especially when we consider that most innovation posts a success rate of less than 4%, worldwide. he then gives the following example of how innovation commonly goes down in a company (which i’m sure will be a bit mucked up in my retelling, but the point will get across ;)

      the executives of a major corporation realize that their earnings are tanking, and so product lines are trimmed, teams are reduced and gap analysis is conducted. and the gap analytics indicate that in order to close the gap between the economic projections and the actual company performance, one needs to innovate. so the sr execs comb through the company and pick the best and brightest, and get them all together in the board room. then comes the stirring speech, in which the selected team is inspired and charged to innovate with no margin for error, a super short timeline, no guidance, no resources, threat of termination upon failure and little in the way of exactly *what* they’re supposed to innovate towards. ambiguous expectations and concrete deliverables. however, there will be whiteboards and flipcharts to aid in generating ideas. this is akin to picking a bunch of random people and asking them to perform neurosurgery with a few exacto knives and some rubbing alcohol.

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