TED Conference Injects Crowdsourcing

27 02 2008

If you are a devotee of TED’s videos you know that this event has has some amazing presentations. I have been jealously watching them for years since the event was started by Richard Saul Wurman. But I always wondered whether people walk away from such an inspiring event and feel a little frustrated as the enthusiasm runs through their fingers like so much sand without marshaling that emotion into real projects.

This year TED looks like they are fixing that problem by bolting on a crowdsourcing attendee experience using a new software product called Kluster.

Watch this video to see how they plan to do it. (Click on image)

Over the 72 hours of TED, they plan to use the power of the audience and the rapid-prototyping system and software to develop a tangible product. And we can all join the party. You can sign up here.

Good luck guys.


Institutional Investors Make “Sustainable Business” An Investment Priority

12 02 2008

This one is for anyone attending the upcoming ASAE and the Center Social Responsibility Summit.

The 2008 Investor Summit on Climate Risk will bring together more than 400 institutional investors, Wall Street leaders and CEOs from around the world to consider the scale and urgency of climate change risks, as well as the economic opportunities of a global transition to a clean energy future.

According to the Wall Street Journal,”Investors are increasingly trying to come to grips with the uncertainty about how the U.S. government will address the issue of global warming, and what effects that will have on businesses from power companies to insurers…

But just like the “tipping points” that many scientists point to in the Earth’s changing climate, investor interest in how to play global warming seems to be gathering steam. Investors are taking a more proactive role. Last week, three big banks said they’ll toughen financing standards for coal-fired power plants that could come under fire from new environmental regulations.Increasingly, the accent is on business opportunities presented by the world’s efforts to rein in global warming. Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG have set out to identify which companies help the world adapt to changing climate, such as water-treatment companies, as well as businesses that can help mitigate further climate change, like clean-energy firms.”

Why should I care? Follow the money.

Investors are finding that the future of business (and future investment) will be in companies and industries who are innovating business models, product or service designs or delivery systems to be more sustainable economically, environmentally and socially.

It isnt simply about recycling or making modifications to systems proving they cant fundamentally change.

Social responsibility is passe.

Sustainable business models and product/service designs are what investors see as the future.

It is about innovation.

Business got us into this. Business will get us out.

Follow the money.

Control? Due Diligence? Distrust? Lack of Imagination?

9 02 2008

For decades we operated closed systems controlling who designed, delivered and received the credit from standards to best practices to industry guidelines. To some members and observers it was seen as a kind of feudal system.You can almost envision a castle surrounded by a moat with kings and queens, dukes and duchess, knights and serfs. A cultural of entitlement reigned as IP protection systems safeguarded all who served the system inside the walls.

Kind of like this…

Today many IMO’s are tracking the slow trend of negative growth in membership as older players retire or change careers while student members “vote” with their feet as upon graduation they never take their expected place as young professional members around the roundtable.


Could it be they see a closed system that does not relate to their own views about career, profession and group interaction? Do they perceive a sense of distrust among the “chosen” or “entitled” class? Is the system stacked against those who prefer to pursue ideas and outcomes rather than to follow older “pay your dues” methods that keep power with those with tenure? Or is it a lack of imagination? A lack of recognition in how new generations want to interact, collaborate, and achieve?

Forrester Research conducted a fascinating study on how different generations use the Internet. It may hold part of the answer to these questions. And whoever is in charge of “due diligence” better study up.

Running from left to right in columns are the generations from the NetGeneration/Millenials (the largest – those under 22 years), Gen Y, Gen X, two groups of Boomers, and Seniors. The rows represent different types of ways people prefer to use the Internet. From top to bottom they represent preferences of engagement from the most (the lean forwards) to the least (the lean backs). Turns out just like different styles of learning, people have different preferences for online activity.

What is critical to appreciate is how from old to new you can see the tremendous change in how people prefer to create, consume and collaborate. As you might expect, the older you are the least likely you are to be active online. I saw this first hand in many board rooms and among established experts in the ICT industry who amazingly were totally ignorant of how the world is changing despite their expertise and credentials.

This slide is super critical to appreciate. If you are segmenting your customers be sure to include generational segmentation as you examine product design and delivery or governance models. You ignore the coming shift at your own peril.

Here is an interesting example of what I mean.This Millenial plays video games. He hates Sony’s new product so much that he created his own “video of complaint” and posted to YouTube…1.8 million views later I found it last summer. Today that number is over 3 million.

This couldn’t have been done ten years ago by one person with an idea and a PC. And would have cost $100,000.This video is an illustration of the expertise, passion, knowledge and creativity that “lives beyond the walls” of your closed system.

Do your due diligence…. Examine new models…. Embrace more open systems …. Or become marginalized slowly like the air running out of a balloon.

Making Business Sense of Climate Change – A Practical Guide

3 02 2008

Vanessa Cotton and I reprise for a session on this Tuesday at MPI’s PEC NA here in Houston on the topic of making a business case for developing a “sustainable business strategy” for meetings and events from a planner and supplier perspective.

We’ll be presenting a case study featuring one of MCI’s clients and how MCI led them through via our sustainable consulting services along with the use of a green meeting calculator that feeds to a database for benchmarking your footprint against other events. This effort led to the client choosing ExCel London for an upcoming congress because of its advances in sustainable business services for meetings. They actually have a worm farm that converts waste to compost as a new revenue streams. Yum!!!

Slides are here.

From Mega Trends to Association Trends to Meeting Trends

3 02 2008

MPI PEC North America in Houston is a good place for me to return to the blog with a presentation on how key MegaTrends affect associations and their events. I presented along with my UK colleague Vanessa Cotton of ExCel in London.

Here is the session overview:


  • Global Economy
  • Demographic Shifts
  • Science and Technology Advancements
  • Sustainability
  • Open vs Closed System

Association Trends

  • Global Strategy
  • Standard Product Development
  • Business Metrics & Measures
  • Customer Attention Deficit
  • ISO Credible Sources
  • Customer Experience Management
  • Regionalization (Planning/Infrastructure)
  • Hot Regions

Association Meeting Trends

  • Alliance and partnership development – ongoing conf business (co-branding, outreach, BD, sponsor channels)
  • Product development process – event business strategy, end user integration
  • Customer “value add” experience design – mapping before, during and after experiences
  • Digitizing and monetizing conference content – taking face 2 face content and distributing it more widely

This version does not contain builds and embedded video.