C2; Disrupting Commerce, Bolstering Creativity
Late May- every year, for the past four years, a community has been building around a former industrial hangar near the Lachine Canal in Montreal's Griffintown district. Thousands of business leaders converge at this spot for what was once known as a business conference.
Red hammacks and matching plastic Adirondack lawn chairs are spread across the outdoor plaza which serves as the epicenter of the event. Three skee ball machines are set up along a row of eclectic storage containers acting as bars, bistros and lounges. At the very end lies the bastion of it all, a magnificent ferris wheel.
This is not your father's business conference.
This is the type of conference that emerges when the creative brainforce of an ad agency known as Sid Lee teams up with Cirque Du Soleil.
C2 MTL aims to reinvent the concept of the annual international conference, in order to better explore the “commerce-creativity” dynamic and its potential to redefine the business world.
Amidst its mission to reinvent it all, emerged a community of innovators; both in the form of attendees, as well as speakers. In fact, C2 boasts an above average return rate- creating innovation groupies that are keen on out-of-the box processes which wipe the fundemental basics of traditional business under the rug.
The underlying context of the conference, being channeled by means of the speakers, the workshops, the immersive activities; is disruption.
The transformative landscape of business lies in the innovation of the disruptive business model. The Ubers and AirBnBs of the world; the Blake Myyoskies and Kimbal Musks of the world. C2, like the speakers and leaders it presents are all about challenging the status quo.
It is no surprise that one of the confirmed speakers for next year's editin is no other than AirBnB's Head of Global Hospitality Chip Conley.
However, it is more than just about disruption and innovation- there is cause.
C2 stands for CREATIVITY and COMMERCE; but it should stand for CREATIVITY and CAUSE.
Kimbal Musk's passionate discussion about the global food industry emphasizes the economic as well as social and humanitarian returns in the programs he is establishing.
Movember foundeer Adam Garone put it best as he ridiculed the term 'not for profit'. "I'm all about profit," he said, outlining that foundations such as his compete for the charity dollar.
Vestas Wind Systems CMO Morten Albaek was the perfect prophet of how a business could be both financially profitable and socially and environmentally responsible; introducing the theory of Capitalistic Humanism; an overlap of capitalism and humanism with socially conscious business.
C2 is about realizing that the most important breaktroughs might come lying down on a hammack, rather than in a boardroom.
It is about the new emerging economy, one that involves social entrepreneurs and impact investors who can use data to analyse not only the financial gains, but the human ones as well.
It is about realizing that most organizational problems are not in the end product, but in the infrastructure- they are systemic failures that need the cure of a creative mind, one that will challenge the status quo.
This is what the philosophy of this community is about.
For more information on C2 MTL, visit www.C2MTL.com