Month: November 2011

Hablo espanol!

Another bonus of my trip to Buenos Aires is that I’m picking up my spanish! I was studying spanish for six years in high school but have never had the opportunity to use it since, didn’t expect that I would ever use it again (don’t know why) or that I would actually remember anything. But after just a few days here listening to my colleagues and talking to people at bars I started to understand what people are talking about and be able to form very basic sentences. It doesn’t feel like it will be to hard to learn again! I’m amazed how many words I actually still remember!

Still have a lot to learn though. A friend told me about a language learning course online, Live Mocha that I will try out. Would be awesome to learn spanish good enough to work in the language.

We’ll se if I’m blogging in Spanish in a few weeks 🙂

Startup Weekend

Yesterday I went to a Startup Weekend event here in Buenos Aires. I’m really happy I went. Met a lot of nice cool people from Buenos Aires and to be in this entrepreneur/tech environment felt kind of like coming home.

Startup Weekend was founded in 2007 in Boulder, Colorado, by Andrew Hyde. It all started as an event where a group of entrepreneurs got together over a weekend to come up with an idea for a and starting a new business.

Today Startup Weekend has evolved to a worldwide event that takes place all over the world several times a year. The events starts on a Friday when the entrepreneurs get to pitch one idea each. They get to vote and all the participants will form teams around the ideas that got the most votes. On the Sunday the teams present their business plans for the jury who choose a winner.

The winner of this Startup Weekend was Primer Trago, a bar guide for Buenos Aires where you can search for the closest happy hour. You would think that a service like this already exists for Buenos Aires but not until now! At the moment there are few bars registered on the site but there are more to come! I’m looking forward to see more ideas from the event being launched in the following weeks!

Even though the event is created around a competition, to win is not the most important thing. By getting together the entrepreneurs build their networks that will help them in their other start ups and as many as 36 % of the businesses are up and running 3 months after the events. Startup Weekend demonstrates the power of people coming together to get stuff done!

I was invited to come and watch the final presentations of the business ideas by a friend. It was very inspiring, especially since I have been curious about these events since watching 24 Hour Business Camp a couple of weeks ago and I’m also inspired by my mentor Heidi, founder of Geek Girl Meetup. I admire people who are just doing things instead of just talking about it.

This what Project Fly is about too. We don’t now what we will do yet, but in two weeks we will start producing real prototypes that can hopefully be launched next year.

Got a lot of inspiration, good contacts but most of all friends here in Buenos Aires and all over the world! Thank you guys for being so welcoming!

What would you never survive without?

The answer is of course food, sleep and water. You would definitely be able to live without advertising campaigns.

Today Jessica Greenwood brought up this question. Our focus in the Fly Garage is to come up with solutions that will be useful for the customer during a long time instead of just trying to get their attention for a short period. The way the advertising industry, if that’s what we should still call it, is heading is towards creating services that are so good that people want to talk about them rather than campaigns that make people go to a service.

This is exactly the approach we have been influenced to have at Hyper Island, I to work like this and I want to continue to do so in the future. I really want to and think I can be part of changing the world and to create useful services that change peoples behavior for the better is definitely a way t do it.

Jessica has shown us a lot of good examples of products like this from around the world today, but one that really stuck was an application from New Zeeland bank Westpac that helps you to impulse save money as easy as it is to impulse shop. This is like a campaign, but it is a product that can be used everyday and it improves the lifes of the target group. Klick here to learn more about the app.

Is the “big-slow-moving” company willing to change?

When i told people I’m going to participate in an innovation project for Kraft Foods many told me things like “Will they really be prepared to change?” “How often does big companies really mean it when they say things like this?”.

To be honest I didn’t know too much about Kraft before. Now when I know a bit more I think that these people don’t knew too much about Kraft either.

Since I learned about the marketing leader of Kraft, Dana Anderson, I believe much more that the company is willing to change. She shows that she understands why they need to change and inspired by other companies that have gone through big changes she seems willing to try some new things at Kraft. Get to know her and here motives in this article from Adweek.

The whole Kraft Food here at Fly Garage in Buenos Aires radiates a curiosity to change. Maria Mujica, marketing director for gum and candies at Kraft, and Jessica Greenwood, director of Contagious insider, among the driving forces behind the project, are truly enthusiastic about the project. We are all very excited to see what we will come up with. As with other innovation incubators we might end up with nothing, but the chance that we will come up with something big is as likely as I see it.

Something is happening in the world for companies and agencies – there is no other way to go than open up, be more transparent and do more good. For agencies this means that we are not longer only working on campaigns to market a product but to go deeper and more holistic and come up with strategies on how to improve the company and sell more stuff that way (have an article on ethics and advertising that I need to read, will get back on that subject).

As I’ve said before, I think Hyper Island has been very good at giving us this holistic view when working on a new brief since we have gotten to try out so many different types of projects, more focused on product development than campaigns. Thank you!

Malla Electrocinética

This is our first warming up exercise at Project Fly.

While walking around Malba I noticed some people standing in the middle of the hallway looking up the ceiling. This caught my curiosity immediately so I joined them and started looking up the ceiling too even if I didn’t know what I was looking at.

At first I didn’t see anything, but being patient for a second paid off. The first thing you see in the ceiling is a net. Your first reaction then is why are they looking at the net? Then, you start noticing that the net is moving. As soon as this happens you are hooked.

The phase of noticing the installation thanks to the people already watching it is like an initiation rite. Afterwards when you keep watching it together you share something. You become like a group of the initiated few who shares the secret and experience together.

The installation is interactive. The audiences interaction with the piece is part of it. This is why I like it – the whole experience of it.

It is very addictive to look at because it speaks directly to your curiosity. The movements are very unpredictable and you have to keep looking to get to see what happens next.

You could compare the slow movements of the net with the nature of trends and change. It is very hard to see changes happen as you look at them because you will slowly get used to what it looks like now. To be able to detect a change you have to compare what it looked like before with they way it looks now. In the same way you almost don’t notice that the net is moving until you realize that it had a different shape a minute ago compared to now.

To watch the net is also very relaxing. it is like watching a creature breath or to watch a heart beat. To feel someone breathe or their hear beats gives us a feeling of security. It is like the feeling you get sleeping close to someone or like the experience we probably had in our mothers womb.

I would like to have a net like this in the ceiling above my bed. It is so relaxing to watch and it would help me go to sleep. Maybe I could project the video in the ceiling…

Watch my presentation here.

Fly Garage and our role as Hyper Island students

Today was my first day in Buenos Aires and the first day with the Fly Garage team. Today I got to meet the team members from Kraft food from all over Latin America. Everybody was really nice, open and happy! I felt very welcome!

I will write more about how my first day and the trip here has been but first I would like to share a bit more about what I will get to do here since, after all, I’m here to do a good job!!!

It was really nice to get to meet the project leader from Kraft and hear some more about the project. During the following weeks we will come up with digital innovations for Kraft food. The team consists of members from Kraft foods, Contagious Magazine, Castro Innovation, Fia and I from Hyper Island and some other creative and technologically oriented people that we will meet on Wednesday. This mix will provide, among many other things, knowledge of the challenges Kraft are facing, creative inspiration and digital media and how to use it. Where Fia and I especially will have a chance to contribute are with the processes for idea generation and creating effective teams.

At Hyper Island we have been working a lot with these things and I can pin point a couple of points where we can provide input.

The team is made up by people who have never worked together before. Here we can help create a more effective team by implementing and share our insights from Susan Wheelan about what happens in different stages and how to help the group moving forward to the next stage. To accomplish this we can also use the feedback and reflection tools Hyper Island has provided us with.

We have a limited time to come up with ideas to make sure that we will get the most out of the time the idea generation needs to be organized. At Hyper Island we have had different workshops throughout the program where we have been trying different ways to get inspired and to choose what ideas to move forward with.

Many people in the team haven’t been working with idea generation in this way before. At Hyper Island we have a few values that helps creating an environment where people feel comfortable to open up and share all their thoughts. It is important to understand that openness creates trust which creates more openness – we need to step out of our comfort zones. To aloud people to do this it is important to state the yes and rule early – never say no to an idea in the open up part of the process. Just build on each others ideas. Then people will be more comfortable sharing.

There are a million things more that we have learned at Hyper Island that I need to sit down and summarize tonight but this is a good start. I’m really looking forward to get to use all this for a real project and what could be better than one like this! It is going on for a limited amount of time, we have a clear goal and they really want to learn from us Hyper Island students!

Until I have worked out the details in more depth, you can watch this video about the Hyper Island walnut. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions!

Peace

/Emilia

Ready for take-off!!!

Hello! I’m at Arlanda waiting for my flight. Will probably spend the next 15 hours + offline so I need to get as much as I can before I get on the plane. Will fly to Paris and from there to Buenos Aires.

This is the first time in so many weeks that I will get a chance to just sit down and do nothing! I’m really looking forward to it. The past four weeks I’ve been both working at MTG as usual and doing an internship at DDB. Also I had a lot of interviews squeezed in between jobs. I haven’t slept more than 5-6 hours a night for the past two weeks. But I had a lot of fun while doing it so it actually didn’t feel that hard! I love what I do! It’s awesome working with something I enjoy doing so much. I have a lot of fun things planned for the flight too. I have Conversational Capital by Sid Lee and How to win Friends and influence people to read and I will write blog posts about them. Of course I will do some reading on Argentina and the people I’m going to meet there! That’s probably what I’m looking forward to the most, to finally get to meet all the people we will be working with!

I also have my notebook with me too (diary sounds to girly to call it, notebook is better, more mature :)). Going to do some reflection on everything that has happened during the past weeks and the year at Hyper Island. A lot of things have happened, I have learned so much and I’m so much more happy about myself than I was before. For the first time I feel like I have something to be proud of, I like myself and I feel that I’m the person I want to be! Just need to remember to keep my head cool and not become too content about myself, that could easily make med feel that I don’t have to fight anymore and that would be the end of this great flow. To think about one self too much would also steel attention from everything that’s going on around me, as a planner I have to listen constantly to keep up with everything that is going on. It’s so important to always stay humble and remember that there is always someone who is better than you and that you are never better than your last project.

I’m suspecting that I will fly business class, nice! Never done that before. I’m going to behave like kid in a candy store. Today I’m wearing my dirty converse and frayed leather jacket, feels totally right in business class 🙂 (on the way out my dad asked me worried if I brought some proper business clothes. Of course I did – suites, shirts and black shoes. I can look proper when I need to, don’t worry.)

See you in Buenos Aires!

Going to Buenos Aires

Hello!

Today I’m going to Buenos Aires! I’m going to participate in an innovation project with Kraft Foods Latin America with Castro Innovation and Contagious Magazine called Fly Garage. While I’m there I’m going to try to learn as much as I can about Digital Media in Latin American.

The most exciting part of this project is that Kraft Food themselves are the initiators and they want us to come up with anything! We have no idea where this will end up!

The second most exciting part is that they have gathered creative people from all around the world for this project. I’m really looking forward to meet them and I hope I will learn a lot.Think we will have a lot of fun together.

I’m going there as a strategist. My favorite vacation is to live abroad and work. Love what I do. It doesn’t feel like working.

Follow my blog and Twitter to see what’s up!

Peace out

/Emilia