C2 Montréal

C2 Montréal held their three-day revolutionary conference this past May 24th through the 26th. The inclusive event transforms businesses with a unique blend of commerce, art and creativity. Each year trends are explored and participants have the opportunity to shift their perspectives and explore new ways of doing business.

Over 5,000 executives, entrepreneurs, designers and innovators attend the conference in Montréal yearly.

The conference holds talks, workshops, and festivities. There are laser lights, music, images, videos, and performances that not only engage, but also inspire the audience. This amazing event showcases companies and creative individuals who have the power to innovate and inspire. In Montréal, innovation, creativity, and knowledge fuels commerce. The three-day conference had powerful and thoughtful topics and discussions.


The first speakers were Tim Brown and Paul Bennett from IDEO, a global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations innovate and grow. They have a strong emphasis on new forms of collaborative creation. IDEO has recently joined Kyu, a very interesting collective of creative companies owned by the Tokyo-based Hakuhodo DY Holdings. They have formed a new kind of collective with the underlying capacity of creativity as a force to propel the economy and society forward into the future.


  • James Jackson from Intel highlighted Intel’s support of the maker movement. Humans have an innate need to create and creativity vision, tools, and knowledge can provide the framework for new forms of entrepreneurialism based on products and services that individuals can create. People have become more focused on working and creating together and open standards are important for the maker movement.
  • He emphasized how important it is to communicate and share among different backgrounds globally and the importance of teams. Intel wants to support the long tail of innovation and simplifying solutions for people to use. The common theme was how to empower the many.

Joanna Pena-Bickley

Joanna Pena-Bickley, Global Chief Creative Officer, IBM Interactive Experience spoke on the new Global Age of Enlightenment. She welcomes everyone to the Cognitive Era. Today, data is our most valuable resource. Ninety percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years and the creation of data is growing exponentially. Cognitive computing gives us more computational capability, which gives us a way to understand the data, harness it for human use, which may result in giving people more time.

Dr. Kate Darling

Dr. Kate Darling of MIT Media Lab and Fellow, Harvard Berkman Center, demonstrated the power of artificial intelligence, physicality and movement incorporated into machines. People respond to other physical beings. Our brains are biologically programmed to relate to things that move on their own. She discussed her current research investigating social robotics and conducting experimental studies on human-robot interaction. The key concerns are privacy and social responsibility and she is striving to influence technology design and policy direction, which will become core issues as robots become more human like in the future.

“Innovations that will arrive shortly in the future are self-driving cars, medical decision support, and facial recognition.”

Prediction by: Professor Nick Bostrom, Professor of Philosophy, Oxford University and Director, Future of Humanity Institute.

Harley Finkelstein

Harley Finkelstein, COO, Shopify, spoke of the future of retail and his projections for the next 5 years. There is a shift from large businesses to individuals creating businesses using services like Shopify. In the past, the main resource needed to create new businesses was capital. Technology has become so cheap and ubiquitous that everyone can now compete as entrepreneurs with very little start-up capital. In order to compete for talent, which is now the scarce resource, businesses must learn to be inclusive for employees. All employees have to feel ownership of what they are doing. Teams have to feel connected and feel like they belong. The culture is extremely important and when people can work in beautiful environments, people can be more creative. He discussed how retail is evolving and how the consumer is dictating what will sell and what brands will thrive. Customers can buy anything 24/7 on their mobile devices on Facebook as well in physical stores.

What an eye opening conference! C2 has combined art, music, story telling, networking, creativity, and powerful experiences, while demonstrating that creativity and talent will be the key ingredients for commercial power in the world that we are all creating and connecting together, inspiring change and innovation. Looking forward to next year!

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