C2 is a literal circus, with a “360 Big Top” mainstage, and Cirque du Soleil as a founding partner, inspired by creative agency Sid Lee. It’s the anti-conference… conference. A cacophony of ideas and inspiration, C2 can feel like a mirror maze of surprising rooms and activities. It is an incredibly ambitious event where the lines between commerce & creativity, marketing & entertainment, learning & socializing, composers & futurists all blur together.
Aside from experiencing Joel Beckerman’s Big Top performance and fireside chat and co-leading the Man Made Music Masterclass on the emotional power of sound to drive business growth with MMM Director of Strategy Kristen Lueck — my goal for the conference was simple: to be inspired with new ideas to fuel our future work at MMM. In my role of EVP, Chief of Innovation, doing things never done before is a key part of my job description. I help us, and our clients, understand how music and sound can be used in more effective and impactful ways.
I’m an inspiration junkie. So it was both inspiring and gratifying to be at C2, not only to hear new ideas, but to also get confirmation that we’re on the right track at Man Made Music. I found that so much of what we strive for was reflected in the C2 mission that Sid Lee & C2 Chairman, Jean-François Bouchard, spoke to as he opened the conference.
Here’s a soundbite:
Business as usual is no longer possible. Commerce should be positive and transformative, but it’s not always. Business people can’t stand on the sidelines. We need to recognize that new ideas are required. The needs of business and society are/should be perfectly aligned. Together we reject the boundaries that exist between business and creativity, society and people. We need to create ecosystems. Choose collaboration over competition and to think long term.
His words immediately got me thinking about our idea of Sonic Humanism — that sound should be utilized to make people’s lives better, first and foremost. Sonic Humanism not only informs how we approach our client work, but also our passion projects. At Made Made Music it’s no secret that we have big efforts underway to help save lives in healthcare. Our primary focus is on alarm fatigue — the thousands of daily alarms on any given hospital floor make it impossible for hospital staff to keep up with or prioritize patient needs. We believe that, despite the complexities of adoption and integration, this issue can be solved with an open-sourced set of standardized Brand Navigation Sounds® that convey both meaning and urgency in the exact same way, every time, everywhere. We’ve committed to be part of the solution with an open-sourced platform in market by 2022. Joel has said, “our contribution to solving Alarm Fatigue could be the most important thing we ever do at Man Made Music.” We believe that collaborative ecosystems of businesses coming together will be stronger than acting alone, which is why we’re already working with some top hospital networks.
It’s both validating and inspiring, to see the principles of our work reflected in key themes of C2. It brings additional energy and ambition to our efforts. Conferences are meant to be fun & serious, entertaining & inspiring, and C2 is all of that. Steve Wozniak’s highly engaging fireside chat near the end of the conference was the perfect palette cleanser. His final message was one of raw emotion and humility. He advocated for following passions, not money, for being kind and generous, and to follow a simple formula for success: Happiness = Smiles – Frowns.
Kevin Perlmutter is EVP, Chief of Innovation at Man Made Music. He leads the expansion of services to deepen our ongoing commitment to creating business, brand and cultural impact. You can comment, follow him or start a conversation on Twitter @KevinPerlmutter, LinkedIn or Email.