innovate through gaming

28 Sep

Jane McGonigal  says gaming can make a better world. Challenging people now with games that endorse problems of the future can save us from having them. Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? By spending all this time playing games we are actually changing what we are capable of as human beings, we are evolving to be more collaborative.

Games are a super powerful platform for change. I came to think that we actually have super hero powers. Genius! Jane McGonigal@TED explains how.

the ADseries

14 Sep

Is it just me or are we all starting to like long commercials? Or, in other words, is the quality of the content that has risen? Or simply just because we are told a longer story? We’ve been fed up with huge amounts of short ads that we’ve learned to avoid not just by pushing the ‘next’ button on the remote control but by blocking them subconsciously. We need no physical instruments for that anymore. It is just like getting used to living near by railroads. Pretty soon, you simply don’t here anything anymore.

In the same time, we became better and better in absorbing whatever interests us more. So why would we need longer ads?!? Just because, it’s the story that we crave for! On the other side, we started watching more series and shorts than movies. But that is also because we want more stories in our time-lack daily life. Blink! Advertisers thought, if that is the lenght that we are happy with than why not transforming the ‘flashy 15 /22 seconds ad’ in a real story.

Some of them did and I believe there are still more to come. ADseries, that’s what we’re on to. I, for myself, am pleased with this. Fellows, keep it coming! Take a look at these 2 fresh ones from Dior and Absolut. Are we gonna have posters for ads now? Are we, are we, are we? Cool!

open air opera

10 Jun
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Landholder Larina is sitting in the garden together with her old nurse Filipjewna. While her daughters Tatjana and Olga are singing she remembers her youth and her first love. Homecoming singing peasants interrupt her reminiscence. Tatjana is saddened by the peasants’ singing and she immerses herself in a book. Olga is unable to relate to her shy and withdrawn sister who is forever hiding among books. Larina complains about Tajana’s conduct and assures her that the heroes of her books do not really exist.

This is how the beautiful story of Peter I. Tschaikowsky’s Eugen Onegin starts. All tickets in the Staatsoper in Berlin have been sold out long time ago. But it doesn’t matter because on the 5th of June one could enjoy free live opera in open air, projected on a huge screen, just side by side with the opera building. It was the last show of the season.

I can’t say I am an opera connaisseur but seeing one of the most famous opera pieces in the world while sitting with my friends on a blanket, drinking red wine and eating cheese and while tens of other people around you are doing exactly the same…let’s say it gives one a totally different perspective on what opera is all about.

A lot of young, some lost stubborn tourists and old couples who didn’t run away from placing their posteriors on the uncomfortable cement, where spending 3 hours being amazed by the great performance . Make up and props were very interesting, giving a ‘contemporary’ dimension to the ‘old’ piece.

Onegin remains behind, desperate and alone. The show ends and the square starts applauding. In just a few seconds the actors come out of the Staatopera building to bow to the audience outside.

I must say bravo Berlin, you enchanted me with this cultural event and thank you for bringing opera to my eyes and ears. I guess many of us who were there wouldn’t have had the intention to enter the opera for this event. I am glad I didn’t miss it!

By the way, BMW was sponsoring the whole event and this is why at a certain point we started seeing a few flying horses on the sky of Berlin. Sure, helium balloons shaped like horses. Funny guerilla though!
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co.working

20 May

For those unfamiliar with the concept, co-working is about bringing businesses together into a shared work environment. It’s like a collective of people coming from different fields who choose to share the same work space. It ranges from people working together in someone’s living room, to dedicated co-working spaces with dozens or even hundreds of businesses all under one roof.

Besides having the advantages of an office space without having to shoulder the cost themselves, this idea kind of brings crowd sourcing and social networks to the offline world. The interaction ranges between just physically sharing the space to common brainstorming sessions and replacing suppliers with the members of the community.

Living in Berlin now and having the honor to interview some of the best innovation managers in the world, it’s become even more clear to me that we are dealing with an important shift. From online to offline – yes, even if it doesn’ t look like, somehow the number of offline experiences is slowly increasing in terms of value. And more importantly a turn towards open innovation is taking place. This not only means giving power to the consumers and asking them what they think the product should be like but mostly approaching the ideation process from various, even extreme environments that at first glance have nothing to do with the researched topic. This is why I think co-working and being surrounded also by people who don’t belong to your field brings the best insights and is the best thing that could happen to your business.

And what if the next step will be the death of competition and sharing knowledge will make the world a better place? Till then you can read here the pragmatic view on co-working, via mashable: Ultimately, I feel the future of co-working lies in an organic, adaptable business ecosystem. Instead of an accounting department, you have fifteen accounting businesses with varying specialties. The same goes for marketing, legal, and any other specialty a business could need. When you begin combining the resources of large corporations with the flexibility and speed of start-ups, the possibilities are astounding.

the 1st interactive movie via voice recognition

18 Mar
We may not realize but all technology innovations out there actually make us be more in control. Think about it. It’s scary but soon we will be exposed to even more information than now and the environment will have various functions as it’s going to become multi-touch enabled. We will do whatever we want with the things around us. Oh…you don’t like the view from your bedroom window? No problem! As the window will be a hyperlink and you will be always online you can just touch it and draw a shade on it or even apply your favorite wallpaper.

Until then, you can control the movies that you watch. 13th Street in Germany, the action and suspense channel, has been running movie trailers with a difference in cinemas and international film festivals, encouraging audiences to turn their phones on. In Last Call, the first interactive movie trailer in the world, members of the audience are able to interact with the protagonist. The experience is set up with a flyer inviting viewers to send their phone numbers to a speed dial code when they buy their ticket. The moment the female protagonist takes out her phone to call someone who might be able to help her, the film’s controlling software contacts one of the submitted mobile phone numbers. Once the viewer picks up, he or she hears the actress tell him/her she would be lost without him/her. Then, the person has to help her escape by choosing a path through the old, rundown sanatorium, helping her decide whether or not she should help other victims to flee the scene. Take a look!
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Feedly, RSS in a sleek magazine layout

1 Mar
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Feedly describes itself as “magazine-like startpage.” When it launched in August 2008, it was labeled just “an alternative interface for Google Reader.” But it is definitely more than that for the design lovers. It instantly synchronizes with your Google Reader and in a minute you have a beautiful layout that feels like a virtual magazine with your selected articles. And if you give it another minute to prioritize your sources you will always have a sleek looking front page with your latest most important news.

With the launch of Feedly Mini, a mini bar that hovers at the bottom of the screen as you surf through blogs on the web, the service has become a much more inclusive blog reading companion. Feedly Mini integrates Twitter, FriendFeed, Google Search, Mozilla’s Ubiquity, and more. I love this mini bar as you can share the content of a web page through your social networks, send it by email or add it to your RSS feeds just by one click. It’s like a web assistant this time not annoying! Wow!

In reality, it’s probably the minority of internet users that use RSS readers. And if
you’re not using one, you’re probably spending way more time reading a lot less than the rest. If you fall into this category, here is an article that could convince you to use one:5 Reasons Why RSS Readers Still Rock!


the fairy tales hut

13 Feb
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The bell rings. The red curtain lifts…once upon a time there was a hut somewhere in the land of Poland. Abandoned, with only a couple of crows living there, the hut was slowly loosing its initial glow. But suddenly some people came and saw its fading beauty, picked it up and brought it to the land of Germany, in Berlin. So it found its place in a beautiful little park, called Monbijou Park, along the river Spree. Slowly, the hut came back to life and started to tell fairy tales to people. Yes, fairy tales!

So if you visit
rchentte, on its name (trad. Fairy Tale Hut), it will make you feel its story and its charm. In our days, the fairy tales are told for adults sitting around at wooden tables, drinking mulled wine and eating delicious soups or cakes at candlelight. The actors are there in the front but so close that you feel like you are part of the play. And when you look outside the window with the lace curtain you can see the snow easily falling down, covering the big trees, sucking you away from the city life.
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Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, or Snow White are just a few of the tens of tales adapted for adults that one can see every single day of the week. Thursdays is gay’s special evening called Pink Grimm when all the tales’ characters are played by men. Sure, we shouldn‘t forget that we are still in Berlin!
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Then it gets late and you go through the gate of fairy tales back to your land into the drizzly Berlin winter, taking something with you…a sigh, a memory, a smile … because they lived happily ever after.