The International Association of Business Communicators’ EuroComm 2013 in Brussels drew to a close a few days ago. And, predictably enough, given all the planning and hard work that went into preparing it, the event was a resounding success. The conference slogan – Disruptive Communication for Disruptive Times – sought to convey both the inescapable uncertainties and the huge opportunities that face professional communicators who are seeking a way to convey their messages through the (dis)information blizzard.
Communicators from around the region will gather in Brussels from April 10-12 this year for Eurocomm 2013. The event will focus on “Disruptive Communication for Disruptive Times” as communicators are continuously facing change in their environment, tools, and their very companies.
Being held in Brussels, the event presents an opportunity to look at how the Commission and Parliament are adapting to change and to ask questions about the upcoming elections.
For several years, ZN has been actively involved in IABC, with several members on the Belgian board as well as in the region. “It is a great opportunity to meet fellow communicators, find out about their challenges and learn from each other,” says Philip Weiss, IABC Chair for Europe, Middle East and North Africa.
Eurocomm will have 18 minute inspiring talks (borrowed from TED), a Pecha Kucha style event – where everyone can put their story forward – and hands-on workshops that IABC is known for.
This year, 2 000+ TEDx-sters descended on Bozar and 20 000+ tuned-in online for another great edition of TEDxBrussels. Just like the theme, it kicked off with a BANG! Steve Wozniak gave the opening speech, Scala and the Kolacny Brothers graced us with their angelic voices, and, one after the other, amazing speakers shared unexpected stories! Just brilliant.
If you’ve been following the progression of TEDxBrussels over the last 4 years, you will have noticed a subtle shift from “sharing ideas” to doing them. This was made more visible this year’s with the REMIXit! campaign, which enabled TEDx-sters to participate in the creation of ideas… and this is only the beginning! Next year we are planning to bring a greater variety of disciplines to TEDxBrussels by inviting philosophers and social scientists! Plus, we are going to help TEDx-sters meet each other and network.
TEDxBrussels is becoming a more influential platform to launch ideas. Last year, TEDx-sters witnessed the first British Paraorchestra. Just a few months ago they supported Cold Play at the Paralympics! This year, the talk that’s on every journalists radar is by Dr. Alan Greene on optimizing umbilical cord clamping. It received a standing ovation from TEDx-sters, clearly winning their support and it appeared in headlines the following day.
Also, right after TEDxBrussels, members of the European Commission and industry met with TEDx speakers for TEDxEU, to see how they could incorporate these big ideas in technology, health, and education policy. The conference led to very interesting discussions that peaked the Commission’s interests.
Evidently, TEDxBrussels is evolving into a significant platform with a pro-active community – you are probably part of it.
If however, you were unable to watch this year’s inspiring talks, here are my highlights to get you started.
Networking has become a very important skill in our work as communicators. For many year, I have been personally involved with many organisations and networks, one of them has been the focus of a great deal of work. It is IABC, the International Association of Business Communicators, of which I am now Chair for the Europe and Middle East region.
The network has been very useful in helping me meet interesting people, introduce clients to peers and learn new skills. In fact, it was through IABC that I met several authors who helped me get my publishing contract with Gower for my book. Coincidentally, (hrmm) “Hyperthinking” will hit the shelves of every good bookstore near you by the end of the month.
IABC also put me in contact with several clients. However, its most important benefit is that it has served as an open communication channel for a variety of people who bring new ideas and perspectives to the table. It has also helped me engage with many EU officials in an open and informal way.
Many of us , in fact hundreds of millions of people around the world watched the closing ceremony of the Paralympics2012 in London earlier this fall. The climax of the ceremony saw a newly formed orchestra of 17 disabled musicians playing along Coldplay and Rihanna. The moment touched the global community undoubtedly, but for the few of us who witnessed the full journey of it, it was even more inspiring.
The story goes back one year, when Charles Hazlewood brought 4 musicians with disabilities to perform for the first time in front of a public, at TEDxBrussels2011. The group beautifully improvised and interpreted the traditional British tune – “Green sleeves” and left the audience speechless. That was the moment when we all got to hear their daring vision: “Every country should have a paraorchestra of all shapes and all sizes. No question about that. So here is our paraorchestra. Where’s yours?”.
TEDxBrussels 2012 – Monday, November 12th 2012 at Bozar 9AM – 7PM
This year, the theme of TEDxBrussels is Bits, Atoms, Neurons and Genes (or BANG BANG as we’re calling it). BANG BANG represents the combination between an evolving mesh of ideas and practices, and a rich mixture of citizens, scientists and culture. The annual event covers subjects such as innovative technology, development, sustainability and the environment – so there’s something for everyone.
TEDxBrussels brings world-class speakers to the heart of Europe to perform in front of a very lively audience. To coincide with this phenomenon, over 1800 “TEDsters” migrate to Brussels every year, answering some deep seeded need to push the frontiers of knowledge. If you haven’t experienced the mind-boggling phenomena, we encourage you to try it – you won’t be the same.
Next week, there will be an opportunity for communicators to dig deeper into the challenges and opportunities created by the rise of social media.
This conference created by Luke Brynley Jones – @lbrynleyjones, founder and blogger of oursocialtimes.com, is taking place in Brussels for the first time on Wednesday 26 September, for more information go to: Social CRM 2012.
The name itself raises questions that marketeers are dealing with everyday. What is the impact of social technologies on our marketing, and how can we adapt our strategy to make the most of these tools? More practically, how can move to a ‘social’ form of CRM, where a brand can connect to its customers through a multiplicity of channels?
Before leaving for the mass migration that takes place every summer in Brussels, Place Flagey (the up and coming new creative hub of Brussels and incidentally where the ZN offices are located) was the scene of something unexpected. The European Commission organised an event to celebrate its educational exchange programme called Marie-Curie.
In a rather inspired move, they connected the usual format of a big get together with the increasingly successful TED format, joining hands with some members of the TEDxBrussels team to give it the famous 18 minutes touch!
I had the opportunity to attend the event and get my own 18 minutes on stage, on the subject of Hyperthinking and how shifting paradigm and creative thinking are the key tools to building a successful career in the 21st century.
Check out my presentation in this video:
If your organisation is trying to influence European policymakers, then we have an amazing event coming up for you!
Join ZN and ComRes on 10 May to hear the latest findings on how MEPs and EU legislators use social media and the web. Facebook and the European Commission will join our panel discussion to explore and assess the research.
Social Media in EU Institutions will take place Thursday 10 May 2012 at 17:00 in the European Commission’s 10 Rue Guimard, Room 1.
Quick, save yourself a seat! As they are going fast.
Being a European Commission venue, all attendees must first undertake a security check, so please register before Monday 7 May 2012 and have your passport number to hand.
And of course, there will be drinks and an opportunity to catch up with familiar faces after the discussion.
We look forward to seeing you there.
ZN is part of a cool social media event on the horizon in Brussels on 25 October 2011. Philip Weiss, ZN’s chief HyperTh!nker and evangelist will be exploring, along with a team of online specialists, from corporate, institutional and consulting worlds, whether social media really can help you manage in a crisis.
Do not miss this unique event, find out more and register for this event.