2017 Themes: Ecosystems

Ecosystems: a new lens for exploring the intersection of commerce and creativity

Ecosystems: a new lens for exploring the intersection of commerce and creativity

Every year, we choose a new theme to orient discussions, direct our actions and inspire our participants and partners. Over the past few editions of C2 Montréal, our annual theme focused on the people at the heart of business decisions. No man is an island (2013) encouraged collaboration among participants; Choices (2014) highlighted the individual impact of our every move. Last year’s theme marked a slight change in perspective: The Many expressed the shift in influence from the hands of a few to those of innumerable consumers and individual risk-takers.

This year’s theme, Ecosystems, will advance our understanding of the interconnected world we live in. Here are a few ideas and links to get the conversation started.

In 2017, for the sixth edition of the C2 Montréal international business conference, our focus will be on Ecosystems. Throughout this new leg in our journey at the confluence of commerce and creativity, we will contemplate the complex networks and interconnected systems we are part of. Together, we will embark on an in-depth exploration of the trends and transformations that are having a growing impact on business and on our hyperconnected world.

Local conflicts and their resulting migrations have profound repercussions in cities across continents, triggering new approaches in architecture and urbanism. As two billionaires in California wage their battle in the race toward private space travel and Mars, one of them sparks an electric car revolution and drives a new era of industrial policy. Meanwhile, blockchain holds the potential to become the new Internet and to reinvent transactions across all industries, and the ever-closer relationship between social media and VR makes it even easier to accept philosopher (and C2M16 speaker) Nick Bostrom’s proposition that we may well be living in an elaborate computer simulation. Connections are becoming less linear, and networks are becoming more complex. How can business and thought leaders identify and seize the opportunities ahead?


Embracing blurred lines to make new connections
History has shown that important breakthroughs can come from the most unexpected sources. As innovation is increasingly dependent on the fusion of a vast range of skills, beliefs and disciplines, the most creative solutions are the result of the most extreme collisions of ideas as well as the ability to break down barriers between silos. Today, companies need to manage ecosystems of collaborators that are highly complex and interdependent, bridging markets and communities that are both global and local, segmented and complementary.


There is a particularly high degree of relevance to this year’s conference programming, which will enable us to understand the blurring of lines that define traditional industries as well as help us navigate the ever-evolving relationships that connect talent, marketing, entertainment, cities and the next big breakthroughs for humanity.

Through hands-on sessions with peers and inspiring discussions with top leaders and innovators, here are some of the questions we will be exploring in Montréal, May 24-26, 2017 (click on the illustrations for more info and resources):

resize3How do you develop talent in ever-shifting business environments?

resize4What is the new role of the marketer in increasingly complex ecosystems?

resize5How do we reinvent entertainment as the behaviour of the audience evolves?

resize6 Where will the next moonshot come from? What are the next leaps for mankind?

resize7 (1)How do we rethink and redesign our cities?


Living and breathing these themes at C2: questions, collisions and new ideas
Participants will be invited to explore each of those themes separately, but also in collision with one another. For example, intersecting moonshot ideas with the reimagination of cities may lead to a conversation about the future of mobility with self-driving cars, or about designing breathing buildings to reduce their carbon footprint. It may also mean coming together to imagine the first-ever city on Mars. The changing role of the marketer and the reinvention of entertainment will place technology at the center, inspiring new ways of storytelling and engaging the audience. Meanwhile, transversal conversations around talent will allow us to highlight common challenges and pool solutions that could be applied across industries.


Participants will explore these themes through the signature C2 experience: immersing in the openness to diverse ideas and points of view, embracing collisions of ideas with peers, experts, thought leaders and inspiring speakers, taking risks in a reimagined C2 village filled with experimental areas where the context is a metaphor for the topics on hand, and through meaningful play with new and proven learning methodologies.

In everything we do, we bring creativity and commerce together because we believe that for all the challenges in our complex ecosystems today, the power of imagination will lead us to make a dent in the universe we live in, and maybe even make it better while we’re at it.

These reflections will evolve in the next weeks and months. As we share them with you today, they are destined to take on a life of their own. What have we missed? How would you like this conversation to unfold? Who absolutely needs to be a part of it?

Let us know on Twitter and Facebook. We are just getting started.