Three new subversive treats for the eyes and the creative mind:
The Take: Occupy. Resist. Produce. There have been several movies made about the anti-corporatism movement, but The Take, a new documentary from Naomi Klein (nologo) and Avi Lewis (son and grandson of the former NDP leaders, and producer of Counterspin), is different. Its heroes don’t just protest, they take charge. The website intro says it perfectly):
In the wake of Argentinaís spectacular economic collapse in 2001, Latin Americaís most prosperous middle class finds itself in a ghost town of abandoned factories and mass unemployment. In suburban Buenos Aires, thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start the silent machines. But this simple act óthe take óhas the power to turn the globalization debate on its head. The directors take viewers inside the lives of ordinary visionaries, as they reclaim their work, their dignity and their democracy.
What they mean by “turning globalization on it’s head” is that, instead of striking, withholding services, the people’s best response to corporatism is insisting on working, not allowing the government-corporate hegemony, what Lewis’ grandfather called “the corporate welfare class”, to deprive workers of their right to decent jobs. Watch the trailer. And if you can’t see the movie in your theatres, you’ll soon be able to buy it on the website. Think of it as an investment in the movement, and in Canada’s venerable National Film Board, a wonderful example of the value of government support of independent media.
I’ve realized that this is what is missing from by book Natural Enterprise, perhaps the ‘hook’ it needs to attract a publisher: A manifesto for how taking the economy into our own hands, and wrenching it away from the conspiracy of thieves who run it today will benefit the vast majority, and perhaps save our world in the process. As Klein says puts it: “Argentina is supposedly this heavily indebted country that owes everything to the world. What people in Argentina are saying is ‘actually, you owe us, weíve been subsidizing you.’ And theyíre not just saying it, theyíre acting on it. And to me thatís the future of activism.”
On the Day the World Ends: Here’s a stunning example of poetry combined with film, brought to you by Adbusters. I’ve got to learn to do this. Just watch.
Free the Genie: Creative thinking from a small partnership of innovation consultants called Idea Champions. Fifty-five hints to stimulate creativity and lateral thinking are posted on cards. You can deal one out online (like the one pictured above). You can buy ($20) the whole deck and deal yourself a hand to provoke your thinking in real space. You can even have the deck installed on your corporate intranet so everyone can use it to get their right brains moving. I’ve read through quite a few of the cards and the quality is uniformly excellent. A great deal of thought and work has obviously gone into their development.
The Idea Champions website is one of the finest sites I have ever seen — cleverly designed, well laid out, aesthetically attractive, content-rich, stimulating, and it makes full use of the visual and interactive aspects on the online experience. I’ve been exchanging e-mails with Idea Champion Mitch Ditkoff, and I’m really hooked. There are hours of useful and fascinating guidance on their website, all of it smartly written. The free downloads are great fun, and having fun at work is clearly a hallmark of the group’s philosophy. The FAQ is hilarious, and you actually feel you’ve got to know the people at Idea Champions by the time you finish it. And one of their products, Innovator 2.0, includes a ‘collaboration space’ to allow shared creative activities. Readers will know I’m a skeptic about whether an ‘online collaboration tool’ is even possible, but if anyone can pull this off, they can. I’m also astonished that they can make ends meet in today’s anti-innovation business climate.
I’m hoping to get a peek into the inside workings of Idea Champions, and an opportunity to meet with their team. If I can, I’ll report more here on How to Save the World. Meanwhile, if your company recognizes the value of creative thinking and innovation, check these guys out.