MIP Junior. It’s one of the industry’s favorite places to play and work. What is it about a place that stimulates ideas? Is it the people that populate it? The location? The time of year? Is it the content or the context? We’re all smart enough to answer “all of the above.” Whether we’re making movies, toys, games or connections, the secret sauce of success is never just one ingredient.
Unfortunately, unlike Jeremy and so many others, I am not in Cannes right now. But in my quest to soak up some of the creative energy that zings through rooms filled with brilliant people and new ideas, I revisited the MoMA, one of my own favorite places to be energized.
The current MoMA exhbition Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000, inspired by social theorist Ellen Key’s book underscores the convergence of places, products and people. Key predicted a new child-centric shift in culture, and as the exhibit highlights, toys, books, play spaces, schools, and even political propaganda all play into the experience. (NB: if you’re in NYC, don’t miss this; otherwise visit the website for an insightful overview.)
Thinking like a child is the greatest creative stimulant besides acting like a child. What do children do? They play. Toys, games, and stories keep us young, as well as in touch with our “users.” But kids also feel small among large, all-knowing adults. They try to figure out the rules, sit with the grownups, make their voices heard. And so it goes at MIP (or any conference for that matter). Even the most secure and esteemed of us have moments when we wonder if anyone’s listening; if our next appointment is going to show up; if our ideas are on target. Large gatherings of industry rockers can reduce us all to children. Hoping to be liked, wanting to make friends, having to wait our turns.
But if you think of the whole experience like a child, it’s all good. You could finally master circle time. You could learn to laugh louder. Listen better. Collaborate. Try something new. Or, all of the above. This is your time to play. And your place to shine.
Wishing I were there instead of at: firstname.lastname@example.org.