ThoughtBasin

Connecting students looking to make a difference with organizations looking for difference-makers. www.thoughtbasin.com

RECAP: A Panel on Innovation and Creativity

Back for another round. ThoughtBasin has put together a second successful panel for all you entrepreneurs and innovators in Montreal! This time around the topic surrounded the idea of innovation and creativity. Like most panels, it featured a conversation surrounding the basis of how the panelists found their inspiration. Unlike most panels, this one found its grounding in the witty/sarcastic comments made between the panelists (think the cast of This is the End minus the Apocalypse), which made it all the more relatable to the audience.

The Panelists. So whose wisdom were we lucky enough to steal?

  • Risa Dickens – Senior Community Manager for Yelp in Montreal (far right)
  • Peter Davison – Co-Founder and CMO of Trendr (white dress shirt on the left)
  • Christine Renaud – CEO of Montreal-based start-up, E-180 (far left)
  • Brendan Sera-Shriar (aka. Digibomb) –  Co-Founder and CCO of Brendan & Brendan (wearing the “Keep Marketing Fun” shirt)
  • Francois Gosselin – Co-Founder of -f. & co  and C2MTL Ambassador (back)
  • Benoit Mathieu –  VP Costumes and Creative Spaces, Creative Content of Cirque du Soleil (front)


The Wisdom. The close-to-2-hour conversation circled a various number of topics including: inspiration, pushing oneself, creativity within one’s job, a rant on the current state of education, and many more, but there were a few points that definitely struck a chord with me. These all came from separate panelists, and weren’t a stated unanimous consensus, but each insight was strong.

  1. Creativity doesn’t solely mean the design or concept behind a product but also the recruitment of resources and its marketing strategy
  2. Innovation is interdisciplinary.
  3. While it isn’t obvious, Timing is everything.
  4. When it comes to marketing, you’re teaching the public. They need to be told what they like, what to eat, what they need, what to wear, what to listen to, what to wear, etc. (so… basically everything.)
  5. Regret is a waste of time.
  6. You need to have a balance in your life. You’re bound to go through ups and downs, but you need to relax and enjoy the ride.

A Question with some Answers. What is one piece of advice you have for aspiring entrepreneurs? (in 10 seconds or less… which didn’t really happen.)
     Benoit: Trust your Guts.
     Risa: Work harder than you thought you had to & get more advice.
     Peter: Believe in yourself 100%. The earlier you do so, the faster everything else will be. Understand the value of your product to others.
     Francis: Be bold – if you don’t try, you’ll never know. (Insert Nike’s “Just do it.” slogan)
     Christine: 3-fold: 1. Start now. 2. Start small 3. You have to love/ care deeply about what you do
     Brendan: 2 points in one: Stop talking and start listening. Listen to what others have to say but do what you want to do.


Last Words. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
     Risa: People are incredibly generous with their knowledge and resources, you just have to ask.
     Peter: It’s a lot easier to talk to celebrities than you know.
     George (of Trendr): Anything that ISN’T obvious, is.
     Michael (of Trendr): Failure is the best way to learn.
     Brendan: Respect money – what it can do for you and where it comes from.
     Benoit: Before making any life-altering career decisions, consider these factors (try to get 3/5): Pay, What you will learn, Your relationship with “the boss”, The team you’ll be working with, How much fun you’ll have


So there you have it. They have imparted some knowledge upon you, now go forth and create.

Looking for more talks on innovation? Check out what TED Talks has to say on the topic here.

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2 comments on “RECAP: A Panel on Innovation and Creativity

  1. The Poet
    September 17, 2013

    Good stuff! Thanks for having us. Anytime you have another one let us know.

  2. rogerhuang2013
    September 17, 2013

    Will do, Brendan!

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