This afternoon the CCDP or Kulturudvalget in Danish, came to visit us. Here in the official website of the Parlament explains about their trip. It was very interesting to meet this people. I was the only foreign, so everything was in Danish, which it was hard for me to follow as my command in Danish is still shaky :)
So 10 people from this Committee came and we were 4 academics, my supervisor, another professor and two PhD’s (including me).
My supervisor talked more in general about the experience economy and the projects done in Frederikshavn. The Comittee was very interested, and they asked many questions. My coworkers were very glad how the meeting went.
H.P. my fellow PhD student, also made a presentation they liked. I’m including my presentation, it’s a very small one and it had to very fast as the time was almost consumed, but at least you can see a little of what I talked about.
For me it’s very interesting how these people in the goverment, from different parties, are interested and get engaged in what people are doing in their “Kingdom”. I’m very happy to be in a project that it’s important, not only at local/regional level, but national too.

Well it seems today SlideShare does not work. So I will updated it in another time. I have recently updated the RSA Presentation, today I saw 106 people had view the presentation since I put it, too bad no one has left any comment.

Here is the power point presentation I prepared for the conference. It was really exciting and I meet many great people in the conference. It’s so exciting to find that many other academics are studying these issues. I also enjoyed the atmosphere of Prague.

In my presentation there were 3 other presentations, and I got 3 or 4 questions that I loved to answer. Many never heard about the “experience economy” so it was nice to see their faces.

For one month I have been a phd student. One of the subjects to analyze during my studies will be the experience economy, so I have been studying the issue for a while. Reading at the economics section of the newspaper today (like this article), I can clearly see what I have been thinking during two years, a economis slowdown is approaching. I did not know how big is going to be, in fact nobody knows, but things might get serious. I mean is quite distressing, for example the stocks of Sturbucks (the  most repeated example about experience economy), falling to 15$ a share when it was almost 40$ 2 years ago. Of course, the stockmarket it’s not a place to measure the experience economy, is just an example.

So it kept me thinking. How is this economic downturn going to affect the experience economy? I have been recently surfing the net for answers and I found people in this field are also concern about it. Stephanie Weaver’s blog, two months ago, asked the question

What happens when the experience economy meets the recession economy?”

And invited several important people to answer as guest bloggers. Even Joe Pine participated. Probably all have a bias to answer everything will be fine, I mean history experts are not that well paid :) But I think they make some good points.

I think this subject can be related with the discussion about innovation. The other day I was watching a small video with the P&G CEO Lafley on innovation and recession (uploaded on April 17, 2008). He claimed something like innovation will always be in their strategy (it would be weird for him to say otherwise), and I think he’s right. In my thinking, Innovation is about surviving, not about making huge profits. Therefore my conclussion about the experience economy, is that business before had to keep their eyes out to improve their business in the fields of products, services and experiences. Now with a slowdown, it would not make sense to forget about offering experiences and solely concentrate in products and services.  

I do not want you to think Joel Kotkin is not a smart guy. But I think the guys behind him are even more smart. Here is one example, of how the PR backed him up as shown in an official site: “US writer slams city for pushing out middle class. Note that this is English, of course it has been much more widespread in Danish. I’m sure the organizers of the visit of Florida in Vejle, the business development part of the Kommune (Municipality), are quite amazed at the moves of the Danish Industry.

There it is the battle against the kommunes and the industry. In my last post I was kind of hard on Kotkin, but I will give him credit.

I have the term “experience economy” in Google Alerts, so anytime someone with some type of authority is talking about it, I know. The other day I came across a Bent Rook’s post on Greenville Online, the blog says: “Evidence-based economic development shows a direct parallel between successful and vibrant communities and strong support of the arts.” That made me think about Kotkin who argued that economy comes always first and then arts, and made me wonder if there would also be a “direct parallel” between Starbucks coffee and successful communities.

Therefore, we should be careful when we talk about the experience economy. We need to keep in focus, that the experience economy it’s not something that takes or will take the economy. Although, of course is worth to study. I would have to say, though, that sometimes I’m quite uncomfortable with the term “experience economy” and I’d rather use a term like “experiences level”, where the “goods and services levels” coexist. Let’s see what happens.

Prudent

April 14, 2008

I told my supervisor about the idea of writing a blog, and she cautioned me to be prudent with my blogging Also, to only use it as a way to relax, but not to work, which is understandable. Actually, I have many things now to read and specially to write.

I would write notes on everything I read, and for the ones I found interesting, I would upload them here. Soon I will upload some of the things I have lately wrote. Two people had already told me that one of the keys to sucessfully do the phd, is to give the same importance to writing than to reading. Meaning, reading and writing about the same time, and not only reading. So, is in it a blog the best thing to write? :)

Right now I’m pretty busy organizing and writing my presentation for the RSA Conference in Prague this next month. It will deal with the Experience Economy and the Innovation Systems.