The Socializers
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Posts Tagged ‘ peter economides ’

The speakers at NIC 2012 – The National Innovation Conference today were truly inspirational.

About The Conference: The NIC 2012 conference IS a living community of inspired, successful and unique people who believe in Greece and the potential of Greeks. Every person at this conference is at the center of a community, a parea, a unique network that has tremendous vitality. For an example of a very dynamic slice of those present, check out the 40 Under 40, an esteemed list of young Greek leaders in North America who have excelled in their respective business endeavors and who simultaneously strive to make the world around them a better place through community involvement, philanthropy and/or volunteerism. WHEN such networks are activated fully, Greece truly will realize itself, to quote Peter Economides, as the “apple of the Mediterranean.”

George M. Logothetis, Head of the Libra Group, stood out as a leader that could very well take the helm of Greece itself. He said, “Greece is an ancient society that has overcome many difficulties. Greece just needs the ceiling of negativity and cynicism to be lifted. Let us talk about what Greece can be.” The house filled with applause at this statement by Mr. Logothetis. He went on to quote his grandfather, who said, “The impossible I can do. It is miracles that will take a little longer.”

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Paul Efmorfidis, founder of Coco-Mat Beds, encouraged the audience to “Look around you. What is around you? Work with that.” Mr. Efmorfidis went on to speak of a good business, a business that can say, “We are proud of what we are doing. Our doors are open. We do not have secrets.” Efmorfidis also insisted that “we have to be alert in this life…we have to be awake.”

THE PHILANTHROPRENEURISM PANEL: A panel discussed Philanthropreneurism, focusing on how Greeks can use entrepreneurship and new technology for the benefit of Greece. The panel included Basil Mossaidis, Director of Ahepa; Endy Zemenides, Exec. Director of Hellenic American Leadership Council; Emanuel Manoussakis, Co-Founder & CEO of Groopio.com; John Pyrovolakis, Exec. Director of Innovation Accelerator; Loukas Pilitsis, CEO of Piraeus Equity Partners at Piraeus Bank; and Kostas Mallios, VP, Intellectual Ventures.

QUOTES AND THEMES FROM THE PHILANTHROPRENEURISM PANEL:

“Think positive and be realistic.”

“Make sure creativity does not get lost during the process of setting up a new business.”

“Young professionals in Greece are choosing to live with family or groups of friends and become entrepreneurs vs. working for increasingly low wages or jobs where pay never arrives.”

“Social networks are in the DNA of Greeks.”

“Mentorship of young entrepreneurs in Greece is crucial.”

“One of the most actionable steps in the short term: familiarize young Greeks with how to connect with funding and wealth.”

“We are living a technological revolution in Greece.”

“The Israeli innovation model is what applies in Greece.”

“We need a true innovation eco-system in Greece.”

“Israelis push for leaders, they cultivate leaders, they push young leaders. This is the model we must also choose.”

“We must find leading students and teach them, involve them in internships, mentor them.”

“We must train and cultivate young Greek leaders here in America and then send them back to Greece.”

“The private sector should lead Greece.”

“We must have successful private sector leaders actively participating in hand-holding and mentoring. We must leave the State out of this.”

“In 1974, when Cypriots lost everything, Greek-Cypriots came and rallied and brought Cyprus back to health.”

“The path to integrity is through the crisis itself. This is not just a financial crisis. This is also a social crisis. The crisis itself will create honesty and integrity.”

“Corruption has happened because it can. When corruption cannot happen, then changes will happen.”

“Greece has hit rock-bottom. There is nowhere to go but up.”

“We must get those in need of menthorship in touch with mentors. Social networks can do this.”

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Stefanos Sitaras (http://www.stefanossitaras.com/), a film director and super creative thinker, asked, “How do you learn to take a crisis and become a better person through it? The mechanism of doing this is like an elevator that takes you to the very bottom where you hear negative voices and you really feel and experience the crisis within your body. And then you sacrifice all of this fear, timidness and pain. You give it up. And you eliminate your dependance. And you see who you are and rise to your best self.”

Arianna Huffington (who joined by video), said that all humans must learn to “Stop looking for the victor on the white horse to arrive and start looking at the victor in the mirror.”

Peter Economides, founder of FelixBNI, closed the conference with THE riveting and exact presentation on ReBranding Greece that has won hearts and minds the world over. He praised Athens as the city that “inspires love” and as “the most inspiring place on the planet.” Mr. Economides emphasized how “brand are a set of impressions inside of our heads…brands push the human race forward.” He insisted that Greece IS “the apple of the Mediterranean” and that it is up to Greeks to nurture this beautiful reality. Economides’ rooted his talk in the truth that “everything communicates” and that it is up to Greeks to nurture, guide and create the Greece that will be victorious.

Leda Karabela (http://yhesitate.com/) led a powerful session after Mr. Economides’ talk, in which she asked the audience to state words that captured their feelings, voice plans that could be driven by these feelings and make vocal commitments that would bring these plans to fruition. The audience fully participated with many voices chiming in and contributing to a rich close to the conference. The hall outside afterwards buzzed with conversation as networking and introductions ensued.

One could definitely say that Gregory Pappas and the Greek America Foundation put on a truly successful event, which we hope will contribute a significant slice of human capital to the growing support for Greece worldwide.

It was a true honor presenting along with Eleftherios Hatziioannou of Peopleizers at the Istanbul Marketing Summit in Istanbul, Turkey on Dec. 7 and 8, 2011. See below video and slide presentations.

ON YOUTUBE:

ON SLIDESHARE:

From Wall Street to Love Street
View more presentations from The Socializers

Brands belong to everyone, not just any specific leader of a corporation or a government. ~Peter Economides

Take your passion and make it happen! ~Irene Cara

I once met a CEO who asked his CFO and CMO, “How much money and when?” I met another one, who asked, “How many hearts won and when?” If you want to build a community, try starting with Relational KPIs. It is NOT about automation. It’s about humanization. The most perennial of brands, the ones we all love, found connection via relationship.

Economic systems are often solely attached to numerical growth whereas social systems are attached to depth of connection and meaningful relationships. Perennial business is focused on social psychology vs. pure numeric results. Organically grown business is real and deep and, in the long run, far more lucrative in all respects. Humanity needs this now.

I grew up within the system of America – I am a son of corporate America and of the Church of America, both. I also grew up all over the World – I respect the spiritual and cultural traditions of the nations. The greatest organizations and individuals I met during my travels were human. H-U-M-A-N. I’ll fight to my dying breath for the mammal, for the sweat, for the emotion, for the heart. And I’ll work to my dying day for technology to be driven BY and work FOR the heart of humanity.

Karen Gritter writes, “Getting out of the “factory” and “numbers” mentality is also critical for our planet. Factory farming is destroying our soils.” Paul Farmer writes, “I work in manufacturing and I have a couple hundred people working for me and production can occur with a few mechanics and laborers because the machinery does the rest. But production done well occurs with trust and encouragement!” I would add that “factory farming” mentality is ALSO destroying our hearts.

Kate Carter of Life Chronicles (http://www.lifechronicles.org/), writes, “We at LifeChronicles love that we use technology for compassionate service to humanity-our student volunteers love that we call them Compassionate Technologists.” The robotic and the numeric MUST be “overgrown” now with flesh and filled with blood. We are human and we MUST use technologies for human ends.

Is the end goal really about numbers then? Let’s go into that mansion built by the one’s focused only on numbers and see how happy its inhabitants truly are. Now, let’s make a similar journey to the farm built by those who were focused on the heart. My hunch is that life on that farm, in spite of all the human issues, is a happier and more abundant place. And that’s the place our World needs now. A circle of Love and Trust. Not a Hierarchy of Numeric achievement.

THE FUTURE:

2012: The year the CCO (Chief Customer Officer – http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/04/the_rise_of_the_chief_customer.html) replaced the CMO, the CCO (Chief Collaboration Officer – http://www.zdnet.com/blog/collaboration/chief-collaboration-officer-hansens-cxo-challenge/1644) replaced the COO and the CSO (Chief Social Officer) replaced the CEO. We need a C-Suite that gloats over hearts won and worlds bettered vs. dollars banked and pockets lined. Once again, If you want to build a community, try starting with Relational KPIs. It is NOT about automation. It’s about humanization. The most perennial of brands, the ones we all love, found connection via relationship.

Peter Ecomomides of FelixBNI tells a story of his neighborhood market to illustrate how everything has changed & nothing has changed. Peter talks about conceiving creative & human ways to interact with customers. Applying common sense marketing to social tools (Social Monitoring Tools) & social networks (The World Wide Mind). The importance of adapting social technologies to ways humans have always spent time is vital. We gossip, watch movies, check out photos, listen to music, check the news. The most successful social networks, apps and tools are digital software that serve timeless human actions. This is the beauty of what Mr. Economides recognizes in his statement about “getting back to social”. He acknowledges that social objects – tweets, status updates, photos posted to Flickr, video posted to YouTube, ARE the medium. Mr. Economides writes, “Twitter is not a medium. Your tweets are the medium. Your blog, your Facebook page, etc.”

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MR. PETER ECONOMIDES OF FELIXBNI

ON CHANGE: You’ve emphasized that “everything has changed and nothing has changed”. What are your thoughts on that today and why is this an important message for those getting into marketing via social networks?

Everyone in marketing was educated BDSM – Before the Development of Social Media. And the marketing we learned was focused on the Broadcast Economy. Mass media. Mass retailing. The consumer as a demographic number.

Social Media has given birth to the Conversation Economy. Massive media which do not broadcast. Messaging has become stream of micro conversations. The consumer now has a highly individual profile.

My point is that this is the way it has always been. Mass, if you think about it, is the aberration. It’s back to village, where conversation and word of mouth rule supreme. It’s just that this time the village is global. And the main road running through it is the internet and social media.

The irony is that the largest medium in the world has taken us back to a world filled with individuals, conversation and word of mouth. But as Gary Vaynerchuk says, it’s “word of mouth on steroids.”

Social media is influencing consumer behaviour way beyond the internet. And this is the most important thing for any marketer to bear in mind. Great marketing rests on powerful consumer insight. And if marketers don’t understand the 360º effect of social media on consumer behaviour, they’re in serious trouble.

I often illustrate this through my local butcher.
I believe that he has the best meat in Athens. Now, I am not an expert. I do not know this, but I believe it. Not because of what he says but because of how he behaves. He does not impress this on me. He expresses it in everything he says and everything he does.
He has not studied marketing. He knows nothing about social media. But he is an insightful human who understands what makes people tick. His reputation has been built entirely on word of mouth. He knows that. And he also knows that his reputation can be ruined by word of mouth. In a flash.

Smart people have always known this. And the best butcher in the village has always behaved like this. Ask your grandmother.

Everything has changed and nothing has changed.

ON TECHNOLOGY AND CONVERSATION: Danny Brown writes, “Every single one of us is connected, from the tech savvy to the Luddite to the in-between. And if we’re all connected, it becomes easier to help. And if we all help each other, maybe there’s just a chance the world might be a better place.” Do you see social technologies as accelerators of helping each other and making the world a better place? What can humans do in the context of social technologies that is different than via telephone, fax machines, and the Pony Express? Is it only about speed or is there something more tactile about social technologies now?

Conversation is the key.
Good conversation is a dialogue that consists of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. In other words, it is dynamic. It moves somewhere. Social media facilitates synthesis in a way that the telephone, fax machine and the Pony Express never could. It’s immediate. It’s massive. And it’s open. It’s like a perpetual town hall debate.

Television? Just thesis. No antithesis. Certainly no synthesis.

ON TWITTER: What is Twitter and why do you use it?

Twitter’s a cocktail party where you are free to drop into a conversation, plant a seed, pick a fruit, shape a thought, learn, share, contribute … and move on to the next conversation. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

Twitter is also the most immediate news source on the planet. I witnessed the Egyptian Revolution earlier this year by switching between Twitter and Al Jazeera on my iPad. I was in Tahrir Square through Twitter. Picking up news and personal drama. And I’d see the images a little later on Al Jazeera. No other medium could have done that for me.

The evening news? Forget about it!

ON FACEBOOK: Why have so many people flocked to Facebook?

A market is always built on a great product.
And I think Facebook is a great product.
Easy. Intuitive. Lots of ways to share. And, importantly, lots of reward through the Like button.

But there are a lot of great products out there which do not succeed ….
Facebook’s initial appeal was to the high school and college crowd. Important influencers of the older crowd. Facebook crossed the chasm into mainstream through kids. And once they had the critical mass, the network effect kicked in. One billion users by the end of 2011 … remarkable. But that;’s the network effect in action.

Facebook has played an important role as most people’s first step into social media. But it runs the risk of becoming the “low rent district” of the internet.

EXPLAINING SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY TO GRANDMA: How on earth do you explain social technologies and social networks to grandma? Or the crustiest of CEOs?

Back to the village! And back to my butcher story.

You’ve seen many approaches to marketing over the years. What are two of your favorite campaigns, in the past or now? What could social technology and social networks facilitate that maybe would have been tougher in the past?

I’d rather talk about great brands.
Because a campaign is just a stage in the life of a brand.

Every category has a protagonist brand.
And it should be the ambition of every brand to be the protagonist of its category.
Think of a soft drink. Coca-Cola?
The Coca-Cola of vodka?
The Absolut of computers?
The Apple of beer? The Heineken of sports shoes? The Nike of coffee shops?

Starbucks hardly advertises. But look at the quality of the conversation it has with its customers. In everything it says. And everything it does. Everything communicates.

Starbucks knows what its “Starbucksness” is all about. And so does every barista who works there. That’s the key to a great brand. Consistent behaviour throughout the organization. In everything it says and does.

Great brands have always understood the conversation. Great brands have always understood that they sell product to individuals and not to numbers. Great brands have always “got” what the social media experts are preaching. Nothing is new.

Naturally, social media open up new opportunities to connect with consumers through thesis, antithesis and synthesis. I wonder about the future of consumer research …..

ON GREECE: You have lived all over the world – in New York, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Johanessburg, Athens. You’ve marketed huge brands like Apple and Coca-Cola. You’ve been in leadership at major ad agencies like McCann and also done your own thing. Now you live in Athens, Greece. What is happening in Greece right now and how can OR are social networks play(ing) a part in this?

There’s a huge conversation going on on Twitter, revolving around current events in Greece. Also a number of great forums on Facebook. But I don’t see much traction. I am working on a public forum in the style of Quora which I hope to launch soon.

GREEK FAVORITES: Who is your favorite Greek musician? Film director? Playwright? Journalist?

Konstantinos Beta (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiuSbj-PrvA)
Costa-Gavras (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa-Gavras)
Dimitris Papaioannou (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimitris_Papaioannou)
Alexis Papahelas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_Papahelas)

Find more on Peter Economides at FelixBNI (http://www.felixbni.com).

“Control of consciousness determines the quality of life.” ~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

theunconscious
Change comes when people talk with people. Image above of the Community Memory team in Berkeley 1973. Photo: Photo taken by and for the Community Memory Project, first published in the Resource One Newsletter, April 1974.

LANGUAGE CHANGES INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT AND COMMUNITY TAKES ACTION: I recently watched a video posted by a Greek economist that identified magic as the only method for solving the Greek economic crisis. My thoughts after watching the video went to creativity and the power of language to create one’s experience of reality. It is my firm belief that through language we can first change our own thoughts and experience and then the thoughts and reality of others. In terms of changing collective reality, we now live in a time when this has become even more possible via massively connected social networks in the digital realm. At no time in history has it been so easy to inject an idea (a meme) into the fabric of humanity and effect change.

In order to fully master this power, one must accept the principle of linguistic relativity. What is linguistic relativity?

LINGUISTIC RELATIVITY (http://bit.ly/linguistic_relativity1 + http://bit.ly/linguistic_relativity2) is a vital principle and potentially one of the most important revolutions of our time. The principle of linguistic relativity holds that the structure of a language affects the ways in which its speakers are able to conceptualize their world. Learning how language shapes thought is a HUGE step to transforming one’s life and the life of the community.

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES: One of the chief challenges to anyone wishing to create change is cultural difference. The principle of linguistic relativity IS BOTH vital INSIGHT and ACTION when one looks at the difference between how cultures thrive and how they fall apart. Some cultures orient entirely towards soma, or body, consciousness and find tremendous fulfillment through emotional connection – the artists, for instance. Others orient towards intellectual pursuit and find pleasure through mathematics and rational mapping of experience. One culture is subjective and focused on what is felt within the heart. Another triumphs objectivity and orients only towards what the five senses can know. One culture “holds it together” on the outside and has a chaotic interior life; another seems to be in chaos from the outside and has a rich emotional and spiritual heritage and experience collectively.

There are many roads to grasping the nature of cultural difference and working those differences (like a potter working clay). Getting educated in how to lead within the context of different cultures is important. Experience is the greatest teacher in this respect. What one discovers is that cultures are different AND similar.

MIND-CHANGE = LIFE-CHANGE: How does one work with a culture caught in an external and internl “downward spiral”? How does one transform that culture’s mind, its perspective. This is the important first step. As Peter Economides, a world-class branding expert and culture-changer par excellence, has said recently about the country of Greece, “Social psychology is far more important than economics. If people feel great about themselves, then they will do great things. And, if a nation feels great about itself, it will do great things. Screw economics!” The great mythologist Joseph Campbell writes, “All cultures … have grown out of myths. They are founded on myths. What these myths have given has been inspiration for aspiration. The economic interpretation of history is for the birds. Economics is itself a function of aspiration. It’s what people aspire to that creates the field in which economics works.”

Managing a fall and turning it into a victory is the action that nations like Greece are involved right now. One of the MOST inspirational clips I’ve ever seen in a film is when Eric Lidel in Chariots of Fire falls and then gets back up and wins the race. That’s what nations like Greece and the world MUST do now.

Look at this great quote by Joseph Campbell:
“We’re in a freefall into future. We don’t know where we’re going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is… joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.”

The quote by Campbell matches this quote from the movie Jacob’s Ladder, where Louis, Jacob Singer’s friend, quotes Eckhart: “The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won’t let go of your life; your memories, your attachments. They burn ‘em all away. But they’re not punishing you, he said. They’re freeing your soul. … If you’re frightened of dying and holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. But if you’ve made your peace then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the Earth”.

A MAGIC WAND IS WOVEN OF DIFFERENT ELEMENTS: In Harry Potter, the wands are woven from different elements that match or compliment the personality and essence of the person using the wand. It’s a personalized tool for effecting change. Within Greece, there are some very powerful elements that could be woven together to effect real thought change and culture change…the basis of social psychology. Imagine combining The Atenistas (a grass-roots social change and action group) with the power of a financial institution focused on green business with a tourism that involves the visitor in the process (this last is what needs REAL creativity and NOW!) The transcendence one experiences in escaping Athens to the Greek islands IS felt BECAUSE of how hard one has worked in the city…to get in one’s car to the end of the block or wade through the red-tape of politics and business. And that motion, from city to island, is in the genes of the Greek. Capturing THAT MOTION is the key and answers lie within the very literature that gave birth to this nation chock-full of potent personalities.

TRANSFORMATION: The world needs transcendence (relief) now but this must come from having engaged at a deep level in working with the root issues and clearing out the muck. Fortunately, the world has very powerful tools like Quora and Wikileaks that combine to provide community and expert graded questions and answers to mysteries. Now that transparency is the new eco-system we inhabit, ethics has started to consume power and transform the fallout from catastrophe into fertilizer for tomorrow’s rich garden of abundance. And it is this transformative act that all of humanity IS, or ought to be, involved in presently.

One thing that comes out in myths is that at the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation. The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light. ~Joseph Campbell

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