#MCPC2011 San Francisco

Last week I attended the Mass Customisation and Personalisation 2011 Conference, in San Francisco. This world conference explores mass customisation, co-creation and personalisation with a focus on open innovation. This was supported by Henry Chesbrough who has recently published Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business to Grow and Compete in a new Era.

I presented a paper which I co-wrote with one of my PhD supervisors, Philip Delamore. The paper was titled e-Co-Creation for Fashion: a review of co-creation and open innovation methods for sustainable fashion.

The event kicked off with a networking mixer at TechShop - a new social space and workshop in downtown San Francisco which enables people to tinker to create their own products. I think these new concepts are popping up globally and I can't wait for a fashion space or lab for co-creation!

This was a wonderful experience action packed with wonderful keynotes and presentations. I couldn't attend everything as it was action packed but here is a quick overview of what I captured

Geert Rietbergen, Ballsmedia - a thoughtful presentation on Changing the Rules of Customer Interaction. While living in an era of crowd sourcing & co- creation, the role of consumer demand shifts fully. How can we optimize the knowledge, effort and de- mand of the consumers? Via the cases of Justproud, a community driven fashion brand. I found the focus on shared values inspiring to increase both economic value & value to the society we live in.

Suzan Briganti CEO of Totem - an engaging presentation which really got us thinking about the drivers and incentives encouraging participants to engage with co-creation. She defined them at the four f's; fulfilment, fun, fame and financial. It was also really interesting to think about how ideas are managed and rated as the evolve - for example something might not fit one brief and match something perfectly down the line. I think this is were the role of the designer/ expert becomes more prominent at the can refine, mould and shape ideas as they grow.

Anna Peters and Dr Nick Coates,Promise Corporation, US & UK delivered an interactive presentation exploring the creative consumer. They used the story of Alice and Wonderland to take us on an adventure capturing their creative concepts in the process. I love their co-creation methods and find it inspiring that consumers attend their workshops under the notion that they are being recruited for traditional market research and instead play a pivotal role in innovating new concepts.

They also delivered an impromptu co-design workshop to capture feedback from the delegates which made me like them even more. You can check out their presentation and workshop here.

Joe Pine: a fantastic keynote taking us into the future of individualisation and the boundaries between real time virtual and physical experiences. Frank Pillar stated this presentation set the agenda for the next 10 years of research and development! It was very cutting edge and I look forward to reading his new book "Infinite Possibility: Creating Customer Value on the Digital Frontier".

Blaise Bertrand, Associate Partner, IDEO: on design thinking and human centred design methods. The presentation also introduced some of the developments behind Open IDEO which I have been contributing too. The Q&A following this presentation talked about using empathy and design thinking to become immersed in innovation. This is intuitive and great insights emerge through thinking beyond stuff and about real people.

Through my own research into co-design for fashion & textiles, I have been observing the area of mass customisation therefore it was great to capture some first hand insights from experts driving this field forward. I think there was a huge variety covering product and service development from within the design process through to manufacturing for example, engineering tools and applications.

My notebook was filled and I have only provided a quick summary of what I connected to my own interests and experiences. I would have loved to have attended the industry category (maybe next time) - I really wanted to see Leah Hunter from Idea Couture and I heard John Jacobsen from Quirky was great too.

A big thank you to Frank Piller and his team for putting this together - it was brilliant, I learned lots and made many new friends and contacts.