Innovation System-Driving Film-Making

After visiting the Karen Blixen museum and the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden, it became clear to me that the impact from the famous writer persists long after her death. The lush Nairobi suburb Karen is situated between the city centre and the mountains, and the views are stunning. No doubt, the film “Out of Africa” boosted the Karen economy, featuring one of my favourite actors Robert Redford.

When back at the Fairview Hotel at Upper Hill and swimming in the pool, I started to think about how making films can drive innovation. No doubt science fiction and Bond movies have expanded our technical ideas, and to some extent our management designs as well. However, I think that not only companies can benefit from collaborating with the film and fiction industry, but also regions. Whole innovations systems consisting of scientists, entrepreneurs and civil servants could team up with famous film makers in order to create the vivid images of the preferred future as encouraged by Peter Senge and Robert Fritz (the latter often using film as a metaphor for how to frame your message in an appropriate scope).

So how about Nairobi, a life science hub, hooking up with the Swedish Film Institute to make a movie about fictional Danish and Swedish descendants of Karen and Bror Blixen coming to Kenya to start a sustainable functional food business? Collaborating with local suppliers, researchers and incubators in all countries they could make good use of solar and wind power in order to breathe new life into the old Swedo African Coffee Company. Perhaps with a young American director, supported by Redford’s Sundance Institute.

Creating an image so real and attractive, it may have the chance of paving the way for investors and real entrepreneurs. Perhaps the company could even be in place before opening day, since it would be really cool if the film merchandise would include products from the new company. How about that for product placement?
"He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast",

from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

No comments: