Above: "The Body" Elle Macpherson, one of C2-MTL's most anticipated speakers. While in the midst of a successful career as a supermodel, Macpherson was approached by a New Zealand firm to serve as a lingerie figurehead. Instead, Macpherson did something unheard of at the time. She co-created the eponymous line, founding Elle Macpherson Intimates in 1990. The rest is business history. Ian Gavan / Getty Images
C2-MTL, a brand new international creativity conference aimed at the business world, is positioning itself as an immersive, interactive "new kind of annual global conference" attracting the crème de la crème speaker-wise. And with good reason. Its debut edition last May featured hitters as heavy as they come, from former Disney CEO Michael Eisner to Academy Award winning director turned winemaker, Francis Ford Coppola, the latter whom offered words of wisdom I only wish I could share with you, but I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to attend.
Above: C2-MTL's inaugural edition headquarters, New City Gas. In 2013, conference headquarters move to Arsenal, the same locale that hosted the best Montreal Fashion Week I've seen
since I started covering the beat in 2008. Photo © Evelyn Reid
So what's on the agenda for its sophomore edition coming up this May 21 to May 23, 2012? Apart from Elle Macpherson?
Above: Philippe Starck (right) in mid crack-up with musician Lenny Kravitz during 2012 Milan Design Week last April. Starck, slated to speak at C2-MTL come May 2013, is a rock star in his own right, albeit in the fields of architecture, product design and interior design, with his better known claims to fame dating as far back as 1969 when he created an inflatable house and in 1985, when he reworked the interior of then French President François Mitterrand's private quarters at the Élysée Palace. Starck has even been commissioned to restyle pasta in order for it "to really hold the sauce," among other culinary concerns
, like how to keep it al dente if overcooked. The New York-based designer's latest projects center around luxury hotel interior design. Tullio M. Puglia / Getty Images
Expansion, for one, with the conference enlarging its industry breadth, bringing in speakers from a wider variety of fields compared to its freshman offerings, from healthcare to food to fashion and cosmetics. And more networking opportunities as well as interactive activities are planned, especially considering about 85% of last spring's attendees asked for more of both.
The clip below features a short list of booked speakers, but do expect more names, big names -- including one I wish I could SLIP but since I'm sworn to secrecy, you'll just have to wait! -- to be added as we close in on the 2013 edition next spring.
Above: animator Jennifer Yuh-Nelson (left), director of Kung Fun Panda II
, in a C2-MTL 2012 panel discussion which covered all sorts of topics related to her work, including what Nelson does to combat creative lulls. As per Wikipedia
, Nelson is "the first woman to solely direct an animated feature from a major Hollywood studio." Photo © Evelyn Reid