I was invited to join a vision summit as a specialist on branding. The Municipality of Odense is suggesting the vision “Playing is living” which a number of politicians and business profiles were discussing last saturday. I had a fun day with good debate. It seemed that the folks in Odense were quite happy about the idea of working with the vision – they had lots of examples of how they were already playing and how they wanted to play more. I was accompanied by a large panel, Jørn Tolstrup from Leasy and Mayor Jan Boye among others. Will the city be able of positioning itself through the conception of a vision? I’m not sure. As I said, it would take radical action in order to make any impression on the city culture as well as the world around Odense.
At one point I made a comment on the way the meeting was conducted. It followed the layout and rituals that this sort of meeting always does. Citizens placed along long tables and the panel on a stage, sitting on high chairs at café-style tables. And Morten Stig Christensen was running back and forth (he’s still quite capable) ensuring participation (you did well, Morten!). The style was noticeable as we were discussing the role of play as a platform for change, brandbuilding and a better future. The vision hasn’t been decided on, yet, but I hope they make another meeting next year and that the space and meeting culture will be turned into play. Not child’s play. Odense play. They just need to define what that is.