Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Jonah Berger: Contagious (In a Good Way)

It’s not surprising that the new book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger, is itself catching on and getting lots of attention. Berger, who is in his early 30s, is the James G. Campbell Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He studies and teaches about how and why products and ideas go viral and get other forms of attention, both online and offline. These days it’s not only companies and other organizations that have to continually get the word out in effective ways about their offerings. Individuals have to do it too, and the marketplace is crowded, confusing and noisy.

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The World in 2013, According to The Economist

The Economist has turned its yearly The World In… publication, now in its 27th year, into a brand, well beyond the print edition. There is an extensive website (which I wrote about last year), and a blog, Cassandra. On December 6th and 8th, there was The World in 2013 Festival in New York. Earlier this year came the book Megachange: The World in 2050, edited by Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor of The Economist and Editor of The World In

Although there are many predictions for the next 12 months, and what the effects of those events may be, to me the real value comes from well-organized thought and information about that time period by subject experts and high-profile practitioners from business, technology, the arts, politics, health care and other fields; putting into context information about what lies ahead.

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Drucker Days in Claremont

I’ve just returned from several days in Claremont, Ca., based around the activities for Drucker Centennial Day, which marked the end of a two-year period honoring the life and legacy of Peter Drucker. November 19 is the 101st anniversary of his birth, and he died five years ago this coming November 11. The events were produced by the Drucker Institute at the Claremont Graduate University, home of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. The alternately rousing and introspective keynote on Saturday morning was delivered by Tom Peters. I helped coordinate the Drucker Authors Festival segment, and was on the panel “Lessons From Drucker’s Life,” with Jack Beatty and William Cohen.

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Management Secrets of Fairport Convention

Joshua Green’s article in The Atlantic, Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead, got considerable attention when it was published earlier this year. Last weekend’s Fairport Cropredy Convention, the long-running outdoor festival the British band produces each August, got me thinking that perhaps we should also consider the Management Secrets of Fairport Convention. Not that the latter has had anywhere near the business success of the Grateful Dead, but Fairport has many things in its favor. The band, which has been together in one form or another for more than 40 years, is as much a collection of concepts and ideas as a musical entity.…

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The Guardian Hay Festival in the Rear View Mirror

Last year I enjoyed blogging about my virtual experience of the Guardian Hay Festival. It has already taken place this year, but those of us who missed it in person can still enjoy it online. The Guardian still has lots of material – text, photos, audio and video – on its site for the event. The text offerings include a brief wrap-up piece, Best of the Hay Festival 2010. Hay is more than author readings. It’s also about book-buying, as driven home by the photo essay Used books, new books, looking for the perfect book … and the videos representing the Hay Festival Bookshop Challenge, including this one featuring Val McDermid.…

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Online Aftermath of the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Although it’s been over for nearly a week, you can still find lots of material online to vicariously experience the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is billed as the largest of its type in the world. Edinburgh is a lovely city, and I’m sure it was a great setting for this 17-day celebration of the written and spoken word.  There has been considerable coverage before, during and after the event in the British media; such as this September 1 report on and another, Scottish-centric one on the same day from the [Aberdeen] Press and Journal. Among the hundreds of authors featured this year were Garrison Keillor, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Karen Armstrong, Alexander McCall Smith, Tracy Chevalier, Margaret Drabble and Richard Dawkins.…

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Fairport Convention’s Festival Came Around Again

The past weekend was not only notable as the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. It was also the weekend that one of my favorite bands, Fairport Convention, held its annual Fairport’s Cropredy Convention festival, in Britain. The long-running event regularly draws around 20,000 people. Besides the band itself – which has had countless members over the years — it attracts an eclectic lineup of performers, including former members of Fairport, especially Richard Thompson. For more background, see this Reuters blog posting. I’ve never been to the festival, but I’d love to attend one day. Fairport traditionally does a three hour closing set on the final evening, and this year their special guest during the set was Yusuf [Islam], formerly Cat Stevens.…

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WOMAD for Those Who Couldn’t Be There

I’m back on the festival beat with last week’s WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival in the UK. This is yet another event that most of us can’t attend, but can learn a lot about online. It’s one of the premier world music festivals, and was the 27th time it has been held in the UK, where the WOMAD organization is based. They also produce festivals around the world, and I was fortunate to have attended two in the early ‘90s, in Toronto. Peter Gabriel is one of the co-founders of WOMAD, and though he doesn’t often play the festival, he was the headliner on July 25th.…

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Latitudes and Attitudes

I’ve written about a variety of festivals (music and otherwise) that I would have liked to have attended, but found that following on the web was the next best thing: the Aspen Ideas Festival, Glastonbury and The Guardian Hay Festival. Now there is another British entry, the Latitude Festival, which I had not heard of until now, but is four years old. It’s already over, having run from July 16-19. Check out Mark Savage’s Latitude festival is a class act and other BBC coverage. and others covered the solo set by Thom Yorke of Radiohead, in which he gave the debut of a new song, “The Present Tense.” (I used to read NME, then in its pre-online, weekly print-only days, as often as possible back in my music days of the ‘70s and ‘80s.…

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The Aspen Ideas Festival for Those Who Can’t Be There

A nice place to be this week, starting two days ago and running through July 5, is the Aspen Ideas Festival. A large and diverse group of big thinkers from academia, business, law, science, government, nonprofits, the arts, architecture, media and more have converged in Colorado for what looks to be a highly stimulating event. Since most of us can’t be there, the next best thing is following it online at the festival’s website and on the blogs from Atlantic Online. The Atlantic is a co-sponsor of the event, along with the Aspen Institute. Just a handful of the more recognized names from the 200 speakers and moderators: Madeleine Albright, James A.…

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