As I enter the week where members of my team along with a few select clients will be attending Seattle Interactive Conference I find myself pondering the idea of inspiration. Where does it come from? How do we gather and process what we hear/see/think? What do we do with it once we’ve been inspired?
I had the privilege of listening to Geoffrey Canada a few weeks ago talk about our children, education and some of the hurdles we as a nation have in front of us. The depth of knowledge Geoffrey shared with the crowd at the Village of Promise event was profound and staggering at times. One quote stuck out for me and still does as I continue the conversation about education in my home, work and community at large. He said something to the effect of “Our education system is like New Orleans after Katrina. Everyone is looking for the Government to jump in and solve the problem, but no one has a plan. They aren’t coming.” He went on to repeat the statement 3 or 4 times pushing across the room of leaders here in Huntsville that if we don’t do something then nothing will be done because the federal government has no plan to save our education system. After getting back to the office I remember sitting down in Matt’s office and telling him that Geoffrey Canada was someone I could, with reckless abandon, quit my job and follow on a journey that would be 30 years in the making to redo our education system. He laughed, possibly nervously thinking don’t leave just yet we have a platform to build here.
It’s passion that moves me. Passion for improving or hacking something together that others have done and looking for a way to do it better or possibly even differently. This passion comes from inspiration that has as many sources as thoughts within a day, but I wanted to share a few of them with you:
- Coaches – I crossfit and my coaches continually inspire me to push on beyond that threshold and seek better accuracy, stamina, endurance, agility, power, and Coordination. This guy makes me want to tackle a bull.
- Authors, Poets, Philosophers – I’ve found an infinite source of fuel and inspiration in the one sentence quotes from men and women who have preceded us. I found this one today as I drank my coffee.
Other forms of inspiration for me are start-up Communities and Maker Movement. TJ McCue defines the Maker Movement as “The people who create, build, design, tinker, modify, hack, invent, or simply make something.” It’s this idea of Makers that excites me about our journey to Seattle this week. The agenda is filled with speakers who are makers. The things they’ve accomplished are amazing and to be able to listen to them expound on ideas related to the technological business world we face today is truly a privilege and invigorating.
I asked the band of travelers going with Solid Earth to pick their top 3 topics that intrigued or created enough curiosity to make them say “yeah I want to listen to that”. Some had trouble, but everyone was able to narrow down the field to just a few speakers that really mattered to them. There was a diverse response from the group with some overlapping interests and thoughts. This is the beauty of interaction. You have ideas, I have ideas and when we pull those two together and interact we end up with something bigger than the individual. Scott Macklin puts it like this “When you have a body of folks participating in conversation around the work that you do, that’s where the validity comes from…” Shauna Causey puts is slightly different “the technology we are building, when we build it around relationships and people that’s when it’s successful”. Here is a brief list of topics we are interested in:
- Information Transparency: Empowering the Consumer Coup
- The Power of Connecting Search + Social
- Feeding People with Websites: From Digital Campaigns to Daily Bread
The full list is to much for this post, but stay tuned for more from our journeys. If you’re curious where I’m headed take a look at my schedule.
I’ll leave you with a few questions. When was the last time something inspired you to change the path you are on? Where do you find inspiration on a daily basis?