I returned home last night from two days of feasting on good — a smorgasbord of innovative social good projects and conversations with innovators who all seek new ways to make this world a better place. I had the good fortune to attend because the conference organizers asked NASA to present LAUNCH: Collective Genius for a Better World. Jim Adams, Deputy Chief Technologist for NASA, presented LAUNCH to kickoff Day One of the Feast. Several of our LAUNCH team members attended: Diane Powell/NASA, Will Schmitt/USAID, Laura Adams/NIKE, Todd Khozein/Second Muse, and Victor Friedberg/BIG.
A huge thanks to Jerri Chou, Feast organizer, for throwing such an amazing event. I met so many crazy brilliant people who have such passion to change the world. I love talking to others who care so deeply about creating social good. Two days of non-stop intellectual and emotional engagement is both exhausting and rejuvenating. I’m filled with so many new and intriguing perspectives on how to approach solution-creation.
Here are a few tweets to reflect our experience.
On Feast Day Two, we broke into groups to tackle a series of Design Challenges covering Data, Health, Poverty, Eco, and Open Design. I worked on the Open Design challenge team — “to empower a new group of people to make something that improves their physical environment.” We chose to interpret the challenge as a way to help kids know that “things” they interact with are actually made. They live in a world of products that magically appear on shelves in stores. We want them to engage in the “making of things” and be curious about how things are made. We created the concept of the “Breaker Box” where students are given a box with things inside that they can deconstruct and make something out of. We chose to create a Swiss Army Music Box with tools that could be made into musical instruments. What a fun team to work with.
The only downside to the Feast: wifi overload. With the live stream and the hacking challenge community going on at the same time, I couldn’t tweet fab tidbits of wisdom in most of Day Two and the latter half of Day One. But, that’s a good problem to have. Great demonstration of demand swamping supply.
All in all, my favorite speaker was the self-titled Evil Genius @Whurley, co-founder of Chaotic Moon Studios. He totally speaks my language. On his card: “We may not have been invited to a lot of parties in high school, but trust us — You don’t want the Prom King in charge of your mobile strategy.” Too funny. His success formula: Instigation + Collaboration + Innovation. He defined instigation as the heart of innovation. I totally agree. He challenged us to go against the grain. If our ideas are easily accepted, they can’t be all that innovative. Collaboration comes at a cost — a balance of control vs. influence. Controlling an idea can stiffle progress. He recommended we work toward influencing an outcome vs controlling it. Well said! Here is one of my favorite quotes:
Thanks Feast! I feel recharged and ready to rush out and change the world.
And, BTW, all you feasters, submit your challenge projects to Fragile Oasis. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.