I received a friendly email from Brian, the Director at a cool summer camp for kids and teens called Beam Camp. It’s a 4-week summer program (July 18-August 16) for boys and girls aged 7-17 in Strafford, New Hampshire. They’re looking for some big collaborative ideas. Here’s the overview and how you can participate:
Beam Campers cultivate hands-on skills in the fine and manual arts while exploring innovative thinking, design and the creative process. They transform ideas into artifacts and personal achievement into community success.
Each summer Beam commissions a Project Master to design a unique large-scale collaborative endeavor that campers produce and enjoy.… more
A few top-tier idea conferences recently wrapped up: Picnic 08 in Amsterdam, Idea Festival in Louisville, and BIF-4 in Providence. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend this year but fortunately there are enough articles, videos, and firsthand dispatches floating around the net to experience vicariously through.… more
This past Saturday I attended Russell Davies’ wonderfully inspiring Interesting 2008 (2nd annual) “conference” (more of a casual salon-meets-speakers-corner get-together) with about 200 or so other curious souls at Conway Hall in London.
It’s basically a day of short and long presentations by a random selection of people about a eclectic array of topics. Topics such as plosives, currency, masks, Churchill, toilets, Hiraeth, booze, insomnia, and more. Interesting stuff! For a complete run-down of who presented what, check out “Metaverse Evangelist” and first speaker (about Lego) Roo Reynolds’ blog post here, or some of the Technorati pings here.
I was lucky enough to be on the agenda too.… more
I’d say this qualifies as pretty clever: Architect Secretly Builds Epic Scavenger Hunt into NYC Apartment.
Eric Clough isn’t your typical architectural designer. Sure, he’ll design you a fine den or kitchen, but he’s clearly got a creative streak that goes much deeper than that. That’s why, when given the opportunity, he secretly built an incredible scavenger hunt into a $8.5-million, 4,200-square-foot Park Avenue apartment that included ciphers, riddles, poems and a lot of hidden doors and compartments.
(Hat tip to Jordan)
If you’ve read the last couple posts it should be pretty apparent just how fantastic an event like BIF-3 is. It’s really two days of concentrated inspiration. And what makes it so inspiring is that so many different and disparate ideas are unleashed upon the willing audience all at once. Just when one brilliant speaker finishes telling her story another one is already up telling his. The cumulative effect is a cocktail of new learning, mind stretching, and perhaps a couple aha moments. Not to mention, there’s ample opportunity to meet and interact with some incredibly smart and open-minded people.
BIF-3 was great.… more
Day 2 at BIF-3…
The second day began with an outstanding morning session. And the first storyteller of that session was Irving Wladawsky-Berger, VP of Technical Strategy and Innovation at IBM and visiting professor of Engineering Systems at MIT. In an on-stage interview with Walt Mossberg, Wladawsky-Berger covered two main ideas in his 20 or so minutes: near-death and the future of learning. On the former, he spoke about how the things that make companies great – like mainframes were for IBM in the 70s and 80s – are typically their undoing. Why? Because management think the success is due to their brilliance and tend not to pay much attention to innovation, to what’s next.… more
So, first, some background to set the scene. BIF is hosted at Trinity Rep Theater, a cute little 300-or-so seat repertory theater in downtown Providence. Each speaker – or as they are more commonly referred to here, storyteller – is alloted about 20 minutes to make their presentation. Some choose to use powerpoint as a visual aid while others wing it on words alone. The audience is seated in a semi-circle and many of the presenters stick around, sit in the crowd, and mingle during the generous inter-session breaks. Basically, it’s rapid-fire ideas.
Day 1 at BIF-3…
I’m soooo looking forward to this… I’ve returned again to the lovely town of Providence, RI, for another Collaborative Innovation Summit (put on by the tireless folks at the state’s independent and non-profit Business Innovation Factory). You may remember me posting a thing or two from BIF-2 last October. Well, BIF-3 promises to be packed with at least an equal punch of talented people speaking passionately about their ideas and pursuits. On the bill: Mark Cuban, Clayton Christensen, Steven Johnson, Jack Hughes, and many others.
Some random reflections on Idea Festival 2007…
-Overall, a great event. I had a blast. I attended 21 presentations in three days – phew! – and most of them were outstanding. I especially like the talks given by Homaro Cantu on cooking innovations, by Dirk Brockmann on money circulation, by Tiffany Shlain on her film projects, by Laurence Gonzales on intelligent mistakes, by Ned Kahn on environmental art, and by James McLurkin on robot swarms. The quality of speakers was top-tier and the range of topics was pretty wide too. Integrating non-lecture aspects like musical performance, film screenings, and the Thursday evening “Taste of Innovation” food and beverage sampling rounded out the event very nicely too.… more
Day 3 at Idea Festival 2007
The Internet is NOT Flat
Amira Al Hussaini, Georgia Popplewell, and Ethan Zuckerman
Super blogger Ethan Zuckerman kicked off the morning with a session discussing the evolution of the internet–from DARPA to now–and how it has facilitated international conversation. “We can now move atoms around cheaply (eg. Fiji water). But how global are our bits? Well, it’s as international as we want it to be.” To prove his point he showed various maps of the world – electricity use at night, fibre-optic cable lines, political net access, and media attention.