I was fortunate enough to have been selected as a Feast Fellow for this year’s ‘The Feast’ conference. It was really an amazing gathering that wasn’t only focused on New York City, but the entire globe and all of its change makers. With an agenda that was focused on both content as well as action, it was one of the first conferences I have attended where the attendees were challenged to utilize the content that was consumed to come up with unique solutions to various challenges in: Veterans, Health and Education.
Additionally, the conference was an extraordinary exhibition of professionalism and organization where the all of the details were painstakingly brought together with no loose ends. But beyond the execution the lineup of speakers and the individuals that attended the conference were extraordinary. From this conference I had several key takeaways that I wanted to share with everyone.
1. Connections can be made anywhere
People are often too shy or for fear of denial hesitate to make new connections either personal or professional. The fact of the matter is that most critical connections are made in the least conspicuous of places and you will never know until you try or ask. And always remember to first think about what value creation proposition that you will offer before you ask for anything. It’s great proposition in business as well as friendship. Einstein received one of his earliest grants from the Rockefeller Foundation by merely asking for it. Imagine if he had never taken this leap in requesting this grant!
2. Be the Change
While specific to some of the speakers at The Feast, the conference had an overwhelming theme, which resonated through the entire time, be the change. In order to instigate any sort of change it’s imperative to actually be the change. As Kid President put it, instead of sitting around complaining we should be creating action and change as opposed to fighting each others as many adults do.
3. Challenge the Status Quo
It’s always scary to challenge the way things have been done especially because the status quo has such enormous inertia that refuses challenge time and time again. However, what we always fail to realize is that all of the luxuries, technologies and changes that we take for granted today were caused by individuals that insisted the status quo could use some improving if not a complete overhaul. The relationship between the individual consumer and large corporations is evolving everyday and it’s important that we take a seriously look at this paradigm shift to ensure a future that we want to share.
4. Think of the Consequences
The buzzwords of the last decade have been ‘disruption’, ‘innovation’ and ‘revolution’. These were terms in order to inspire change during a time where the status quo seemed insurmountable and we were reaching a pinnacle change especially with regards to technological innovation as well as the speed in which it occurred. However, today it’s extremely important to think of the consequences of the types of innovation that we seek to support. As was pointed out by Anil Dash, imagine changes to the educational system without thinking of the effects on the larger population, it could be as catastrophic as that of the music industry except this would not only affect the big wigs of the industry, but everyone and future generations to come.
5. Creativity is Contagious
I will start with the fact that Makey Makey is amazing. I’m not the most creative guy on the planet nor do such things largely motivate me, but the work they do and the extent of their creativity was mindblowing. Human synthesizer? Nuff said. You can check out a short video of what happened here. And what it did for me was truly challenge me to be even more creative.
The Feast did two distinct things for me. It told me to think of who I was affecting by creating new business and truly inspired me to be the change that I wanted to be.
What does this do for you?
Hope to see you at The Feast 2014!
By Sang Lee