Improving the World Is a Team Sport: Must-Read Quotes

What do you get when 32 remarkable people – all passionate, purpose-driven innovators transforming our social-cultural systems – tell their stories in the most intimate and inspiring ways to some 500 innovation junkies who know improving the world is a team sport? The BIF2015 Collaborative Innovation Summit: a two-day magical mix of creativity, compassion, character (and characters) and community. Having been privileged to speak at the last two Business Innovation Factory summits, I went to Providence, Rhode Island, last week to attend strictly as a participant, though there are no mere participants in what BIF’s chief catalyst, Saul Kaplan, calls a “random collision of unusual suspects.”

Over two days, this eclectic group of diverse individuals (in gender, age, religion, ethnicity, politics and expertise) become a network… no, a sacred gathering, a congregation, an emergent new tribe of sorts with a shared calling to Design the Future. And all this transpires within a rare combination of humility, drive, vulnerability, fearlessness, fierceness and grace.

Within the next few weeks I hope to write about and interview some of the extraordinary people I met at BIF2015 for The Wisdom Daily; in the meantime, here are some short wise quotes from the summit about the most important innovation work of all – innovating ourselves.


1. Michael Samuelson – author, adventurer, lecturer

“There is no ‘meaning of life.’ There is the meaning you put into life… You need to leave the village of ‘Someday…’ The real purpose of our quests, our journeys to the summit, is to bring back to the world what we have learned.”


2.?Joshua Davis – co-founder,?Epic magazine; contributing editor, Wired

“Extraordinary things happen when you put yourself out of your comfort zone.”


3. Larry Rosenstock – CEO,?High Tech High

“The more we narrow what is intelligence, the larger we make the category of non-intelligence. The more we narrow what motivation is, the larger we make the category of unmotivated. Math can explain atmospheric connections. Math can’t say, ‘the sky is blue.'”


4. Catherine Hoke – founder & CEO, Defy Ventures

“What if the only thing you were known for was the worst thing you ever did – even if you paid the price for what you did? We are all ‘ex-‘ something, and we are not yet a society of second chances.”


5.?Dennis Whittle, co-founder, Global Giving; director and co-founder,?Feedback Labs

“You can’t read your Book of Life on LinkedIn. My Book of Life is not my resume.”


6.?Rick Benjamin, poet laureate of the state of Rhode Island

“To go to unprecedented places we have to use unprecedented thinking…To be on the edge of one’s own thinking.”


7. Barry Svigals – founder, Svigals + Partners, LLP

“How we are matters because how we are is what we become. We are all implicated. We are all needed. But for what am I needed? What is my part?”


8. John Abele – retired founding chairman,?Boston Scientific Corporation; owner/developer of the?Kingbridge Centre and Institute

“‘We want to see 20 years of data’ is the way to resist innovation. You don’t develop a business model first, you just head north.”


9.?Basit Chaudhry – founder, Tuple Health

“What is the value of data? Data is not simply an asset to be mined, not simply a resource for efficiency. It is a mechanism of communication to build communities of action to change the world. To use data this way, we need a combination of mathematics and imagination.”


10.?Dani Shay – singer/songwriter

“Chasing madness over something I can only barely conceive. What’s happened to me? And if I get there, will I be so satisfied I won’t need a thing?”


11. Carlos Moreno – co-executive director, Big Picture Learning

“Who in your life wrapped their arms around you and said, ‘Everything is going to be okay’?”


Image credit: Business Innovation Factory




Send this to a friend