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.
“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.”
“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.'”
“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.”
Irwin Kula is the co-founder and co-executive editor of The Wisdom Daily. A rabbi, Irwin's writing has been featured in The Huffington Post and the Washington Post. He is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life and a co-editor of The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices. Irwin has appeared on NBC's The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The O'Reilly Factor and PBS Frontline. Irwin also serves as President of Clal, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center in New York City.