Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The !deation Conference

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of attending one of the most creative and innovative conferences I’ve ever attended. The name of the conference was The !deation and it was organized by a really sharp group of people led by one of the most industrious individuals I know, a guy by the name of Charles Lee @charlestlee on twitter.
Besides being a proficient blogger and utilizer of multiple forms of social media, Charles also teaches at a college in Los Angeles, pastor’s a church in Torrance, and co-founded a nonprofit that works to serve the poor and hurting both locally and globally. It’s called “Just One” and I recommend you check it out.
In his minimal spare time, Charles and his team put together an amazing gathering of non-profit leaders who worked toward realizing the tag-line of the conference. “Love Human. Do Good.” I arrived with Nuru’s CEO, and my old friend (and now boss) Jake Harriman on Monday April 5th for this two day conference, and although I had been to two other incredible conferences that Charles had assembled, I had very little idea of what to expect.
The environment of the conference was incredibly intimate. I think there were between 200-300 people in attendance, and this added to the very special atmosphere. But the team that designed the space really made that large group feel even smaller. From the arrangement of seating to some great opportunities for interaction in the space itself, it provided the perfect contect for networking with other likeminded people. In fact, the first night of the conference ended with a fashion show and mixer that allowed some very intense leaders from the non-profit world to relax a bit and interact with one another. I truly wonder what great organization and foundation connections were made under the umbrella of “loving human and doing good” at the ideation conference.
Instead of several days of long sessions from really sharp speakers, the !deation featured morning sessions that consisted of many influencers sharing their personal stories of getting involved in the non-profit sphere. There is something deeply soul-stirring that happens when you fill a room with people who have dared to step out in faith to help fight injustice in the world. There’s also something beautiful that happens when many of these individuals who may experience a bit of a rock-star status share from their mistakes and failings in an effort to help others learn from their experiences. I think the humility that I witnessed in the space was among the most touching aspects of the conference.
Each afternoon, there were a handful of “workshops” that consisted of someone who had done a great job in some aspect of non-profit work sharing his/her successes and failures as he/she guided a room full of passionate and idealistic leaders in ways that they could move forward in greater ways.
This was the first conference of its kind that I have experienced, and I hope it is not the last. Next year, I hope Nuru is among the non-profits invited back to participate in this wonderful event. I also hope that if you are in the greater Los Angeles area and you are interested in loving humans and doing good that you will make it a point to attend the 2011 !deation.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Loved being there with you !