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Here at BIF, we can hardly wait for September, when the annual BIF Collaborative Summit happens — and if we, who put on the Summit every year, are excited about it, imagine how excited the Summit-goers are! We’ve asked some past participants, and a few first-time attendees, to describe this excitement. Up now: Shelley Paul, Head of Trans-Disciplinary Learning at the Atlanta International School.

We asked Shelley one question: What is it about the BIF Summit that excites you the most? Here’s her answer:

The stories! Story is at the heart of humanity, no matter where you’re from or what your experience is. BIF Summit stories are not about ideas, but about a journey and an experience the storyteller had, with transformation woven into the story.

After 32 storytellers, you’re saturated, in a really good way. But by the end, you also start to make a narrative arc of the whole event. That narrative arc is woven into the tapestry of your experience, and everyone else’s too, to create the collective, shared experience. Even when you’re not a speaker, you feel utterly essential to the experience. You and everyone else are where you are meant to be, to create the shared experience that is meant to be.

And it’s a shared experience from the minute you get there, until long after you leave, because you carry it back with you. I still think of Irwin Kula and Dorie Clark and Camille Beatty from BIF10.

I’m blown away by way lack of hierarchy is designed into the BIF Summit. You don’t feel funny talking to the storytellers. You can tell them how they affected you, and you can tell they’re glad to hear it. You feel like you’re as big a part of the Summit as the storytellers are.

I’m not going back to the BIF Summit, I’m coming home to the BIF Summit, returning to the place where all these amazing sparks and inspirations and stories happen.


Connect. Inspire. Transform. Register #BIF2018