The bloggers have spoken–the BIF summit rocks! Last week Amanda Fenton eloquently discussed her excitement in anticipation for BIF-7, now please turn your attention to Sam Horns’ take on the power of storytelling! -Katherine Hypolite
One of the best conferences I’ve ever attended was BIF-6, held in Providence, RI and hosted by Saul Kaplan of the Business Innovation Factory.
Saul and his team collect an eclectic mix of pioneering thought leaders ranging from Tony Hsieh of Zappos to Alan Webber, co-founder of Fast Company, Jason Fried of Rework and Keith Yamashita, who believes many of us “fritter away our greatness.”
Each presented a TED-like 18-minute presentation introducing their latest invention or insight.
I was on the edge of my seat for the entire two days.
There was a recurring, underlying theme to each presentation. These visionaries had either:
A) seen something wrong and thought, “Someone should DO something about this. After being bothered about it for a while, they finally concluded, “I’m as much a someone as anyone. I’LL do something about this.”
B) witnessed something that wasn’t what it could be. They thought, “It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s got to be a better way. An easier, greener, more satisfying, profitable way. And I’m going to come up with that way.”
I’ll be featuring some of their intriguing stories in upcoming blogs.
For now, I want to share the opening of the individual who did the best job at winning buy-in the first 60 seconds.
Are you wondering, “Was this someone who’s given hundreds of presentations, who’s done lots of media?”
Nope. The person who had us at hello was a surprise.
She walked to the center of the stage, centered herself (literally and figuratively) and stood tall and confident until everyone in the room gave her their undivided attention.
Then, flashing a playful grin, she said, “I know what you’re thinking.”
“What can a 7th grader possibly teach me about innovation?!”
“Well, we 7th graders know a thing or two. Like,” and here she spoofed herself, “how to flip our hair.” At this point, she tossed her long hair over her shoulder.
The crowd laughed, (with her, not at her). Everyone was instantly engaged and impressed with this young woman’s moxie and presence.
“We also know we have the power to make things better if we put our minds to it. For example . . . ” and she was off and running.
12-year-old Cassandra Lin had us at hello.
The Cliff Notes version of her story is that she and her class discovered the clogged sewer pipes in their city were the verge of causing a disaster because so many restaurants and industrial companies were pouring their F.O.G (Fat, Oil, Grease) down the closest drain.
After doing some research, she and her classmates started T.G.I.F – Turn Grease into Fuel – an award-winning recycling effort that generates money for needy families.
Read the entire article at Sam Horn’s blog