“We want our Collaborative Innovation Summit filled from stage to seats with people sharing transformation ideas and stories,” says BIF Creative Catalyst Saul Kaplan.
After all, it was out of the Summit that the hashtag #RCUS was coined — Random Collisions of Unusual Suspects. And from now until the Summit takes place in September, we’ll run a series of short interviews with former Summit attendees who’ll tell us in their own words why the BIF Summit is a must-go event and how #RCUS has changed their lives. Next up, longtime friend-of-BIF Jon Follett of Involution Studios, a software UX design firm, and author of Designing for Emerging Technologies, which will be published this fall.
Here’s his answer to the question: Why go to the BIF Summit?
The BIF Summit gets better every year. This will be my fourth BIF Summit coming up. From day one I’ve felt very much at home when I come to the BIF Summit. I go to a lot of conferences for my job, and it’s the one conference I go to that I look forward to. Part of the reason is that I think the people who attend the conference know that cross-pollination between different professions, different industries, and different types of people is a really powerful thing. You can pretty much go up to anyone at the BIF Summit and start a conversation and be glad you did. That is a really rare thing. I’ve never really encountered that at any other conference.
I find the collision part to be purposeful rather than random. It’s a purposeful cross-pollination of like-minded innovators. It’s not THAT random. It’s more like bees and flowers. It’s only random because you don’t know which bee is going to pollinate which flower. But like bees and flowers, the cross-pollination WILL happen. It is a random collision, but you’re going to be talking to another innovation junkie, someone who shares a like-mindedness in their desire for innovation. And you know they’re probably pretty smart because they’re at the BIF Summit in the first place.
You’ve got these geniuses on stage, these incredible storytellers who will give you a new perspective on everything from brain science to putting together playgrounds for kids. Also, you have the genius of the smart crowd that amplifies what’s being said on stage. You’re getting a continuous, really high-quality level of intellectual stimulation and analysis, because of the high caliber of the speakers and the fact that they stay and engage with people after their talks.
I also find the BIF Summit to be very relaxing, but it takes me time to wind down. After a while, I ask myself, “why am I still checking my email?” If you’re a professional, an entrepreneur, someone who’s making a lot of decisions for a business, it takes time to disengage, to relax, and enjoy the experience. So give yourself 12 to 24 hours to wind down, unplug, and enjoy. That’s Day 2 for me.
If you’re interested in innovation or intellectual pursuits or just being a continuous learner, you should go to the BIF Summit. It’s like the college experience should have been — a lot of intellectually curious people connecting with each other.