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“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 Marty Baker, Senior Manager of Global Digital Content for the Hershey Company and Chief Catalyst and Owner of Inotivity, an innovation consultancy.

Here’s his answer to the question: Why go to the BIF Summit?

The DNA of the BIF Summit is stories shared. Compelling, inspiring, and transforming stories about how innovation and innovative thinking is making a difference in the world.

BIF10 will be my sixth BIF Summit Experience — and much like a roller coaster ride, it never ceases to be exciting and the experience is over much too soon. I want to start with the opening lines of a blog I wrote about Jeffrey Sparr, one of the presenters at BIF8:

“Most innovations arrive in public in dress clothes. They are bangles and baubles that don’t reflect the often-perilous road it takes to succeed. You also don’t hear the words ‘innovation’ and ‘courage’ used together. Jeffrey enthralled the audience at BIF because he turned a mental disorder into art and in turn is helping hundreds of people living with similar disorders to thrive.”

Jeffrey isn’t a famous name in the innovation world, nor does he seek recognition in a conventional way. His innovation is a labor of love and sanity in often-insane world.

This is the magic of every BIF Summit I have attended. There are the names you know like Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Mark Cuban, and author Dan Pink. But there are names you probably don’t know. Like Jeffery Sparr and innovators like Angela Blanchard, who will also be a BIF10 storyteller. As President & CEO of Neighborhood Centers, Inc., she led a community development framework throughout the Houston region to impact over 500,000 people a year.

Or innovators like John Donoghue — The Henry Merritt Wriston Professor and Director of the Brain Science Program at Brown University. John and his team created an interface that enabled a paralyzed woman to move a robotic arm simply by thinking. It wasn’t science fiction — it was science.

So why attend BIF10?

Because you never know which story of passion, determination, and focus will transform and inspire you. It may a single story. It may be the curious intersection of many stories. Or it just may be saying hello and talking with Jeffery Sparr at lunch.

The BIF Summit. Nothing transforms like a great story.