Catalyzing Reactions from BIF2018

There was something palpable in the air surrounding BIF2018. Like many summits that have come before it, our focus has always been to create more community than event. To share in our purposeful networks to catalyze a reaction and spark greatness within the audience, to go out there and bring a renewed sense of hope, belonging, and courage allowing participants to go home and spread their learnings with others.

Usually, by the time the Summit hits us in full force in September, we at BIF are too focused on ensuring everything falls into place to fully grasp the impact of the two-days we have set in motion. It is only until well after the stage lights have dimmed and the hoards of changemakers who have descended upon our great city of Providence have scattered back to their collective outposts across the U.S. that we get the chance to fully reflect.

But this year, there was an undeniable sense that something was different. More exciting. That the change we’ve been so desperately seeking for our most vital social systems might finally be breaking through to an even higher ground. It could just be that the timing couldn’t have been better, that this was exactly what we all needed as a community. Or perhaps this year, in particular, the caliber and diversity of both story and storyteller were far and above what we could have ever hoped for.

Whatever it may be, it’s safe to say that all of us have left changed. Inspired. Hopeful. Ready to self-organize and create the conditions necessary for all of us to freely combine and recombine our capabilities to make the world a better place.

And that change starts with you, our community, through words, actions, and movements, Here are some of the takeaways shared by our audience.

  1. Stranger in a Strange Land: An Educator’s #BIF2018 Adventure by Trevor Aleo
  2. Reflections: One Month Post BIF by Deb Mills-Scofield
  3. BIF2018: How Connection Drives Innovation from Greg Satell
  4. BIF2018: Connecting, Catalyzing And Colliding Communities by DK
  5. How Our First Instincts Can Hamper Our Capacity To Act Wisely And Innovate by Kare Anderson
  6. Design + Strategy = A New Good Story by Eli MacLaren
  7. Let’s Catalyze Something Bigger Than Ourselves by Founder & Chief Catalyst Saul Kaplan
  8. The Biotech Innovation That Will Transform Society Has Arrived: An Interview with Andrew Hessel

Our goal? We want to come together to strategically build a roadmap for transformation through our collective networks with you. Don’t know where to start? If you have a vision, we have an approach.

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Breaking the Silence from the (Unintended) Consequence of Political Correctness

At BIF, one of our core beliefs is that a good story can change the world. By sharing our insights and perspectives, we can connect, inspire, and transform to enable purposeful networks. Guest contributor Ann Keehn shares her thoughts and emergent takeaway from BIF2018:

One emerged theme from BIF 2018:

Breaking the silence from the (unintended) consequence of political correctness.

George Carlin wrote, “Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules. I’m not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. I’m not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.”

Alan Simpson noted that “Political correctness is like wearing duct tape on your mouth because if you really are a person filled with hate, prejudice, and bias […] then that stuff comes through like a fissure through a volcano.” As a young boy, Alan Simpson’s father (a Boy Scout troop leader) took his son, Alan, to the Heart Mountain Japanese internment camp (a part of our American history we were so powerfully reminded of in Julian’s songs) to hold troop meetings because “those imprisoned were also American boys.” It was during this time that Alan Simpson and Norman Mineta (an imprisoned Japanese American boy) began their life-long friendship; Alan became a Republican senator and Norman a Democratic congressman – both fighting for freedom of speech and against discrimination.

I heard several of the storytellers putting out their own story, unpacking their own biases, and asking us to have the courage to have the conversation. Name it, talk about it, find a way to make it better for all. They called for a greater recognition of structured bias in our systems, but also the recognition that “we” are the systems. That it begins not with solving the problem of the 100,000 homeless population in a city, but one person handing a token to and seeing that one man or woman who is currently without a home.

I am more hopeful for America’s future when I hear that many conversations are taking shape. That individuals are having the courage to stop the censorship, to take off the duct tape, and to have those often uncomfortable but always enlightening conversations. Sam Siedel’s image of the two worlds back-to-back and Yolanda’s poem reflect these ideas because they retain the complex beauty of our world while challenging us to see in a new way.

Ann Keehn
Health Services Director of Operations & Senior Consultant
John Snow, Inc.

John Snow, Inc., and our nonprofit JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., are public health management consulting and research organizations dedicated to improving the health of individuals and communities throughout the world. Our mission is to improve the health of underserved people and communities and to provide a place where people of passion and commitment can pursue this cause.

Share Your BIF2018 Insights With Us 


Design + Strategy = A New Good Story

In 2010, my mind was blown by the inaugural TEDWomen — I mean literally blown. My brain hurt, and I was off-balance and discombobulated, as my brain raced with many powerful insights. I was grateful for the plane home, so I could process and make meaning of what I’d heard, creating a new practice:

Whenever I leave a conference, I make a list of no more than 5 insights that are so powerful that I must act on them. I create an intention for what that action looks like, define the barriers and risks of acting in new ways, and hold myself accountable for starting.

As Chief Market Maker at BIF, I am blessed that two days of innovation storytelling is part of our annual Fall cycle, and so this practice continues for me after each BIF Summit. I am also blessed that I get to process the learnings and insights with a team of Experience Designers, and incorporate them into our work with institutional leaders. Not everyone is so lucky, and it had me wondering how this formula of inspiration, design, and strategy could be useful to our audience too, so I wanted to make a proposition.

Here’s why:

I regularly facilitate conversations about business model innovation. I use BIF’s methodology to teach teams and groups how this methodology can make transformation safer and easier to manage. The goal is to inspire confidence in transformation (versus the well-known approaches to incremental innovation) and to teach a few fundamental behaviors required to be successful:

  • Transformation requires shifting your lens from your core business model and taking a human/user-centered approach.
  • Recognize that your initial solution design is only partially right, and move as rapidly as possible to real-world prototyping to fix the rest.
  • Focus on scale only once you have figured out what the “it” is; too often, we let questions of scale surface and create resistance to trying something new before we even know what the new is and how it works.
  • All of this is relevant to the design process — a process of seeing anew and a bias towards action.

The second part is the internal strategy, meaning:

How do even seasoned innovation leaders create the conditions for and the permission to do transformational work?

The reality is that one of two conditions will exist in institutions. In the most ideal and least common, the CEO will recognize the institutional imperative to explore new business models as part of the innovation agenda. In the least ideal and most common, the innovation leader (Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, etc.) will want to ensure that transformation is part of the innovation portfolio, but unfortunately, their efforts are not supported, resourced, or declared at the leadership level.

Then what?

Building on my own experience as a seasoned intrapreneur and the work BIF has done to explore the entrepreneur experience, (a) we know how hard it is; and (b) we have a few recommended strategies:

  • Stories mobilize others to act. Share them early to test the waters. Grow them to build ground and resources. Make them visual. Make them personal — enabling others to connect through authenticity and vulnerability.
  • A sense of a belonging is hard to find within — there is a reason innovators are known as rebels and disrupters. Search for tribes. Carve out gold in the grey space — physically and virtually — across business units, silos, and disciplines.
  • You have to earn the freedom to act. Be prepared for resistance, and confront it with listening ears. Recognize that you won’t win all the time, loss happens. Know when it matters.
  • Strengthen your organization’s response system through your own actions. Overcome self-doubt. Reframe failure as intentional iteration. Have patience, and be eternally optimistic.
  • Differentiate know-what and know-how. Recognize the two types of knowledge building. Be prepared to unlearn and de-educate, especially while working within existing organizational constructs. Draw from life experiences.
  • Make it easy for others to invest. Be strategic in finding executive sponsorship. Create an opportunity to vet and evaluate routinely. Seed a sense of collective contribution.

So how does this relate to your BIF2018 experience? Because here is what is going to happen:

  • You will hear stories from 32 storytellers who will blow your mind, inspire your thinking, and shift your lens.
  • You will connect with your tribe, and be incredibly optimistic about the possibilities to transform.
  • Without the strategy part of the equation, you’ll go home and be disenchanted with the ho and the hum of business as usual.

That’s where we come in.

Following the Summit, I will happily jump on the phone with you to: (1) quickly help you identify the key challenges/barriers to transformation; (2) define the core behaviors and strategies that will help you navigate them; and (3) help you frame a narrative for how this design and strategy might come together to alter your institutional trajectory.

Design + Strategy = A New Good Story.

It’s all part of making transformation safer and easier to manage. Welcome to the community.

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Let’s Catalyze Something Bigger Than Ourselves

September is a beacon of light for us every year. At BIF, we pride ourselves in living and breathing the human side of innovation day in and day out, but it’s really our Annual Collaborative Innovation Summit that reminds us of our shared purpose.

It touches our souls, refreshes our outlook, and energizes us for the hard transformation work ahead. For those of you that are new faces in the crowd, you’ll soon experience what we mean. And for those who have returned year after year, I can’t thank you enough for strengthening our growing network of human-centered innovation junkies. Together we can change the world.  

We believe in the power of random collisions of unusual suspects, or what we at BIF like to call making a RCUS, to tap the limitless potential in the gray spaces between us. There’s no telling the heights we can reach together by coming here and connecting outside our usual silos, from all walks of life, experiences, and viewpoints – all catalyzed by the 32 incredible personal stories of transformation we’re about to experience on the #BIF2018 stage. Every year I’m reminded that this isn’t just about who attends or even who is up on stage, but that it’s about catalyzing something bigger than any one of us. It’s about engaging and collaborating as a purposeful network to unleash the adjacent possible. To connect, inspire, and transform.

True to our vision, #BIF2018 continues to remain more community than event. Our community knows that innovation is a team sport and understands the value of connectivity. We can’t get better, faster if we don’t do it together. To make change a reality, it’s up to all of us to make it happen. I believe in the untapped potential in all of us and look forward to these two days every year, knowing that the best is yet to come. Let the inspiration begin!

BIF2018 Collaborative Innovation Summit

One of our core beliefs is that a good story can change the world.  We’ve never prescribed what our storytellers have to say and nor will we. At #BIF2018 we are modeling how to enable self-organized purposeful networks. It’s up to us to accept the responsibility to convert random collisions from the Summit into powerful and purposeful collaborations. You decide what your takeaways are, what insights to act on. How to engage and inspire others. Inspiration is personal and it’s up to participants to decide where it comes from, who to connect with, and how to emerge with a renewed sense of purpose. Let’s make a RCUS at #BIF2018, because that’s how the magic happens.

I have high expectations for where we can go from here. Transformation requires an emotional connection to the work. When we feel connected and involved in the story, there’s no telling what we can do together. The time for transformation is now. Let’s make our networks more purposeful and committed to transforming our important social systems, including healthcare, education, and public services.

Together we will catalyze something bigger than any of us individually. The more we connect, share, and experiment together, the greater our impact will have on more people’s lives. What if innovation isn’t about inventing anything new after all? What if it’s about creating the conditions for all of us to more freely combine and recombine our capabilities to make the world a better place?

If a good story can change the world, let’s start with our own. Welcome to #BIF2018!

Forbes Named BIF2018 Top 5 Conferences To Expand Your Mind


An Interview with #BIF2018 Storyteller Mark Brand

We had an opportunity to catch up with Mark Brand, CEO of MB, Inc. and highly anticipated storyteller at BIF2018. Passionate and purposeful, Brand talks to us about the power of connectivity, combining purposeful networks, and some of the fascinating endeavors he’s taken on.

Last year you wowed us at the BIF2017 Summit, coming out in full force with your journey. Tell us a little about your experience and what it was like to be a part of the Summit?

For scope, I’m terrible at vetting folks and on top of that, am a Canadian who’s been buried in my work for a decade. I attend events and based on what I speak about and who I’m with, the universe and all its soldiers (I’m looking at you Saul & Yarrow) line me up with great people. I was hanging out on day two last year and a gentleman who I recognized started talking to me about real upward mobility, not band-aid entrenchment solutions, for marginalized populations. He said, “You need to help us out in New Mexico”, and it still didn’t click at the time, I just had a crush on his brain and his vision. Turns out he founded Fast Company and he’s the Mayor (of Santa Fe, New Mexico) now, so I think he knew what he was talking about.

Another discussion I had was with the team at Peace Love Studios that’s led us to partner further. What I’m getting at here is everyone at the conference is truly about change and impact. Being able to share my story to accelerate others work was a real gift that’s still giving.

Mark Brand at BIF2017

Since your time at BIF2017, we’ve seen you take on some incredible new endeavors: a new role as Professor of Innovation at USC, cooking at the Vatican as Executive Chef for Pope Francis’s Laudato Si Challenge; tell us a little more about what you’ve been up to – and where you find the time to do it all?

Time is our most valuable resource, so it only made sense for me to find out how to get all of mine back. I did, and am now focused solely on scalable projects that will impact all of society, and teaching or speaking to those who can do the same. My role as Professor at USC is teaching doctoral students of social work how to approach the work they’ve been doing, some for decades, and flip it on its head using design methodologies and no bullshit real-world experience. It’s the most rewarding work to be teaching those who are in it, with so little resource, but all the passion.

Rome was incredible. I got to cook for 400 global leaders and through my menu and words discuss solutions from agriculture and people to climate change. Folks often look at the traditionally “Barriered” as a burden, but they’ve got it all wrong. They’re the solution, and I got to share that on a stage I could only have dreamed of prior. I’m a deeply spiritual, non-religious dude, so it was extra special to have this group bring me in. It shows that purpose and impact trump affiliation, pun fully intended.

I also became certified as an Integral Facilitator this year from the Ten Directions program, which has taught me how to use my whole body as an instrument and how to mediate the hardest of conversations. When you start to use all of your senses, kind of like a tuning fork, you can achieve so much more because you don’t waste time on, well, time wasters. Intuition plays a big role, trust it.

At home in Vancouver the partnership of our Social Hub, Save On Meats, and charity, A Better Life Foundation, served its two millionth meal to those in need. Two Million. When people say small businesses can’t make big changes, we beg to differ. The programs now feed between 900-1300 people a day and we couldn’t be prouder of the work where it all started and continues to grow. I have an incredible team of people.

Where does that take you now? Talk to us about what you’re working on.

Everything is the short answer. I’m working more than ever and feel better than ever. This summer I’ve been spending a ton of time in NYC and as of the fall am bringing my company and charity stateside, with the intention of building brick and mortar centers akin to Save On Meats in every single neighborhood that needs one. We’re also taking my Greasy Spoon Diner series National and International to Australia, where I’ll serve as Entrepreneur In Residence for the City of Sydney this fall for 2 weeks.

My digital platform PAL has found partners with DOMO and Fairshare and we’ve been nonstop this last 6 months working on getting the data we need to start to end homelessness in a city by city case using emerging tech that is simply incredible.

We launched HATCH Europe a few months back and I’m super excited to see my dear friends and family Kimberly, Charles, James, Phillip, Holley, Vika, and Quentin all from the network joining BIF this year. They’re insanely beautiful and impactful people that are going to blow the audience at BIF away.

You know Saul, 5 years ago, I couldn’t get people to amalgamate impact and business mentally. It was church and state. Now it’s all anyone wants to talk to me about and I’ve seen a massive change not only in normalized vernacular but hunger from people with wealth and power to do real, sustainable good. Not just write cheques. I’m over the moon with the state of things and really appreciate how you and BIF show up to help the conversation.

We’re excited to have you back on stage at BIF2018. What are you going to share this year?

It’s all Top Secret. I’m doing a talk that’s deeply personal and that I’ve never done before. I’m very excited to share it.

What does the Summit experience mean to you? How would you describe it?

It’s an opportunity to embrace new perspectives I don’t get exposed to. The conference is challenging whilst supportive, it’s engaging whilst also disruptive. I’m certain I’ll end up in all the heated discussions I had no idea I wanted to have again.


Register for the BIF Summit to hear Mark alongside 32 remarkable storytellers and you’ll leave inspired and ready to transform yourself, your company, and even the world.
Connect. Inspire. Transform. Register #BIF2018


Healthcare Storytellers to Watch at #BIF2018

This September 13-14, 500 innovation junkies will convene in Providence, Rhode Island to listen to 32 storytellers share their passionate stories about transformation at the annual Business Innovation Factory (BIF) Collaborative Innovation Summit. BIF’s Patient Experience Lab is most excited to listen and learn from these 5 speakers from the healthcare industry:  

Andrew Hessel

Andrew Hessel

Andrew Hessel is the CEO of Humane Genomics Inc., a seed-stage company developing virus-based therapies for cancer, starting with dogs. Andrew is also the co-founder of Genome Project-write, an international scientific effort working to engineer large genomes, including the human genome. He is also a Distinguished Researcher at Autodesk Life Sciences and a faculty member at Singularity University.  Andrew is a reputable speaker helping people understand the biotech industry. He enjoys presenting to groups with government, academic, and commercial backgrounds. Check out Andrew at BIF 2016

Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia

Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia

Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia is the Executive Director of the Cook County Department of Corrections where she oversees mental health strategy. The Cook County Jail, located in Chicago, is home to 2000-2500 inmates suffering from mental illnesses. Nneka focuses her work to slow the rate of mentally ill individuals re-entering the prison system by developing the Mental Health Transition Center to build a system of support for inmates re-entering the community. She became warden of the Cook County Jail in the Spring of 2015, emerging as one of the first clinical psychologists to run a prison, understanding how a large portion of the jail’s population suffers from mental illness. Read more about Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia here.

Darden Smith

Darden Smith

Darden Smith is a singer-songwriter, a founder of a non-profit, an author, and a return BIF Summit speaker. Darden has produced 15 critically-acclaimed albums in his 32-year career. Mental health is often hard to talk about, however, Darden is helping American heroes tell their story, release often invisible pain and forge new connections. His non-profit, SongwritingWith: Soldiers helps soldiers and their families cope with the aftermath of combat by using music as a form of expression. Darden is an accomplished speaker and often shares insight into the lessons he learned as a singer-songwriter, how he re-made himself into a non-profit founder and entrepreneur, and his evolution as an artist. Check out Darden at BIF 10.

Ken Falke

Ken Falke

Ken Falke is a 21-year combat veteran of the US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal community and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer. Ken’s passion for taking care of his fellow vets led him to develop Boulder Crest, America’s first privately funded wellness center that assists combat veterans and their families. Boulder Crest focuses on an alternative approach to treating PTSD and depression. Ken is also an accomplished author and recently released his book, Struggle Well which focuses on post-traumatic growth. Ken is highly respected around the world as an innovative and forwardthinking leader on the subjects of wounded warrior care, military and veteran transition, counterterrorism, military training, and innovative technology development.

Emily Levy

Emily Levy is the CEO and founder of Mightywell, a company that aims to “turn sickness into strength”. Her products allow patients to live a more comfortable life by helping them to maintain their dignity, health, and confidence through functional and stylish apparel and accessories. At Mightywell, Emily encourages a strong, digitally-driven community where peers can talk about their experiences and find strength in each other.

 

This year’s BIF Summit will be a welcome place for healthcare innovators and leaders to connect and find inspiration to transform the industry. Are you a healthcare leader who shares BIF’s passion to innovate and transform? Email Will to talk about this year’s Collaborative Innovation Summit

Connect. Inspire. Transform. Register #BIF2018


BIF Announces With GoLocal Live: #BIF2017 Summit Storyteller Series

The Business Innovation Factory (BIF), in collaboration with GoLocal, announces a media partnership for #BIF2017, BIF’s Annual Collaborative Innovation Summit held in Providence, RI this September 13-14 at Trinity Repertory Company, including a six week #BIF2017 Summit Storyteller Series on GoLocal Live featuring interviews with inspiring #BIF2017 storytellers leading up to GoLocal broadcasting live, for the first time ever, from #BIF2017 at Trinity Rep Theatre on September 13-14, 2017.  

BIF and GoLocalLive will debut the six-week #BIF2017 Summit Storyteller Series starting this Friday, August 4, 2017, leading off with the co-founder of Fast Company, Alan Webber. Now in its’ 13th year, #BIF2017, like previous summits before it, has attracted high-profile storytellers from across the country, including this year Walt Mossberg, veteran tech journalist from the Wall Street Journal; Carmen Medina, former Deputy Director of Intelligence at the CIA , and Richard Saul Wurman, design icon and creator of the TED Conference.

“We’re thrilled to have GoLocal as a #BIF2017 Media Partner and to debut the #BIF2017 Summit Storyteller Series on GoLocal Live this week” Saul Kaplan,  Founder and Chief Catalyst of BIF explains. “The BIF Summit enables 500+ innovation junkies from around the world, and many more connected online, to learn from inspiring storytellers who share genuine stories about their personal transformation journey. #BIF2017 enables participants to engage in stories of transformation, connecting with each other to accelerate our own transformation journeys and to make a difference in the world.  At BIF, we believe that in order to transform our most vital community systems in education, healthcare, and government, we need to make our self-organized networks more purposeful .”

 

At #BIF2017 on September 13-14 GoLocal will simultaneously live stream the entire Summit, all 32 stories over 2 days, as well as featuring GoLocal Live interviews during the summit intermissions and breaks. “We’ve been broadcasting with Saul for a series we’ve dubbed Mr. Innovation, airing every Monday afternoon, so the partnership with BIF seemed like a natural fit. We’re excited to try something new and bring the greater stories of transformation to our incredible viewers,” Josh Fenton, CEO and co-founder of GoLocal explains.

Why attend? #BIF2017 experience is designed for inspired learning. It takes place in a theater, not a hotel or conference center. There’s only one track, so everyone shares a common experience. Attendees expand their networks with both storytellers and attendees during our long breaks, meals, and reception with over 80 percent of attendees being thought leaders, CEOs, Presidents, or Senior Leaders in their field. Tickets for #BIF2017 are on sale now.  Register today and be ready to leave feeling inspired.


The BIF Summit ‘Unlocks The Doors Of Possibility’ – Dara Goldberg

Guest post by Dara Goldberg

During September 14-16 — in just two weeks  more than 500 people from all sectors, countless industries, and myriad locales worldwide will descend upon the beautiful Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island, to experience the Business Innovation Factory’s BIF2016 Summit. You should be there too — and here’s why.

The BIF Summit is your physical and mental door into the unknown and the unexpected. The BIF Summit is a place where we can discuss and consider wildly exciting notions — that anything is possible when it comes to rethinking and rebuilding business models, that we can build and rebuild social systems that will serve everyone, everywhere, the whole world over — in a profoundly better way.

The BIF Summit is a safe, welcoming space where ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ are forbidden, where egos, titles, fame and fortune, hierarchy and competition are checked at the door, and where ‘not knowing’ is a welcomed frame of mind.

The BIF Summit is your ticket to a braintrust of individuals who are not afraid to think out loud, to question, to challenge, to share, to agree and disagree, to care about one another, and to interact with everyone on an entirely level playing field.

Enter the BIF Summit, and you enter a world filled with ideas, practices, and manners of thinking — about your work, yourself, your community, and the world — that you would never have considered or even thought possible.

The BIF Summit is the key that unlocks the doors of possibility,  unleashing that wondrous, daring, creative part of your own brain. You know, that part of your brain that rarely gets its due, and is not confined by boxes, expectations, and rules. That sacred place in your brain that knows no self-doubt, fear of judgment, preconceived notions, or outmoded assumptions.  The part where curiosity, wonder, a ‘we’ mentality, flexibility, and optimism naturally occur, where questions are more valued than answers, where ambiguity, perplexity, and non-linear thinking are celebrated.

Over the course of those two days, your brain — and your heart and soul — will be nourished, re-energized, challenged, and moved, perhaps even to tears, by stories. The BIF Summit’s storytellers are ready and willing to be vulnerable with you. They’ll share their bold, edgy ideas and experiences, their successes and failures, and their sometimes grand, sometimes more modest perspectives on how we can think, act, work, and live in different and markedly more meaningful and impactful ways.

The BIF Summit storytellers will push you to the edge of your thinking and help you find comfort there. But equally provocative and fulfilling are the stories you share with the people you meet throughout the two days. In the interactions BIF refers to as ‘Random Collisions of Unusual Suspects’, you’ll find yourself conceiving, sharing,  and learning about new ideas and ways of thinking. You’ll collectively bring new ways of thinking to life.

Toward the end of the two days, as people start to realize that their incredible Summit experience is coming to a close, the energy in the room is, surprisingly, far from somber and low. Rather, the atmosphere continues to build in a powerfully positive way, as everyone gets even more excited and emboldened to take all that they have gained from and contributed to the BIF Summit home with them, and help spur the change they now know is possible.

I truly hope to see you there.

Connect. Inspire. Transform. Register #BIF2018


Wanda McClure on the BIF Summit: Thinking Beyond The School Silos

The BIF Summit is designed to allow attendees to break free from their silos. There are storytellers and stories, not speakers and presentations. There are no pre-set theme s or topics. Within this environment, attendees can boundlessly explore new ways to make themselves, their businesses, and our world a better place.

No matter your title, no matter your line of business, everyone who attends the BIF Summit benefits. Take Wanda McClure, for example. A longtime educator, Wanda is a School Designer and Professional Development Specialist for EL Education, formerly Expeditionary Learning, in the Atlantic region. She’s been to the BIF Summit for a few years running.

I asked Wanda to tell us, through the lens of an educator, why go to the BIF Summit?

Wanda’s answer: Educational leadership can become stagnant. The BIF Summit inspires me to think differently and ask questions like, How does innovation and strategy play into K-12? What do students need to be successful? How can we engage school leaders to participate in innovation? What part does strategy and innovation play in transformative, disruptive change?

In my experience, most schools and school districts make incremental changes, rather than disruptive or transformative change. The BIF Summit expands my thinking and inspires me as I work with leaders in education to help them understand how change happens, how we must move from incremental to more disruptive and progressive changes. The BIF Summit reminds me that we need to be intentional disruptive as we work toward change in education in order to allow teachers and students to truly become changemakers who create a better world.

Every storyteller comes to the BIF Summit with a unique story. So does everyone who attends. Yet in those diverse, random collisions of people and stories, we all share a commonality of humanity.

I love being a part of the RCUS team where those collisions of thought happen. Participating in that commonality reminds me how we are humans ‘being’ on a journey through life. I’m prompted to reflect on the big questions: How am I using my voice as a force for good? How can I apply the collective wisdom of these innovators to my task as a human being?

Connect. Inspire. Transform. Register #BIF2018


Matt Murrie on The BIF Summit: The Element of Surprise

The BIF Summit is designed to allow attendees to break free from their silos. There are storytellers and stories, not speakers and presentations. There is no pre-set theme or topics. Within this environment, attendees can boundlessly explore new ways to make themselves, their businesses, and our world a better place.

As Co-Founder and Chief Curiosity Curator of What If…? Matt Murrie is a guy who asks a lot of questions.

Matt has been to the BIF Summit before, and he’ll be at #BIF2016, September 14-15. I spoke with Matt to ask the question ‘Why go to the BIF Summit?’

Matt’s short answer: People. To go a little deeper, the unique collections of people in one place. The BIF Summit gives me access to those people. At the Summit, I have time to spend with this unique collection of people, sharing stories and ideas. Everyone is at the BIF Summit for a reason and everyone has a purpose. But there’s also an incredible element of surprise over the course of those two days.

I am mind-blown each year when I look at the attendee list before heading off to the BIF Summit. I always like to be the dumbest person in the room — I learn more that way. The BIF Summit gives me that opportunity.

Connect. Inspire. Transform. Register #BIF2018