If there has been any overarching theme to the past two years of my life, that theme has been personal and professional development. Though a lot of that development has occurred within the solitude of my home office, some of the biggest leaps have been made at conferences. I attended TEDxConcordiaUPortland last March and then the World Domination Summit in July. As I mentioned in a recent post outlining my 2013 Annual Review, those were two of the most transformative events in my life last year. And now that I’m on the planning team for the 2014 TEDxConcordiaUPortland event, my interest in purposeful gatherings of motivated people continues to grow.
I share all of that as an introduction to the latest sketchnotes, taken during a Design Matters episode in which host Debbie Millman interviews two of the founders of Spark Camp: Amy Webb and Amanda Michel.
The events designed by Spark Camp cannot be described as conferences. They’re not even unconferences (listen to the show if that term sounds foreign to you – it did to me). They are something else entirely. They are events based around a theme, with hand-picked attendees that cannot even apply (they must be chosen, and Webb and Michel take the selection process very seriously, taking into account not stardom within a given field but how one member contributes to the composition of the group as a whole). Get the right group of people in a room together and big strides can be made on some of the most pressing issues of the day.
Based on what I heard from Webb and Michel in their interview, that exclusivity doesn’t bother me. They seem genuine in their intent, and they focus on bringing together a diverse group of individuals. I’m curious to see how this style of event evolves, and whether others take notice and try to replicate it in some ways. Learn more about Spark Camp at their website, and catch more of Debbie Millman’s amazingness at hers.
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