Revelation

Revelation.

Note to self.

DUH!!!

And there is nothing worse – or should I say better – for learning than a DUH!

So what exactly have I learned? What exactly has been revealed?

IDEAS –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idea

“The capacity to create and understand the meaning of ideas is considered to be an essential and defining feature of human beings.”

And there you have it.

How often do we get an opportunity to do nothing more than revel in IDEAS?

How often can we stop the treadmill and listen, converse, dialogue, ask questions, build on a thought, have fun, build some more – have a beer – all for the express purpose of sharing, creating, developing and nurturing IDEAS?

Not campaigns; not a personal POV.  No selling, no reason to be defensive or shy, no downside to speaking up, only an upside in the sheer joy of hearing wild thinking and celebrating the workings of the mind.

I had the opportunity this past weekend at , which was sponsored by NOKIA.

The Campers – about 200 of them – were from all over and represented everything – just about.

So who were they?

There was an opera singer; musicians; bloggers; filmmakers; Twitter experts; entrepreneurs; high-tech philosophers; philanthropists; artists; geeks of all sizes, shapes and colors; yoga experts; gadget freaks and I’m only scratching the surface.

The IDEA CAMP is part of the “UNCONFERENCE” movement:

http://www.bing.com/search?q=unconference&form=IE8SRC&src=IE-SearchBox

Which began as a way to get people thinking – not inside, outside or out of sight of the box – just plain get them thinking. 

Imagine a conference where the agenda is set by the attendees. Where you choose the topic and folks join to argue, discuss, build, learn and share.

Where respect and playing nice are the number one virtues – you can’t make a fool of yourself – you already are one and so are the rest of the attendees – so says Yossi Vardi: http://www.ted.com/speakers/yossi_vardi.html

The life force behind the camp and similar ones like WPP’s STREAM:

http://stream.wpp.com/home.jsf and Kinnernet — http://kinnernet2010usa.pbworks.com/.

An example of the kind of totally out there, crazy idea that sparks ideas and discussion was presented by Yossi and can be seen in the following video clip that I would not begin to summarize – miss it at your own peril…:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uAakBD4JGo

And there you have it.  Total anarchy reigns – little sleep – lots of activities – but somehow you leave energized, having met some extraordinary people and struck up relationships that will lead to something – who knows where – but to an enriched place for sure.

Much like the video that can be seen in the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ngs43QHOoRU

Some will look at it and say – WHAT THE HELL – what were you people doing? But others – oh, those others will look at it and say – what a creative collaboration – one take – how did you all manage? How did it get done? Who thought it up? And understand that the energy and sheer force that the production and its world premier viewing received probably sparked an uncountable number of interesting conversations – from 3D photography to IP rights to the mechanics of building an audience – and 100 other topics in between.

Total anarchy with some cool curation. After all, this was NOKIA’s camp and they asked us all there to learn and share and share and learn.

Having said that…there was no selling – not from NOKIA or any of the other participants – Yossi would have killed…but Nokia did share thinking about product development, future trends and such – not to mention the feedback we gave on the N8 – which I am now using – all of which was taken openly and with true intent to learn.

Check this out:

http://conversations.nokia.com/2010/09/28/beyond-morph-a-vist-to-nokia-research-centre-cambridge/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zto6aTZM9t0

Sparked a lot of conversation and thinking – what good curation should do – and still is.

Bottom line – lest you think I’ve gone soft – all this unstructured, crazy-assed, wild-eyed, undisciplined ideation has led – in the past – and I will bet in the future – to real business, breakthroughs, serious products and services and I’d further wager that the aggregate ROI (for those who measure) is higher – way higher – than any conference room-based structured “brainstorm,” digital days, thought sessions – you name it.

So what about my quote?

Another revelation – as I found new meaning in an old favorite:

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea.”  ~Oscar Wilde

The new meaning?

There are no dangerous ideas in an idea-centric environment. We make ideas dangerous because we limit ourselves by what we think will work or not, be mainstream or not, be bought or not.

Oscar lived in an environment where anything pushing the norm was viewed as dangerous – hence his admonition.

Many of us live in corporate or social worlds that are not dissimilar – hence my initial love for this quote and its message. And maybe, I’d argue, a practical application should be that if we see others get the feeling – or if we feel the tingle because of what we worry others will think – chances are that we are on to something – maybe even a good idea….

For the future – note to self:  No idea is dangerous – the danger is in ignoring it.

What do you think?

PS – You should have seen me as Groucho…and tasted Jeff Pulver’s Jackson Hole Shakshuka, which I helped him make and serve – not to mention Peter Hirshberg’s Video Karaoke…wild!

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