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Saul Kaplan: Welcome To #BIF2015!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

 

Maybe I’m just getting old, but the self-imposed pressure to get better faster, and to rise to the occasion of the enormous social system challenges we all face, has never been more acute. I feel a heightened sense of urgency.

I don’t know about you, but #BIF2015 comes at the perfect time for me. I need the annual fix of connection and inspiration I get from hanging out at our BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit with you — the BIF community of like-minded innovation junkies from around the world. I’m betting you can use an inspiration fix too!

I never know what collisions, patterns, and stories will most move and inspire me in advance of each summit. I do know that each and every Summit has surprised me in unique ways. I look forward to the two days of the Summit every year. I’m grateful and blessed to spend them colliding with you. Bring on the random collisions of unusual suspects and let the inspiration begin!

I also know that after 10 years of hosting the Summit, it never gets old. It delivers every year. #BIF2015, our 11th summit, will deliver too. Not because this year’s storytellers are more inspiring than ever — although they are. Not because this year’s participants are more pre-wired for collaborative innovation than ever —although you are. Not because the market screams for transformation more than ever — although it does. Not because the BIF team has poured their hearts and souls into creating the perfect conditions for #BIF2015 — although they have. #BIF2015 will deliver because of you.

If we have learned anything from our first decade it’s that if we trust you, the BIF community, the BIF Summit will deliver. We don’t prescribe what should be important to you. We don’t tell you who to collide or connect with. We don’t tell you what to take away from the amazing stories or what patterns will emerge over the two days of the Summit.

Instead, you decide. You decide what’s important enough to share with other Summit participants. You decide what to share with your networks. You decide what insights to act upon. You decide, and we all learn together. You engage, and we all engage together. You’re inspired, and we all inspire each other. You act, and we all act together. You’re the magic of the BIF Summit. We trust you. Bring it!

Over the first decade of the BIF Summit, we have nailed self-organized networks. The BIF community knows that innovation is a team sport, and highly values connection and sharing. We skew social and have been active travelers on every new social media platform. We leave no connection opportunity unturned! We are direct and honest with each other, and we know that being interesting starts with being interested.

The BIF community also knows that if we wait for institutions and institutional leaders to transform our important social systems, we will wait a very long time. It is up to us to use our new self-organizing superpowers to catalyze the societal changes we want. Institutions will come along once they realize that resistance is futile!

My dream for our second decade at BIF is that we get much better at making our self-organized networks purposeful. We’ve got the connecting and sharing part down. Now it’s time to work on making our networks actionable, to get stuff done. Watch out when we get both the self-organized and purposeful parts right. There will be no stopping us!

Our BIF mantra is “Connect, Inspire, Transform”. It’s time to up the ante on Transform. Together we will catalyze something bigger than any of us separately. We can make reinvention safer and easier to manage. The connections we make and reinforce at the Summit provide the basis for us to collaborate and take action throughout the year, exploring and testing new business models and social systems. Together, we need to try more stuff.

I have high expectations — I know that you in the BIF community are ready, willing, and able. So buckle up, because our second decade promises to be an inspiring and productive ride. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from you, to be inspired by you, and to change the world together.

Welcome to #BIF2015.

P.S. If you made it to the end of this post I take it you’re interested in #BIF2015! I’m offering a full scholarship to the next ten people who can find their way to Providence Rhode Island on September 16-17, that haven’t attended a past BIF summit, and who email me at [email protected] with a compelling pitch for why you absolutely have to be there and simply can’t afford to buy a ticket.

Saul Kaplan is the Founder and Chief Catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF). Saul shares innovation musings on his blog at It’s Saul Connected and on Twitter at @skap5.

 

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