And acquaintances turn to friends
I hope those friends they remember me
Hold the night for ransom as we kidnap the memories
Not sure there is a way to express what you meant to me
Sit around a table and use those years as the centerpiece
– Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: “Cowboy Boots”
This is my first full day back from Up To All of Us 2013, an unconference focused on “Co-creating revolutions in learning and technology.”
I chose that verse from Cowboy Boots because this event was all about connections: making new ones and strengthening old ones. We learn from each other and share experiences, like telling stories of risk around a campfire. We can encourage and say “do it”, or respectfully disagree (“yes, and”) and move on to the next topic. It’s an open format, and almost anything is acceptable, except excessive negativity.
How does something like this come together? How does something like this work? Planning and good people. This kind of event does not happen with out fine human beings. Herding those humans? Coordinating the event to make sure each of these complex, brilliant beings has his or her needs met? That is a challenge, and one that Aaron and Megan met head on for the second year in a row, with great success.
I’m amazed at the talent I’ve been connected with over the last two years at these events, and the willingness they all have to help me solve a problem, work through an idea, or simply draw a duck. After last year’s event, several attendees took new jobs, made the leap into entrepreneurship or freelancing, or did something else that made them happy. I can’t wait to see what comes out of this year’s event.
How does one come down from this high? For many of us, it’s back to reality, back to the grind, back to chores and articles and research and development. This is the time to keep cranking. To build upon what we’ve already built. To finish those projects we demonstrated. To learn even more about topics that we were introduced to. To find a way to make that thing we want to do actually happen.
I quit my job last September, but it was last February that I made the decision. I don’t have a job to quit this year, but I do have things to build and people I want to work with. I’m not waiting until September. This is accelerating.
“Not sure there is a way for me to express what you meant to me…”
But I know we’ll all sit around a table next year and use last weekend as a centerpiece for what WE built in 2013.