Posts Tagged ‘Convention’

Toronto: A Hub for Foresight & Futures?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Toronto is buzzing this week with foresight events and activities. WorldFuture 2012: The annual conference of the World Future Society, is taking place at the Toronto Sheraton Centre, July 27-29, 2012. In conjunction with it the Futures:BetaLaunch 2012 also known as F:BL  2012 awards will be celebrated. This free event features 11 award winning future-focused start-ups is scheduled for Saturday July 28 evening. For details click here.

APF, the Association of Professional Futurists is celebrating 10 years of existence with a full-day of professional development hosted by the Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) team July 27 at OCAD University’s landmark Sharp Centre, with a reception in the evening. To top it all the Strategic Foresight & Innovation masters program at OCADU is celebrating being selected for on of the F:BL 2012 awards.

Much to celebrate in a Toronto rapidly becoming a hub for foresight and futurists activities.

Random Collisions of Unusual Suspects

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Last week I attended the Collaborative Innovation Summit in Providence, RI. Called BIF-6 in reference to it’s organizer, the Business Innovation Factory and it’s sixth occurrence, the two-day event exposes participants to thirty exceptional storytellers in a intimate theater setting. I had attended last year’s BIF-5 and found it inspiring and energizing, so I went for more.

An even greater value in attending BIF-6 is really in the networking that takes place before, after and between the stories. BIF founder Saul Kaplan calls it “random collisions of unusual suspects” because he and his team use diversity and diversification as a core principle to enrich these collisions. Storytellers as well as participants are from every walk of life imaginable: from serial entrepreneurs, to educators, technologists, business executives, high-school students to a twelve-year old girl that set up a domestic grease collection and reprocessing into bio fuel that helped heat the house of needy families in her town.

Daring to be Great

The last presentation of Day 2 of BIF-6 was by Keith Yamashita, titled originally “Change, to the Power of Ten”. Inspired and moved by previous storytellers and encounters with participants, he changed his title to “Is it worth daring to be great?” As he was reflecting on the role of trust between two people in the larger context of teams and organizations, he recounted an incident, when a business partner and mentor (Alan Webber) vested his full trust in him. For 10 seconds he became very emotional and a tear ran down his cheek. He quickly recovered and continued his presentation, but in those 10 seconds I learned about trust and its importance in personal relations and in social networks small and large more than any books or courses could teach.

Random Collision

Later the next day, in the coach taking us to Providence Airport I happened to sit next to another participant, Monika Hardy (@monk51295). With a long wait for our flights, we settled in one of the airport’s seating areas, opened our laptops, intended to get some work done. But the conversation started in the coach did not want to go away. I was still reflecting on my learning experience from Keith’s presentation, and found myself in an amazing deep-dive conversation with Monika, who turned out to be an innovator herself in the field of children education. I was fascinated and encouraged that in a public school system, a space has been allowed to experiment with new methods and ways. Monika described how children choose what they want to learn and are then guided by a different kind of teacher, a facilitator of learning that connects the dots of the child’s interests without imposing an unnatural regiment of learning. In fact, the children go through a “detox” to unlearn some of the old behaviors learned in school.

Emotional Learning

As I was listening to her passionately describe her work , it occurred to me that the “detox” approach might well be applicable to business. We need to unlearn behaviors drilled into us by the existing system, before we can innovate new ways and structures to do business. I am planning on following up on this conversation.

So, what else did I learn? We seem to be wired for absorbing a significantly higher volume of knowledge, when we are emotionally engaged. Traditional learning, however, focuses primarily on information supply, without much of an emotional component. The result is that we learn the information without the full context that gives the information so much richer meanings in multiple dimensions. We do the same in business. As Keith said: “The biggest fallacy of business is that it’s only rational. All business is personal and all business is human”. That’s why one random encounter with an unusual suspect can teach you more than volumes of HBR.

So as I am soaking up all the learning from these two random BIF-6 collisions, the question swirling in my head is: Could we design emotional components to our learning processes at every level? That’s a very intriguing idea particularly as we witness the emergence of a new system of learning based on modules of knowledge that learners can pick and choose from. Imagine if each of these modules was designed to enlist an emotional component of learning.

I’ll be trying to write about the many other encounters that sparked my brain at BIF-6, so stay tuned!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 1:09 pm and is filed under The Nabou Chronicles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

monika hardy says:
September 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm

nice capture.

i keep reliving our conversation with my students and others.. so much packed in. important stuff.

on the detox project.
when i got home and studied Keith more… his site is very similar to our detox site.. check it out here:

how rich am i to have met you Nabil… :)

Training 2010 Conference & Expo

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Training 2010 the premier event for workplace learning is taking place February 1-3, 2010 in San Diego, CA. Rahaf is one of the select group of keynote speakers at this conference.
Training 2010 covers the core areas of workplace learning: design, assessment, development, and management. Conference highlights include Stephen Covey, author of  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Economics of Trust; Steve Harper, author of The Ripple Effect, an exhibition of learning technologies as well as 36 case study presentations. Fresh from her participation in the World Economic Forum’s summit at Davos, Switzerland, Rahaf Harfoush, author of the book Yes We Did: Strategic Insights and Social Media from the Campaign that Changed History will be speaking about implications of social media for building a brand.

40th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum

Monday, January 18th, 2010

In response to changing priorities in the world economy the 40th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) traditionally held in Davos (Switzerland) is being held under the motto “Improve the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild”.

The premise of Davos is that changing the world requires global cooperation, which in turn needs engaging stakeholders from business, government, the media, science, religion, the arts and civil society.

The rethink component is driven by the work of over 70 Global Agenda Councils involving over 1000 experts that meet on a regional or sectoral basis to advance ideas and solutions to the most critical challenges facing the world.

The redesign components builds upon the ongoing work of the Forum’s Global Redesign Initiative (GRI), an unprecedented multi-stakeholder dialogue with the ambitious goal of adapting structures and systems of international cooperation to meet present and future challenges challenges that the world is facing.

In order to support a continuing dialogue before and after Davos, WEF has been building a Web 2.0 collaboration platform called WELCOME. Our own Rahaf Harfoush is a key member of that initiative. You can follow the Davos events and discussions on WEF’s web site, or on aggregator sites such as the Eqentia WEF portal. You can also follow them on Twitter (@davos or the tag #WEF). You can also watch on YouTube Lee Howell, Managing Director, Head of Programming & Global Agenda Councils discuss the themes of Davos 2010 here.

40th Ruby Gala Dinner

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Communicate. Inspire. Build.  These are the tenets of the 2009 Biannual Convention of the BC New Democratic Party, which will be held in Vancouver at the end of November. To commemorate the past 40 Conventions the 2009 Convention features the 40th Ruby Gala Dinner on the evening of Saturday November 28th.


The keynote speaker is our own Rahaf Harfoush, author of “Yes We Did” who will be talking about the changing face of social media and how these tools can be used to achieve organizational goals.