Should I Go To A Better World by Design 2014?

headerlogoEarly bird registration closes soon for one of my favorite conferences, A Better World by Design (ABWxD). To me, it tops even MIT Technology Review’s heady (swanky, even) EmTech experience of being within meters of tech revolutionaries at MIT’s Media Lab. Because ABWxD is an extremely engaging, active experience with interactive, well-facilitated problem-solving workshops and charismatic keynote speakers who have spoken passionately about the role of effective design in a variety of fields ranging from sustainability and health to urban development and education. It’s not just invigorating but also empowering. But do I really want to go once again to drink the design thinking Kool-Aid?

The first part of Decisive‘s WRAP framework is Widen Your Options, so the question shouldn’t be “whether or not to attend A Better World by Design”; to escape narrow framing, consider what am I or should I be comparing this amazing conference experience to? Well, for the $165 early bird registration cost for 3 days of ABWxD excitement, I could…

– get a Remee lucid dreaming sleep mask and up my commitment to my decades long interest in lucid dreaming;

–  get a third of an iPad mini (but easily a whole iPad mini and then some after considering transportation and lodging costs);

– take a day or overnight trip to the White Mountains; Continue reading

EmTech 2012: another great conference

This past week, I spent a handful of high-quality hours at the EmTech MIT 2012 technology innovation conference. The kind of cutting-edge work people are doing these days is utterly mind-blowingly delightful, and the sort of innovation advice (with a hefty dose of humor) from experts like Ken Morse is greatly valuable (image on the left from his session). I wish people outside venues like EmTech could get a glimpse of how amazing things like pop-up book microscale manufacturing and Lytro cameras are—more of a glimpse than is offered by magazines like Technology Review (which organizes EmTech), Scientific American and WIRED. They do a great job, but there’s a raw, awe-inspiring power to hearing innovators talking passionately in-person about moving their ideas into realities. That should be part of public-school curricula.