I was fortunate enough to attend a great lecture and Q/A recently. The speaker, (I’ll spoil at the end) likened what he was trying to do with the gathering of individuals, pirates, and ruckus makers to the Solvay Conference in 1927. The Solvay Conference was an invitation only event in 1911 that arguably changed the course of history. Following great success there was another conference held, and another, and so on. Then the fifth conference in 1927 and something remarkable happened.
The fifth conference had 29 attendees, some of whom you should recognize; Einstien, Bohr, Curie, Heisenberg. These great minds came together one day in 1927 and over the years to come, 17 of the 29 in attendance became Nobel Prize Winners. Think about that. They were all amazing minds of the day. Most of them were leaders in their space. We study them in school. They all became linchpins and were recognized for work that occurred after this meeting. I for one, refuse to believe this is coincidence. I believe that the body of work that came after this meeting was a result of this meeting. These people didn’t have ready access to one another. In 1927 you couldn’t text test results to Albert Einstein, or email theory principals to Niels Bohr. They got together and shared their work and argued for hours about what made them vulnerable and afraid.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we all travel the country and attend a meeting of physicists and chemists. You can, however; go to lunch with people that believe what you believe. What if three heart surgeons from your local hospital got together for breakfast once a month? I venture to guess the body of work improves. Something is easily shared there that improves the skill set or process of the others. What if all of the passionate individuals inside business in your community got together and discussed their challenges and fears every so often? Some of those challenges will get solved. Maybe not every single challenge is overcome, but some. Some people would leave the room empowered, eager to tackle what scared them and made them uncomfortable the day before.
We’re all weird. Get over it and share what you’re good at, or hell, share what you aren’t good at. Put yourself in a room with other people that can make you make a difference. Risk finding value in a stranger. They did.
Thanks, Seth for sharing!
If this sounds like something you’d like more information on, check out the Icarus Meetups in Grand Rapids.