Almost Live Blogging from Community Matters (Thursday)

Thursday was a busy, busy day here in Denver. I started with the In Local Economies We Trust session for which I posted a preview and some follow up information already. I feel really bad that I blew it on the audio recording (long story) so I'm not going to have the great discussion for the podcast. That is only one of two bad things that happened on an otherwise excellent day.

Lunch included keynote speaker Chip Heath, one of the authors of Made to Stick (see our review from April 2009 here) and a new book, Switch: How to change things when change is hard. His speech was great and it was fun to be in the same room with an author/thinker I really admire. I bought the book (after buying two others already yesterday at Tattered Cover, the country's best book store). This video is a fun synopsis of the book and speech.

My next stop was a session on Graphic Facilitation -- "Visual Tools for Enhancing Structured Conversation". This was a little bit of my right brain trying to get in touch with my inner child, I suppose. I was in the room for a few minutes before I realized I was the only male there in a room of about 30 people. Now, that wouldn't be all bad, but we were then asked to draw. Guess which of the following was drawn by the engineer from Minnesota (clue: it is the one with only one color).

Here was the scene. This was a really cool session and I wish I could have stayed longer....

....but I wound up running into Bonnie Shaw (Twitter). Bonnie was one of the group I met with on Tuesday and, after only knowing her for a couple days, I can already tell she is one of those people destined to change the world. Along with her business parter at BYO Consulting, Yasmin Fodil (Twitter), she is mashing up people, place and heart using technology in amazing and absolutely brilliant ways. I felt really fortunate to be able to spend some time getting a personal tour of their work and seeing how it has touched literally thousands of people around the world. It was very inspiring. If you have a need to bring people together to share a common vision, I highly recommend that you get a hold of Bonnie and Yasmin.

And Bonnie, an Aussie, called me a "mad, keen blogger", which in Minnesotan translates to I have a "blog that is not bad". Thank you, Bonnie.

Then tonight was the big "Dinner with the Doctor" in which I unleashed my "mad, keen ego" on eight unsuspecting people who foolishly signed up to have dinner with me. Here was the group that signed up.

Back home, Justin is saying, "dude", while my wife is saying, "WTF". Just kidding everyone. Those were some very nice women having dinner next to us on a stop for a bachelorette party. This next photo is the group of great people I had dinner with.

Again, I was really honored to be asked to do this and really humbled at the people that wanted to discuss the Strong Towns ideas that we're passionate about here. And consistent with this conference, they all wanted me to share everyone's email addresses with the group so we can stay in touch and continue the conversation.

And that's how I'll end today's recap, with that overriding theme. I've been to a lot of conferences, but I've not been to one where I met so many thoughtful people, exchanged so many good ideas and made so many connections that I expect to last. This has been time well spent. my peeps Kevin, Jared, Trish, Jake, Nancy, Jane, Bliss, Betsy and Delia, thank you and WIN TWINS!