HOW Design 2012 in review: Part one

Friday, June 22, 2012

I am attending the HOW Design Conference 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Below are my notes from the opening session I attended on Friday.

HOW Design Conference 2012 6:30 pm-8:00 pm – Opening Keynote – 1. Coltrane, Concord, Cool Kids and Other Creative ChoicesSam Harrison, Words-Ideas-Action
You make hundreds of choices every day: big choices and small choices, easy choices and hard choices, personal choices and work choices. In this year’s inspirational Opening Keynote, popular author and speaker Sam Harrison will talk about how each of these choices takes you closer to creativity—or steers you farther away from fresh ideas. You’ll learn how to harness the power of making smart choices each day to live and breathe an imaginative, creative life. You’ll even see how a choice-conscious mindset can lead to an idea-sparking brainwave. And, of course, choosing to be a part of this fun, inspiring session will help get your conference experience off to a stirring start.

  • Session hashtag: #HOWsam
  • Beyond the Age of Information is the Age of Choices
  • The either/or choices we make shape our lives
  • We make up to 35,000 choices per day; many are unconscious
  • Google’s Eric Schmidt: “We now generate as much information every two days as was generated from the beginning of recorded time to 2003.”
  • But a wealth of information = a poverty of attention
  • Choices are the link between our thoughts and actions
  • Don’t stay “under the circumstances” (as a victim); creativity is a choice
  • Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today by George Land
    • 2% of adults tested are creative geniuses
    • Same test: 98% of kindergarten children are creative geniuses
    • Five years later, only 32% of the children tested are creative geniuses; five years after that, only 12% remained
    • Creativity is taught, trained, coached and scorned out of us
  • Creative chemistry = catalytic choices (that open space for intuition)
  • Catalytic choices dissolve and loosen the sameness and safety around us
  • Stretch and stick: Make conscious choices to not settle for less, and then stick with it
  • “Determination fuels inspiration”
  • Corcord, Massachusetts in the 1850s: living as neighbors were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and others; these authors were part of a creative vortex, a supportive community
  • The fable of the lone genius is a fallacy
  • “Never marry someone who is not a friend of your enthusiasm and creativity.” (The same principle ought to be applied to all of your friends and employers.)
  • Need to break rules for something better
  • Change rules and shred excuses; rise above that point of compromise or settlement
  • Choose to: look outside, be persistent, change rules, find support, drop excuses, be the best you
  • Choose to be the best version of yourself
  • Say it: “I am the best ______-style designer in the world.” (Insert your name here.)

And with that, it’s time to head to the HOW Design exhibit hall for the opening reception. I have about 30 minutes to grab a free drink and some giveaways before I take the Green Line to the Paradise Rock Club for the Built to Spill show.

Continue to HOW Design 2012 in review: Part two »

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