Showing posts from April, 2010

Reflections on life as a social alchemist

It's sometimes odd to reflect that I have been planning events since way back in high school. It's quite a rollercoaster of a job, but somehow there's something magic in what can happen when you add structure to people interacting with each other. I think I am addicted to whatever that thing is. I have often described myself as a crazy social scientist who loves to experiment with human behavior. Tweaking social alchemy is a thing I'm good at.
In high school, I was the commissioner of activies and the homecoming committee chairman and the graduation ceremony organizer. What a lot of thankless work, but I fell in love with social alchemy even then. In college I organized a group fundraising event system for people (like me) who needed financial help to go and work 3 month internships in Washington DC. In Geneva, my 4 housemates and I threw great theme parties - Mexican Fiestas and champagne only formal holiday fetes. By the time I returned to DC to attend grad school, I…

Nothing like a Volcano to kick off a party!

In the background as I work this afternoon, I've got TedxVolcano rocking in the background.

What an amazing thing. A group of Social Entrepreneurs and big money who want to invest in Social Change got stuck in London after the Oxford Jam and Skoll World Forum last weekend. Their first thought, put together a spontaneous Ted event in 24 hours. Way cool. I'd managed to get home from the weekend's events with a previously booked train ticket, but it was enough to make me wish I could go back.
Meanwhile, last week's overarching theme was collaboration, so my inbox is overflowing with emails from people I met last week, who are still stuck in London and organizing post conference meet-ups among the stranded. I have a feeling they are getting some amazing things done right now. I have to wonder when they actually will be able to leave, and can't help but marvel at how powerful this volcano will end up being historically, in both destructive and constructive ways.