Tag Archives: summer brandcamp

A Review of Summer Brandcamp

Wow!

Last week I flew to Dallas to attend my first Summer Brandcamp. I had an incredible time, and having reflected on my trip, here are a few things that resonated for me.

Being looked after and looking after others – this was a strong experience for me throughout the whole event.

On arrival at Dallas Fort Worth airport on Monday I was met by David, who drove me from the airport to my hotel. David is a friendly guy and we talked about sports and the weather as he drove safely to the hotel. I arrived feeling very well looked after.

As part of my contribution to the event, I ran an Art and Soul of Better Work session. The people who organise Summer Brandcamp did a fantastic job of sourcing all the materials we needed to explore work through an artistic lens, and the tech team checked and tested everything, leaving me with the time I needed to percolate nervous energy into excitement and facilitate the session. I arrived at the end of the session feeling well looked after, and feeling like I’d been able to look after the participants well too. If you are interested, there is a lovely review of the session here, written by Liz D’Aloia, and here are a few pictures I used to help illustrate the session.

Doing good, feeling good

One morning over 100 conference guests got up early for a Mexican breakfast before being bussed out to the Salvation Army in Garland, a city to the north east of Dallas, to spend a few hours helping out. We gave a playground a makeover, did some drainage work, made 1,200 sandwich lunches to be handed out, painted door frames, and more. It was a hot, sunny morning and people made sure we had plenty of cold water to drink, and sunscreen to put on. We did a good job, we were well looked after and the work we did will help the people at the Salvation Army look after others. As well as being a fantastic service project – this was a great way to get to know other people at the conference.

Summer BrandCamp Service project team

 

Photo by Jonathan Brewer

Conference Observations

There was a great mix of speakers – and hallelujah, plenty of women speaking too. I’m really bored of the prevalence of white, older men like me taking the stage at conferences, the line up here made for a powerful, lovely change – more please.

Sessions were short. This meant there were lots of opportunities to learn from different people, and it gave the event a good pace. People and purpose were two powerful, recurring themes.

The conference organisers made donations to No Kid Hungry in the name of each speaker, another lovely idea which helped reinforce a sense of togetherness, and a reminder that this is not just another ‘same old same old’ event. There was also a silent auction to help raise money for the charity – and over the course of the event I know that over $30,000 was raised. A kind soul even bought some of my artwork. #IAmAnArtist

There was a great sense of fun brought on by lots of people excited to see each other, and a genuine effort to make first timers like me feel really welcome.

Changers of Commerce

This was a morning of stories told by businesses and not for profit organisations making a difference, in their local communities and beyond. An inspiring extra session laid on the mornign after the close of the main event. Around 100 people came along to this, and we heard some great, sometimes funny, sometimes moving, examples of people doing good.

Wow!

I began with wow – I’m ending with it too. The whole Summer BrandCamp experience has made a powerful mark on me. I caught up with old friends, made some lovely new friends too. It was a fantastic experience I hope to repeat. Here’s a short, 15 second slideshow of my trip. Wow!

#SBrandcamp 2015 with @tdn2k @dwanelay @rock_hall #flipagram made with @flipagram

A post shared by Doug Shaw (@dougshaw) on

Begin The Day With A Friendly Voice

Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobtrusive. Neil Peart

I’m leaving Cleveland today, where I have spent an excellent weekend being extremely well looked after by some lovely friends, thanks Frank, Tammy, Melissa, Dan and Tim. I’m heading down the road to Columbus, Ohio, to see more friends, before going to watch Rush play live at the Nationwide Arena.

Rush TicketI am a big fan of this band, expert musicians who ooze respect for one another and the people who buy their records and turn out to see them perform. I’ve seen them play live loads of times, and with the news that this may be their last tour, I’m excited to be having this opportunity. Thanks Carole, for being so generous and helping me make time to extend this adventure.

In preparing to move on, yesterday afternoon I spent 45 minutes wandering and wondering around downtown Cleveland, looking for a mailbox. In my hand were 25 envelopes, each one containing a small piece of original artwork, a ‘kind note to self’, drawn and written by some of the 100 people who came to my Art and Soul of Work session at Summer Brandcamp. I will write more soon on my exciting, humbling, powerful time at this event in Dallas last week, but for now I just wanted to share this idea of a hand written kind note to self, both as a way of extending the experience of spending time with good people, and reminding ourselves of what’s important to us in our own unique way. I succeeding in posting the envelopes, so in a few days time, 25 people will be able to begin their day with their own friendly voice.

Kind Note to Self

 

 

Why Do You Do It?

It is 6am, Monday 1st June. My bags are packed, and a ten hour flight to Dallas awaits.

I’m off on an adventure, and in the run up to an adventure, there are two things people often ask me: ‘Why do you do it?’ and ‘How do you do it?’. The answers to both questions are intertwined.

Why and how do I do it?

I do it because I’m fortunate to be part of an extraordinary network of people, nestled within which are many, many such opportunities for adventuring. You are part of that network too.

I do it because my lovely family are kind enough to support me. Rumours that the snoring in our house desists while I’m adventuring are unsubstantiated.

I do it because I ask.

I do it because you never know when your last adventure will come along, seize the day.

Itinerary

This adventure starts with the excitement of Summer BrandCamp. From there I head to Cleveland to meet more friends, to see some baseball, enjoy dinner in great company, and to visit the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Homeward bound via Columbus, where I hope to visit some more friends before seeing Rush play live for the umpteenth time. They are an excellent live band, and this gig will be extra special as this looks likely to be part of their final tour. Thank you Carole for so generously suggesting I extend my adventure to take this in.

Jealous

Less frequently, people will tell me they are jealous of me going on adventures. To anyone who feels jealous when they see someone else about to go adventuring, I offer this. I know how you feel, I used to feel like this too. The good news, is – there’s a simple cure. The first step is to park the jealousy, the key to that is to decide to go on an adventure. From there, you just push on and make it happen.

Adventuring. I do it because it’s fun, and because I can. And if I can, you can too.

Have an excellent week.