Over the past year the #140conf has traveled all over the world exploring the state of now. Speakers from all walks of life have shared stories of how real time web is changing their lives and businesses. Recently the #140conf took place in two very unusual locations, Detroit and Hutchinson, Kansas. These two conferences were unlike anything the #140conf had ever seen. While each city was different, the people there showed us the power these tools have to connect, disrupt and create serendipity.
The #140conf Detroit began with a day of giving. It was a chance for speakers to help local non-profits better understand the opportunities of the real time web. Co-hosted by Chris Barger of General Motors at the companies headquarters, the small conference room was electric with conversation, ideas and most importantly, hope. The highlight of the day was when one non-profit employee exclaimed that he had to rush home because he had gotten 5 new ideas and wanted to get working on them right away.
That energy carried over to the next day. The conference took place in the absolutely gorgeous Filmore Detriot theater. We got to see how special Detroit is and what people like Jeremiah Staes are doing to change its image. You got the sense that the people of Detroit knew this was their time to shine. They listened on the edges of their seats and exchanged ideas about how to make real lasting change. Detroit is a beautiful city that has fallen on some tough times. Seeing the energy in that room was inspiring and you just knew that something amazing was happening.
After Detroit it was off to Hutchinson, Kansas for #140conf Small Town. Here, too, there was a buzz in the air. One of excitement and exploration. For many in small town America the term ”social media” means nothing. The #140conf was an opportunity for them to learn about the real time web and experience it first hand. They listened to stories of how farmers and friends were using it to connect small town America to the rest of the world, like Kevin Honeycutt who is exploring the role of educators in the real time web. By the end of the day, they were wide eyed with excitement about the possibilities of this new medium and ready to jump in head first.
Hutchinson was the perfect place for this small town event. It’s filled with warm, welcoming people and unexpected surprises. Halloween night we all gathered in costume at the local salt mine. We traveled 650 feet underground into the tunnels that run under the city and got to experience life as an ant. After the conference there was a party at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. We got to see space suits and space ships that actually went into space. Who could have imagined that this small town in the middle of America could hold such wonders.
Both Detroit and Hutchinson showed us one thing: We have have not even began to understand the impact and potential of the real time web to change the world we live in. Check out all the videos from Detroit and Small Town at http://bit.ly/SmallTownVids. Next year holds even more surprises in store as the #140conf continues to explore the ever changing state of now.
P.S. At the beginning of the year I set out, on a journey, to share my families incredible story with the world. #140conf has given me an opportunity to do that with so many wonderful people. I’m working on a documentary film which will bring our story to even more people. We are running out of time with our kickstarter project to raise the money we need to start shooting. If you have been touched by my words at a #140conf please consider helping us out by giving to the project or helping spread the word. http://kck.st/dlC3wK
A big thank you to the #140conf community for their support and to Jeff Pulver for allowing my voice to be heard. Remember the opportunity you have, and go make something happen.