Contact: (415) 350-8104

9/3 Salon + News: Buckminster Fuller Challenge + New SF Meditation Center + Latin American “Coding for Kids” game

You’re invited to the next monthly FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salon this Thursday, September 3rd.

Note: You do not have to read this whole long email. Ever.

(See the fine print below if you want to know why.)

All you really ever need to know is:

Drop by any time between 5-8pm at 695 5th St. #2, San Francisco.

For details like directions, what food & drink to bring, etc.,scroll past the full News & Announcement section below the summary.

SUMMARY

SEPTEMBER 2015

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

(NOTE: Scroll down for the full News & Announcements below this summary.)

1.  LAWRENCE LEVY:

Former Pixar CFO opens Juniper Path Meditation Center in San Francisco

2.  ZANN GILL:

Former Buckminster Fuller Researcher is Senior Advisor to Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award, 

The Fuller Challenge 2015

3.  KATHARINE BIERCE:

Advising Nativo.digital’s Spanish, Portuguese, French and English

online “Coding for Kids” game

4. BETSY BURROUGHS:

Announces very limited attendance BETA Walking Workshops starting September 19, 2015

5.  EXAMPLES OF THE SALON’S:

“Interesting people, interesting conversations”

6.  ALAN ABRAMS:

Alan’s Wine Cellar Wine Tasting Notes 

Feel free to forward this invite to anyone you think would enjoy the Salon.  If you’d like to be on the list to receive invites, email me at bb@focuscatalyst.com. Thanks!

The fine print:  

For more details than you’ll ever need (plus who comes to the Salons and lots of comments about them) just keep on scrolling.  All the details are just here for folks who like ’em.  (You know who you are…)  Also, the Salon is not a “networking” group or a place to promote products or services or to look for a job.

NOTE: All the people/places/things in the News & Announcement section are from/about my own personal friends and connections.  (The rule is pretty much if you need to ask to be in the Salon invite you likely won’t be. I end up being the one to ask friends if I can put info about them or their companies in it, not the other way around.)

 

I’ve only emailed this list with one invite and one reminder a month ever since the Salon started in 2004. So you won’t be getting a flood of emails.   And, if you don’t live in the SF Bay Area you can still participate.  See below for details.

Also, why is this email invitation so, um, ugly? :-)  Well…it’s a qualifier because the Salon is in my home. And I’m only looking for folks to come to it who are interested in interesting conversation with interesting people. If you take a look at this very plain Jane (um, ugly…) email and get excited about the descriptions of who comes to it and how it works (and you don’t care that it’s free of snazzy graphics :), then the Salon’s for you!

SEPTEMBER 2015

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

1.  LAWRENCE LEVY:  Former Pixar CFO opens Juniper Path Meditation Center in San Francisco.

 

I had the privilege of getting to know Lawrence Levy at FACTORY.  His career trajectory has taken him from intellectual property lawyer–to start-up executive–to CFO of PIxar–to co-founding non-profit Juniper Foundation–to opening Juniper Path Meditation Center at 1801 Bush Street in San Francisco.  You can read about the story of Juniper Path on their site here: The quest for more depth without dogma.

Last February Lawrence spoke at Harvard Business School, Harvard Divinity School (video below) and Harvard Law School.  At Harvard Law School he spoke as part of the Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Speakers Series which invites noted Law School alumni back to campus to speak informally about their careers with students.”  His talk was described as follows: “Lawrence Levy ’83 is the co-founder of Juniper Foundation.  He will speak on his career path from intellectual property lawyer to start-up executive to CFO of Pixar to meditation practitioner, teacher, and promoter.”

The Harvard Gazette did an interview with him last February titled:

 Less corporate, more mindful: 

Lawrence Levy ’83 on leap from Pixar to meditation-focused nonprofit

A few excerpts from that interview:

Several years ago, Harvard Law School graduate Lawrence Levy ’83 was at the top of his game. Following a successful law career in Silicon Valley, Levy was recruited by Steve Jobs to help lead the animation studio Pixar. As chief financial officer, he guided the company’s business strategy and IPO, and helped orchestrate its sale to Disney in 2006.  But while he loved his career, Levy felt the tug of something he first became interested in as a student at HLS: meditation.  In 2003, he co-founded the Juniper Foundation , a nonprofit devoted to bringing meditation to contemporary life. In advance of his visit to campus this week, the Gazette spoke with Levy about his time at Pixar and his turn to meditation.”

It’s a fascinating read I highly recommend (along with checking out Juniper Path’s great site, full of fantastic videos and written resources and other great information.)  Here are the questions from the interview:

*  Can you tell me about how you got interested in meditation?

*  How would you say it’s changed your life?

*  What would you say to those who might question your choice to move your life in such a different direction when you were really at the top of your field as a successful lawyer and then the CFO of Pixar?

*  Looking back, do you think you would you have been a more effective executive with the benefit of meditation?

*  Do you miss corporate America?

*  Could you ever see yourself going back to it in some capacity?

And here’s the last question followed by Lawrence’s response:

*  I know at Juniper you prioritize, in part, the incorporation of science and modern education. Why are those two areas in particular so important?

LEVY: “In the meditation tradition that we practice, which goes back to a 2,500-year-old Buddhist tradition…at the heart of it is their principle of critical thought: deconstructing dogma in order to find and penetrate deeper understanding of things. That gives us the license in a way to go back and examine old principles and critically think about whether they still apply or not. And if they do still apply, then that’s great and we can continue with them. But if they don’t, then we replace them with principles that do. So for example, today we have obviously unbelievable knowledge about the brain, about the mind; unbelievable products of science, of neuroscience that simply didn’t exist 2,000 years ago. And so it’s pretty clear to us from how we read those teachings, that those meditation masters back then wouldn’t have ignored all this, they would have loved it, because that notion of critical thought is one that, I think, they welcomed. Another way to think of it is, we don’t see this practice or this tradition as being in the truth business. It’s not an ideology or a dogma; it’s a methodology. And as a methodology, that gives us that license to embrace new knowledge and I think we will always be continuing to do that.”

Also, here’s a link to a February 2015 video of Lawrence speaking at Harvard Divinity School on:  Buddhist Practice in Business and Secular Spaces.   “Lawrence Levy, the former CFO of Pixar and co-founder of the Juniper Foundation discusses mindfulness, contemporary and corporate America, and his transition from full-time corporate executive to meditation teacher.”

2.  Salon regular ZANN GILL is a Senior Advisor to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2015.

I found out about the Fuller Challenge from Zann who was a Buckminster Fuller researcher and is now a Senior Advisor to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2015 and reviewed submissions.  She writes, “I was glad that all of the impressive submissions I reviewed have gone forward, either as semi-finalists, or via invitation to join the BFI Catalyst Program.”

Side Note: I often say, “I think if you scratch half the Salon attendees deep enough you’ll find a trained architect.” See Zann’s bio below.  Yep, she’s one of ’em. :)

About The Fuller Challenge“Each year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute invites scientists, students, designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and planners from all over the world to submit their innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy.

Launched in 2007, the Fuller Challenge has defined an emerging field of practice: the whole systems approach to understanding and intervening in complex and interrelated crises for wide-scale social and environmental impact. The entry criteria have established a new framework through which to identify and measure effective, most entrenched challenges. The rigorous selection process has set a unique standard, gaining renown as “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award.”   Announcing the 2015 Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalists We are thrilled to announce the 2015 Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalists. Out of more than 400 entrants, these 15 initiatives have advanced through a rigorous review process, evaluated for adherence to our unique criteria: visionary, comprehensive, anticipatory, ecologically responsible, feasible, and verifiable.”

About Zann Gill:  Zann Gill (M.Arch. Harvard) worked as a researcher for Buckminster Fuller. Early interest in Fuller’s concepts for “World Game” to achieve environmental sustainability and “design science” sparked her focus on cross-disciplinary innovation. Her entry to the international

competition Kawasaki: Information City of the 21st Century, sponsored by the Japan Association for Planning Administration and Mainichi Newspapers, with cooperation of ten ministries and three agencies of the Japanese government, tied with Matsushita Corp. for first place and won the Award of the Mayor of Kawasaki.  More recently at NASA she developed program plans for an Institute for Advanced Space Concepts (IASC), a collaboratory BEACON (Bio-Evolutionary Advanced Concepts) and an astrobiology program for NASA UniversityShe founded DESYN Lab to apply her method to “raise collaborative IQ” with a focus on sustainable ECO*desyn.  She’s a co-founder of the Microbes-Mind Forum, the project What IF? (IF = Innovating the Future). 

She worked on several Co*Laboratory initiatives, including NASA’s proposal to develop a Planetary Sustainability Co*Laboratory (under development, pending approvals), and with other institutional, and industry partners on collaborative program development for a Smart Sustainable Systems Co*Laboratory, which has led to several patents and work bridging Fortune 500 and start-ups for Legacy Challenge.” 

3.  Salon regular KATHARINE BIERCE on Nativo.digital’s online “coding for kids” game in Spanish, Portuguese, French and English.

This in from Salon regular, Katharine Bierce (impressively a 2009 University of Chicago Phi Beta Kappa (her junior year, no less!) graduate:

“As you may know, I’m advising World Tech Makers, an ed-tech startup focused on closing the gap between talent and opportunity in Latin America.  A lot of “learn to code” content is only in English, and they want to help reduce the diversity gap in tech by providing an education platform and even a game to teach people to code – in Spanish, Portuguese, and French as well as English.They’re starting a crowdfunding program for their “coding for kids” game, called Nativo.digital.

Here’s more info from  Nativo.digital’s Indiegogo page:

“Bridging the gap between the Southern hemisphere and our increasingly technological world – one student at a time. Less than 4% of the tech industry originates from Hispanic roots. Bouncing in between jobs and school and finally finding her passion in technology education, founder of World Tech Makers, Ilana Milkes, was inspired to raise that number. Our company brought to Latin America its first ever onsite coding bootcamps. Starting in Colombia, these programming courses set the stage for a Latin American developmental revolution. Now we want to expand, and we need your help to do it. Hoping to bring our multilingual programming courses online, WTM just launched its very own gamified system, Nativo Digital.  We need as much help from the global community as possible to complete the game. Nativo is still in its beginning stages of being created. The website is launched and the BETA is under development. We have been able to outline our program: an online programming course in which you can create your own avatar that grows alongside your technological knowledge to help you keep track of your own progress and work through coding challenges. We’ve created the characters, animations, and curricula necessary for Nativo too. The ultimate goal of this project is to have animated programming courses available in four languages – English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.  

5.  BETSY BURROUGHS announcing the first BETA “Easy Effortless Fun Weight Loss” ** Walking Workshop Saturday, September 19, 2-5pm, in San Francisco.

I’ve done these Walking Workshops for many years, all focused on the techniques I’ve developed for more effective innovation in business, based on the Neuroscience of Insight.

Now I’m starting BETA Walking Workshops applying all those techniques to weight loss.  (Why? See below about my 70+ weight loss and how I did it.)

In this initial BETA phase, I’ll be doing the workshops regularly and frequently, with the first one on Saturday, September 19, from 2-5pm in San Francisco.

The BETA Walking Workshops’ attendance will be very limited (with only 2 attendees for each BETA Walking Workshop to begin with) so I can give maximum focus on each attendee’s interests and needs.

If you are interested in doing the 9/19/15 BETA Walking Workshop, or a future one, just shoot me an email at bb@focuscatalyst.com for details.  Thanks!

** For background on what I’m doing, below is what I’ve had in the Salon invitation about my weight loss approach for the last 2 Salon invitation. 

NOTE: I’m doing the interviews I talk about below on an on-going basis.  So if you’d like to do one with me, just email me at bb@focuscatalyst.com.  Thanks!

I’d love your feedback and advice for the NEW BOOK I’m writing based on using the techniques in my first book, Focus.The Catalyst for Innovation, but applying them to weight loss–of all things! :)

As some of you know, I’ve recently lost over 70 lbs. (On my way to losing 100+ lbs total.)   

And…it was quite amazingly “easy, effortless and fun” *** because I applied all my FocusCatalyst techniques to do it.  Yes, I used the same techniques I use when I consult with companies on innovation based on the Neuroscience of Insight.  Sounds crazy, but it worked!

So right now I’m in the process of writing a new book that will show how to use those techniques for weight and eating issues–instead of innovation.

I’m putting this into the Salon invite because I’d love your help, feedback and advice!  

First of all, “weight and eating issues” isn’t just about losing 100+ lbs like I’m doing.  I know many thin women who have a lot of weight and eating issues, too.

So wherever you are on the “scale,” I’d love to have a confidential 15 minute phone conversation with you about it.  

While the call is a total favor from you to me (thank you!), women I’ve done this with already find it’s helpful in and of itself. And fun! 

If you’d like to do that, just shoot me back a reply at bb@focuscatalyst.com and we can set it up.  

Thank you so much!

Betsy

*** “Easy, effortless and fun” is a phrase I use in my current book on innovation based on the Neuroscience of Insight.  

That phrase is based on the fact that you can accomplish a lot if you manage your brain right. 

Looking for how to make things “easy, effortless and fun” is something the brain can really get into–IF you know how–even with really hard things to do, like losing 100 lbs. 

My new book will cover how to do that, using practical, easy techniques.

6. For folks new to the Salon invite:  

For a taste of just what the Salon descriptor, “Interesting People. Interesting Conversation,” can mean, below is a wildly divergent list of topics one Salon attendee sent me the day after a Salon: 

“I had a great time at your salon. In a trip down memory lane, I recall conversations about:

 

·         Categorical and topographical mapping

·         London, Tokyo, Bay Area underground systems

·         Harry Beck  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Beck

·         Edinburghians vs. Glaswegians

·         Blind Man’s Bluff http://tiny.cc/Wlz9G

·         Scuba driving

·         Bali

·         Web site design for the challenged

·         GoDaddy

·         Hogmanay

·         Wine tasting and hosting events

·         Bill & Melinda Gates and Hewlett Foundations

·         Hippocampus.org

·         Learning Chinese and ballroom dancing deep in China

·         Air pollution in Shanghai and Hong Kong

·         Colorforms  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorforms

 

Alan’s Wine Cellar Wines at the Salon: Tasting Notes 

Background: As many of you know, Alan is the husband of FocusCatalyst Advisory Board member and Dwell Media CEO. Michela O’Connor Abrams.  Alan is a real expert on wine and folks who come to the Salon love finding out more about it by chatting with him. Alan’s Wine Cellar does wine tastings (including charity fundraising ones), wine cellar design, wine courses, cellar stocking and wine search.

 

Below are Alan’s tasting notes for a recent Salon, 

which are similar to all the wines Alan brings to every Salon.

 

As always come early if you want to taste these. They can go fast! 

Campagnola

Pinot Grigio

Vintage: 2012

Varietal:  100% Pinot Gris

Origin:  The Veneto region of Italy (near Venice)

Reviews

Wine Library: “Incredible for the money!  Clean, crisp and refreshing, this is an excellent value and a must try for anyone who loves Pinot Grigio.  The soft citrus flavors and the creamy long finish make this our top choice for under $10 P.G.”

TheWineCountry.com: If you’re looking for a wine to bring to an outdoor party this is the one; pure expression of fruit and what a value wine should be.

 

Tasting Notes

“Light straw color.  Fine, elegant, clean and intense aroma, dry flavor with pleasant green apple aftertaste.  Lively, and easy to drink.”

Production notes:  fermented and finished in stainless steel (no oak)

Alan’s Tasting Notes

Truthfully, many of the Pinot Grigios imported into the U.S. have about as much taste as glass of water.  This wonderful Pinot Grigio is dry, but still delivers a wonderful, crisp fruitiness.  Perfect with salads, chicken or fish dishes, and many lighter Italian foods.  It’s also wonderful all by itself.

 

Talbott

“Sleepy Hollow” Pinot noir

Vintage: 2012

Varietal: 100% Pinot noir

Origin:Estate Grown in ‘Sleepy Hollow Vineyard’, Santa Lucia Highlands, one of the most significant vineyards in the appellation. The vineyard is situated on 585 prime acres of benchland in the Santa Lucia Highlands, 13 miles south of Monterey CA.

Winemaker’s Notes

“It has aromas of bright cherry and plum leading to floral and spicy French oak notes. On the palate, this Pinot Noir displays a rich texture, soft, velvety tannins and ripe fruit. Flavors of Bing cherry and red plum lead to a long finish with vanilla oak and lively acidity. This wine defines the Talbott style, with power, richness, integrated oak, and cool-climate acidity.”

Production Notes

  • Barrel aged 11 months in French Oak, 20% new.
  • A blend of old-vine (planted in 1972), Martini clone Pinot Noir grapes and Dijon clone grapes.  

Roots Run Deep Winery

“Educated Guess”

Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2012

Varietals: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc,

2% Petit Verdot

 

Origin: Napa Valley

Vineyards:  The primary sources for the grapes are Beckstoffer Vineyards in Rutherford and Louer Family Vineyards in St. Helena.

 

Production Notes: Barrel-aged 12 months in French & American oak

Winemaker’s Notes:

“What can we say about how delicious our Cabernet Sauvignon is? It’s rich, ripe, and focused with juicy blackberry and cherry fruit, milk chocolate, and dusty notes all tied together with a creamy french vanilla middle and a finish that in a word is…lingering. Educated Guess fills all the requirements that a serious cabernet lover is looking for while remaining fun, approachable, and food friendly!”

Label: It shows actual winemaking formulas that are either induced or naturally occur during a specific winemaking process.

* A NOTE ABOUT NEXTNOW (and Doug Engelbart**)   

A lot of people who come to the Salon are in a group I’ve been involved with pretty much since its inception in 2003, NextNow. It’s a small, relatively loose affiliation of interesting folks started by Bill Daul, who Doug Engelbart (fellow NextNower and who in the 1960’s was the inventor of the mouse and a whole lot of personal computing in general–see Wikipedia.  Sadly, Doug died on July 2, 2013) calls “human glue” and James Burke (from the UK, known for the TV series “Connections”), calls “the world’s greatest social networker.” NextNow members include Buckminster Fuller’s archivist and the CTO for the Dalai Lama, among a lot of other very interesting folks.

The FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salon is where NextNowers get together most regularly. But the Salon is not a NextNow function per se and you sure don’t have to be in NextNow to come to the Salon!

SALON INFO:

 

WHAT:  Interesting people. Interesting conversation. Bring food and drink to share.  

[Note to all you cooks out there: Please do not bring items that need heating up in a microwave, stove or oven. Also, bags and boxes are just fine to serve what you bring. But if you feel you need a serving dish, please bring one and take it home afterwards. Many thanks!] 

Optional: Write what you want brainstormed on the sheets provided. Put them on the wall. Others add their ideas with Post It notes. Then you take your sheet home with new ideas and contacts.  (But also, you don’t have to have anything you want brainstormed or put any sheets on the wall to participate and have a great time)

This isn’t a meeting or a place to sell your services or products.  It’s an informal, fun, and relaxed get together.

The end game isn’t even brainstorming as much as it is “interesting people/interesting conversation.”  To tell you the truth, most people get too involved in conversation to write on people’s brainstorming sheets–but that’s the point. The brainstorming technique works as a catalyst to help move the conversations beyond just the usual “Hi, how are you?  What do you do?”

WHEN:  First Thursday every month.

 

Drop by any time between 5 and 8PM for as long, or as short, a time as you’d like.

WHERE:  San Francisco: 695 5th St. #2 (5th & Townsend).

 

Alas, parking meters have finally arrived in my neighborhood. The good news is there’s now more parking available.  But please note: they can sometimes be in effect until 10pm.  So make sure you check all that out if you use them.   They do take take credit cards.

There’s also a parking garage a block away, underneath the Safeway at 4th & Townsend.  You enter the garage on Townsend, between 4th & 3rd Streets.  You can get 90 minutes of free parking there if you spend at least $5 at Safeway. (But if you stay longer than 90 minutes it can cost you up to $30.)

Note to Peninsula Folks:  My loft is one block from the CalTrain Station.  So, very easy access by train.  Bill Daul comes to virtually every Salon via the train from Palo Alto. If you’d like to join him, just let me know at bb@focuscatalyst.com.

Note to East Bay Folks:  It’s easy to take the MUNI light rail at the Embarcadero station (located a level up from the BART Embarcadero station)  to the Caltrain station.  (Take the MUNI light rail trains to “Caltrain/Ball Park” or “Sunnydale”.  Both will get you there.) My loft is a block from the Caltrain station.

HOW MUCH?  Just drop on by. No need to RSVP. And feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might enjoy the Salon.  This invite is in Constant Contact so you can forward it with the link at the end.

More Information About FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salons

I’m not a big fan of linking to web sites or attachments. I’d rather scroll than link. So, scroll below for more information about the FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salons for any of you who’d like a lot of details.

For those of you who haven’t seen this invitation before, you may be asking yourself, “What in the world is a brainstorming salon?”

 

A brainstorming salon is an informal, drop in get together of interesting folks at my loft in San Francisco, South of Market. Come by for as long or as short a time as you’d like.

It’s a salon because it’s meant to foster some interesting conversation.

 

And it’s for brainstorming, too. But the brainstorming is totally optional and in many ways quite unobtrusive.

 

I love brainstorming with folks. It opens up whole new ideas. I love the infusion of creativity and solutions that a good brainstorming session can give. But I don’t want to require everyone to show up at a specific time, sit in a circle and brainstorm and then all go home at the same time

 

So here’s how it works:

Everyone who wants to (and you can certainly come to the Salon and not participate in the brainstorming part at all) when they arrive at the salon, takes a sheet of paper and writes on it something you’d like others to brainstorm about for you.

It can be on any topic and you can ask for any kind of feedback you’d like.  You can do it anonymously or you can sign their name to it. Then you put your sheet on a wall in my loft.

Everyone else at the salon can then look at your sheet and if they have a brainstorm idea for you, they can write it on a Post It note and put it on your sheet. Those Post It ideas can be anonymous, too. Or not. It’s up to you.

When you’re ready to leave, after 15 minutes or after 3 hours or any time in between, just take your sheet home with the Post It ideas people have put on it.

You’ll probably also have fun brainstorming ideas for others. And you may meet other folks dealing with similar situations to yours.

Another feature of the Salon is the big round table in the middle of it piled high with books, many written by friends of mine, including many by Salon regulars, and others that are just books I love.  It’s an eclectic assortment on a wide variety of topics. Often people connect over the books, too.

And, for those of you who can’t come at all but would like your Brainstorming Sheet on the wall, just send me an email with what you’d like folks to brainstorm about for you, ideas, suggestions, leads, anything, and I’ll put it up on the wall and mail it to you afterwards. I can keep it anonymous or not. Your choice.

Please bring something to eat and drink to share. And the Salons also feature Alan’s Wine Cellar wines for tasting, for drinking, for enjoying!  

 

Alan and his wife Michela are old friends of mine. (They even got me going to the Napa Valley Wine Auction for years.) Michela is on FocusCatalyst’s Advisory Board and she’s the president and publisher of Dwell Magazine. (Great magazine.)

Alan has been involved with the wine industry since 1984 when he began advertising and marketing major wine brands. Since then he has become an avid wine collector. He does fabulous wine tasting parties for corporations, for charity fundraising, and in people’s homes, as a great way to learn about really interesting and inexpensive wines from around the world. And it’s also a very fun party. He also teaches an in depth wine tasting course and provides cellar stocking advice. On top of all that, he designs gorgeous wine cellars.

Hope you can make it.  If you think you might be able to, you can shoot me an email and let me know. Though really, just come on by.  No need to RSVP.  Even if you won’t know until the last minute if you can come, it’s fine for you to come on by anyway.

Betsy

Scroll down for comments from Brainstorming Salon attendees

One comment that’s been made by a lot of the Brainstorming Salon first timers is how easy it is to participate even if you don’t know anyone there. You can start by reading the brainstorming requests on the wall and from there it’s easy to strike up a conversation with the person next to you reading the same request.

Other comments:

 

“Your salons offer another benefit besides brainstorming and snacking: they’re a place to practice the (almost) lost art of conversation. Madame de Stael, who ran a famous salon in 18th century Paris (and who said, “Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike”) would approve.”

 

“Thank you so much for inviting me to the salon. It truly was like the old salons of Europe with smart, interesting people and a lively exchange of ideas.” 

 

“At the salon I talked to so many diverse and all fascinating people from different professions with different perspectives but I think what really “makes” the Brainstorming Salon is the warmth and openness among everyone because after all we’re all FOB (friends of Betsy).”

 

“I had a great time at your brainstorm salon. In a trip down memory lane, I recall conversations about:

 

·         Categorical and topographical mapping

·         London, Tokyo, Bay Area underground systems

·         Harry Beck http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Beck

·         Edinburghians vs. Glaswegians

·         Blind Man’s Bluff http://tiny.cc/Wlz9G

·         Scuba driving

·         Bali

·         Web site design for the challenged

·         GoDaddy

·         Hogmanay

·         Wine tasting and hosting events

·         Local politicians aren’t the solution

·         Bill & Melinda Gates and Hewlett Foundations

·         Hippocampus.org

·         Learning Chinese and ballroom dancing deep in China

·         Air pollution in Shanghai and Hong Kong

·         Colorforms http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorforms

·         Burroughs’ family updates

“I developed some alliances and client relationships in a natural way just through conversation. There is a great flow of energy at these salons! “

 

“I really enjoyed your brainstorming event last week. What a wonderful group of fascinating people!

 

“What a wonderful evening! The brainstorming salon was interesting, dynamic, and loads of fun. Not only did I enjoy meeting a number of bright, fascinating men and women, but it inspired me in new directions.” 

 

“Bravo! You are one creative individual. I look forward to the next Thursday salon at your loft. Thank you, thank you.”

 

“I had so much fun and met such interesting people. Thank you!”

 

“Great Salon party. I enjoyed myself immensely.”

 

“I LOVE these events. Even in the short time I was there, I connected with so many great people. There are starting to be “regulars” which is great since there is never enough time to get to know all the people at one event.”

 

“I had a terrific time at yesterday’s Brainstorming Salon. Thanks so much for hosting it. What an interesting group of people. So many good conversations. And then the serendipity of seeing Beatrice Wood’s ‘I Shock Myself’ and Christine Walker’s ‘A Painter’s Garden’ on your coffee table. Downright spooky.”

 

“Hey, last night’s Salon was just great! Both Mike and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and got some good ideas. We were so jazzed that we went out for a “bar dinner” at Absinthe. We talked and talked about everyone we had met at the Salon and how energized we were. Thanks so much for inviting us.”

 

“Great gathering last night. I really enjoyed it. And I love your swingin’ bachelorette pad, it’s the perfect party palace.”

 

“That was a blast.  Wonderful people.”

 

 “It was terrific and I had a splendid time.”

 

“Thursday’s Brainstorming Salon was a hit! I really appreciate you opening your home and ideas to so many of us. I look forward to the next one!”

 

“Having the chance to get objective input from people of this caliber is wonderful.”

 

“Looking at the brainstorming requests is good way of ‘meeting’ people in a way that is beyond the first introductions social interaction.”

 

“I felt energized by the level of intelligence and curiosity of the people there.”

 

“I really enjoyed the people and ambiance.”

 

“I couldn’t tear myself away from the conversations.”

 

“I always feel energized and empowered after spending time with you. Thanks so much. I look forward to the next one!”

 

“I thought it was wonderful to meet interesting, witty people and to talk on a range of subjects. The most complimentary way to show my appreciation is to say, ‘I look forward to the next meeting.'”

 

“I had a great time. Just being around persons from different walks of professional life rubs off on us, and we take what we want from that. It is invaluable! Thanks for including me.”

“I loved it.”