Contact: (415) 350-8104

10/1 Salon Invite + NEWS: Bob Horn Award + Alan Weber’s “One New Mexico” + Symbolic Socks + More

You’re invited to the next monthly

FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salon  

Next Thursday 

October 1st

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

OCTOBER 2015

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

1.

BOB HORN:

 TO RECEIVE THE 2015 DONALD N. MICHAEL AWARD

Pioneered concept and uses of visual language.

invented important new ways to think and talk about extremely complex

world government and business issues.

2.

ALAN WEBBER

LAUNCHES “ONE NEW MEXICO”

Co-founder of Fast Company and 2014 New Mexico Democratic Primary Gubernatorial Candidate.

3.

MARY BETH AND CHIP WHITEHOUSE

LAUNCH SYMBOLIC SOCKS  

Son and daughter of big friend of the Salon, Geni Whitehouse.

4.

BETSY BURROUGHS:

On October 3rd starts the first of 6 monthly BETA

FocusCatalyst 

“Manage Your Brain | Manage Your Weight”

Walking Workshops

Always on the first Saturday of each month

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!

OCTOBER 2015

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. 10/24, 11am-4:30pm, Oakland, ROBERT HORN TO RECEIVE THE 2015 DONALD N. MICHAEL AWARD

Great news about Salon regular, Bob Horn!  He going to be receiving a prestigious award and we’re invited to a wonderful day to celebrate it and to experience Bob’s groundbreaking work itself.

Even if you can’t attend on 10/24, I highly encourage you all to read about Bob below.  

Bob’s work is very influential to the highest levels of world governments and large multi-national companies.

 

Here’s the invite:

  

“The Meridian International Institute and IFF-U.S. communities invite you to an exploration of social messes and “wicked problems” with Bob Horn, Senior Researcher, Human Science and Technology Advanced Research Institute (H-STAR), Stanford University who is being honored as the recipient of the 2015 Donald N. Michael Award.*

Inventor of important new ways to think and talk about complex issues, Bob Horn has pioneered the concept and uses of visual language, expanding the boundaries of social learning to cope with the “wicked problems” facing society today.

In keeping with the objectives of the Donald N. Michael Award, Bob will take us on a “learning journey” to experience the ways seemingly intractable social problems (social messes) can be mapped, understood  and translated into constructive social policy.  Join us for an invigorating afternoon of thinking, talking and learning with friends, including lunch.

10/24, 11am-4:30pm. Lunch included. No fee. At Impact Hub Oakland, 2323 Broadway, Oakland.

Space is limited, please RSVP promptly to: bob@internationalfuturesforum.com.  There is no fee to

attend although donations are welcome to cover the cost of this event and to support the Don Michael Fund.  

About Bob Horn:   Robert E. Horn is a political scientist with a special interest in public policy, organizational strategy, and knowledge management. These days, he deals mostly with social messes and mega-messes. Social messes are much more than complicated problems, but rather tightly interconnected clusters of wicked problems and other messes. They are very complex; ambiguous; seen differently from different ideologies and worldviews; and contain many value conflicts.  They usually contain major entanglements of economic, social, and political, cultural, and psychological factors.  Bob is a pioneer in dealing with messes through interactive visual analysis with task groups. Recently, he has been helping major government agencies and businesses in the U.S. and U.K. to develop large info-murals and leading mess mapping processes and workshops to facilitate decision-making groups  These projects range from global climate change, energy security, nuclear waste disposal, NASA’s research programs, to potential mega-flu pandemics.   As visiting scholar at Stanford University, Bob wrote the seminal book, Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century. He has also taught at Harvard and Columbia, American, and Sheffield (U.K.) universities. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of Information Mapping, Inc., an international consulting company. He is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

*About The Don N. Michael Award

Don Michael was renowned for his groundbreaking work on planning, learning, and public policy. Throughout his distinguished career, including years as a professor at the University of Michigan, he was the first to anticipate and explore many transformative trends (from feminism to environmentalism to the ethical dilemmas of technology).  He wrote The Unprepared Society – Planning for a Precarious Future; Cybernation – The Silent Conquest; Learning to Plan-And Planning to Learn and many articles. 

2.  ALAN WEBBER LAUNCHES “ONE NEW MEXICO.”

Sometime* Salon regular (as well as co-founder of Fast Company magazine and before that, managing editor and editorial director at Harvard Business Review), Alan Webber, ran in the Democratic primary for governor of New Mexico last year as many of you know because I wrote about it the Salon invitation, inviting all Salon folks to a fundraiser for him that I co-hosted at IDEO in SF.

Alan was the only Democratic gubernatorial candidate on New Mexico’s primary ballot who could draw the national attention needed to beat the incumbent.  But alas, it was not to be.

But I learned from writing about Alan’s campaign in the Salon invite that there are quite a lot of people on the Salon list who have friends and family in New Mexico.  So I wanted to share Alan’s launch of One New Mexico here. Here’s the info:

* Well, he lives in New Mexico! :)

When you picture New Mexico, what do you see?

If you’ve been listening to the pundits…it’s probably not so good.

New Mexico has a problem…but it might not be what you think.

It’s that all we ever seem to do is talk about what’s wrong with our state, rather than what’s right with it.  We talk about our problems, but not the new and innovative ways we can solve them.   

If you’re sick of that, like I am, then I have good news.  It’s called One New Mexico, and it’s launching today.

Here’s what we’re going to do:

Advance a new economic strategy for New Mexico-A strategy built from the grass-roots up instead of the top down, that uses New Mexico’s micro-economies as the building blocks of economic growth.

Spotlight entrepreneurs and innovators-We need new ideas to strengthen New Mexico’s future.  That’s something that so many of our political leaders and powerbrokers seem unable to come up with. But there are smart, innovative New Mexicans blazing new trails–we want you to know who they are and what they’re doing to make New Mexico a better place.  

Connect forward leaning New Mexicans -There are concerned, committed New Mexicans across the state who know just how much potential we have as a state.  Acting alone, they’re doing great things…but just think of what they could accomplish working together.  We’re going to connect them to each other in a statewide network to generate ideas, get things moving and get things done.

You see, I believe New Mexico’s future is hiding in plain sight.  There is so much more we can do, if only you know where to look.

So let’s start looking right here: One New Mexico.

Alan Webber, Founder

One New Mexico

Working Papers

Policy papers and proposals that examine and explore important issues for New Mexico’s future.

News & Media

Comments and commentaries on events and issues that shape New Mexico

3. MARY BETH AND CHIP WHITEHOUSE LAUNCH SYMBOLIC SOCKS .

Geni Whitehouse* is my wonderful friend and Salon regular (though less regular since she moved out of the Bay Area and now lives in both Napa and Nevada City.)

Geni’s children are so talented!  Her son, Chip, and daughter, Mary Beth, together started Symbolic Socks.  Each sock has a unique design created by Chip, an amazing artist.

From the Symbolic Socks website:  “All symbolic socks include a unique symbol that is good for the sole.  The socks were carefully designed by a brother/sister team to keep you warm and bring you comfort. By putting symbols on the sole of each sock, we hope to remind you of your connection to the earth below and the spirit above.”

All the designs are really wonderful. You MUST go to their site and take a look.  Here are some of the sock’s names:  Crew length:  Diamonds of Wisdom, Flower of Blue, Tree of Life, The Horus Sun. Knee high length:  Diamonds & Triangles, Flower of Life, Maroon Mandala, The Horus Moon, Purple Om,*** Tuxedo Knot

*** You really have to SEE them on. The designs are really wonderful and run the whole length of the socks. I’ll be modeling a knee high pair at the Salon. :) 

* About Geni Whitehouse:  Geni is a writer, speaker, technology reviewer, LinkedIn Influencer (a designation given to approximately 500 professionals who’ve been invited to publish on LinkedIn), and author of How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting: 52 Ways Even A Nerd Can Be Heard which is on the Salon Book Table (available on Amazon).  Geni was named one of the Top 100 most Influential people in Accounting by Accounting Today, One of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting and one of 25 Thought Leaders in the Accounting Profession.

4.  BETSY BURROUGHS’ MONTHLY BETA WALKING WORKSHOPS

My first BETA Walking Workshop on September 19th was really great so I’ve decided to do them every first Saturday of the month for the next 6 months.  

So the next one will be Saturday, October 3rd, 2-5pm. (Scroll down for details.)

Based on the great feedback I got on the first Walking Workshop BETA, the working title for it right now is:

The FocusCatalyst “Manage Your Brain | Manage Your Weight” Walking Workshop

I’ve done 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 doing BETA Walking Workshops applying all those techniques to weight loss.  (Why? See below about my 75+ lb weight loss and how I did it using the same techniques I use with my innovation clients, all based on the Neuroscience of Insight.)

In this initial BETA phase, I’ll be doing the workshops on the first Saturday of every month for the 6 months  The next one is on Saturday, October 3rd, 2-5pm,starting and ending at my loft.

The BETA Walking Workshops’ attendance will be limited to begin with so I can give maximum focus on each attendee’s interests and needs.

There’s no charge for being a BETA tester of this workshop.  All I ask in return is your feedback on it!

Here are details:

DATE:

Saturday, October 3, 2016

TIME:

2pm to 5pm

LOCATION:

We’ll start at my SOMA loft (same address as the Salon) then take the MUNI LIght Rail to the Westfield Shopping Center and then return to my loft.

WHAT:

The FocusCatalyst “Manage Your Brain | Manage Your Weight” BETA Walking Workshop 

This Walking Workshop will feature several FocusCatalyst techniques applied to weight loss that I used to lose over 75+ lbs on my way to losing 100 lbs.

The Walking Workshop will include each participant purchasing one of their personal “forbidden” food items in the Westfield Food Court or in Bristol Farms Supermarket (both located in the lower level of the Westfield Shopping Center) and eating it without guilt and feeling great about it!

If you are interested in doing this October 3rd BETA Walking Workshop, or a future one, just shoot me an email at bb@focuscatalyst.com .  Thanks!

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

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.

5. 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 the October 2015 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.”