Betsy Burroughs | Focus Catalyst http://betsyburroughs.net Sun, 29 Nov 2015 19:44:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 11/5 Salon Invite + News: Stanford Mediax + Sinicki films + Bone Broth Tasting http://betsyburroughs.net/2015/11/05/115-salon-invite-news-re-stanford-mediax-sinicki-films-bone-broth-tasting/ Thu, 05 Nov 2015 09:25:46 +0000 http://betsyburroughs.net/?p=431

NOTE:

Below is a very abbreviated invite due to technical difficulties beyond my control.

If you’re new to this page, check out the full invites in the previous Salon posts below.

You can also click here to see the full 11/5/15 Salon invite in a separate page.

Thanks!

You’re invited to the next monthly

 FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salon  

Thursday 

November 5th

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

November 2015

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

1.  MARTHA RUSSELL

STANFORD’S MEDIAX FALL PROGRAM               

Martha is the Executive Director of Stanford’s MediaX

2.  MOLLY MCGEE & ANJULI KONAR

BONE BROTH TASTING AT THE NOVEMBER SALON

Founders of Molly & Anjuli: Organic Meals for the Modern Villager

3.  MARLENE SINICKI

THREE FILMS BY MARLENE SINICKI 

Marlene directed, wrote and edited all three films.

4.  BETSY BURROUGHS:

November 7th 2-5pm is the next of 6 monthly BETA Walking Workshops

FocusCatalyst  “Manage Your Brain | Manage Your Weight” Walking Workshops

I recently lost 80+ lbs with techniques I use with Silicon Valley innovation clients.

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!

NOVEMBER 2015


NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

1.  STANFORD’S MEDIAX FALL PROGRAM

This in from Martha Russell, Salon regular and Executive Director of Stanford’s MediaX.  I go to MediaX programs whenever I can.  They are always fantastic.  Highly recommended!  For details on any of the programs below go to their site at mediax.stanford.edu.

From Martha:  “Last year was a turning point in innovation. Everything became SMART: smart cities, smart schools, smart commerce, smart office. The mandate for “smart” moved beyond sensors to platforms and presence. This trend manifested itself in learning, in business and in entertainment.  MediaX is building on member-inspired research of fifteen years (yes – 15!*) These insights are applicable for “smart” people, “smart” environments, “smart” systems,”

CONFERENCES: Two half-day conferences in November will recap recent results and pivot our discovery collaborations into the coming year. We’ve scheduled two in the same week for the benefit of international travelers. 

11/16, 1-5pm: The Experience of Immersion 1pm-5pm, reception following. This may be the year when VR sees the light of day and AR takes center stage in the laboratory. Come share insights with thought leaders from labs at Stanford and mediaX member companies.  

11/19, 1-5pm:  Platforms for Collaboration and Productivity in the Smart Workspace, reception following.  In the on-demand economy, configurations of physical and data environments optimize creativity, innovation and productivity for distributed, modular work, with agile team structures. 

 

MEDIAX IS A SPONSOR OF:

10/16-17: Tipping Points in Education, Innovations in Learning (Yes, this was last month but I wanted to include the link for those interested in the topic and i know there are many of you on this list!)

11/2: Stanford Women in Data Science Conference

SEMINARS:  

Tuesdays until 12/1, 12-1pm A fall seminar series on Interactive Media and Games takes place weekly on Tuesdays with videos of the seminars posted online.  The next one is November 3rd on:  Immersive Virtual Reality and 3D Interaction for Task Performance and Embodiment.

RESEARCH THEMES: Two new Research Themes launch this fall:  

“Technologies for Learning,” in collaboration with the Stanford Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and the Stanford Digital Learning Forum. 

“Memory, Estates and Legacies in the Digital World.” 

WORKSHOPS:  Workshops for executive teams, visiting from Brazil, China, Japan and Finland.

ABOUT STANFORD’S MEDIAX from their site:  “

We harness the drive of industry and the genius of Stanford to change the world. Industry affiliate program of Stanford’s H-STAR Institute.   We help our members explore how the thoughtful use of technology can impact a range of fields, from entertainment to learning to commerce. Together, we’re researching innovative ways for people to collaborate, communicate, and interact with the information, products, and industries of tomorrow. We explore the use of information technology to improve the human experience.”

2.  MOLLY & ANJULI BONE BROTH TASTING AT THE NOVEMBER SALON

Molly McGee is the wonderful daughter of my close friend and Salon regular, Valerie Landau.  I’ve written often in this Salon invite about the amazing work Valerie has done in technology and her decades-long close collaboration with Doug Englebart (filing two patents with him and co-authoring “The Engelbart Hypothesis: Dialogs with Douglas Engelbart” along with another Salon regular, Eileen Clegg, founder of Visual Insight).  Doug was one of the leading intellectual lights of the 20th Century.  Valerie is the daughter of filmmaker and author, Saul Landau, who was close to Fidel Castro ever since he did the first documentary about him in the 1960’s.  Because of Valerie’s experience both living in and visiting Cuba since the 1960’s and her connections there to literally the highest levels, she has lead many successful delegations to Cuba.  Last May I was part of a delegation to Cuba on” Broadband and the Internet.” This January Valerie is leading a delegation of 30 U.S. Makers to collaborate with 30 Cuban Makers.  And in May next year she will lead a high-level delegation of LGBT American leaders to meet with Cuban LGBT leaders.  When Valerie’s father died two years ago, he was making a film about the Cuban LGBT culture with Raul Castro’s daughter who is a major leader of the movement there. That film was picked up by HBO last July. (Anyone interested in being a part of any of these delegations, you can find out more at Landau Travel or email me.)

Of course Molly is amazing in her own right!  She and her business partner, Anjuli Konar, have launched their company, Molly & Anjuli.  

And at the next Salon on November 5th, you all get to sample one of their wonderful bone broths.  As they describe it:  “We are bringing a ginger chicken sipping broth with parsley, celery and chili garnish. The bones are from pastured chickens from Marin Sun Farms.”   I’m a huge fan of bone broth and frankly I think it should be sold the way juice is sold in juice bars now.

ABOUT MOLLY & ANJULI from their site:  “Organic Meals for the Modern Villager.  We provide balanced meals that are designed to enhance flavor and nutrition. Each meal includes a bone broth braise served with sprouted buckwheat, steamed greens and live pickles or yogurt sauces.  You love to eat food that makes you feel good. You believe that delicious food should nourish your body. Our flavorful, complete meals are designed to optimize digestion and nutrient absorption. We prepare everything from scratch using only the best local organic ingredients.

“OUR APPROACH TO FOOD. Bone Broth is Full of Nutrients & Supports Digestion.  Bone broth contains magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, calcium & other trace minerals. It also has chondroitin sulphates & glucosamine from broken down cartilage & tendons. Glycine, proline & arginine, amino acids, all have anti-inflammatory effects.  Sprouting Grains, Nuts & Legumes Makes Them More Nutritious & Easier to Digest. Soaking allows the grain, seed, nut or legume to begin the germination process. Breaking down phytic acid, an enzyme inhibitor, helps our bodies assimilate nutrients more easily.  Probiotics Ease Digestion & Increase Nutrition.  Fermented and cultured foods are more nutrient dense and easier to digest. They are also known to boost the immune system and fight off infections.  Slow Cooked Meats Preserve More Nutrients. When meat is cooked at low temperatures more of the nutrients stay in tact.”

3. MARLENE SINICKI’S FILMS

The Salon is very lucky to be filled with so many wonderful authors, artists and filmmakers.

One of them is Salon regular, Marlene Sinicki.  She’s a fabulous fine artist.  Make sure you ask to see her art on her iPad when you see her at a Salon.  Marlene also designed my FocusCatalyst website.  And she helped me with my TEDx talk.  Thank you, Marlene!

AND Marlene is a wonderful filmmaker.  She recently shared with me three of her films. [*** See BB NOTE below].  Here’s Marlene’s note to me about her these 3 films:

Wanted to share the movies I made in two of our favorite places, the Presidio and  Dogpatch. As well as directing, writing and editing, I did all location scouting and art direction.”

PRESIDIO

Soul Moves (5 min)

https://vimeo.com/3776290

Snake Hips (10 min)

https://vimeo.com/3772799

DOGPATCH

World Within Worlds (5 min)

https://vimeo.com/3781081

Cheers

Marlene

— 

Marlene Sinicki 

Artist * Storyteller * Designer

Strategic Storytelling That Sparks Positive Change

www.lilomar.com    Twitter :::: LinkedIn :::: Facebook :::: Pinterest :::: Vimeo

*** BB NOTE:  As Marlene says in her note above, she made these films in “two of our favorite places, the Presidio and Dogpatch.”  The Presidio and Dogpatch are definitely two of my favorite places in the whole City.  If not THE two favorite places of mine.

As a matter of fact, if any of you want tips from me on visiting either place (or want to go there together), just grab me at the Salon or shoot me an email at bb@focuscatalyst.com.

Pro tip: Dogpatch is the home of Pier 70 which is probably my favorite place in the city.  It’s the best “ruin porn” there is. :)

Pier 70 was also the location for the fabulous  TEDxSan Francisco yesterday  where my good friends, Bobby Chang and Yrmis Barroeta, gave a great talk. Bobby and Yrmis are founders of Mission Heirloom, a gorgeous restaurant in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto.  I love Mission Heirloom!  If any of you would like to go there with me sometime, shoot me an email about that, too. I love introducing folks to the wonderful eating experience that is Mission Heirloom.

4.  BETSY BURROUGHS’ MONTHLY BETA WALKING WORKSHOPS

My first two BETA Walking Workshops on September 19th and October 3rd were great.  Thank you so much to all the participants!  Your help and feedback are invaluable to me.

I decided last month to do the BETA Walking Workshop every first Saturday of the month for  6 months.  

The next one is THIS Saturday, November 7, 2-5pm. (Scroll down for details.)  

Participation at each one is limited to best meet everyone’s needs and to get the feedback I need to develop the workshop further.  

Based on the great feedback I got on the first two BETA Walking Workshops, 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.  I wrote my first book, FOCUS. The Catalyst for Innovation, about that.

Now I’m doing these BETA Walking Workshops applying all those techniques to weight loss.

(Why? See below about my 80+ 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’m doing the workshops on the first Saturday of every month for 6 months  The next one is this Saturday, November 7, 2-5pm, starting and ending at my loft–the same location for the Salon.

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 Salon invitees to be a BETA tester of this workshop, as well as for Salon invitee’s friends and family.  All I ask in return is your feedback on it.

Here are details for the next Walking Workshop BETA:

DATE:

Saturday, November 7, 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 a special location and then return to my loft.  It is a walking workshop but we don’t do extensive walking and there’s no hiking involved.

This is a much shorter, SF-only-based take on the all-day strategy sessions I take innovation clients on.  That one is from SF to Yosemite and back in one day via AMTRAK.

So in this case, the MUNI Light Rail is the stand-in for AMTRAK and, well, the “special location” is the stand-in for…um…Yosemite.  OK, maybe not!

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’m using to lose over 80+ lbs on my way to losing 100 lbs.

If you are interested in doing this November 7th 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 80 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 for 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.

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 your brain can really get into–IF you know how–even with really hard things to do, like losing 100 lbs. 

My new book on weight loss 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

 

6.  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 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.”

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10/1 Salon Invite + NEWS: Bob Horn Award + Alan Weber’s “One New Mexico” + Symbolic Socks + More http://betsyburroughs.net/2015/09/29/101-salon-invite-news-bob-horn-award-alan-webers-one-new-mexico-symbolic-socks-more/ Tue, 29 Sep 2015 21:08:31 +0000 http://betsyburroughs.net/?p=426

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.”

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9/3 Salon + News: Buckminster Fuller Challenge + New SF Meditation Center + Latin American “Coding for Kids” game http://betsyburroughs.net/2015/08/31/9-3-15-salon-invite-news-re-buckminster-fuller-challenge-new-sf-meditation-center-latin-american-coding-for-kids-game/ Mon, 31 Aug 2015 23:25:07 +0000 http://betsyburroughs.net/?p=412

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.”

]]>
8/6 Salon + News: Valerie Landau in WaPo + Joe Flower on “healthcare revolutionaires” + Suzanna Stinnett’s Coloring Camelot + Kat Smith’s Everything She Knows http://betsyburroughs.net/2015/08/06/8615-focuscatalyst-brainstorming-salon-invitation/ Thu, 06 Aug 2015 17:15:48 +0000 http://betsyburroughs.net/?p=406

You’re invited to the next monthly

 FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salon  

Thursday 

AUGUST 6th

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

AUGUST 2015

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

1. VALERIE LANDAU:

Invited by the Cuban Ambassador to attend the 7/20 opening of the

Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. and featured in the Washington Post.

Plus news on her wonderful Landau Travel tours to Cuba.

2.  JENNIFER & JOE FLOWER:  

On The Change Project and Joe Flower’s book,

How To Get What We Pay For: A Handbook for Healthcare Revolutionaries.

3.  SUZANNA STINNETT: 

Author of Coloring Camelot.  Plus more about the new adult coloring book phenomena.

4.  KAT SMITH:

Founder and editor-in-chief of the wonderful new site, Everything She Knows.

5. BETSY BURROUGHS:

The response to my asking for interviewees for my new book in last month’s Salon invite

 has been amazing.  Thank you so much!

It’s been so helpful, in fact, that I’ve decided to do the interviews on an on-going basis.

If you’re interested, see details below.

6.  EXAMPLES OF THE SALON’S:

“Interesting people, interesting conversations”

7.  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!

AUGUST 2015

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. VALERIE LANDAU of Landau Travel (and of so much more…):  Valerie was featured in 7.21.15 Washington Post.  

Valerie was invited by the Cuban Ambassador to the United States to attend the opening of the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2015.

Most of you know that I went to Cuba in May as part of a delegation on broadband and the Internet led by my great friend, Salon regular, Doug Engelbart scholar and co-author, and Cuba expert, Valerie Landau.*

The Washington Post wrote a story about the Cuban Embassy opening and Valerie and her father got the most ink in the article:

“Not that there wasn’t plenty unfiltered emotion. Standing near Bennis was Valerie Landau, daughter of the late documentary filmmaker and activist Saul Landau. The elder Landau spent the better part of his life working toward this moment, before cancer cut his work short in the middle of another documentary on Cuba, in 2013. Traveling with Castro through Cuba in the late 1960s, he memorably filmed the revolutionary leader shedding his uniform and playing baseball, shirtless, with peasants. At the embassy Monday, more than one veteran of the struggle for Cuban engagement choked up at the absence of Landau and his camera at such a milestone. ‘We’re continuing his work in our own way,” said Valerie Landau, who leads tours to Cuba and also works with the Cuban health ministry on education programs. “I think this is a real crossroads, and there’s going to be a lot of change in Cuba. Some of it at their own speed and choice, and some of it as a result of an avalanche of interest on the part of Americans who are hungry to know and see Cuba.”

There are some exciting tours in the planning stages with Valerie’s company, Landau Travel, including gay tours to meet with Cuban leaders and advocates in the movement, tours on sustainability and architecture and more.

Already planned tours include: US/Cuba Maker Exchange (taking 30 U.S. Makers to Cuba to meet with 30 Cuban Makers) in January 2016 and one that includes mass with Pope Francis this September 2015.

Valerie’s contacts in Cuba are unprecedented and extend to the highest levels there.  Her access is amazing.  If you are interested in any of the tours mentioned above or are interested in talking with her about others you’d like to do, just contact her here.

About Valerie Landau and Cuba:  Valerie has been to Cuba many, many times (and lived there both as a child and as a teenager). Valerie’s father, Saul Landau, was a great filmmaker and author. He’s a hero in Cuba–his films and interviews play regularly on TV there.  He received Cuba’s highest honor, The Friendship Medal. His film, Will The Real Terrorist Please Stand Up, is renowned.  I got to go to its premier in SF a few years ago which featured one of its stars, Danny Glover.  You can watch it on Netflix or Amazon. Highly recommended!

2.  JOE FLOWER: Author of How To Get What We Pay For: A Handbook for Healthcare Revolutionaries.

Thanks so much to Salon regular, Suzanna Stinnett (see #3. below), for inviting her friend, Jennifer Flower, to the last Salon. I’ve since had the opportunity to spend time with Jennifer one-on-one (ironically, as many of you know, I actually don’t get to do that AT the Salon!) to learn more about Jennifer and her husband Joe’s work, The Change Project.

I haven’t met Jennifer’s husband Joe yet but since so many Salon folks are involved in or very interested in the health care system, I wanted to share this information about Joe’s book: HOW TO GET WHAT WE PAY FOR: A Handbook for Healthcare Revolutionaries – Doctors, nurses, healthcare leaders, inventors, investors, employers, insurers, governments, consumers, YOU.

About The Change Project, Jennifer Flower and Joe Flower’s book from their site, imaginewhatif.com:  “The Change Project is a partnership between Joe and Jennifer Flower, Ph.D., a psychologist and psychoanalyst, trained at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Massachusetts, in the Harvard hospitals, and at the William Alanson White Institute in New York City. Dr. Flower is a content collaborator, speaker, and writer on change in a quirky combination of wisdom and the absurd that renders that hard change stuff more tolerable…

[How To Get What We Pay For. A Handbook for Healthcare Revolutionaries] is a true manual for how each of us can get much better, much cheaper healthcare for ourselves, our families, while revolutionizing the system at the same time.  He paints the big picture of how healthcare works and how it is changing and why, building on his previous work, Healthcare Beyond Reform: Doing it Right for Half the Cost, a widely acclaimed manifesto on where healthcare is and has to be heading, based on his in-depth survey of healthcare trends and innovation. 

“Joe Flower was a founding member of the International Health Futures Network and the principal author of the landmark healthcare forecast, “Technological Advances and the Next 50 Years of Cardiology,” Journal of the American College of Cardiology (vol. 35, no. 4, 2000). His other writings include:  China’s Futures, Global Business Network 2000 (co-author); The 21st Century Healthcare Leader, Jossey-Bass 1999 (co-author); Japan’s Futures, Global Business Network 1998 (Executive Editor); Leading Change: A Key Challenge for Board-Management Teams, The Governance Institute, 1998; The Encyclopedia of the Future, MacMillan, 1996 (co-author)  Best Practices in Collaboration to Improve Health: Creating Community Jazz, (principal co-author), The Healthcare Forum and the California Wellness Foundation, 1996; Prince of the Magic Kingdom: Michael Eisner and the Re-Making of Disney, John Wiley 1991; Age Wave, Random House 1989 (co-author)

.

3. SUZANNA STINNETT:  Author of  Coloring Camelot.

I only recently heard about adult coloring books through a June 11th piece on them on NPR, For Adults, Coloring Invites Creativity And Brings Comfort and the Boston Globe covered it on June 30th with Coloring books for adults are flying off shelves.

So I was thrilled when I learned that Salon regular, Suzanna Stinnett, has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to bring out her own adult coloring items.  They are beautiful!

Go here find out more and to participate in her IndieGoGo.  Below are some excerpts about it from her IndieGoGo page:

We Are Coloring Camelot

“I’m Suzanna Stinnett, an author and artist lucky to live in the lush greenery of northern California. My environment is filled with imagery that begs to be drawn, and what could be better than creating books full of designs for others who like to color?   I love drawing these images! The meditative comfort that many of us are finding with coloring is only surpassed by the calm relaxation I find while sketching, sculpting and inking these pieces. What a happy meeting of hearts!  Did you know coloring reduces your heart rate, produces friendly brain chemicals, and relieves stress? I like to think of everyone taking a nice long break (or lots of short breaks!) to color away, grow peaceful inside, and let the world breathe for an hour or two. My drawing is influenced by

Maxfield Parrish, Kandinsky, Hunterwasser, and Dr. Seuss, to name a few. I love scenes with a bit of whimsy that evoke a sense of story. Another great love of mine is architectural shapes. Many drawings in Hidden Realms include aspects of castles as well as fanciful versions of architectural design. Flowery swirls and leafy lanes in scenes of an imagined Camelot appear in this collection. Decorative bits of ancient kings and queens weave their way into patterns framed in handcrafted borders. My drawings contain “brain-friendly” repeating curves and varying lengths which contribute to the calming action of coloring.”

4. KAT SMITH:  Founder and editor-in-chief of Everything She Knows.

I’ve had the wonderful privilege of getting to know Kat Smith for several years now–ever since we met at FACTORY in San Francisco.

Kat recently launched her beautiful site (in many more ways than one), Everything She Knows, and I’m honored she asked me to be a Founding Contributor.  (And from the site’s page of the Founding Contributors, I think it’s safe to say I’m the oldest!  :)  It’s really great to be in such wonderful company.)  My story is still to come.  Sign up here to know when each woman’s story is posted.

About Everything She Knows:

Every woman has a story and a unique perspective on life.

By sharing these perspectives we strengthen each other and the world as a whole.

This is so much more than a website. It is a community.

A reminder that we are never alone and support is always within our reach. 

And if you’d like to contribute, I included below the guidelines from the site.  I wanted to include all of it here because Kat’s checklist of what she’s looking for (and not) tells you a whole lot about what a great thing she is creating here!

So, you want to submit your story to share with the community…hooray!  Here is a little checklist of the types of things we love/don’t love as much:

 

What we love //

  • Personal Stories of triumph, courage and overcoming obstacles
  • Honest, raw and real reflections
  • Fun and snappy how-to articles (i.e. 5 Real Ways to Find Your True Calling)
  • Poems about love, loss and resilience 
  • Letters to your younger self, your children or other important people in your life
  • Short stories (fiction or non) 
  • Submissions that are 300-1000 words in length

Things we don’t love as much //

  • Holier-Than-Thou-ing + humble bragging (or just bragging)
  • Political Pieces – not our jam
  • Articles attacking or discriminating against a race, lifestyle or personal choice
  • Excessive cursing (we understand the satisfaction of a good curse word here and there, just keep it reasonable)
  • Blatant promotion of a business, product or service
  • Plagiarized submissions – just don’t

Want to share a story but not sure how to begin?

 

Here are some creative prompts to get your inspiration flowing //

  • Write a letter to your younger self. What do you wish you knew at that age?
  • Describe your first love. How has your idea of love changed since then?
  • Describe your relationship with a person who influenced your life. 
  • Describe a traumatic event. How did you overcome it?
  • What are 3 experiences that defined you as a person?
  • Looking back on your twenties, what were your biggest takeaways/lessons/revelations?
  • Describe a point of definition where you were no longer the person you had been before that point. 
  • Write about a job you had where you learned about yourself and your dreams.

About Kat:  Kat is a writer, foodie and fellow female. To celebrate her last year as a 20-something, she reached out to some inspiring friends to participate in an essay series. From there, the list of women grew and grew and Everything She Knows was born. The things that get her out of bed each day are: hearing and sharing the stories of other women, listening to music, eating food that looks too good to eat and adorning herself in ridiculously colorful ensembles.  Kat’s 6-Word Memoir //  I really should write that down. Connect with her here and here.”

5.  BETSY BURROUGHS: 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! :)

NOTE:  Thank you so much for your wonderful response to this.  And thank you to all I’ve had the great privilege to interview already.   

The interviews have been so successful, I’ve decided to keep doing them indefinitely.  If you’d like to do interview with me (details below), just let me know.  Thank you!

As some of you know, I’ve recently lost 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 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 the July 2015 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.

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 July 2015 Salon

to give you an idea of what they’re like.

We’ll have the new tasting notes in the reminder Salon invite next week.

 

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

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.”

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3/5 Salon + News: NextNow 3/14 + “Organs-On-Chips” + Barcelona Salon visitors + Millennium Project + More http://betsyburroughs.net/2015/03/08/3515-focuscatalyst-brainstorming-salon-news-announcements-invite/ Sun, 08 Mar 2015 14:46:26 +0000 http://betsyburroughs.net/?p=398

You’re invited to the FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salon 

March 5th, 2015

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.

The Salons have been every first Thursday of every month since February 2004.

SUMMARY

MARCH 2015

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

1.  Bill Daul & Jim(Sky)Schuyler:

Invitation to 3/14 NextNow Networks Afternoon

2.  Geraldine Hamilton:

Emulate’s amazing “Organs-On-Chips” platform

3.  Doug Engelbart Event:

4/1 & 4/2, Stanford, celebrating Doug’s “Mother of All Demos”

4.  Jerry Glenn:

Millennium Project’s #6 place world ranking

5.  Valerie Landau:

Bringing Barcelona creative lab, Domestic Data Streamers, to Salon

6.  Chip Conley:

Fast Company article about Chip’s Airbnb and FEST300 work

7.  Examples of the:

Salon’s “Interesting people, interesting conversations” 

8.  Alan Abrams’

Alan’s Wine Cellar Wine Tasting Notes for the March 2015 Salon

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!

MARCH 2015

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

1.  3/14/15,1-5PM, SF: You’re invited to the 1st of 3 NextNow Network afternoons

of interesting people, interesting conversations with the NextNow Network on March 14, April 18, and May 16.

The Salon is where NextNow folks get together most regularly so if you like the Salon, you’ll enjoy these afternoons!  (For more info about NextNow, scroll down this invite.)

Each afternoon we’ll have a light lunch starting@12PM and wine@4PM. $40 each. Scholarships available. All will be at NextSpace, a coworking space in downtown SF with easy access from around the Bay Area. To register, go to Eventbrite here.  To view the full invitation with details about the speakers, go to http://red7.com/nextnow

ABOUT THE NEXTNOW NETWORK AFTERNOONS 

The NextNow Network brings together smart, interesting people from a wide array of fields in what NextNow co-founder, Bill Daul, describes as a “super-collider for people–a fusion reaction where you get more energy out of it than you put in.”

Our friend Doug Engelbart,* was a member of NextNow from the beginning and he continues to inspire us today. Doug was one of the leading thinkers of the 20th Century and he challenged the world not only to improve collective performance, but to seek to improve the improvement process itself. That continues to be a core theme for NextNow.

We’ve designed each NextNow Network afternoon so it’s easy and fun for us all to get to know one another, inspire each other and make great connections. We’ll be using a similar format NextNow used when it started in the early 2000’s–one that helped many of us create a lot of the close professional and personal friendships we still have to this day.

To get the conversations and connections started, each afternoon will feature three 10-minute talks on three wide-ranging topics. Each talk will be alternated with time for us to get to know each other, inspire each other and make great connections.

The speakers for March 14th are: 

Gayle Karen Young 

Chief Talent and Culture Officer, Wikimedia Foundation 

Speaking on “Being a Chief Culture Officer”

Valerie Landau

Co-author: “The Engelbart Hypothesis: Dialogs with Douglas Engelbart” Director of Assessment at Samuel Merritt University

Valerie has extensive knowledge of Cuba and lived there in her youth

Speaking on “The Cuban Paradox”

Sam Hahn 

VP of Engineering at eGain Communications

Co-Author: “Leading & Managing in Silicon Valley”

Speaking on “Three Engelbart Ideas”

This meeting is sponsored by Red7 and the NextNow Collaboratory.  For detailed speaker bios, as well as links to Doug Engelbart’s work, go here.

We hope you can join us! To register for one or more of these afternoons, just go to Eventbrite here. Advanced registration is required so we can plan the food and have enough seats! For a scholarship, please click “Contact the organizer” on the Eventbrite page.

To view the full invitation and details about the speakers online, go here.

2.  Thanks to my friend Yrmis Barroeta, co-founder of the wonderful Berkeley restaurant, Mission Heirloom, I recently had brunch with Yrmis and her friend, Geraldine Hamilton.

Geraldine is the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Emulate

It was beyond fascinating to learn about Emulate from Geraldine! I highly, highly recommend you watch her wonderful TEDxBoston Talk here.  It’s so powerful, TED editors ran it on their home page.

Below are excerpts about Emulate from its site.  Truly amazing!

“We’re creating a new living platform to emulate human biology.

Emulate launches to commercialize automated human Organs-on-Chips platform to accelerate drug development, detect toxicities and advance personalized medicine.

Company founded by Organs-on-Chips pioneers; secures $12 million in Series A financing to develop innovative products that emulate human physiology.

[Emulate’s] advanced technology is the beginning of a revolution in the way we study human biology and disease, as Emulate sets a new standard for products to be aligned with a complete picture of human biology,” said Geraldine A. Hamilton, Ph.D.

The company’s founding team carried out their ground-breaking foundational research, engineering and technology translation at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.

Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips allow living human cells to interact with other cell types within the authentic physical context of living tissues and organs as they would normally in the human body.

This ability to bioemulate the human organ microenvironment through microengineering – combined with automated instrumentation that permits molecular scale analysis in real-time – allows us to replicate, analyze and predict human responses in a truly unique and powerful way.

Human Organs-on-Chips are miniaturized devices created with microchip manufacturing that contain tiny hollow channels lined by living human cells and tissues cultured under continuous fluid flow and mechanical forcing regimens, such as cyclic breathing and peristalsis, which effectively recapitulate organ-level physiology and disease responses.

In Emulate’s automated platform, different Organs-on-Chips, such as lung, liver, intestine, kidney, skin, eye, and blood-brain-barrier, can be linked together by flowing liquid containing living human immune cells that simulates blood to form a “Human-Body-on-Chips” to more closely replicate whole body-level responses.

About Emulate:  Emulate, Inc. is a private company focused on commercializing Organs-on-Chips as an automated human bioemulation platform that achieves a new standard for mimicking true human physiology so that responses to medicines, chemicals and diseases can be accurately predicted. Through co-innovation with collaborators and internal programs, Emulate is advancing product innovation, design and safety across a range of applications in drug development, personalized medicine, agriculture and chemical-based consumer products. For more information, visit www.emulatebio.com.”

3. 4/1-2 @ Stanford: A two-day celebration of Doug Engelbart.  And a conversation with Jaron Lanier and Sebastian Thrun.

As many of you know (and per #1 above), Doug Engelbart was a fellow member of NextNow.  This event at Stanford celebrates Doug’s “The Mother of All Demos” in a very unique way.  (If you’ve never watched The Mother of All Demos on YouTube you must–you will be blown away.)

This April event also includes a conversation between Jaron Lanier and Sebastian Thrun.  I’ve known Jaron for over 35 years, all the way back to when he rented the cottage behind my Palo Alto house for 2 years!

About the event:

On April 1 and 2, Stanford Live presents the world premiere of The Demo, a multimedia performance piece based on the historic 1968 demonstration of early personal-computing technology by the Stanford Research Institute’s Douglas Engelbart, which among other things introduced videoconferencing, networked collaboration and a little device called the mouse. 

Created and performed by composers Mikel Rouse and Ben Neill, the piece uses music, light and sometimes hallucinatory video projections to re-create Engelbart’s mind-bending demo and the Bay Area gestalt of the 1960s, and to reflect on how those now-ubiquitous technologies have developed and been put to use in ways he may not have envisioned or particularly liked.

A highlight will be a public conversation on April 2 at Bing with the celebrated technology

writer Jaron Lanier, known for his humanistic vision, who will engage in what should be a lively discussion with Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford research professor and former Google-meister who founded the firm’s Google X, which brought forth the self-driving car and Google Glass.”

4.  This in from Jerry Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project Think Tank:

“On January 22, 2015, the University of Pennsylvania released its “Go To Think Tank” Index Report (see page 20).

The Millennium Project maintained its 6th place world ranking for “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by a Think Tank.”  Here’s the top ten list:

1. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States)

2. Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) (United States)

3. Chatham House (United Kingdom)

4. BRICS Policy Center (Brazil)

5. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (United States)

6. Millennium Project (United States)

7. Third Way (United States)

8. Fraser Institute (Canada)

9. Brookings Institution (United States)

10. European Policy Centre (EPC) (Belgium)

 Also, Jerry added in another note:

The World Economic Forum has created a new global futures group and published series statements from each member. As one of the members, I wrote short personal statement, The Age of Conscious-Technology.

5.  Salon regular, Valerie Landau, is bringing the co-founders of Domestic Data Streamers, a Barcelona based creative lab, to the Salon next week.

Their work looks fascinating.  I’m sure a lot of Salon folks will love to meet them.

For an impressive list of their installations, awards & grants, talks/lectures/workshops, and press, go here.

And here’s an excerpt about them from Adobe’s Behance blog: 

“Domestic Data Streamers’ projects include various forms of data visualizationart installationssculptures, and even handmade cards. We spoke with them about their project “Voting System Behance Reviews,” a voting system that allowed attendees at their Behance Review to visualize the popularity of projects they voted for.” 

6.  I’ve known Chip Conley since we went to a conference outside Vienna in 2006 called The Waldzell Meeting that was chaired by our friend Alan Webber–co-founder of Fast Company magazine (and candidate for Governor of New Mexico in 2014).

Fast Company did a recent great article about Chip and his FEST 300 that I wanted to share with you. Here are some excerpts:

WHY AIRBNB’S INNOVATION GURU IS BUILDING AN EXPEDIA FOR FESTIVALS

HOSPITALITY LEGEND CHIP CONLEY REALLY LOVES FESTIVALS. 

AND HE THINKS HIS YEAR-OLD STARTUP CAN HELP PEOPLE DISCOVER THAT LOVE TOO.

“Hospitality legend Chip Conley is best known for starting the Joie de Vivre hotel chain and for, more recently, being Airbnb’s head of global hospitality and strategy

But his day job isn’t the only thing Conley is passionate about. He has a side gig running Fest300,

a site dedicated to curating the world’s best festivals, and creating a new kind of travel guide in the process.  “We’re creating a movement here,” Conley says, “the idea that people make a pledge to go to one festival a year as a means of becoming more culturally curious.”

Fest300, which, as the name implies, spotlights 300 festivals a year, connects with Conley’s passion for “cultural curiosity” and “collective joy.”  Thirty of the events on the list were crowdsourced from 50,000 of the site’s users, and the rest were selected by Conley and his team. 

“Experiential-driven travel is the fastest-growing component of travel, and we need a website that’s a world authority.”

While it’s unclear how exactly Fest300 plans to make money (and in an interview with Forbes, Conley didn’t discount the idea of Airbnb collaborations), they have positioned themselves in a unique space: Promoting hundreds of hand-picked events globally, many with extremely limited web presences, to an audience with money to burn. It provides numerous monetization opportunities in the future; in the meantime, Conley continues to underwrite the site.”

7.  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 March 5th Salon

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

Special Note:  

The last one below, Halleck “3 Sons Cuvee” pinot, is from a friend of mine’s winery. (And the mother of the 3 sons!)  Really wonderful wine!

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.

Spy Valley

Sauvignon blanc

Vintage: 2012

Varietal:  100% Sauvignon blanc

Origin:  Spy Valley is a small New Zealand estate sourcing grapes from the sunny southern side of Marlborough’s Wairau & Waihopai Valleys.

New Zealand makes some of the best Sauvignon blanc in the world.  Marlborough, on the south island, is the most famous wine region.

Review

Wine Spectator – 88 points “The succulent green apple, passion fruit and lime peel flavors are showcased here, with mineral and floral details matched to a light and extremely refreshing body.”

 Winemaker’s Notes

Bouquet: Classic Marlborough aromas of grapefruit, elderflower and a fusion of tropical fruits”
Palate: Crisp and fine with a silken mouthfeel. Pure fruit flavours that persist through to a dry finish.”

Halleck “3 Sons Cuvee”

Pinot noir

Vintage: 2008

Origin:  Russian River Valley

Vineyards: “Three Sons Cuvee” represents a blend of the best Russian River fruit from two boutique vineyards in Sebastopol: The Farm and Hallberg Vineyards.

Cases Produced:           800 cases

Production Notes

  • Grapes picked at night, hand sorted and de-stemmed.
  • 9 months in 100% French oak barrels

Winemaker’s Notes

“This is a very well structured wine, a perfect blend of earth and fruit flavors.  Deeply cherry notes lead, optimally ripened and decked-out with complementary oak. Mid palate expresses with cinnamon and cloves with fine tannins and hints of forest floor. It ends with black pepper spice and a long silky lingering finish.”

* 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.

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 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.”

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

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My TEDx Talk: The Milky Way Brain http://betsyburroughs.net/2013/07/11/tedxlivermore-6813-how-to-get-more-ahas/ Thu, 11 Jul 2013 14:39:05 +0000 http://betsyburroughs.net/?p=286 TEDX PHOTO BILLY W

I was invited to speak at  TEDX Livermore on June 8, 2013.  The theme for this TEDx was CREATING OUR FUTURE: INNOVATE + EDUCATE.

I spoke on “The Milky Way Brain”  (or “How To Get More Aha! Insights”)–and had the audience of 350+  write on 3×5 cards as part of the FocusCatalyst process I took them through.  That way they could experience their own business solution aha’s right then and there.

Below are some of the other folks who spoke at TEDx Livermore.  It was great to be on the same bill with Chuck House, who I’ve known for several years from when he was Director of Stanford’s MediaX.

Espen Siversten, COO of Type A Machines, a San Francisco-based startup that manufactures desktop 3D printers. He is also co-founder of MemeMaker.com – the first retailer in Denmark to focus on the Arduino prototyping platform. Espen brings 3D printing and entrepreneurship together in a learning-by-doing and just-in-time development environment.

Chuck House Executive Director of InnovaScapes Institute is the author of The HP Phenomenon: Innovation and Business Transformation. Chuck has held many leadership positions across the innovation-education spectrum, including Chancellor of Cogswell College; Director of Media X at Stanford University; Senior Research Scholar at Stanford Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute (HSTAR). His executive management experience includes leadership roles at Dialogic, Spectron Microsystems, Veritas and Informix.  I’ve known Chuck for many years since he was Director of Media X at Stanford. 

Shelly Xie is an artist with a B.S. with Honors in Biology and a minor in Creative Writing at Stanford. She did a great project for Stanford’s Senior Reflection program, a new initiative that allows students to pursue an in-depth creative project that combines science and the arts. Shelly’s creative work, sand animation, told the story and life cycle of the debilitating schistosomiasis (a parasite common in natural water sources) infection in Ghana

Ro Khanna served two years as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Commerce with the Obama Administration. Ro took what he learned about the innovations needed to keep America’s strong manufacturing engine running to write the just-published Entrepreneurial Nation. He currently specializes in advising high-tech companies as part of the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Law Firm. Ro is on the board of a number of local nonprofits and teaches as a visiting lecturer in the Department of Economics at Stanford.

 

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Visiting Charity:Water Wells In Remote Northern Ethiopian Villages, April, 2013 http://betsyburroughs.net/2013/07/07/visiting-charitywater-wells-in-remote-northern-ethiopian-villages-april-2013/ Sun, 07 Jul 2013 16:09:09 +0000 http://betsyburroughs.net/?p=267 Note: This is the first of several posts I’ll be doing about my trip to Ethiopia last April.  This first one below describes the background about the trip.

I was part of a delegation of 9 going to the beautiful mountains of northern Ethiopia with Soma and its philanthropic partner, charity:water, to visit charity:water’s wells in remote villages there,  as the delegation’s Dwell Media representative.

My connection to Soma:  I’ve known the CEO and co-founder of Soma, Mike Del Ponte, since 2008 and Soma’s co-founder, Ido Leffler, since 2010.  Ido is also the co-founder of Yes To, Inc. (Yes to Carrots, Yes To Tomatoes, Yes To Blueberries, etc.) the second largest natural beauty brand in the US (a feat they achieved in under 5 years. Amazing.)

About Soma: Soma’s vision is to redefine how the world consumes beverages in the home.  Their first product is a decanter-quality glass carafe with the world’s first 100% compostable water filter. It will launch in September, 2013, and had a pre-launch splash to over 30,000 attendees at America’s largest design show, Dwell on Design, June 21-23 at the LA Convention Center. Inc. Magazine named Soma one of the 5 “most audacious companies for design” of 2013 and Fast Company called Soma one of the “top design stories of 2012.”

How Dwell is involved:  Dwell Magazine was a favorite of the people who contributed to Soma’s Kickstarter campaign last November (raising $100,000 in 9 days.)  I’ve been a consultant to Dwell for 10 years.  Also, Dwell Media’s president, Michela O’Connor Abrams, is a member of the FocusCatalyst Advisory Board.

About charity:water: “Charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.”  Charity:water was founded in 2006 and as of January 2012 has helped fund 6,611 projects in 20 countries, benefiting over 2,545,000 people–raising over $40 million with 100% of it going to provide clean water wells.

And that’s only part of their story.  What they’ve done partnering with Google is amazing.  Every well is visible on Google Earth and through a new $5 million grant from Google, their projects will soon be remotely monitored so if anything stops working a local mechanic can be dispatched on a motorbike in country to fix it.

Charity:Water is famous for people celebrating their birthdays by asking friends and family to donate their age in dollars to it.  Over 30,000  have pledged to this.  

About the Trip:  We flew from NYC to Dubai on 4/18 and then on to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.  The next day we flew to the mountains in northern Ethiopia.  Then every day there we visited remote villages–some that have wells already, some that are digging ones now and some that don’t have a well yet.

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The “Burn Baby Burn” FocusCatalyst http://betsyburroughs.net/2013/06/06/the-burn-baby-burn-focuscatalyst/ Thu, 06 Jun 2013 15:27:51 +0000 http://betsyburroughs.net/?p=216 BLOG FIRE bigstock-Fire-11956037

You really can’t be very innovative when you’re feeling bad. Neuroscience research shows that when you are uptight and upset, your otherwise clear-thinking mind shuts down. It needs to relax to innovate.

This Burn Baby Burn FocusCatalyst is the best one to use when you are very upset and everything seems to be going wrong. It can make you feel much better surprisingly fast.

Here’s how to do it:

First, take a sheet of paper and make a list of everything that’s bothering you—writing about each thing in the most negatively catastrophic words you can possibly think of, the more negative, the better. For those of us who’ve always been taught to “think positive!” this can be a radically rebellious thing to do.

You can list anything that’s bothering you—personal or professional. Or you can focus on one or the other. Either way works.

Keep adding to the list until you feel “done.” You may only write a few lines or you may write several pages. Either way works.

Next, take another sheet of paper and write line-for-line the exact opposite of every line you wrote on the first list.

This means that on the second list you write about each negative item on the first list in the most positively glowing words you can possibly think of.

What you’ll write will be ridiculously positive. Don’t worry. You don’t have to believe any of it.

Then burn the first list.

(Or you can tear it into tiny pieces or put it through a paper shredder. Though if you can safely burn it—say in a fireplace—try it. Burning it is very satisfying…)

Finally, read the second list every day for 21 days. You do not have to believe anything in your second, positive list for this FocusCatalyst to create surprisingly positive, innovative results in your life.

Want an example?

THE BURN BABY BURN FOCUSCATALYST AT WORK

Or…how this FocusCatalyst got me a million dollars.

In the ’90s I went into business for myself for the first time.

I’d spent years working in account management in major consumer packaged goods ad agencies in San Francisco, as well as in big high-tech ones in Silicon Valley—with a several-year stint in between in magazine advertising sales and sales management.

I was a partner in an ad agency when along came a very large client who only wanted to work with me. So I went into business for myself.

But…I was tens of thousands of dollars in debt when I started. And on top of that, my son was about to start high school, and I hadn’t saved a penny for his college tuition.

As I went to work doing branding and advertising for this very big client, it seemed like every other week that client was going to go away—not because of my performance, but because they were always threatening to reorganize their company. And if they did a reorg, then they’d pick a different ad agency to work with.

I was an emotional wreck through all this, until I started to use this Burn Baby Burn FocusCatalyst. Just about every day I’d do another one.

My negative lists were all about having no money and would include things like:

  1. I’ll lose this account.
  2. I won’t get another account.
  3. I was totally stupid to go into business for myself.
  4. This is awful!
  5. I won’t make any money at all. 6. I’ll lose a ton of money.
  6. I won’t have money for my son’s college tuition.
  7. My son won’t be able to go to college.
  8. My son’s life will be ruined.
  9. I’m a terrible mom.
  10. I won’t ever get a job or a way to make money again.
  11. I hate this!
  12. I hate them!
  13. I’m stupid to think I could do this!
  14. I don’t know what I’m doing.
  15. I’m not any good at this.
  16. I totally blew it—and my life—by thinking I could do this.

My second (positive) list included things like:

  1. I’ll keep this account forever.
  2. I’ll get so much more business.
  3. I was totally brilliant to go into business for myself.
  4. This is wonderful!
  5. I’ll make ten times more money than I ever could’ve hoped for or imagined.
  6. I’ll gain a ton of money from doing this.
  7. I’ll have all the money I need for my son’s college and a whole lot more.
  8. It will be easy and fun to make sure my son goes to a great college.
  9. My son’s life will be so enhanced by this.
  10. I’m a fantastic mom.
  11. I’ll always have lots of work to do and make a ton of money my whole life.
  12. I love this!
  13. I love them!
  14. I’m brilliant to think I can do this!
  15. I know exactly what I’m doing.
  16. I’m great at this.
  17. I’ll totally succeed at this—and at my life—because I did this.

I did not believe a single word I’d written on my second lists. At all. At all. At all.

Still, every morning as I worked out on my treadmill, I’d re-read all the second lists I’d written—never believing in any of those positive things at all.

Well, I never lost the account. In fact, after 2 years I fired them because I got a better, competing account. Soon I joined that company as vice president of marketing. And when I did, I had a whole lot of money left over from being in business for myself those couple of years.

There was so much money left over that I was able to make a big down payment on a 3 bedroom/3 bath 12th floor condo in downtown Palo Alto—a big corner unit with floor to ceiling glass on 2 sides. It was like living in one of the most beautiful views in the world every day.

My son not only graduated from U.C. Davis, but I was also able to send him to the Semester at Sea program his junior year—3 months on a cruise ship with 500 college students going around the world, taking a fully-accredited course load.

Five years later my Palo Alto condo doubled in value. I sold it and bought a loft in San Francisco’s trendy South of Market area for cash. That loft has since doubled in value.

And I really owe it all to Burn Baby Burn.

What Burn Baby Burn did was keep me in low signal noise, focused, innovative action a lot of the time.

At the beginning when my business was so precarious, I felt like I was walking on water and that if I looked down, I’d drown.

But I knew that if I kept myself focused and didn’t get freaked out by the situation I was in, then I would be able to think clearly and do great work for my client. And that’s exactly what happened.

Burn Baby Burn isn’t magic.  Or magical thinking.  

It’s just based on how the brain works.  It helped me have low signal noise in my brain so I could access the innovation insights I needed to do a great job for my client.

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The Path of Least Resistance http://betsyburroughs.net/2013/06/04/the-path-of-least-resistance/ Tue, 04 Jun 2013 20:36:38 +0000 http://betsyburroughs.net/?p=117 IMG_8061

Years ago I read the book, The Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life by Robert Fritz, and it’s had a long-term effect on my thinking.

In the book, Fritz makes the point that the path of least resistance is the way of nature. All nature. Water, wind, electrical current—everything, including each of us—follows the path of least resistance.

But as a society in general, we sure don’t value that idea. We think the path of least resistance is for wimps.

Fritz makes the case for creating new structures in your life that lead you where you want to go following the path of least resistance—instead of trying to force yourself to do things you don’t want to do.

What that means is that instead of trying to force yourself to do something you are procrastinating about, you look for ways to change the underlying structure of how you go about doing the work so that taking the path of least resistance easily leads you to where you want to go.

All FocusCatalyst processes are designed to use your natural desires (including for rebellion and adventure) to make you more effectively productive and innovative. So you can stop fighting your natural tendencies and instead use them to get you where you want to go.

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The “Milky Way Brain” and the Neuroscience of Insight http://betsyburroughs.net/2013/06/04/the-milky-way-brain-and-the-neuroscience-of-insight/ Tue, 04 Jun 2013 20:36:05 +0000 http://betsyburroughs.net/?p=123 Milky Way Brain

I’m fascinated by the neuroscience of insight.

We’ve all experienced going from not having a clue what the solution is to a vexing problem and then…

You’re in the shower and you get an “aha!” insight—but you don’t just come up with “a” solution to add to a list of possible ones to consider.

No.

You are certain it’s the right solution. And that certainty propels you into the kind of action that just getting an “idea” does not. What’s really interesting to me is how those insights happen in the brain.

I got my own insight into how it works when I heard the founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute, David Rock, give the following analogy explaining the relationship between the size of the brain’s prefrontal cortex (the logical, linear thinking part of the brain) in relation to size of the rest of the brain:

If you think of the size of the prefrontal cortex as being about one meter, cubed, then the rest of the brain is the size of the Milky Way.

Neuroscience research has shown that the prefrontal cortex can really only handle about four separate things at once. More than that and it gets overwhelmed and doesn’t work very well.

(A simple test of that? Just try to quickly add two or three three-digit numbers in your head.)

The prefrontal cortex is like a muscle in this regard. It gets tired with use. That’s because the prefrontal cortex uses up a lot of oxygen and glucose in the brain.

Just like your muscles can’t bench press for 8 hours straight, your prefrontal cortex gets tired and then doesn’t work very effectively after awhile, too. (And in an astonishingly short time period—but that’s a whole other subject.)

But an “aha!” insight solution that we get in the shower is the result of a new neural pathway being created in the Milky Way Brain, not in the prefrontal cortex.

But a new neural pathway is, by definition, weak. It’s new so it’s not well-established and strong yet.

Since it’s weak, we have to have “low signal noise” in our brain in order to be aware of it. We can’t be all freaked out or worried or upset. Because when we are, that’s “high signal noise” in our brain and it drowns out any awareness we might have of a new insight solution.

Which is why so many insights come to us in the shower. Or on walks or long drives. Any time when our brain is relaxed and spinning in neutral. Those are “low signal noise” times.

FocusCatalyst processes are all designed to lower signal noise in your Milky Way Brain and to “seed” it to create new neural pathways so you can have more of those “aha!” insight solutions at will.

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