― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
Monday night was my first experience with the House of Genius, and I must say that I was impressed with what went down. For the most part, the night met a great deal of my expectations.
I had first heard of the event via Facebook. Heather Lefevre, the Amsterdam House of Genius chapter founder, shares a strategy group with me and recently posted a link to houseofgenius.org that caught my attention. Within seconds of seeing the New York chapters’ video, I became immediately curious, and wanted to learn more.
Going into my first experience with the HofG, I was excited and enthralled by the fact that those who participate, do so not for the sake of personal recognition, but for the sake of nurturing, crafting and developing an idea. Participants don’t share their last names, where they work, or even qualify their points based on experience or socio-professional status because it’s the ideas that really matter.
As a self-proclaimed philosophy nerd, the chance to sit in a room with other people and just play with ideas is like pure, unadulterated brain candy for a guy like me. After the event, I swear I couldn’t sleep. It was crazy. The participants really impressed me, and I thought they came up with some really amazing and inspiring ideas in their pursuit to help Play4Karma, PetMinds or Egg Helmets.
I left surprised and over-saturated by the sheer passion for diversity and breadth of ideas that I could sense from nearly everyone in the room.
Come to think of it, this could very well be the reason why I couldn’t sleep after the event. There were just too many good ideas, or offshoots thereof, to really give my mind a moment’s rest.
In the words of my favorite household felon, Martha Stewart, this type of invigorating and curiosity-inducing brain juice, for me at least, is “a very good thing.”
To those familiar with the buzz that great ideas do to those of us passionate about how people think and behave, it should come as no surprise that I would venture to become more involved with the house of genius. That’s why I have offered to help moderate and volunteer my time and network to support subsequent sessions of the House of Genius chapter here in Amsterdam.
I truly love the idea, and look forward to playing a helpful role in nurturing conversations, concepts and inspirations for participants and entrepreneurs in the sessions to come.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson aptly said that ‘there’s just something about doing what’s never been done before (whether useful or not) that’s intellectually seductive, alluring, and enticing’. Amsterdam’s new House of Genius chapter, for me at least, does just that.