YPF Blog

What’s the BIG IDEA?

by: Lora Vahlsing, Certified Yoga Instructor, Artist, & Explorer of Ideas

A couple years ago I went to my first IdeaCamp. I’ve been to different conferences before, but this was completely different. First, there was no set agenda for the day, whoa. Now, I am a bit of a planner and I like to know how my day is going to go. So, really no agenda? I’ll admit initially I was nervous: did I wear the right thing, how come all these people know each other, why is there no agenda!?!? Second, the day’s events are FREE, open to the public. That’s right, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to participate in this conference.

After an initial greeting the day started, the organizers asked us if any of us had any ideas we wanted to present. I listened as different people suggested topics ranging from body image, woodworking, 3D printing to making cocktails. Participants were free to go to different talks throughout the day. You didn’t have to sign up for a particular talk or get stuck in one you didn’t like. The first thing I noticed was the mix of people, how diverse it was. This “un-conference” brought together people from all different fields, education backgrounds, and interests. I met an awesome group of people I normally wouldn’t see at other events.

And I started to appreciate the beauty of IdeaCamp, the idea that on any given day the members of a group will have information, knowledge, and passion to share. This environment makes it safe to try out different ideas in front of a safe audience.

Greg Giles, CEO and Executive Director of the Fond du Lac YMCA, talks about his experience last year:

“Last year was the first time I attended Idea Camp and didn’t know what to expect, but soon everyone in the room was so willing to learn new ideas that they reached out to anyone willing to talk including me and made me feel comfortable right away.  I signed up to listen to a few ideas in the beginning of the day and then signed up to present on an idea I had about how the community could encourage a culture of philanthropy.  During my session the feedback I received was very valuable as it encouraged me to take my idea to the next level.  Today this idea has turned into a program called Fondy 100 gives which brings 100 people together every three months with the intention of supporting one local project that will strengthen the community.” 

So, what’s YOUR idea?

What are you passionate about? What do you want to learn more about? You’d be surprised how much knowledge and wisdom is within you and your community! Bring it forth at IdeaCamp 2017! 

What are you waiting for? IdeaCamp is Saturday, October 21st at Moraine Park Technical College: Register now!

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