At the Meeting of the Minds dinner in Vancouver, a newly-tight circle of THNK Class One collaborators welcomed a new batch of creative leaders for Class Two.
As dusk settled over the Union Wood Company, new and familiar faces gathered for a night of storytelling that amounted to one crew saying to the other, with a smile: ‘You have no idea what’s ahead.’
We never know what’s ahead in life or in business, but we walk forward anyway with an open mind. That’s the THNK way—shrug at uncertainty, since uncertainty is a constant, and use newfound boldness to make ideas bigger.
This autumn, Kaz Brecher will release a report out from the Challenge, which will chronicle milestones from Vancouver Class One’s effort to re-imagine the Future of Capitalism — from a digital currency that could drive real upward mobility for marginalized communities, to tapping into the Quantified Self movement as applied to increasing not only charitable giving but also impact. It will be a snapshot of potential paths to prosperity, the first note in a powerful rallying cry, and a beacon for those courageous enough to tackle change.
As THNK Vancouver celebrates its first jump from one class to the next, the Challenge report will be a celebration of the big ideas that THNK, its participants, Innovation Partners and global ecosystem are all about.
THNK Vancouver co-founder Lee Feldman:
"To me, the real stretch — the thing that we try to ignite through THNK — is revival. How can we aspire to not just stop destroying, but heal the planet? I’d like to do more than just save what’s left. I’d like to rejuvenate the planet and in turn, us. That’s the real opportunity space."
A New Affinity
After developing the muscle memory of self-awareness and learning tools for the visioning, prototyping, and scaling of venture design, THNK participants re-enter life with a new affinity for questions that uncover more questions.
Each class works towards common goals — Grand Challenges — and Class One’s thematic prompts of ‘Giving 3.0’ and ‘Alternative and Digital Currencies’ had participants solving problems, increasing social connectedness, and balancing a triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. What is a tall order for some is for THNK alumni a daily practice.
Faculty leader Alex Trisoglio:
"THNK has this notion that there are two kinds of leadership tools, as represented by a microwave and a saw: A microwave is a complicated technology, but all you need to do is press the button. It seems simple, but it’s not. A saw — or a pencil — is a simple technology that takes years of practice to wield properly. THNK teaches a series of simple tools, the mastery of which is a lifelong journey, just like the journey to becoming a great artist."
THNK alumni are a diverse group. Alongside established leaders from corporations of all stripes, they include non-profits, b-corps, and government minds. They may be geographically and contextually dispersed, but every THNK class becomes a collaborative network that at the end of the program is only at its beginning.
At the inaugural Meeting of the Minds Dinner — a passing-of-the-flame tradition as one class ends and another begins — we celebrated the spark we’re sure to see in September’s Challenge report. The report will sum-up Class One’s progress, reflecting on the good, clean and strenuous work of up-sized ideas, insights and opportunities, the fruits of new partnerships, and questions that lead, with more questions, into the bright unknown.
THNK Vancouver co-founder Lee Feldman:
"How we handle uncertainty is what separates leaders from followers. Uncertainty wakes us up. Embracing it is a personal revolution. Being comfortable in discomfort is a huge component of creative leadership. THNK is a safe space to address uncertainty. Participants learn by doing. Creativity emerges from the raw material of chaos."
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