Before yesterday, I’d never heard of Joie de Vivre Founder Chip Conley
So I went to watch his TED Talk to get the best of his thinking and became totally engaged with his vision.
I highly recommend you watch it too. To get a feel for who he is and what he’s up to- then register for the Enlightened Business Summit to get more of Chip and his friends. (it’s free, and you don’t even have to leave home or office, even better ;-).
We all know business needs to shift. These are the people leading that shift with their ACTIONS, not their talk.
Here’s the release for your reading pleasure:
Joie de Vivre Founder Chip Conley to Host First Ever Free Online Enlightened Business Summit
Largest-ever Conscious Business Telesummit Oct. 25-29 to Emphasize Conscious Capitalism with Thought Leaders Tony Hsieh, John Mackey, Tim Ferriss, Googles School of Personal Growth Creator Monika Brekker, Stephen M. Covey, and 35 Other Leading Business Thinkers
San Francisco, Calif. (Oct.18 , 2010) Joie de Vivre Hospitality Founder and Executive Chairman Chip Conley has teamed up with The Shift Network, an online education company, to launch the groundbreaking Enlightened Business Summit. This free online event, to be held October 25-29, is the first to bring together top CEOs, bestselling authors, business change leaders and conscious entrepreneurs to share best practices on how business can fuse enlightened values with increased profits. Business leaders large and small will learn practical steps to create successful companies with great cultures that generate both passion, purpose and profits. Participants can register at http://enlightenedbusinesssummit.com/.
Conley, who will emcee the five-day telesummit, is author of PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow and founder of Joie de Vivre, the second largest independent hotel company in the U.S. He was one of only two business thought leaders invited to speak at TED this year, where he recommended organizations re-examine the metrics they’re using to measure success.
Spurred by his belief that companies must adopt a new paradigm of business leadership to survive, he collaborated with Stephen Dinan, CEO of The Shift Network, to bring together 40 leaders, CEOs, authors, visionaries, and provocateurs he most admires and who are on the cutting-edge of business thinking.
Headline speakers include Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book Delivering Happiness, as well as other New York Times bestselling authors such as Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Work Week) and Stephen M. Covey. The Summit roster also includes notable conscious capitalist CEOs such as John Mackey of Whole Foods, George Zimmer of The Mens Wearhouse and Casey Sheahan from Patagonia as well as Kleiner Perkins partner Randy Komisar and the creator of Googles School of Personal Growth, Monika Broecker. The unique summit will give live, direct access to speakers for free, with most leaders offering 30 minutes of their most important insights in a manner akin to the TED conference.
In an age of cynicism about capitalism, this Summit will be a powerful antidote, Conley says. Anyone whos involved with business will benefit from our extraordinary line-up of speakers who are creating businesses that truly serve people, planet, and profits. Each speaker will share their specific strategies so that tens of thousands of business professionals can harness their insights and create their own revolution in how business is done.
Conference topics include:
Meet Michael Drew, my son from another mother đ Against some pretty big odds, he’s succeeded in getting his BIG thoughts out into the world in some amazing ways.
I’ve known Mike since he was 23 and had only 14 for 14 NY Times/Wall Street Journal best sellers underneath his belt. He’s 30 now with 60+ for 60+ NY Times and/or WSJ best sellers. It gives me great pleasure to finally be able to share this amazing concept – Pendulum – that I’ve heard about 5 times now (the 90 minute version).
Mike is genius in action. His little Mensa mind just doesn’t quit. He tells me
*NOTE* The TED Conference fascinates me. I found this blog post from Scobelizer.com in my Google Feed Reader and thought it would be fun to see what happened if I clicked on “send to Posterous” (aka My Lifestream). I’ve integrated my Posterous account with my blog, Twitter & Facebook. One click starts the domino ;-). It worked beautifully!
The Elephants In The Room at TED
First, letâs get the elephant out of the way so we can talk about more important things. What is the elephant? No, itâs not Larry Page, co-founder of Google, seen above waving to the audience at TED after he gave them all a free Nexus One.
So, what is the elephant? That TED costs $6,000 and is hard to get into (next yearâs TED is already sold out, for instance). They never give away more than 15 press passes, too, which means that most of the worldâs press corp canât get in. This always pisses off people, just as it did to Sarah Lacy, writer at TechCrunch.
I donât have $6,000 and I doubt Iâll get invited next year for free and, even if I could gather $6,000, itâs sold out for next year anyway.
But, letâs take the elephant head on: rich people can afford things you and I canât. I canât afford a Ferrari either. Even though I definitely appreciate them. I canât afford a private plane, even though when Iâve gotten a ride in one Iâve always appreciated them and can see why Iâd want one. I canât afford an original Ansel Adamsâ print, either, even though I am a huge fan and would love to have one.
So, letâs turn it around. You should know that in 2008 I took a similar stance to Sarahâs. That TED is unattainable for most people, and that itâs a closed society, etc. What did I do about it? I went to BIL, a free event that goes on at TED. I will attend that again next year because I seriously doubt that Iâll be able to get into TED. But I am trying to go one further, I will try to get the money together to buy BIL a video feed from inside TED.
But since attending Iâve changed my stance from the one I had in 2008. What is the one now? Jealous people should just keep their mouths shut. And Iâll include me in that stance.
Truth is, TED has opened up its content to the world. More than 500 talks have now been shared on TED Talks.
On the TED stage I saw that they had hundreds of events where the live feed was broadcast, including many into Silicon Valley (several VCs and entrepreneurs invited me to view TED with them at their houses, or work offices). Rackspace bought the feed too and lots of my coworkers were talking with me about the talks. So, getting access to the content might not be attainable by everyone in real time, but is certainly attainable eventually by everyone.
The funny thing is just a couple of weeks ago Sarah Lacy was at an exclusive venture capital event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I wasnât invited. Neither were you, probably. Did she disclose the elitism of this event? No way. Does she disclose all the closed parties or events she gets invited to that me and you donât get invited to? No way. One rule of closed parties is you donât Tweet about them or you donât get invited back.
I assume I wonât get invited to TED next year and that this year I won the lottery and next year, well, the lottery wonât strike twice. So, that gives me a sort of mental freedom to tell you what I really think of this event.
But hereâs the rub: I will be at TED next year if I am alive. And the year after that. And the year after that. I will pay for it and get there somehow.
Why? It was the most incredible event Iâve ever attended. By far.
What makes TED TED? Well, for one, itâs TED because Sarah wasnât there (and I wonât be there next year because I didnât pay the $6,000 in time). Its elitism and expense IS part of why TED is magical and if you ever get to go, either because you have the money to attend, or because somehow you won the lottery like I did and you go to go youâll see that it is magical, in the same way that James Cameron shared with us that visiting the Titanic for real is magical (he did just that). Damn elitists. Having experiences I canât have.
TED should be PROUD of the elephant in the room. It should embrace it far more than they do. The attendees there should celebrate it and run with it. Many do. One VC told me as we were leaving yesterday that the expense not only makes networking world class but that it ensures that people actually attend and listen to the lectures. Want proof? Look at the notes that these rich people took. Iâve never seen notes like these at any other event. After all, rich people can have parties with other rich people anytime they want. But TED isnât like any rich guy party Iâve ever been to and Iâve been fortunate enough to be at more than my fair share (heck, remember, I live right by the Half Moon Bay Ritz which is a rich-guy party every night of the year. I canât afford to stay there either).
Those notes are from Nina Khosla, design student at Stanford. Does that name sound familiar? It should, her dad is famous VC Vinod Khosla. She shares her notes with the world on her website, by the way. I interviewed her about her notes and some other things and you can listen to that on Cinch.
What is TED? Itâs a celebration of human performance. On the TED stage we saw some of the best scientists the world has ever known. Some of the best dancers (youâll see them on stage at the Oscars, by the way, donât miss them). Some of the best musicians. Some of the best entrepreneurs. Some of the best children. Some of the best politicians.
It is one event where you not only get to see them on stage, and if you watch TED Talks you know what thatâs about, but you get to meet them in the hallways and talk with them. A couple of days ago I talked with Bill Gates about his ideas for nuclear energy. Controversial yes, but the guy does his homework and knows more on the topic of energy than anyone else Iâve ever met.
It is a celebration of learning. Learning means pushing yourself beyond where you are today. Yesterday we heard a story from a girl who has been told she has three years to live. What is she doing? Going to school and she explained why in a way that brought a tear to many eyes around the world. She wasnât even at Long Beach, but was attending the sessions in Palm Springs, which is where there was a video feed and a separate set of talks. Proves you didnât need to go to TED to go to TED and that TED doesnât cost $6,000 for everyone, you can see it in Palm Springs for less, or in a video feed for even less.
But the $6,000 everyone pays helps in ways you canât really understand unless you go. First, the stage is hand built. During some talks my mind got a little bored (not every talk is interesting, one talk about spiders didnât have the famous TED payoff and I found myself back in Chemistry class, learning stuff I probably will never use so my mind went elsewhere). My eyes started wandering around the stage. I looked at this stage for two days before I noticed a little model airplane hanging from the top. Did you see the stack of National Geographics at the front left? Or the microscope at the front right? Those details donât sound important, but they weave together a fabric that encourages your mind to explore new ideas.
Blow this photo up that I shot of James Cameron. Now look at just some of the weird stuff they put around the stage.
You might think that doesnât matter, but it does. Itâs a fabric that encourages your mind to absorb and synthesize the ideas discussed. But it does more than that. It makes being at TED an ultra-HD experience. One that you canât really get from the TED Talks, although even in video you notice a visual richness thatâs just not there in other conferences. Itâs the details and the details cost money.
Second, it helps in bringing speakers from around the world. Third it helps in hiring world class video teams so you can watch them for free at home. Fourth it helps in details, which makes this a remarkable event, one unlike any other Iâve attended.
Details like the food. Details like the badges, which are the best in the business. Details like the sound system, which was most excellent and contrasts with the sound in most other conferences (I sat in both the front row and the back and it was awesome).
Details like the exhibits strewn around the conference hallways.
I could go on and on.
OK, letâs take on another elephant in the room. The Sarah Silverman talk, which Techcrunch also wrote about (interesting that they write so much about TED). She used the word penis and retarded a lot. I thought her talk both failed and succeeded, but not because of that.
I thought it was brilliant of TED to invite some speakers on stage that were very risky. Silverman wasnât the only one. In the closing talk Ze Frank asked whether what the world really needed was penis-flavored condoms. Other speakers talked frankly about sex, or showed graphic images that would challenge any audience.
Silverman succeeded because her talk was a science experiment, albeit one of trying something out on a much different audience than she usually gets to perform in front of. TED is all about trying out ideas and seeing which ones are the best and hearing from the people who do the best experiments, from dance to algorithms. Silverman is the best at her craft alive today. Or certainly in the top .001%.
It was why she was on the TED stage. She used that opportunity to try to challenge the audience. That was successful and I hope TED invites her again to perform another one of her experiments on stage.
But it failed too. I found her talk repulsive and challenging. I was in the second row. I actually was one of those who called for her to come back out on stage, although I knew that she had challenged the audience in a way that would be viewed as a failure. She challenged me quite a bit with her experiment. It wasnât until later that I discovered that Chris Anderson, the guy who runs TED, had said she was âgod-awfulâ on Twitter (he now has removed that tweet).
I didnât have a chance to discuss that talk with Chris, but I would say that he was wrong and right. He was right that her talk wasnât up to the usual TED quality but that she represented the best of what TED is: science experiments in human living.
See, science experiments RARELY succeed. Thomas Edison said that you know him for his successes, but that if you really knew him youâd see his thousands of failures.
TED needs more Sarah Silvermans who will try content experiments out on stage. I hope it doesnât become some conservative organization that only lets safe people and safe ideas on stage.
If I talked with Sarah Silverman, though, I would have encouraged her to attend a TED before she talked (I heard she was only there for that morning). If she had, Iâm sure she would have tried a different experiment on this particular audience than the one she attempted.
Anyway, so many ideas challenged me and inspired me over the past few days. Already a couple of the videos have come out, hereâs those:
Jamie Oliverâs TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food â Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food. (This was my favorite talk of the event).
Augmented-reality maps: Blaise Aguera y Arcas on TED.com â In a demo that drew gasps at TED2010, Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos new augmented-reality mapping technology from Microsoft. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 8:14)
My favorite part of TED was PUBLIC, though. It was the afterparty at the Westin. Check this video out of that party:
So, to wrap this up, donât be jealous, letâs figure out how to get more of you into TED.
UPDATE: I totally forgot the work that the Sapling foundation, which supports the TEDx prize, does to support science around the world too. Glad that Stephen Collins reminded me of that. Oh, and many of the attendees actually pay more than $6,000 because they want to support the foundationâs work in a deeper way.
TED fascinates me.