Can we democratize schmoozing?

Yesterday, I went downtown to hear this disrupitve innovation panel-thingy. There was free beer.

One guy wanted to put wine into kegs; in order to eliminate the waste from all those bottles.

Another guy wanted food-delivery on tricycles; Had to work with the city to figure out bike-lanes.

Another guy wanted a fleet of hydrogen powered cars.

Was it a male-dominated panel? Yep, and that’s an issue. Maybe that’s another discussion. But what I saw got me thinking about all the stuff like interest and enthusiasm and unfulfilled dreams that bring people to things like this.

My sense of these things — which I go to alot — Is that you’ve got entrepreneurs with incomplete companies. You’ve got investors with incomplete dreams. You’ve got an audience, people like me who wants to see people who’ve “got it together” All of this incompleteness, it tries to come together, be complete.Dreams and restlessness feeding one another into a realization.

It’s never complete, (It never will be) . But my one observation is that it’s a male-dominated scene. At the very least, we can change that.

DId I mention the free beer? Free food as well.

I busied myelf on the gourmet sliders. I guzzeld down a pumpkin lager. I bumped into a random person. You’re supposed to talk to random people at these things, so I mentioned the spread was one of the best I had seen. I told him to try to slider.

“Damn,” he said, “I just got serious about being a vegetarian.

Which kind of made me stop in my tracks. Not because I’m a vegetarian, but because “vegetarian” makes me think of activism. And so I’m standing there, cramming a beef slider in my face, thinking of all the bridges I’ve burnt and all the friendships that have ended because of my so-called activism.

I’m not really an activist. But I can’t help but pick fights sometimes. For instance, a block from the event, we’ve got the Vancouver TRUMP tower going up . Say for instance I happen to meet a real-estate schmoozer who’s really “excited” about that fantastic new building on 1151 West Georgia. What would I do? Well, I would bring up Donald Trump being nakedly endoresed by white supremacists. Like I said, burnt bridges.

But then we go back to unfulfilled dreams and a sense of restlessness and this panel of dudes who are also irritated that the world isn’t changing fast enough… Asking for their incomplete dreams to be financed by dreamers. Asking for enough “buzz” and strategic recommendations in order to eck out an empire on the foundations of trust and a good gut feeling. Also, I gotta remind myself that these guys aren’t just hustling promises and practicing “fake it till you make it”… A lot of these guys are working their asses off in cramped offices. Trying to figure out how to keep the tiny team going. They work hard. Do I really want to get in their faces? Pick some asinine little fight?

Well, sometimes I do. But mostly I check myself, I bury it in. I listen for dreamers to explain their dreams. The guy who’s a vegetarian goes explains how he’s passionate about sustainability.

I’m currenlty on my second beer. It makes me feel good to know he cares about something. Hearing him talk gives me a twinge of doubt; what the heck am I doing to make the world better?

His dream, by the way, is a sort of “Dragon’s Den” for crowdsourcing. Instead of a panel of a few celebrities, everyone’s a dragon. Heck, with all of us as investors, maybe we’ll have a fulsome discussion about what it is that we’ll launch upon the world. … Alright, so I see this article is going off the rails. I’ll try to stick to the idea:

What if we could democratize schmoozing?

I say this because I believe I’ve made it clear that I am a consummate schmoozer. I do it for the free beer. I do it to see dreams and fantasies manifest into reality. I do it because I want to see people who are going to make something happen come hell or high water. I do it to get a gauge of all those people who “have their shit together”… And are is there anyone I could emulate? Are there any practices I could adopt?

I also do it because I want to be useful in the world. I want to go to these events with a wonky idea… It’s fun to throw these ideas at people with a perfectly straight face. Here’s my wonky idea: What if we could democratize schmoozing?

The majority of us young people are media-savvy.

The majority of us, we care about what’s happening to our planet.

I go to room and see a panel of dudes talk to a roomful of people who hope against hope that these dreams will come alive and a paycheque might come out of it…. Might cover the rent!

I go to these events and I eat some burgers and try to justify myself being here and I’m amongst a pretty select group of people who are just as hungry as I am… But how many people are beyond those walls?

What I’m saying is that people are smart. I feel compelled to walk out of this place and meet random people on the streets: “So what brings you here? So what are you into? So what’s your thing? Here, have my card. I’ll ping you sometime.”

You can roll your eyes, but please be aware that I am an emissary from the nation-state of schmooze.

Please be cool. Please look for the value of my dreams. Please come in and brings your dreams along.

None of us at Schmooze-nation knows what the heck we’re doing

Schmooze-nation is desperately in need of citizens.

Schmooze-nation needs you.

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My name is Alex. I’m interested in opening up ways for folks like me to sustain themselves by doing what they love. Ever hear of micro-payments? Check out the site below for more info. You’re support is much appreciated!