StartingBloc unplugged reflections: love, give, ask

I’m writing this a week after the StartingBloc unplugged unconference. I’m really glad I went. Here are some scattered reflections.

It began with a Pablo Neruda Poem, “you start dying slowly” — final lines: “If you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job, or with your love, If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain, If you do not go after a dream, If you do not allow yourself, At least once in your lifetime, To run away from sensible advice.

You start dying Slowly

Then there were 3 solid pieces of advice:

  1. Replenish: surround yourself with a community that replenishes you.
  2. Prioritize yourself: treat the yourself the way you expect love and spend time with yourself.
  3. Invest in things that bring you joy

Then a great quote:

“the impediment to action advances action, what stands in the way becomes the way”

There was a great talk about Courage from Galen Bernard. It reminded me of a quote I used to have on a poster as a kid — “the best view of ones soul is beyond the edge looking back.”

I learned from someone who is in a polyamorous relationship and how beginning with love and trust can evolve naturally into transparency and clear communication. It provided a great framework for setting intentions on what I want in a relationship.

I learned from stories about previous work with redesigning the financial aid forms for college admissions and how to think of design as an art where you determine how to build the best cow path. This requires a systems framing to ask questions like: how is this going to affect __ (i.e. the city, neighborhood, inhabitants, shoppers, etc.). Design thinking really can apply to anything. Human centered design is about asking questions, and framing questions.

It was great to go out in Chicago and bust some dance moves with new friends. Starting Bloc is really an awesome community, and I am extremely grateful to have made genuine connections with a number of people. We’re all driven to make the world a better place and support each other with gives and asks. A give is something that you put out there. At the unconference, my give was to host a workshop talking about blockchain, how it works, and how it applies to social impact. I am going to continue to give through “Starting BlocChain” where we host bi-weekly recorded calls. Here is a link to the website. I am curating content to educate people about the blockchain for social impact space.

My ask? There are many announcements on the progress of my ideas in the near future and my ask is to pay attention when I make it. The first people to know about it will be subscribers to my newsletter.

Originally published at Carbon A List.