What the Kairos Society is all about
Hollywood, Los Angeles — “Yeah, we’ve created a 3D printer that prints living tissue”, “this is an exoskeleton help people with disabilities walk again”, “we found a way to sequence the human genome”. Now when you hear these things, you would normally think that this is coming from scientists and engineers with years of experience in the industry, and you would be right. But what you wouldn’t expect is that these scientists and engineers are all younger than 25 years old.
Now, for someone looking from the outside-in, the Kairos Society can seem very confusing. Is it a networking club? A science club? A frat? An organization that tries to encourage entrepreneurship? Each of those descriptions can, to a certain extent, be used to describe the Kairos Society. But they can’t fully capture what the Kairos Society is entirely about. It’s all of those things, but still so much more. One way that I like to think about Kairos is this group of people that I would always love to hang out with.
These are people that I would always be able to engage with, always be able to count on to engage me with an interesting problem, or better yet, surprise me with an innovative solution to that problem. And this feeling of Kairos, that it is just a group of really smart and outstanding people who just so happen to be friends, is none more evident than in our Kairos Global Summit (KGS). The global summit is our yearly gathering of Kairos fellows from all over the world. Every year, brilliant minds invade a single city for a week, bringing with them the chaos and excitement that tends to follow innovative young minds.
This year, we had the 2015 Kairos Global Summit last October in Hollywood, Los Angeles. And of course this being our flagship event, the Kairos Society pulled out all the stops to make sure that this would be a great event. The KGS was hosted at the Warner Brother’s Studios, our Kairos 50 (K50) companies were set up along what could essentially be called “Innovation Road”, and we had amazing speakers ranging from Ev Williams to Tim Draper. But as great as all this these things are, it’s only part of what the Kairos Society truly is.
The day after the KGS, our community manager, Doug Gould organized a hike so that we could take in the great LA view. Afterwards we returned to the hotel and ordered some pizza for lunch, and ate it in Doug’s room. What was supposed to be a quick lunch, turned into a near 3-hour session wherein we all talked about tech, startups, and the future of the Kairos Society. The people who were there have now dubbed that lunch as the “Kairos Pizza Summit”.
And on a day-to-day basis, that is what Kairos is really about. Amazing people, whom are also amazing friends, sitting down over some pizza and just talking and collaborating with each other. Often times, we don’t need big fancy events together as a community (although those are always much appreciated!), we just need to get together, have some nice cheap food, and be able to talk with each other. Sometimes we work together because it’s always nice to be able to share your problems with other people, and maybe they have the solution. But other times, it’s just great to have a group of friends that are always ready to head out to the bar for a nice drink and chat.
Anyway, at the end of the day, the Kairos Society isn’t just about tackling the huge issues of society, it’s also about amazing people getting together, sharing ideas, solving problems and just having a good time.
So this is just the beginning of our Kairos Hong Kong blog. Hopefully as time goes on you’ll be able to read about the exploits and adventures of our fellows here in Hong Kong as they continue their adventure in startup life. So tune in to be inspired, to laugh or to cry. We don’t know what’s ahead of us, but we know it’s gonna be one hell of a ride.