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Friday, March 23, 2012

What Do You Get When You Combine Corporate Sponsors, NPOs, Academics, & Entrepreneurs?

Thought for today: It is amazing where dreams can lead if you allow yourself to keep an open mind to the opportunities that begin to open up as you move towards your dreams. Have you ever started moving towards a dream & found yourself involved in even even greater things than you imagined? 

When we would go on vacation with my father we never made hotel reservations. He loved to drive & have the freedom to adjust the trip so that he could stop to make side trips to unexpected destinations. This lead to something I'd call the psychology of unexpected discoveries. On one trip we drove across 4 of the western provinces of Canada. My father's lack of clear plans, at times lead to driving for hours until we found a motel room. On this trip, he assumed that there would be no problem finding a motel in Calgary, Alberta, since is was a large city. We arrived in Calgary around 9 PM. By 10 PM, with four tired kids & an exhausted driver he knew he was wrong. At a gas station he asked someone what was happening? It turned out that we had stumbled into town in the middle of the Calgary Stampede, the world's largest rodeo! There were no rooms at any hotel or motel in the city. Local residents had rented their homes months before the event & left town for the week. Somehow, my father convinced someone to let him rent a room in their home for the night. We slept on the floor & on couches. The next day we went to the rodeo & had one of those lifetime experiences you never forget. 

When you dream, it's important to leave room for these kinds of treasures, which happen even when you have mapped out your DPS (Dream Positioning System). Don't worry, there is always room for "recalculating" & your DPS will go on automatic pilot & take you to new adventures. Here's one of mine that just happened. These kinds of unexpected encounters leading to even larger dreams seem to keep happening since I began to work on my book. I'd love to hear how working towards a dream has led to even better things than you first imagined.

Last night, around midnight, I received an e-mail from Donnetta Campbell about the upcoming event I have been helping to organize & will be participating in next Thursday in Stamford, CT. My involvement began as part of my efforts to publicize my book & the NPOs involved in my book. Since then it has pulled me into far more powerful opportunities. At first glace the event, Wings of Change (http://www.yerwoodcenter.com/event/wings/), may appear to be just another benefit for a good cause. It is for a good cause, but it is more. The main benefactor is the Yerwood Center, an after school program in Stamford. The Yerwood Center is transforming Saks Fifth Avenue for a magical evening event 6-10 pm filled with Fashion, Art, Music, Dining, Auction & Dancing! There will be a tribute to Gene Wilder & other celebrity appearances (Joe Franklin, Kelly LeBrock). 

However, this event is much more. It is the culmination of cooperation between multiple nonprofit organizations, authors & visionaries on a mission to change the world. The day long event begins with a series of talks sponsored by corporations like GE, UBS, Barnes & Noble & Saks 5th Avenue. Topics to be covered during the day include: Learning about Mother Theresa as a CEO (Ruma Bose), Empowerment & Diversity (Gina Otto), The Value of a Woman (Joy Rose, Founder The Museum of Motherhood & Mamapollosa), Your Kids Diversity & Bullying (Wayne Soares), Would My Child Tell? (Jill Starishevsky), Wellness After Grief & Illness, & Raising Digital Kids (Digital Mom) to name a few.

In last night's e-mail an even larger picture emerged. I knew that there were plans for Donnetta Campbell's company, The Barnyard Group, to open office space in the Stamford Innovation Center. There will be an open house on Thursday from 4 to 6 PM to celebrate the new space & the new initiatives. What I did not know was the full scope of what will be happening in the Stamford Innovation Center.  

Here's what I learned about this part of the project:
  "(Stamford innovation Center is) a COMMUNITY… a team of individuals & organizations who are dedicated to helping our entrepreneurs succeed. To achieve this mission we have partnered with the City of Stamford, the State of Connecticut, & committed Corporate Sponsors. Together we will catalyze & grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem, engage the entire community, & build the critical mass needed for entrepreneurship to thrive.
  It is all about the relationships & network…
Investors (VC Firms, Angels, State Funds, Corporate Innovation Teams, Debt/Loan Providers…)
Customers (Corporate & Public Sector Customers, Gatekeepers to the Corporate Community…)
Experts (Educators, Experienced Entrepreneurs/Mentors, Industry Associations & Experts…)
Talent  (Exceptional students and a highly skilled workforce)
Service Providers (Attorneys, Accountants, Bankers, PR, Marketing, Web Design, Consultants…)"

What do you get when you combine corporate sponsors, NPOs, academics & entrepreneurs? You get the psychology of unexpected discoveries. You get innovation, opportunities, new ways to solve problems & change the world. I am excited to be part of this exciting development. I know it will lead to new dreams & ways of accomplishing dreams in multiple realms of business, nonprofit, & social entrepreneur endeavors. You can still become part of this exciting journey. Join me & other "wake up" dreamers to an opportunity to meet & learn from visionaries developing new ways to collaborate for social change! If you live in the NY, NJ or CT area, there is still time to RSVP for the free (but space is limited) workshops & open house & the gala evening event ($100 donation). For a schedule of the daytime events & to RSVP for either the workshops or the evening gala: www.yerwoodcenter.com/event/wings. For the Stamford Innovation Center's open house from 4 -6 please  RSVP here.

Please tell me know about your unexpected encounters on your way to your dreams. I'd love to hear about your adventures & discoveries on your dream journeys!
 
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