Sunday, October 11, 2009

Looking UP!

This week, it's my privilege and pleasure to attend a world-class gathering of "thought leaders" in Houston, The UP Experience.

How does MY attending a conference on October 15 affect YOU?

  • it's a full day of listening (and talking, and eating, and meeting new people)
  • listening (and that other stuff) leads to learning
  • learning changes the brain
  • when you change a brain, you change the world
I "reboot" my brain and nervous system each time I work through a Feldenkrais lesson. The UP Experience will install a bunch of new programs!

I got involved with this event through my partner, Chris Welsh. He was involved with getting the first UP Experience on its feet in February, 2008, as a sponsor, founder, and recommender-of-speakers. This year, both of us were part of the speaker selection process, and the Feldenkrais Center of Houston is also a sponsor of The UP Experience this year. See the list of sponsors here.)

The UP Experience makes Houston the center of the "innovation universe" for one concentrated day. With 16 speakers

(Peter Diamandis
Anne Korin
Juan Enriquez
David Plouffe
Gavin Newsom
Brené Brown
Robert Ballard
Michio Kaku
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Tomasz Tunguz
Dan Ariely
Pattie Maes & Pranav Mistry
David Eagleman
Jenifer Fox
Peter Sheahan
Bruce Lipton
) onhand, each speaking for 20 minutes about their consuming passion -- ideas will be more contagious than H1N1. Philanthrophy, business, astrophysics, economics, technology, neuroscience, government, medicine, education, psychology, exploration: The UP Experience offers more than a forum for wishing that the world could change. It's an opportunity to listen to people who ARE changing the world. The speakers are Unique People with Unique Perspectives (hence the name, UP) -- and so are the attendees.

The UP Experience is a dynamic system, much like the brain itself. The exposure to one new idea, one possible solution, one inspiriting person, has the power to change individuals, their businesses, their communities, and beyond. That's because learning causes change. Neuroscience confirms that the most fundamental of these changes happens in the chemical, structural, and functional activity of each brain. Even one new synapse has a ripple effect -- and YOU are in the "ripple zone."

I'm a retired opera singer and academic, now voice coach and movement educator. I could stay within the echo-chamber of my own professional organizations and interests, and would be busy and self-satisfied. However, I know I can make a better contribution to EVERYTHING I'm involved with when I have more input, more experiences, more ideas. You never know where an idea will lead, who will use it, or the difference it will make. How will learning about undersea exploration from Robert Ballard, crazy new gadgets from Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry, or the dynamics of economic decision-making from Dan Ariely, affect my work, my blogging, my relationships? I can't wait to find out!

You can still register for The UP Experience here.
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