This is a conference I look forward to every year. It’s fun, I’m able to see old friends, and it’s locally-focused. The last item is what makes it truly unique. The people who speak are not only inspiring, but most often, they’re doing something remarkable in the Atlanta area. So, while I love hearing big names from big companies, Plywood is really awesome because I can also usually say that the speaker or company is just miles away from me. It gives me plenty of chills and warm fuzzies.
Jeff Shinabarger, Plywood founder:
- Sit with people that don’t sound like you.
- Learn from people that you want to sound like.
- Share with people that engage your advice.
- Everyone has something to give. Everyone has something to learn.
Gregory Ellison, Fearless Dialogues:
- Sometimes things have to break down to have a break through.
- “The longest journey we have in life is from our heads to our hearts.” – a lady he knew growing up
- “I don’t know how to change the world, but I can change the three feet around me.” – his Aunt Dottie
Hank Fortner, Adopt Together:
- World Adoption Day
- People who need love don’t care how old you are.
- 19 million orphans in the world, 500K in US foster care, 25% of kids who age out of the system are homeless, 80% in jail, 30% are pregnant, 80% end up in prostitution and 56% wind up unemployed. The system is seriously failing these kids.
- Family is the answer to almost everything.
- Lots of organizations are doing great things, but they are all working piece-meal instead of in concert.
- Barriers to adoption are finances, information and community.
- Adopt Together allows micro financing for adoptions.
- Lessons learned:
- Always throw a party.
- Never give up space.
- Always remember the details.
- Never get stuck in the details.
- Always solve a problem.
- Never burn a bridge.
- Always tell your story.
- Never lose your story.
- Always give.
- Never forget extrinsics.
- Always make money.
- Always say thank you!
Ron Clark, founder of the Ron Clark Academy:
- Met everyone of his neighbors and invited them to be a part of the work in this run-down, dangerous neighborhood. It took four months.
- Passion. Innovation. Creativity.
- When you bring good energy to a place, negativity leaves.
- Your team determines your success.
- Spend 15 minutes on an idea. Decide if it should continue, and then leave it or pour your heart into it.
- Live like it’s your life!
- Treat fairly, not equally.
- Put your energy into the people that actually make a difference, not the negative slackers.
Brian Pape, founder of MiiR:
- Buy consumer products, then decide where we want the money to be sent. We get follow-up info about the progress of the projects.
Andrea Sreshta, Luminade:
- Add water to the vessel as the battery. Remove water for the light to go out. Great for disasters and places with little/no light.
Curious Katheryn, 10-year-old entrepreneur:
- Break into Business kid’s camp
- She sells candles.
Patrick, Nisolo shoes:
- Artisan shoes, ethically-made
- Focus on work culture. A good culture attracts the right people.
- They own their supply chain.
- Check out the book “Essentialism”
Tripp Crosby, producer, comedian, sketch artist:
- It’s easy to take yourself too seriously.
- When you’re obsessed with expanding, you risk enjoying the process. And when you’re not enjoying the process, you risk the opportunity to expand.
- What’s the thing you should be enjoying but you’re not?
Brent Trapp, Booster:
- Lead with outrageous care.
- Notice the good things.
- Obsessive commitment to investing in people.
- Act like a friend.
- Live with ridiculous joy.
- Outrageous care breeds outrageous loyalty.
- How will you treat your people?
Ruthie Lindsey, speaker/stylist:
- Love people well.
- You can live a beautiful life despite your pain and circumstance.
- Choose joy.
- There is always hope.
- When we are open and honest, it forces others to do the same.
- When we live in our pain, it’s all we can see. We need to find the joy so we can live there instead.
- Pain can make us better and more whole.
Chris Marlowe, Help One Now:
- Doing good can be simple and easy. Love first.
- Find your fight.
- Find something(s) that you can really dig deep with. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Help where you can.
- Stick around for the transformation.
- Go far. Go the distance. Give your life.
- Go forward. Innovate. Care. Solve.
- Doing good can be simple and significant.
- Do good. Do good well. Do good together.
John Lewis, activist and US Representative:
- We must care for the spark of divine in ourselves.
- Love may be a slow process, but it’s always worth it.
- There is power in peace.
- There is a price to be paid for the work of peace. You must decide if you’re willing to pay it.
- Without music, the Civil Rights movement would’ve been like a bird without wings. We’d often sing to each other across our cells, both men and women, because we were separated by both gender and race.
- When you see injustice, make a little noise. Don’t stay silent.
- “Just love the hell out of everybody.” – MLK
- Get into good trouble.
Safia Minney, People Tree clothing:
- Check out her “True Cost” documentary about slavery in the process of making clothes.
Travis Mason, Public Policy and Government Relations at Google X:
- Macro behaviors are derived from micro moments.
- Reverse assumptions.
- Combine domains.
- Invite the novice.
- Its the difference that makes the difference.
Kim Biddle, Saving Innocence project:
- LA County rescues from child sex trafficking.
- Average age for trafficking victims is 12-14.
- 100K children are trafficked per year in the US.
- We are connected, and deeply affect one another.
- We are all human. Empathy begins at that place.
- Impact is relational.
- Choose to love.
- Know your season. Run the race. Rest when needed.
- Keep yourself seen. Cultivate community. Get professional mentors. Find spiritual mentors. Redesign your failures.