Attention creatives, researchers and innovators. Get ready to share your bold ideas with the Dayton public.
The Collaboratory is connecting the “dreamer’s and doers” within the Dayton community through an event called the Idea Exchange Open House on November 18th from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
According to Founder & Chief Collaboration Officer of The Collaboratory Peter Benkendorf, the open house is designed to “imagine, connect and hopefully create more positive activity within the community.”
Community leaders, students, business owners and more, across all disciplines, are invited to share their suggestions on how to grow the Dayton area as a means to improve the community.
Show up next week and share your thoughts with people who care about Dayton’s growth.
We were intrigued by the unique opportunity, so Dayton.com connected with Benkendorf, who answered our questions about what people can expect at the Idea Exchange:
What are people going to get out of it?
Benkendorf: We are really trying to get people more engaged in the community by sharing things that they are really personally passionate about — letting people really articulate what their dreams are from Dayton. Hopefully we can put them in contact with folks who can help move their dreams forward, or people who are interested in collaborating with them. It’s almost like speed dating for ideas. Everyone puts their ideas out there and you get a chance to give people feedback and find out what you are excited about. Then what we are hoping to do — as we start to identify some common themes — The Collaboratory will start to look to bring some folks together.
How will the Idea Exchange help businesses and organizations develop?
Benkendorf: We want to try to help people advance what they are doing. It is really a place to kind of imagine and connect and hopefully create more positive activity in the community. We are really focused on three things: How do we foster new creative, social and economic capital in the region? One of the things I have learned within the last 23 years is that you stay the most engaged in the things you are passionate about. You get involved with projects, but if it’s something you are really passionate about, that’s going to be what keeps you motivated. So what we want people to do is let people share the things that they are dreaming about and are passionate about and figure out how we can collectively — as a community — help realize more of those dreams.
What’s the structure of the event?
Benkendorf: It’s less of a conversation and more of an open house. It’s kind of a come and go event. There are two components. In the main Collaboratory space, we will be talking about the Collaboratory and the stuff that we are working on here — within the Collaboratory. This is also a chance for people to let us know what they are involved in. It is a chance for us to talk about the purpose of the Collaboratory. Not everybody is aware of that. Next door to the Collaboratory, we have what we are calling the ‘Big Wall of Bold Ideas.’ We will be bringing in two or three people that we met with that already have things that they are working on, and that they want to be able to present to other. But really the idea is that if you have an idea, we will give you a big isle-sized post-it note and you can put your dream for Dayton up on your post-it note. You will put your name and your contact information on that and then you leave a bunch of room for other people to add their own comments and suggestions and, if they are interested in getting involved, they can also leave their contact information on there. As you are reading what people have written, you might have suggestions for resources and ideas to help make that idea bigger.
What do you do with the information after it is recorded?
Benkendorf: At the end of the evening, we will image-capture all of the ideas and send everyone an email the completed dream board that we have come up with by the end of the day. We will also post everything on our Facebook and website, so that people can go back and give things more thought and hopefully be inspired by what other people are working on. The next step will be to pull some of the top things out, or the ideas that are converging and try to link some of those people together. You are not required to leave a dream statement but we hope that people will be inspired by others to participate.
What are your expectations for the Idea Exchange?
Benkendorf: In the long run it is really about transformational change and about building a community of more thriving people. Ultimately more thriving people make for a more thriving community. What is it that makes people thrive? When people have a sense of purpose, a sense of connectedness and a sense of optimism — those are the personal conditions in which one finds themselves thriving.
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