Responding to their given brief of 'do a talk you've never given before', speakers ranged from Gavin - senior creative producer at Aardman Studios who claimed to have built his career not on experience but on his enthusiasm and lust for life alone; to Massoud who'd designed a cheap wind powered land mine detonation device in response to his father being killed by a land mine; to Nick a 'MuseumHack' tour guide passionate about showing people 'the artifact he'd most like to steal' or leading his group in impromptu physical exercise as a pick me up (look out for his talk if you want to see how to engage an audience!); to Hunter who was in the early stages of gathering records of peoples' dreams through an app to build up a database of global dream patterns, and it was talks such as this one that led to discussion on ethics between guests while tucking into the many amazing, locally sourced and well prepared meals we were fed.
The whole experience was quite emotional at times, not in a 'you're the only barrier to your own success conference' kind of way but through balanced, reasoned and non judgemental discussions between talks and the accumulation of lots of small personal realisations. This is where I found out for example about EMDR (eye movement desensitisation & reprocessing) a method of helping people deal with psychological trauma without having to relive them; and that there's a town in Spain (large enough to have its own health service and education system) that's run as a co-operative and was apparently the only recession immune town in the country!
Being at the event itself certainly left me with a different feeling than than that of watching a TED talk online, in fact one chap I met was doing a PHD on the very subject of 'Do online' vs 'Do in the flesh' (also a common subject in general throughout the weekend) none the less, videos of all the talks throughout the weekend will be posted online within the next few weeks and, at a strict 20 mins each, are ALL well worth watching: http://www.thedolectures.com/
So, what have I taken away from the event? When it comes to raising funds for our organisations, make the process relevant to all involved! And on a personal level: ask for help; listen to advice; go easy on folk; go easy on yourself; you know what you need to do; get on with it!
If anyone wants to find out more about my experiences at the event or you'd like more info on specific points I've talked about, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org