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HOUSTONxSHAKERS (Lover of TED Talks) Message Board › Clarion Call to all Shakers: Shaker Synergy Event (Let's All Make this a Rea

Clarion Call to all Shakers: Shaker Synergy Event (Let's All Make this a Reality)

user 40438282
Houston, TX
Post #: 3
Second Sunday introduces new ideas to us and/or stimulates further interests into a particular topic. Third Sunday allows us to discuss ideas from SS, the TED library, and – best of all – novel concepts and solutions from the myriad backgrounds and experiences of fellow Shakers. Thus we have two stages: an introduction to ideas stage (gathering of water from the various thought streams), and discussion of meaning and application of ideas stage (a sitting reservoir of potential energy not used.)

Now it is time to open the gates of the dam in order that our potential energy of ideas will be turned into useful beneficial work for. We accomplish this through Shaker's Synergy event.

Shaker's Synergy will be a three day event from Friday to Sunday wherein Shakers and non-Shakers meet on the first day, shop ideas to one another, and form groups with Shakers most compatible with the idea they want to bring to life.

From Friday into all-day Saturday, each group working on their pet project will plan out what it is they want; how to go about making their plan work, build a concrete prototype and/or plan of action that can be immediately implemented to the each Shaker's respective issue being addressed.

Sunday morning will be time to fix and/or complete what needs to be done to turn a Shaker's group idea into reality. Sunday afternoon all project work will cease and be presented to all attendees of the Synergy event (be it fellow Synergists, Houston Shakers, or the general public that stops by.) Each presentation will be judged by a panel who will select three best of Synergy projects. Note: It does not matter if a project gets into the top assessments; the ultimate goal is to create a real-time working plan for a particular issue in three days time.

A Shaker wants to deal with homelessness in Houston, but does not already possess all necessary skills required to make a tangible impact on the issue. So, they find fellow shakers who have expertise in business, social work, property procurement, etc skills that go to the solution of reducing homelessness. The group works for two-and-a -quarter days straight to figure out how they can realistically effect change to homelessness in Houston by weekend's end.

By Sunday afternoon they present what they can and will do to make their project happen. Hopefully, the group wins top honors, regardless, on Monday they are fully capable of implementing their solution and positively effecting a decline and remediation of Houston's homelessness issue.

I see either this winter in December or next spring in April as ideal for conducting our first Shaker's Synergy event.

I want our group to utilize its vast potential energy. It is such a waste and disservice to our own better selves not to use each others strengths to leave lasting legacies for generations here on out to be proud and thankful to be direct beneficiaries of the work we can do now, today.
Judy C.
Group Organizer
Houston, TX
Post #: 60
Hell of a great idea. Let's do it, and do it big time!
A former member
Post #: 12
I agree with Judy's comment! Lets do it. Sorry I wasn't in town for the last session, still on travel. Lets figure out details of this as we meet next few sessions.

Eric, I need to get an English writing crash course from you. Cheers!
user 71140532
Kemah, TX
Post #: 3

You have expressed an amorphous idea wonderfully! You are an excellent writer and very intuitive. I can't think of a better way we could leverage our collective skills, fields of knowledge and motivations. The synergy could be dynamite.

user 40438282
Houston, TX
Post #: 4
Thanks for being on board with the idea! I just dabble in writing here and there. What I teach you is probably wrong so it's best to find a starving English major for best results.

I have no problem with naming it Houston Shakers' Synergy. I think “synergy” is the key word in the title. Also since I do not know if our group has any formal ties with the international TED brand, I want to avoid any legal pitfalls by inserting TED into the title without prior knowledge of appropriate brand use. As far as paying for the event, read the bullet below this one.

Let me add a little more and clean up a point concerning this thread's main topic.

Paying for the event:
Traditional fund raising by group donations is a viable and first choice means.
Additionally, let's look at using crowdfunding to help pay for this. For example, we can check out either or both Kickstarter and Rockethub to raise money.
Also, sponsorship is another means we should utilize. Ideally, we seek universities and other educational institutes, commercial interests with backgrounds supporting endeavors like this (I.E Exxon, Chipotle, Carrabbas maybe, etc), public (in particular, let's get the mayor's office involved; she would want the good photo-op, same with other public figures), and private entities (the hacker space community represented by groups like TX/RX Labs, technology community represented by groups such as Platform Houston, etc are some examples.)

Where the money should be spent:
Securing a location for three days is the biggest cost. Paying for three days of food and beverages for the Synergists is another expenditure, probably second largest cost. Any paraphernalia we make for the event another costs. I like the idea of having three physical trophies or certificates to give to the top groups, so payment for that at well. Lastly, our inaugural Synergy event should have shirts made for it to give to all participants.
So here are my ideas for the payment of HSS.

Clearing up a point:
The example I give in the original post may make people think this is event is centered around local social issues only, such as homelessness, hunger, pollution, etc. Absolutely not, turning ideas into reality is the goal.
For example: A Shaker watches Back to the Future II and ask “We are almost in 2015 and no flying cars, what's with that?” At Synergy, the shaker finds like minded people and they use their collective skills to get flying cars for public transport – maybe even a Delorean time machine.
Peter T.
user 12708946
Houston, TX
Post #: 6
This event sounds very much like startup weekend I went to a couple of years ago. The event was gear toward business but there were a few ideas that were presented that was gear toward social entrepreneurship and would fit right into the group.

Here are some suggestion that may help in bringing the cost down and getting more participation.

1) Sponsorship from local small business and corporate sponsorship.
Example from startup weekend.
a) The weekend was held at the office of one of the local small business office.
b) Some food were donated by local restaurants.
c) They even have corporate sponsorship from an alcohol company to promote their brand. There are corporation who are willing to donate their time and money to events like this.
d) The top three presentation receive small fund for their start up plus every one had access to angel investors for advice and apprenticeshi

There is one thing I learn from this experience is that the event gets everyone excited and people really put in the effort. I do believe follow up support is important to maintain the enthusiasm.

Kickstarter and other crowd funding platform is great idea.

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