Jumping the curve means jumping together

Hero image
Illustration by Electric Coffin
Hero image
Illustration by Electric Coffin
Group of people around a long table
Photography by Hornall Anderson
Group of people around a long table
Photography by Hornall Anderson

1. Physically present, together, always. 
I’m biased. Our new office is amazing and designed for people and collaboration. However, regardless of the space, I’ll take people in person, every time.

On October 25th, I was privileged to help convene and host a diverse group of leading changemakers in our new office, designed by Olson Kundig. It was one of the first opportunities we had to open our space to a group of outside people.

The gathering, Curvejump Seattle, intended to ignite imaginations and offer an opportunity to dive into big questions and expansive ideas with leaders transforming business and culture in the Pacific Northwest. From Nike, Sub Pop and PATH to Microsoft, MG2, and Creative Live.

It was a day of exploration and discovery. While many moments stand out, I can distill the gathering into a few key takeaways.

Group of people around a long table
Photography by Hornall Anderson
Group of people around a long table
Photography by Hornall Anderson

2. Gentle is strong.
Not the exact words of Megan Jasper of Sub Pop, but close. What a world it is when you lead with respect, kindness and a human touch.

Chase Jarvis and Megan Jasper talking in front of a group
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
Chase Jarvis and Megan Jasper talking in front of a group
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt

3. Collaboration is amazing. 
Duffy, from Electric Coffin, took our group of 40 through a collaborative art project. Imagine painting for five minutes and unknowingly being asked to pass your work to the left.

Person giving a lecture
Photography by Hornall Anderson
Person giving a lecture
Photography by Hornall Anderson
Heads down session with people collaging
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
Heads down session with people collaging
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
Event goers drawing posters
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
Event goers drawing posters
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
Posters created at the event
Photography by Hornall Anderson
Posters created at the event
Photography by Hornall Anderson

4. Food is life. 
Two beautiful meals supported the day. The first was from our friends at Salumi and the second from Sea Creatures. It never ceases to amaze me what happens when people come together around food.

A long dinner table with plates set. A person stands at the end of table while people listen intently.
Photo by Alex Hillinger
A long dinner table with plates set. A person stands at the end of table while people listen intently.
Photo by Alex Hillinger

5. Constraints free us
Constraints breed resourcefulness and resourcefulness is so human that it’s hard to imagine that the machine will ever meet the man here.

A man and woman sitting down talking to each other in front of a book case.
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
A man and woman sitting down talking to each other in front of a book case.
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
A group of people standing around a tall table discussing a topic
Photography by Hornall Anderson
A group of people standing around a tall table discussing a topic
Photography by Hornall Anderson

As with any day-long commitment, I was aware of how much time was invested by all of the people involved and attending. From leaders of many and leaders of one, every single person spent their day with us. In my mind, the sharing of time is the highest form of generosity that exists.

Conversations ensued that I know would not have happened without a group of people physically together, with a mindset of abundance and a shared interest in jumping a curve.

People were immersed, engaged, and turned on. The energy in the room was palpable, and the attention given was remarkable. Rarely did the glow of a phone screen emanate up.

Group standing at a table brainstorming
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
Group standing at a table brainstorming
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
Jeff Alpen, CEO of Hornall Anderson, giving a lecture
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
Jeff Alpen, CEO of Hornall Anderson, giving a lecture
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt

As a business leader, in a well-established company, with a history behind us and opportunity in front of us, my mission is to help design and guide our company into the next decade. A decade unlike any before where Creativity propels the economy and society forward.

To do so, we must be different; we must disrupt, we must create value. Not just for our clients but for our community, our employees, our peers, and our city.

Curvejump as a platform delivered.

Event participant clapping
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
Event participant clapping
Photography by Eddie Rehfeldt
As Chase Jarvis said, “…there is no they. They are not coming.”

Once you realize there is no “they,” the next move to make is to move from me to we.

I know we can use Creativity to imagine and create what’s possible.

Always with the future in mind.

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