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No-Holds-Barred Inspiration

I’m currently basking in the afterglow of an intense three days of non-stop inspiration, stimulation and general brain expansion. I’m referring to EG6/EG Everywhere, an amazing conference centered around the exchange of stories and experiences of creative brainiacs that included scientists, musicians, magicians, geographic and oceanographic explorers, artists, and others that tickled my neurotransmitters.

Cisco was not just a sponsor, but the provider of the technology that made this traditionally 300-person-limited-audience event available for people around the world to participate in—as audience members and as speakers. With the interactive platform developed for the event, anyone could watch live stream and see fun things happening online that those at the live event couldn’t because they were “on break.”

However, where the technology really made a splash was when retired Astronaut Mark Kelly and his wife Congresswoman Gabby Giffords were stranded when their flight to the conference got cancelled.  A little bit of a problem since they were listed as the closing speakers. NPR’s Scott Simon, slated to host Mark and Gabby on stage, captured the situation brilliantly in a tweet about the airline being “The only force that can ground @ShuttleCDR & family to keep them from EG conference.” Talk about an ironic twist. The email exchange among those on the Cisco team trying to come up with a solution carried the apt subject line: “Houston, We Have a Problem.” The good news is that Cisco TelePresence came to the rescue —and Mark (in Houston) and Scott (on stage in Monterey) had a wonderfully warm conversation that was both interesting and moving.

Scott Simon (L) and Mark Kelly (R) via Cisco TelePresence - EG 2012

If any of this piques your curiosity, you can still register for EG membership. Watch the entire experience on demand and participate in the virtual community for the rest of the year up until next year’s conference.

As for me: I’m still thinking of some of the good nuggets of inspiration and wisdom I heard. From philosopher/comic Emily Levine: Is optimism so rare these days that it’s confused with psychosis? From astronaut Mark Kelly: The people who settled Jamestown or Plymouth didn’t have a return trip in mind.  From ocean rower Roz Savage, who was named National Geographic’s 2010 Adventurer of the Year: It’s all about the power of accumulation and taking tiny steps in the right direction.

Amen to that. Hope to see you in the EG Community.

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