By now you all know that we sold out What If, 2014 in just a few days – no dates, no location and no confirmed speakers! It was an exciting thing to be part of, this massive outpouring of support, but when the dust settled, the dates and location were chosen and the hard work began.
We planned for months and months, choosing Innovators and designing an event rich in content and experience. We took what worked in the Dominican Republic in 2013 and “plus one’d” it as our friend Dan O’Day would say. We had it all figured out, and were getting ready to launch…
…and then we changed it. All of it.
In October, 2013, after three daycamps and innumerable conversations with attendees and Innovators, Jen threw the entire plan away, convinced we could do better, do more, for each of you.
So we stared again, from the beginning, examining all aspects of What If, what it stands for and what we want it to be. We went back to “why” and redesigned everything.
First, the theme: COURAGE – more specifically, the courage to take chances, to (in the words of Kenny Rogers) know when to hold them and know when to fold them, to change mid-stream or to push through when the slog begins. We know you can dream, we know you can get inspired, but we want to give you the courage to act, to explore, to really discover what you want and what you need.
Courage isn’t about being brave, it’s about doing what is right for you, despite what everyone else thinks or says.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela
Once we knew that “courage” was our theme, we got to work.
We know that our full group sessions are important to give everyone the same information base. We know the small groups we introduced in the Dominican Republic and Bali are instrumental in coalescing ideas and fine tuning goals. We kept both these types of sessions intact for What If, 2014, but added a few more.
THE EARLY START: On Monday, Feb 3rd, a bus will pick you up from the Phoenix airport and bring you to the ranch. The conference, for you, starts on the bus. We don’t want to give away the details just yet, but it’s going to be awesome!
HANDS-ON: these sessions are designed to help you create something tangible that you can take home with you. We will have a variety of sessions to choose from – writing, drawing, making a short film, handcrafted wearables and more. Whatever you produce is for you – a talisman, if you will, to remind you that you are capable of doing anything you put your mind to.
QUICK TALKS: There are so many different things we can chat about at What If, and there simply isn’t enough time for each topic to be 90 minutes long. Our quick talks are short 15 – 20 minute sessions focussed on one specific topic. Some will make you laugh, others will make you cry, but all will offer something to get you thinking.
TEST KITCHEN: this idea deserves a whole blog post, but the gist of it is this: alumni and innovators are bringing their ideas to you. We will have up to 10 different products/businesses/ideas available for you to consider. The presenters are looking for unbiased feedback from you on ways to refine their ideas, ways to bring them to life, and ways you might collaborate with them.
FULL DAY SESSIONS: On Friday, we are offering a series of optional add-on sessions for anyone who wishes to attend. These sessions cover a variety of topics and will all be announced shortly. Don’t worry, they won’t be super-pricey either (they start at $79)! Some of the topics include: what’s next – goal setting and a tangible action plan for the coming months, lifestyle + balance, the power of writing and how to start, and more.
Over the course of the year, some people’s situations have changed and we’ve had a few seats open up. We would love to have you join us at What If and you can grab your seat here: Sign Up and find out more information about the Ranch here! Our room rate includes food too!