Moonshot Thinking

The energy at Learning 2.013 recently held in Singapore was palpable. With people like Jeff Utecht, Kim Cofino, Jeff Plaman & Madeleine Brookes leading the charge you know to expect something special – these people embody the theme of the conference, “Making Change.” They don’t just talk it, they do it.

Personally, I love the format of the conference. The mini-keynotes were awesome. The organisation, the food, the people behind the scenes….

Being in a room with committed, consummate professionals who are well schooled in the literature of education and have a vision that has kids at the core is a nice place to be. These people commit an exhaustive effort to be the best at what they do, are effective, relationship driven and visionary. The sense of community generated needs to be experienced to be comprehended.

I was supported at the conference and really appreciated the humor and down to earth style of Michael Boll who is doing some really interesting work with Open Badges in the area of student achievement & professional credentialing, loved the impersonations of Clint Chamada, the discussions on balance with Adam Clarke, talking craft beer with Patrick Green, was inspired by the work of Dave Caleb, the passion of Paula Guinto, & gained much from talking learning with Brian C. Smith.

It was also nice to spend time outside of the ‘real’ learning, experiencing Singapore with some highlights being Chiili Crab & the animated late night discussions in Haji Lane.

Sometimes in work, and in life, we lose sight of the big picture. We get caught up in the grind. We settle for incremental improvements and depending on the context these incremental improvements can sometimes be worse than no improvement at all. We convince ourselves that it is easy and better to play it safe. That way we won’t fail. To have a dream but not pursue it. That impossible things are just that. It’s an easy trap to fall into.

So it was nice to be reminded of the idea of Moonshot Thinking.

Moonshots live in the grey area between audacious technology and pure science fiction. Instead of a mere 10% gain, a moonshot aims for a 10x improvement over what currently exists. The combination of a huge problem, a radical solution to that problem, and the breakthrough technology that just might make that solution possible, is the essence of a moonshot. 

I’m not sure if I have a moonshot yet but my take away from the conference will become my mantra for the remainder of 2014 – Think Bigger.

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