Blog series 1/4 by Jessica Tangelder, Knowledge Activator, & Sankalp Forum
Interdisciplinary forums like SANKALP are so well visited because participants are aware of the fact that new perspectives, partnerships and co-operations are key to innovate and help business models, products and services to be more agile for the fast changing world. However this requires not only a new approach by the SANKALP team of hosting the forum, but also from the participants. If you want to get the max out if this conference, you have to open up, know what you have to offer and what you are looking for, and feel responsible for how much the forum will impact your business or projects.
The potential for innovation by building new networks, merging complementary skills and knowledge is out there to grasp. However practice shows time after time, even the in the most ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem proof’ cowork spaces, that people by nature – especially when they are stressed – tend to stay in their comfort-zone.
To combat this, throughout the forum it is our challenge to you to unlock Human Energy (H), Openness to connect (O) and Shared values (S) to help you and your businesses to Transform (T): to develop, innovate and emulate participatory leadership.
It is not rocket science, and we will prove this to you by providing you multiple opportunities to join short and impactful real life sessions, hosted by Jessica Tangelder, throughout the Summit
8 tips on how to get the most out of your SANKALP forum experience by Jessica Tangelder
How can you become more open to ‘beautiful minds’ that will change your life after you have exchanged valuable knowledge, skills or networks?
- Set DAILY networking goals – it sounds a bit paradoxical, as I love to facilitate serendipity – the relevant unexpected encounter that changes your life around – however without focus, it is hard to connect with the people that are complementary. If people cannot mention in one sentence what you are looking for, it is hard for them to be the broker and connect you. These goals can be: an answer to a question, connections you are looking for, list of recommendations or a way how to get closer to a person you are looking for.
- Meet as many people as possible. Do not just join panel discussions and feel satisfied with obtaining more knowledge or hanging out with your peers. Be pro-active and participatory. Be your own guide and leader. As Burning Man Principles advocates: there are no spectators, nor there is an audience, everyone is responsible to get the best of the event, by both performing and consuming. If you find this scary, get one of the H.O.S.T stickers and give it to someone to break the ice.
- Introduce yourself in various ways. Test what triggers people most, with very few words, in order to move the conversation along. People always have pre-conceptions. If you introduce yourself as ‘I am NGO X,’ investors and entrepreneurs might have preconceptions about you not being of help in funding projects. If investors introduce themselves as ‘’Big Bangs,” they might intimidate emerging entrepreneurs that are most probably quite insecure and have less awareness of what they are capable of. In short: introduce yourself in a more personal way, which sparks your personality and what you are passionate about.
- Find commonalities: connect in a spontaneous way. What I have learned from a recent article in the New York Times – about 36 questions you can ask strangers to fall in love – the most striking was, find a commonalities, a common passion that makes the conversation move forward.
- Radical Inclusion: Meet as many DIFFERENT people as possible. If you are an entrepreneur, don’t just hang out with your peers, or if you’re an investor, non-profit, business man idem. Remember ‘there are no strangers;’ they are just people we haven’t met yet. Be aware you pitching yourself might intimidate somebody else. Be humble and avoid to brag what you do. This is the opposite of vulnerability – even though you might do it out of insecurity and you are not aware of it – and distances you from the rest. Include those that are more timid and have a hard time begin social.
- Ask for business cards and write down immediately how you can remember this person. Make sure your business card has some white space, for others to do the same.
- Provide your business card and include something handwritten. People are more eager to keep and read a business card that has something hand written on it.
- Be aware — are you an introvert or an extrovert? Realize if you are an introvert, you perceive the SANKALP forum as: everyone is always talking with each other except for me. If you are an extrovert you will perceive it as: everyone is waiting for me. For mutual gain: give introverts more space to talk, and introverts make extroverts listen.
In the next blog (2/4), We will highlight the importance of social innovation – as it determines 80% of total innovation success. How you can implement the Innovation Spiral in your own (business) life by primarily focussing on your personal live vision (the foundation of the Innovation Spiral).