The first CreativeMornings I attended was on April 22, 2011. Craig Mod spoke in San Francisco, CA, and I remember getting chills as he described flying into Japan immediately after the 2011 earthquake.
As I sat there, I had no idea that I’d soon move to New York as employee #1 at CreativeMornings Headquarters and spend most of my waking moments thinking about what this organization could become.
I’m a problem solver at heart. I chose to start my career this way because I wanted to dig in to my work, hands-on, in-the-trenches, truly invested in each decision. As Tina’s #2, I got to do that. I got to do all of that. Creatively, I was trusted far beyond my expectations.
Together over three and a half years, we nurtured the community from four to 109 cities. We launched a successful Kickstarter, assembled a passionate full-time HQ, rebuilt creativemornings.com, joined forces with Official Partners and hosted the first global Summit. We built a box and amazing people in almost 50 countries filled it with hours of dedication and thoughtfulness. What we’re left with is this bursting network of creative people who care about their cities and—lucky for the rest of us—are brave enough to do something about it.
Everyone has the capacity to be creative. I love the definition of creativity supplied by the Kelley Brothers at IDEO. It’s simple: “using your imagination to create something new.” But what we have to keep in mind is that any creative process demands courage. Putting your ideas into the world is an inherently vulnerable act and doing it over and over again can be a very lonely endeavor. To me, that’s part of why CreativeMornings took on a life of its own. A safe, accessible space to get inspired, discuss challenges, and entertain the “what ifs” alongside others eases that incredibly worthwhile pursuit.
Late last year I sensed it was time for a new chapter in my own creative pursuit, and quickly Tina and the team provided their full support. I love this organization and the people that it convenes, but I found myself ready for a change, a new environment with new stimuli. The months of transition have led up to tomorrow, CreativeMornings with Paula Scher at MoMA which will be not only my final event as an organizer but also my last day as COO of the CreativeMornings mothership.
“The more creative you are, the more trouble you’re in.” — George Lois
Thank you Tina for your unmatchable compassion and trust in me. Thank you Craig for the ongoing mentorship and final nudge to move to New York. Thank you Sally for being my CM rock. Thanks to everyone who contributed to CM/HQ and every single organizer, speaker, partner, venue and barista that helped push CreativeMornings forward. CM has incredible plans and an incredible team to take them through 2015 and beyond. It was an honor to help lay the groundwork.
As far as what’s next, I’ve kept it open. After three years working full steam ahead, I’ve decided to stop and think. I anticipate travel, a few personal projects and many conversations. So for now I’ll just say, best of luck in your own creative endeavors. I’ll see you along the way.