May 10, 2010

You Can Be Amazing For No Reason


The term PechaKucha (pronounced pe-chak-cha) means to chit chat. It is an event format that originated in Tokyo in 2003, but has since spread to over 300 cities worldwide.

The format of the presentation, known as 20×20, allots each speaker with 20 seconds per slide, for a total of 20 slides (with automatic forwarding). The format originated in Tokyo in 2003, but has since spread to over 300 cities worldwide.

Although the event was meant to bring together designers and architects and other artisans to share their work, the subject of presentations vary widely.

  • Emmett Gross talked about his custom bicycle making project with middle school kids.
  • Andreana Drencheva talked about her decision to move from Bulgaria to Seattle where she knew no one and nothing. And - then move again to Milwaukee, WI. In the middle of nowhere.
  • Jim Schoenecker talked about the famous Monty Hall probability puzzle
  • Mike Rohde spoke about SketchNotes and how his career developed from frustration.
  • Jessica Kaminski spoke about being Polarican (a mixture of Polish and Puerto Rican) and balancing cultures.
  • Steve Vebber talked about his project of building free form architecture with embedded electronic data flow - capabilities. With clothespins.
  • Another lady talked about her dissertation on conjoined twins.

The event was by far the most random event I had ever been to. The person behind the microphone spoke about their lives and their work.And we listened for solidarity. For inspiration. To find a chord to resonate with. And for no particular reason, other than the fact that someone was speaking.

And I realized that these regular next-door neighbor type individuals had as much to share as any amazing orator. They were original and meaningful and significant. And most importantly, for all their accomplishments (or lack thereof), they were human too.

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