/ May 13th, 2016 / 0 Comment

A few weeks back, we took learning and reflection one province over. Post-its, props, and experience planning sheets in a carry on. Which, full disclosure, is still perfectly packed, sitting in my bedroom. Dirty clothes washed, but Kudoz papers and markers still zipped tight. Well, dirty clothes mostly washed.

I think they’re in there because I don’t yet have a place for the suitcase, but also as penance for not finishing this blog post in a more timely manner. 

I had forgotten what conferences feel like, hypnotic in their marketing. A whirlwind of free coffee (double-double please), inspirational speakers, and people. It’s strange how temporary it all is, the conversations and big ideas—much like the pop up signage, are gone a few days later. We get back to the grind, and all those hot tips are gone. Lifeless as notes on a hotel paper pad.


In short, conferences invite thought, connection, and anecdotes—but not always the tools to use that learning.

Kudoz was invited to speak at the ACDS (Alberta Council for Disability Services) conference. Sarah Schulman took on the second-day keynote speech, and I was to take on the following two hour workshop.

We arrived a day early, watched speakers, and attended a workshop. ACDS was a bit strange in that it had three motivation speakers to headline the morning. Bizarre to watch three different people, with three different backgrounds, and three different PowerPoint presentations say “the power is now” in three different ways.

But there were still no real tools people could bring home. Inspiration is exciting, but without a way to apply it, it’s temporary. Those slides all blur together.

We got to designing the PowerPoint that night, making sure it was full of personal stories. In depth examples of how we’ve applied our learning from Kudoz. But also building time and space into our presentation,  to connect those learnings together.

Kudoz’s story is pretty beautiful, I still think back to the starter project, living in Stride Place. My biggest take aways are still running through my head. People living in poverty also live in a poverty of experiences. We don’t know what we don’t know. And persons served can have a life full of people and never find learning or novelty in them.

So, in the profound interest of novelty and learning, and in John Dewey’s (may he rest in peace) name—I had everyone in our breakout session apply their own passions, and become hosts!

Temporary hosts…


john dew

We used my “Haida Experience” to explain each step—how do you explain an entire culture to someone in an hour? Easy: you break it down.

Step 1: What are your passions? The most ridiculous, the most niche. The things that keep you up all night because you. Just. Couldn’t. Stop. Thinking. About. Them? Conference-goers wrote down their own passions on post-its, and walked around the room. And these passions were nothing short of amazing. Obscure? Yes. Unbelievable? Yes. Weird? Yes. Perfect for Kudoz? We need an Edmonton chapter.

benBen, of Action Labs taking passion into account!

Step 2: What is your story with that passion? Did you pick it up on your own? From a Grandma? A stranger? What do you do with it now?

Step 3: What are the artefacts of your passion? Can you see how you could share them with someone else? How does this translate into an experience? What do your senses feel? What is the setting?

Step 4: What would you actually do to best share this with someone who is coming to it for the first time? And how would you make that introduction in one hour?

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Step 5: How would you document it so you could go back and reflect on it at any time?

I leave you with a challenge: break down your own passion. And in return, I promise to finish unpacking my suitcase. ns85s-c8rp4-002


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