Thursday, January 28, 2010

PechaKucha; Signs Of Life

Amongst our list of things to do this week was a little something called PechaKucha, in which people present ideas across 20 slides of 20 seconds each. Turns out, it's pretty damn cool.

It had the possibility to be totally weird. But the attraction of meeting interesting people and hearing new ideas was too much.

We showed up to the new space, the basement of a historic building right next to left bank books downtown. It was just 7, and the place was packed, a few hundred young adults, some in business attire, some more artsy and laid back, even a few past the 'target demographic'.

We heard from artists who had created non profits to help restore furniture and rehabilitate inmates, from entrepreneurs looking to light up bridges, broadcast films on the sides of buildings, and create blacksmith programs. We learned about a company that helps workers in the corporate world have fun with Montessori-like training methods, and heard from Miss Metrolink herself, Liz Kramer. WeAreSTL made an appearance to talk about their upcoming film festival (and will be holding a subsequent meeting at Next Dor). There was even a woman who started a jewelry business talking about her wares.

So what?

So we'll tell you what. . . There was an amazing energy in that room as young adults, all interesting in their own right, came to learn about the ideas and projects of others, and connect with each other. It just felt legit. Sure, the format has its drawbacks, as some slides seemed to last forever with little commentary, while others seemed to fly by without sufficient explanation, but the fact that so many people came together in order to promote innovation and progress in St. Louis (and not just promote, these people are actually doing something about it), was quite positive.

To see some of the slides and learn more about the event, check out the site here

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