10 Takeaways from Ideation Conference

Posted in Featured Post on May 14th, 2012 by | No comments.

Last week Groupon Grassroots helped sponsor the 2012 Ideation Conference on May 7–9 near Groupon’s headquarters in downtown Chicago. The conference focused on creative social good in our world, especially as it relates to human care. Innovators in the field of causes such as international water-rights organization charity: water, photographer and activist Jeremy Cowert from Help-Portrait, and our own Patty Huber helped facilitate the conference intensives.

The Ideation Conference engaged meaningful conversations around topics including corporate social responsibility; funding strategies and tools; technology and social good; social ventures; and much more.

Our friend Victor Saad from The Leapyear Project, a community of people taking action to change their lives, their communities, or their world for the better in 2012, posted 10 takeaways about Ideation discussions. Groupon Grassroots wanted to share them because we think these takeaways are superb. Here’s the post from Victor:

Over the past three days, I have spent time with some remarkable people from around the world at the Ideation Conference.

Overall, the space was beautiful, the attendees were bright, and the conversations were invigorating.

Here’s a quick glimpse at 10 lessons I learned from this year’s gathering:

1.) Cause marketing vs. cause integration. There is a difference between promoting a cause to boost your brand and making a cause a part of the fiber of your business or product.
(Credit: Brent Freeman //

2.) When you have an idea, be sure to write it down within 15 seconds. If you don’t, chances are you’ll forget it. (Seriously… go do it now!)
(Credit: Charles Lee and Ben Morrison)

3.) Your brand, organization, product, etc. should tell a story that others can identify with.
Here’s a great example:

(Credit: Dan Portnoy, author of The Non-Profit Narrative)

4.) Every story needs a character and needs a villain. The more evil the villain, the better the story. What is your idea’s villain?
(Credit: Mike Bonifer // Game Changers & Dan Portnoy)

5.) When building your idea: Start by seeking empathy. Research how your audience is reacting to your idea (hold interviews, study competitors, look at market statistics, share casual conversations). We often design from our own experiences and then try to create for everyone. Empathy breaks down false assumptions and stereotypes.
(Credit: Dave Blanchard // PRAXIS)

6.) Build your community before you launch your brand.
(Credit: Sean King // Hopemob)

7.) Be patient with your critics. Research their concerns. Create avenues for their questions to be heard (conferences, forums, blogs, etc.) and then address them honestly and tactfully.
(Credit: Allie Tsavdarides // TOMS)

8.) Three-day conferences are too much. Focus on shorter one-day or half-day events that can be useful to a specific community.
(Credit: JR Kerr & Charles Lee)

9.) When you’re at conferences or big meet-ups, ask, “What do you need next?” or “How can I help?” (and genuinely consider if/how you can help!)
(Credit: Andrew Baker and his amazing group of students.)

10.) There are a lot of really good things happening. Businesses and companies seem to have a genuine, growing interest in addressing and attending to needs in their communities. Individuals around the world are pursuing small and big solutions to solve an array of problems. Yes, those problems can be overwhelming, and it can take a long time to see progress. But I think a lot of us are in it for the long haul. I am more excited than ever to use this project as a launching pad for you to join us in your own way.

As it goes with most conferences, there are countless more lessons; these were just a tasting.

Which ones stand out to you? How do you see them playing out in your world?

– You can see this post and learn more about the LeapYear Project here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1,576 campaigns have raised $8,678,827 from 427,878 supporters nationwide. Start your campaign.