More than a Good Idea

It’s Ideas Week in Chicago  and – while I’ve never participated before – it feels like Ted Talks on steroids.  Lots of workshops and labs on everything from Quality and Innovation at a Local Brewery to The Meaning of Life (with Patrick Swayze’s widow, among others.)  80+ events with an array of thinkers, dreamers, and achievers:  Colin Powell, Michael Phelps, Diane Von Furstenberg, Stanley McChrystal, Eboo Patel, Jack Andraka (the 15 yr. old who won the 2012 Intel Science Fair), Jon Meacham, Julia Sweeney, Lilly Ledbetter, and Zack Wahls and several hundred more.  Can’t wait.

But here’s the thing:  while ideas are wonderful and we need more of them, ideas without action offer zero impact.  Eboo Patel’s new book focuses on this.   We need to figure out how to equip people to go back to their communities and do the work that makes change happen.

Every day this week I’ll share the idea I’ve learned at a CIW event.  And I’d encourage you – if interested – to follow CIW on twitter to experience the bubbling of multiple creative minds at work.

Favorite idea of the weekend is from Brian McLaren:   As devout Christians (or Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc.) living in a pluralistic world, are our only choices to A) condemn those who have different beliefs  (“They are probably going to hell“) or B) water down our own faith to accept other faiths (“We all believe the same thing“)?  No.  McLaren lifts up a third way:  to be able to articulate and practice our own faith which not only forces us to know and do what we believe, but it also strengthens our religious identity while connecting with those who have different religious identities.

I’m a better follow of Jesus because of my caring relationships with Jews and Muslims, for example.  What a concept.

They’ll be much more each day this week.  A feast of the mind and soul  – but junk food,  unless we actually use the ideas for good.


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