Listen my children and you shall hear.
– Henry Woodsworth Longfellow, “Paul Revere’s Ride”
Five people from varied fields sat in leather chairs I’ve been told have some pretty intense historical value.
Representing tech, ethics, agriculture, design and the arts, these five spoke for two hours on the ipetus and importance of innovation.
They’ve traveled the world, worked in amazing locales and used focused their lives on understanding, solving and anticipating problems unique to their fields.
The ideas they’ve played with exist largely outside the ideas floating in the air of a traditional English classroom.
No one polled the audience, no one asked for show of hands or had to prepare a slide deck or vacate the stage after 20 minutes.
It was intelligent people who do useful work talking to one another, sharing ideas. And, we got to watch.
Nothing was expected of me other than listening and considering.
Nothing was ignited and TED wasn’t in the house.
And this, this has value. It has the value of listening to Beethoven or reading Wilde or visiting a Picasso.
Sometimes, participation means listening. Sometimes, learning is a silent act.
Tomorrow, there will be sessions and presentations and conversations and we will talk and listen and ask and answer.
Tonight, thoughtful people spoke and our job was to listen and ponder.