Remembering XOXO2015

Recently I began sharing a new segment in my email newsletters titled “What’s Making Me Happy.” Here I share a new discovery, event, or activity that makes my life a bit nicer, and hopefully it will inspire yours too. The following excerpt is from last week’s mailer and I felt it was too powerful, too special to share only with my email list. If you like what you see, take a minute to subscribe. Enjoy!

WHATS MAKING ME HAPPY

This past September marked my second year of attending XOXO, an experimental festival celebrating art and technology, hosted in Portland, Oregon. The festival features live concerts, podcasts, and various meetups, but the heart and soul of the festival comes from its inspiring keynotes given by creators, designers and innovators from every corner of the Internet. This year’s list of guests included Heather Armstrong, “queen of the mommy bloggers” and author of DooceLisa Hanawalt, designer and producer of Bojack Horseman, and former NPR correspondent Alex Blumberg (This American Life, Planet Money) who is the founder of the broadcasting startup Gimlet Media. Over the past few weeks these keynotes have been released online and I’ve been watching them once more. I’m so moved by the earnest and heartfelt stories from these creatives and entrepreneurs.

Some of the takeaways from this year’s talks were ideas of self expression, vulnerability, and failure, and even death. The presenters shared they ways they dreamed of new ideas. They adapted to chaos along the way. They told us how they overcame obstacles, including themselves. They revealed the raw and difficult emotions encountered when they made the decision to walk away from ideas–even if they were working. These keynotes are powerful conversations for anyone aiming to share their gifts with the world.

 

Featured below is what I believe to be one of the most powerful sessions of the conference with Amit Gupta, founder of Photojojo. He shared with us his vision, his tenacity, and the life-altering shift when diagnosed with leukemia and faced with his own mortality. Not a dry eye remained in the house.

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