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Beer and Napkins Year in Review 2019

As we near the close of 2019, I want to take the time to reflect on the many relationships and ideas that make Beer and Napkins possible. It is easy to forget all the things we do and the people who make it happen in the year!   First, I am appreciative of my accomplice, Paul Hebert who has been with me cultivating the Beer and Napkins vision for almost 10 years.  Also, my friends and colleagues Tony Miller, Pam Wood Browne, Greg Holiday, and my brother Joel McCreight who have continually encouraged and nurtured our crazy ideas.  Additionally, I want to thank two special individuals who have inspired me, Saul Kaplan, founder of the Business Innovation Factory, who has connected me to wonderfully serendipitous network and unlocked my perception of the connective and collaborative power of community.   Last but not least, David Gray, who took special time with me to expand my knowledge of visual thinking.  I know there are many more who have contributed to Beer and Napkins and have helped me grow, forgive me if I did not mention you, but I am grateful for you.

Not sure if it is my age or viewpoint, but 2019 has been a hectic year personally and professionally.  Stack on the geopolitical chaos that has been permeating our feeds and collective psyche, I could think of no better acronym to describe the zeitgeist we are experiencing…

VUCA

VUCA, coined at the Army War College to describe this chaotic, asymmetrical environment was the theme of Beer and Napkins this year.  VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.  This theme was the top of my TEDxTalk I conducted in March this year, it chronicled my non-linear career path along with a perspective of freedom fighters, borrowing on the lyrics from the play Hamilton’s Stay Alive, “Outrun, Outlast, and Hit ‘em Quick and Get out Fast”.   Key takeaways:  To be successful in the VUCA world, Reduce your Biases, Embed yourself in a Community, and Try Small Experiments.

See my TEDxTalk here:  Face Change Like a Freedom Fighter

Thank you, Lisa Corley, for the picture!

Much of the year was building on this theme with meetups, podcasts dedicated to dialogue on how to navigate this VUCA world.

Freedom Fighters

As part of this year’s theme we wanted to recognize those who embody Freedom Fighter qualities, appropriately focused in the “revolutionary” month of July we recognized the following individuals for their bias reducing, community building, and experimental focus.

The recipients were:

Pam Wood Browne

Caroline Caldwell-Richmond

Juan Gonzalez

Saul Kaplan

Phil Yanov

Each of these Freedom Fighters helps their respective communities in education, preparation, and connections. Thank you for your inspiration!

Meetups

In 2019, we had several VUCA Meetups with the topic around Career Hacking.   Our goal was to build a community around experimentation, pushing the boundaries around traditional career paths and approaches to job searches, career assessments, and resources.

Chicago

We also had a unique opportunity to expand our conversations to the Chicago area. Special thank you to Molly M. Cantrell-Kraig for hosting a VUCA session on resilience and sharing her new bias busting book “Circuit Train Your Brain”  

Big thanks to Pete Wendell, another BIF connection for helping nurture the Chicago conversations.

Events

Events and Meetups are at the heart of our vision to nurture ideas in 3rd Spaces.  Community Tap has been a big supporter and we appreciate the space where we can drink good beer and do community brainstorming. Thank you Community Tap!  A big thank you to Susan McLarty, Coordinator for Greenville Homeless Alliance, of the city of Greenville. In partnership, this past year Beer and Napkins coordinated three events related to sustainable and resilient Greenville communities. We called it LinkinGVL.

The two events were:

LinkingGVL: Rethinking the link of Affordable Housing and Accessible Public Transportation

LinkingGVL: Rethinking Link of the Comprehensive Plan: Connecting Housing, Transportation and Land Use.

Podcasts

We love Podcasts! It is a great way to learn and connect with great minds! We recorded three podcasts this year, we had an innovator, an artist, and a futurist… what a fun and engaging experience this year with these awesome folks

Innovator, Consultant, and Mentor Deb Mills-Scofield – The Blue Lobster

UK Artist and Creative Organizational Development  –  Doug Shaw – Keep It Messy!

Futurist and Advisor- Dr. Chris Rice- Future is Not what it Seems

 

What’s Next…The Roaring Twenties

Well, let’s just hope there is no prohibition! We may just have to go underground.  In all seriousness, we hope to continue to diversify our connections, our projects, and perspectives this coming year. Being a Freedom Fighter will become ubiquitously part of our modus in the coming years.  Please stay tuned for our long-gestating Beer and Napkins Field Book. As we pursued small experiences beyond our Greenville home, we strive to continue our vision of a revolution of ideas throughout this country and the world through partnerships, ecosystem development, and technology.   Please let us know your ideas and thoughts on how we can serve you and your community.

Thank you and have a blessed New Year

Phil McCreight

Founder, Beer and Napkins.

philm@beerandnapkins.com

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Cheers! Beer and Napkins has started a Podcast!

We are excited to be starting our podcast.  Beer and Napkins founders Paul Hebert and Phil McCreight share musings on current events, ideas, design, and community…with a vibe of informality. Check us out!

https://soundcloud.com/user-373758571/beer-and-napkins-episode-001-welcome-to-our-place

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Frustrated…Slow down, Talk, and Drink a Beer

 

Courtesy of Tommy Ga-Ken Wan 溫嘉勤

 

I was going to write about the reboot of Beer and Napkins but I feel it is more important to address the zeitgeist that has zombified all of us into snap judgments and digitally driven antagonism.

From emerging technology changes to hyper-connected politically driven blah-blahs, we are living in harsher times.  Hack journalists are spreading fake news and pushy marketers are overly sensationalizing their products for the sake of social metrics. This ubiquitous platform push of information is causing us to be over stimulated, intensely connected to events and situations.  Paradoxically, we are unconnected emotionally to each other more than ever. We lash out in anger, quickly without checking our emotions, but then it is too late. How do we address this Molotov cocktail that’s fueling an acrimonious wedge in our society? Continue reading

MESHSC: Cultivating Biotech Talent in South Carolina

Is South Carolina prepared for Biotech?

With the advent of exponential technologies, the Life Science and Biotech industry continues to drive forward with ever increasing speed. Is South Carolina’s workforce ready?

We will continue our MESH-SC conversation about biotech with Julian Nixon, Professor of Anatomy & Physiology and Department Head of Biological Sciences at Greenville Technical College  Julian will share an educational perspective of how students are being prepared for biotech careers. We will also tour Greenville Technical Colleges state of the art biotech lab.

Christian Graves, President of the Carolina Biotech Group will share an industry update and key developments in life science and biotech in South Carolina. He will also provide an industry perspective of what we need to do to prepare the SC workforce for careers of biotech.