Rooftop Yoga On The Standard, NYC.

What another whirlwind of weeks! I touched down in San Francisco a couple days ago, just in time to see that the entire city had turned orange (Halloween and the Giants in the playoffs will turn this city somewhat crazy), and as soon as the wheels landed, it seems I’m back into the circuit with several exciting events and adventures both behind me and ahead of me.

New York: The City That Never Sleeps

I spent the first week of October in New York and Brooklyn as a Fellow at The Feast On Good Conference, a space that “gathers remarkable entrepreneurs, radicals, doers and thinkers that bring their talents to the table to make life better and answer the question, What does the world need now?’ ” This officially marks rounds out my top three conferences to date–The World Domination Summit, Big Omaha, and Feast On Good have hands-down been full of the best speakers, attendees, ideas, and possibilities so far. I’ve met hundreds of people equally as crazy as I am, forging friendships and lifelong admirations that cause me to stop in awe at the power of the internet. For more on the Feast, check out my recap of the challenges posed as part of the presentations over on Landscape Urbanism.

While in New York, I filled the docket with meetings, editorial assignments, lots of work, and quite a lot of play. On Saturday we hosted our first-ever meet-up for readers of this blog (If you want to know about future events, sign up for my email list–I emailed people in advance to let them know!). While at Think Coffee, I met some incredible, stunning people–people who had carved out life after life in a pursuit of adventure, journey, curiosity, and an insatiable need to keep learning. I loved it. I talked myself silly and barely slept enough and found that meeting people who read this blog is inspiring, humbling, and just an all-around treat.

Filming a couple of shots for the upcoming Charity:Water campaigns!

Charity: Water

Also while in New York, I stopped by the Charity: Water New York Offices to meet so many of the faces I had been working with closely these past couple of months for the Birthday Swim campaign. I got to high-five Scott Harrison again after finishing the three-month quest (and bet!) I set out to do on July 12th early this year. I also managed to run into some more of my favorite bloggers although this city will always be full of so many people that I want to spend time with! On my last day in the city, I helped do a couple of shots for the upcoming Charity:Water feature videos for their holiday campaign. If you’ve been thinking about making a difference, or doing an alternative holiday venture this year, I will of course be a huge advocate for turning your birthday or holiday into a charitable donation. In the course of the last four years, despite the massive amounts of burdensome student loan debt I’ve acquired and love to hate, I’ve turned almost 20% of my earnings and time into giving to others. And as cheesy as it sounds, I find the more I give, the more I get. A quote I read recently reminded me of just this:

“Give away as much as you can, so you can find yourself.”

Onwards +Upwards: Next Stop, Indianapolis!

I’m back on a plane (in fewer hours than I’d like to admit), and I’m heading over to Indianapolis to be a part of the inaugural Powder Keg conference hosted by The Verge in Indianapolis (a city I’ve not yet explored fully–exciting!). I’m a big fan of the MidWest start-up scene (having my Alma Mater in Ohio may have something to do with this), or perhaps I just love creativity, energy and full-blown nerdiness all brought together in one room. I’ll be one of the speakers on Friday’s entrepreneurial lineup alongside Julien Smith, Kate Endress, Scott Dorsey and Jonathan Perrelli.The topic: 29 thoughts on how to raise $29,000, of course.

Reading, Link Love + Miscellaneous

As I’m hopping from city to city, here are a couple thoughts and essays percolating throughout my mind and across my browser windows:

  • For the total geeks: Why Chrome isn’t what it used to be (and Siegler says: “Slow Your Roll”); and why Apple needed to make a crappy first version of Maps software in order to get out of the never-ending cycle of losing data sets to learn and build from. (And my two cents: if you pay attention to human psychology, most people will whine loudly and then promptly forget as soon as they get used to the new behavior or the next version comes out, so sometimes tuning out the whining is a good move).
  • Cities, Density, and Urban Composition: In my quest to learn as much as I can about cities and the land that we build our lives upon, I really enjoyed Peter Chomko’s essay on Urban Composition and taking a look back in time at an essay I penned with Eliza Shaw Valk on the definitions and ideas of Landscape Urbanism. With cities like San Francisco building out open-data frameworks for understanding the rapidity of changes, figuring out how to turn this data into useful information and design will be fascinating to watch (and be a part of). What do you think is next for cities?
  • How to be a great teacher and mentor: Everything I thought while I was learning and new about my mentors and bosses is coming back to bite me. While in theory I want to be kind and generous; in practice I find that I just want to grab the things and impatiently do them myself. Learning to be a kind and generous leader and manager is itself a humbling exercise. Micah Baldwin writes about great teaching in “Don’t Tell, Do Ask,” about leaders kind enough to continue to ask questions rather than jump in with the answer.
  • Behavior change and growth. It’s about consistency. It’s about actions. It’s also about changing your beliefs. Also check out Noah Kagan’s post about why he’s happy to be alive (despite moments and months where the feeling wasn’t always there). Which brings us back to an earlier post on this website: You are loved. Never forget that.
  • In a related vein, here’s a quick thought I wrote about how to be 1 in 1000: how to stand out. Which caused me to think: if everything is always changing, should accomplishments have an expiration date?
  • Busy-ness, saying yes and saying no. Two more quick rants on why I can’t (or won’t) always meet up for coffee (and why a four-hour coffee is an inefficient use of time).

That’s a wrap for this week! Tell me, what did you explore that you loved, and what have you learned that you liked? Share a link with your favorite resources in the comments, or a link to a photo that you’ve taken recently. I’d love to see it!