The Future is Ours: espnWsummit

October 9, 2012

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 When graphic recording at meetings and events, people often ask us if we are subject matter experts in the given field. In the past week we have visualized information for a pharmacutical company, at Google Think, and for NASA’s Chief Technologist. The secret to graphic recording is being a really good listener and identifying the key ideas in people’s conversations.  When approached by espnWsummit which took place last week in Tucson, AZ we took on the challenge with full force!On the flight from New York to the desert I brushed up drawing skills, sketching tennis rackets, soccer balls, and golf clubs while re-watching clips of summer Olympic super-stars like Aly Raisman, Kerri Walsh Jennings, and Carmelita Jeter (all of whom spoke at the Summit.) By the time I landed in sunny dry landscape, I was both inspired by what I had learned and grateful that I, personally, wield a marker more gracefully than a 9-Iron!The agenda was packed full of fantastic speakers, morning and afternoon exercise sessions, healthy meals, and evening musical guests. The overarching themes was: The Future is Ours.There were several key ideas that repeatedly emerged from the candid conversations on stage: mentorship, inspiration, marketing trends and forecasting. Presenters like Faith Popcorn and Emma Cookston spoke about the rise of professional women in our society and how marketing is changing to target her as a breadwinner. They emphasized the importance that brands embrace storytelling, sharing value, and doing good in the world because women don’t BUY a brand they join a lifestyle. AmyJo Martin spoke about trends in Social Media: using tweet-ups to increase fan attendance, being transparent and honest on-line, and listening louder to your audience.No matter who was on stage, an overarching theme that I heard at the white board was the importance of inspiring the next generation of young women and sharing the VALUE of sports to increase self-esteem, develop leadership skills and even change cultures around the world.The intimate group of attendees at the conference were refreshingly candid as they talked about their accomplishments, not only as a business women or Olympic stars, but as wives, mothers, and, overall, women. Leaving the conference, my drawings of gymnastic poses wildly increased and I left feeling inspired, proud to be a business woman at this point in history and after a few sunrise yoga sessions, a bit more coordinated.To see the boards from the conference check out our flikr page or espnWsummit’s pintrest!-Heather Willems(Principal of ImageThink)  
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