The Significance of the Idea Camp Pacific NorthWest
The Idea Camp is a collaborative movement of ideaMakers. It’s a creative network of those passionate about seeing ideas implemented. More specifically, it centers around ideas that benefit humanity. It all began as a conference concept that was implemented back in February of this year. Since then, we’ve hosted an Idea Camp in Washington DC and will be hosting our third one next week in Portland (Nov. 20-21).
The one coming up in Portland centers around the theme, “Being Present with the City”. It will focus on the topics of seeing our cities through the eyes of God and expressing love by being present in practical ways. The umbrella of being present encompasses themes of walking with and serving our neighbors as opposed to doing ministry to them. Although this particular Idea Camp will have a faith-focus (specifically Christian), there will be an on-going emphasis on the importance of respectfully listening to the communities we live in, collaborating across faith traditions to pray and serve, and embracing our communities’ issues as our own.
Using an interactive platform and collective of leading thinkers and practitioners from the field, participants will be able to learn from leading experts as well as one another, share best practices, and work toward collaborative efforts.
Something Special is Forming
Although I’m not completely sure what it is, I deeply sense that something unique is forming for our Portland event. The following are some general thoughts as to why I think Portland may be a unique experience:
- A True Collaborative Event – This is the first Idea Camp where I have been fairly hands off. Although I will be there, it is collectively being formed and led by some amazing friends of mine, most of them from the Pacific NorthWest (including Dawn Carter, Greg Russinger, Jim Gray, Brett & Merrily Aljets, Jake Schwein, Dave Ingland, Becky Manning, and Sam Song). It has been so encouraging to see Idea Camp taken to a whole new level of collaboration. I’m humbled and inspired by the amount of passion and work these have poured into our movement.
- A Focus on Transformation, NOT Just Talk About Transformation – I love the list of facilitators who have agreed to participate in this Idea Camp. These are not individuals who simply dream or talk about possibilities for change in our cities. They actually do it! More importantly, they all recognize that the change for good requires more than just Christians participating. Most of those facilitating have done and continue to do the hard work. They’re not about getting stage time nor PR for their time with us. They all believe that true transformation occurs when each of us choose to live differently by authentically embracing humanity (yes, every single human being regardless of background). If there was ever a group that could break some common stereotypes about Christians not caring, it’s this group. I’m ready to be inspired, encouraged, and challenged to bring more positive change to our cities.
- Collaboration NOT Competition – Our past Idea Camps have proven that people can actually put aside brands to work towards a greater good. Portland has been an amazing testimony of how city stakeholders (e.g., schools, government, NGO’s, churches, etc.) can work together to help fellow human beings. I think the spirit of Portland will rub off in a positive way to those participating in the Idea Camp. There’s too much work to be done to be consummed by competition. The Idea Camp will move us one step closer to working together in order to meet the needs of our cities.
- The Power of Posture – Most everyone I have communicated with about the Idea Camp Pacific NorthWest (ICPNW) have expressed their desire to take on a posture of learning and mutual support. Many have shared their heart to be open to whatever ideas and perspectives may come their way during next weekend. This is a powerful posture with which to experience a conference. I am looking forward to what this kind of posture will produce by the end of our event.
I look forward to seeing you in Portland.