Thursday, September 25, 2014

Silicon Valley Group Combines Hiking with Brainstorming

What is HikeStorming?


The idea started sometime in 2012. There were two groups that were both popular at the time (in Sacramento... where I was living at the time). One was TEDx­, which offered participants the chance to meet other creative entrepreneurial types. We would get together to watch inspiring videos as well as organize local events featuring dynamic, interesting speakers. The other was hiking Meetups, which were attracting hundreds, if not thousands to sign up for daily and weekend hikes in the foothills of the Sierra, Bay Area and beyond.

One provided great ideas and a positive open-minded experience with creative and intelligent people. The other provided scenery, great views, camaraderie, a challenge as well as the opportunity to get in shape and lose weight.

So....why not combine the two?

                       
Simple concept: Hiking + Brainstorming = HikeStorming

There is no doubt that groups of people already go out on hikes, runs or bike rides to work on ideas. But, this would be different — better organized, deliberately divergent, utilizing the latest information on creativity, brainstorming, cross-pollination and an actual curriculum to get people talking, thinking and using constructive targets for what to accomplish on each hike.

We could even plan events for CEOs, visionaries, startups or corporate or organizational departments, whereby facilitators would guide members on a day hike to get people out of “ruts” or to open up new pathways for personal or group discovery. Set this in places like Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles or any major urban area, and you have a great recipe for full participation and action!



Limitless Combinations of Activities

  • Basic idea generation, startup discussions, etc.
  • Cross-fit sessions with brainstorming breaks
  • Hiking / beach sessions
  • Camping / hiking with structured facilitation
  • Hikes with different themes, e.g., comedy, philosophy, acting, business strategy, book clubs, music, art, meditation, motivation, emotional intelligence, app development, engineering, writing, etc.



Benefits to Members


  • Improved health, i.e., possible weight loss, endurance, stamina, muscle tone, improved cardio-vascular system, etc.
  • Meeting like-minded, creative, intelligent and fellow health-conscious people
  • Great networking possibilities
  • Promotion of ideas, companies, causes, etc., either on hikes, through social media channels, YouTube, etc.
  • Generating better ideas through cross-pollination and random interaction with people of different professions / occupations
  • Recruiting team members / Co-founders and prospective employees in a stress-free and healthy environment
  • Testing out wearable technology and a possible alternative to typical office work environments

Want to get involved? 

Why sit down at a table, when we could be true to the concept and meet on a trail? Join us next Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Santa Teresa County Park. We’ll hike while working on some ideas and plans. If you want to keep this idea alive, I really need your help. Simply put, I can’t do this alone.

On the table for the planning session:

  • Branching out — finding new Locations
  • Event Organizers and Assistant Organizers
  • Curriculum, i.e. ideas for mixing concepts and getting things accomplished on hikes (see Limitless Combinations of Activities above).
  • Getting things on the calendar



Interested in Gamification or Game-Based Learning?

I’m currently looking for both business partners and software engineers to help in developing a 1.0 mobile app for a popular social studies game. The groundwork has been laid, research done, proof of concept is there and investors have shown interest. Just need a team who can meet once a week to help in building a mock-up version or help in launching a crowd-funding campaign. Check out Global Challenge here.­




Silicon Valley HikeStormers has a sponsor! 

Locally-based Treasury Curve of Palo Alto has offered one free hour of consultation on money management for CFOs and treasurers plus free access to their Cloud Based Money Fund Portal to all members of Silicon Valley HikeStormers.

Speaking of sponsors, if you have any contacts or connections who would like to help us out -- for example, a wearable tech company, sporting good store, sports drinks manufacturer, etc. please let me know. We'd love to have their help and maybe pass on some discounts to the group.

Suggested Reading:

Why we should listen to introverts
The science of hiking
How hiking is helping those with PTSD (Imagine what it can do for you).

That’s all for now. See you on the trails!

Lee Chazen
Founder, Silicon Valley HikeStorming

Monday, June 09, 2014

What is the SmartEdPad?



Full disclosure: I'm now Content Strategist for SmartEdPad (by SPED K12, Inc.). As such, my job is to create a clear and understandable message about our product. I'm very happy in this new role since I believe this tool (the SmartEdPad) has the power to transform the way special education programs are administered. Beyond that, there's potential in the future for this technology to help with differentiated instruction in general education as well - as the SmartEdPad makes it easy to offer customized views for each student. And, unlike the iPad, this platform was designed to be dedicated so that students only see what the teacher or therapist wants them to see.

Our partner on this project, Maxit Media, did a terrific job of reducing the message about this product down to under 2 minutes. They created a great story-line, a simple message, introduced engaging graphics and nice sound effects. We appreciate their creativity, dedication and eye for detail!

This video will show you why we created the SmartEdPad and how it's helping people in the special education field. If you have further questions, please call us at 1-800-982-9430, or visit http://smartedpad.com/Contact.

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