Tag Archives: Business

NetImpact wants to Turn Ideas into Action

On Thursday November 4 – yes, that’s this week – NetImpact will be having a gathering to help turn great ideas into action.

During this event, you will join our facilitators in compelling conversations on the following table topics:

This is going to be a great gathering. I encourage all SparkClubbers to show up with me and participate.

Learn more and RSVP at the NetImpact site


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Power of Leverage

Salah Boukadoum of Soap Hope wrote a good post on the power of leverage this weekend. I wanted to share it with SparkClub. I believe that our network is leveraging strengths and ideas that were hidden before, but are growing and promise to launch great innovations and leadership for the future. Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences on how you’ve brought leverage to positive gains.


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Gamechangers Among Us

In 1979 I had a t shirt that said, “if you can’t win the game, change the rules”. I was constantly razzed for changing rules. Last night, I quickly realized I was among good company.  At the SparkClub + Pecha-Kucha = Gamechangers event we heard from an array of people who have realized that no one is winning the game, so it’s time to change the rules and they are doing just that.

The ability to get things done in a meaningful way was a core tenant in all 8 presentations. Four community organizers, two architects, one artist, a developer and restauranteur all shared the stories of their passion projects and business models which are making our community a better place to live.

THIS IS DALLAS!  What a pleasure to hear innovative thinkers approaching their work and communities.  they showcased their drive, their vision the higest calling for our community.

Jason Roberts talked about his vision inspired by trips to Europe in which he began asking “where are my plaza’s with fountains, coffee shops and children on bikes”?  Chris Zielke and Brent Jackson talked about a guerrilla restaurant at an abandoned taqueria to benefit the Mass Care Task Force and a new mixed use development anchored by a grocery store featuring sustainable, locally grown and produced foods. Marianna Griggs is inspiring a movement of community gardens to address food security and social justice.  Tori Trad presented an approach to architecture and design that celebrates community leaders and cultural richness in the newly renovated building for the The Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center.

Greg Metz shared images and philosophies on how art pushes our thinking, questions the norm and catalyzes change.  Omar Jahwar talked about invading the culture of the youth to provide positive exchanges and stem youth violenceBenje Feehan‘s shifted our thinking from how do we “create something beautiful” to how do we “preserve what is beautiful”.  Finally, Stacy Caldwell ended the night with a call to look beyond the “Land of Non” (the old world of nonprofits) to change the game, innovate the structures and realize the passion that is often lost in the institution.

An inspired film showing the power of Pecha Kucha.  The lesson encouraged people to abandon the old-school, check-writing philanthropy and just get “engaged”.  For, without action and personal involvement, we are not going to address the challenges our communties face.

We are greatful for the fine crowd that gathered at Sons of Herman Hall representing an amazing mix of do-gooders from all walks of life, ages, backgrounds and geographies.  I was unbelievably proud to be here in Dallas among such kindred spirits.

All of this would not have been possible without the generous and brilliant work of Scott Horn who came through on the A/V. Scott is a Gamechanger himself as artist, event planner, and co-curator of the Magnolia Gallery. I would also like to thank the SparkClub co-conspirators, sound by David Wilson, Sons of Hermann Hall and PKN.

Brian Murphy and Sarah Jane Semrad have brought our little city a major gift with Pecha-Kucha Night. They are doing more, so watch for future events like the one we had last night. It is amazing, inspirational and lots of fun.

We will have videos of each of these presentations soon from our man Jax Daws, so stay tuned.

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Entrepreneurs + Artists = Mental Prep for Spark Club 360

Entrepreneura person who has possession of a new enterprise, venture or idea and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome. He or she is an ambitious leader who combines land, labor, and capital to often create and market new goods or services.

Two recent articles inspired me to mull entrepreneurship in relation to artists over a little more in preparation for the Jan 21 presentation at Spark Club 360.  One by Gail Sachson on the Art & Seek Blog and the other by Hugh MacLeod on Gapingvoid.  (maybe on my Feb trip to Marfa, I’ll finally catch up with that guy, sheesh.)

As a ‘serial starter of things’, I think this is why I’ve found myself in the arts niche as a non-artist.  In some way my passions lie in other areas, but with artists I’m with people who get me and I get them.  I mean aren’t artists micro-entrepreneurs every time they begin a new work?  For every decent finished piece aren’t there hundreds of hours of practice, failure and intuition?  I have frequently said that my “art” is creating socially conscious organizations, events, revenue streams while wrestling with the constraints of time, money and sustainability.  Artists with that same socially conscious tug to be more and have more impact on the world are naturally attracted to Spark Club. We have much to learn from each other.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the 21st! – Sarah Jane Semrad

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RSVP for SparkClub 360

Reunion Tower as viewed from the parking garag...

Image via Wikipedia

Happy New Year!

RSVP now for the next meeting on January 21, 2010 at Reunion Tower from 7:00 – 9:30.

The meeting is our third networking event for those interested in social innovation and entrepreneurship. The group forming is a great mix of artists, social entrepreneurs, and individuals interested in learning how to create positive change in our community through socially minded businesses, innovative nonprofits and cutting edge technology.

At this meeting we will have two speakers,  Sarah Jane Semrad and Craig Keaton.

Sarah Jane Semrad co-founder La Reunion Texas

Sarah Jane Semrad of La Reunion Texas

Sarah Jane Semrad

…is a social entrepreneur who sits at the confluence of art and community impact with a long list of entrepreneurial activities including IR Gallery, Art Conspiracy, and Pigeon-Stone Project to name a few.  In 2006, Semrad co-founded La Reunion TX, a non-profit org committed to creating an artist in residency program on 35 acres in Oak Cliff.   The mission has inspired a volunteer empire and collaborative conduit that is transforming our community through art and space. Sarah Jane and her husband – musician Paul Semrad – live in Oak Cliff with their two children. Semrad holds a BA in chemistry from the University of Dallas.

Craig Keaton

Craig Keaton founder The Movement

The Movement Founder Craig Keaton

…is a cutting-edge fitness and wellness strategist and co-founder of  The Movement Dallas. Inspired by a holistic approach to moving, eating, thinking and living his aim is to radically transform his clients’ lives. The Movement Dallas is making headlines with their organic co-op and recess classes.  Craig has studied in the fields of Biochemistry and Exercise Physiology, and holds a certificate in Corrective Exercise and Nutrition/Lifestyle Coaching with the world-renowned C.H.E.K. Institute. Most recently, Craig completed a 3-year hands-on education program devoted to pain relief and performance enhancement with Dr. Eric Cobb, the founder of Z-Health Performance Solutions.

Both speakers will present their business modes inspired by the 360 views in the tower.  Sarah Jane will speak about art, the community and the comprehensive approach of her nonprofit; Keaton will talk about health, community and the strategy behind his for-profit business.  Both are socially innovative and both are achieving positive impact.

Along with the speakers we will continue our speed networking activity and this time we plan to weave in conversation centers. If you’re interested in exploring a topic deeper, then let us know what’s on your mind.  There is a survey on the registration site where you can tell us what you are interested in and if you desire to lead the conversation. And of course we will have snacks and wine for you. We will be taking donations at the door to help cover costs.  It is a “pay what you can” policy, so no pressure.  However, we certainly appreciate any offerings.

Can’t wait to see you there.

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