In my role as a Business Developer at Planet Argon, it’s important to keep connected to Portland’s creative and business community. One of the ways I attempt to gather local intelligence and randomly bump into interesting strangers from other companies, is to regularly attend several of the awesome networking type events around town. There are many to choose from, but this post will focus specifically on CreativeMornings.
CreativeMornings is a free, monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types. The events occur once a month in numerous cities around the world.
One of the first things you’ll notice about CreativeMornings is the demographic it attracts. Unlike events focused specifically on business mingling or purely tech nerdery, CreativeMornings attracts a mix of professional creative types, bridging the gap between those that are creative people and those are paid to do creative things. Whether the speaker is focusing on the topic as a career or a passionate life pursuit, the format is usually as a story being retold and the paths the presenter chose to take. This was my fourth time attending CreativeMornings and third time visiting the host Ziba (they have a rad auditorium).
June’s theme was Food and the presenter, Camas Davis had an interesting story to tell.
In 2009, Camas Davis, a magazine editor and food writer, lost her job and ran away to Southwest France to study butchery. She had no idea where it would lead her. Upon her return, she founded the Portland Meat Collective, a one-of-a-kind meat school and culinary resource that changed the way citizens of Portland, Oregon think about the meat they eat. But what began as a personal exploration of “food transparency,” quickly became something much larger and more controversial than Davis could have imagined. During this talk, Davis draws on her personal and professional experiences in the worlds of food, media, and meat, to explore the true meaning (and unexpected consequences) of transparency.
It was great to hear Camas speak to a Portland audience of creative people that are often stereotyped as vegetarian hipsters (maybe I’m applying the stereotype) and break through the boundaries of the superficial topic at hand, meat, to what underlies our communication about anything people have complex feelings about. The topic of transparency really resonated through the story, intertwined with funny anecdotes and somewhat disturbing mental images of industrial meat processing. Like other CreativeMornings, the topic offered valuable introspection about life and how we casually interact with things that others take extremely seriously.
If you’re planning on attending a CreativeMorning (which I do recommend), register as soon as you can! They usually open registration on the Monday before the Friday’s event, so set yourself an alarm to sign up within 10-15 minutes. If you miss your window you’ll have to wait another month for the opportunity.
If you’re like me and hope to meet new people while you’re there, introduce yourself to the people you’re sitting around before the talk begins. Although, there are name tags, you might be better off just asking your neighbor “Is this your first one of these?”/“Is there anything I should know, this is my first time here?”.
If you’re more strategic about who you want to meet, the EventBrite page lists all the people that are registered to attend. So if you see someone that’s on your prospect list, and you’re looking for an excuse to introduce yourself, make that happen before you get there (tell them what color hoodie you’ll be wearing).
Next month’s event is on Friday, July 26 and features Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture, the theme is Space. Put it on your calendar now, I look forward to seeing you there!