Posted by A. Smith on Sep-26-2012

Meet recent college graduate and Apatapa founder & CEO Wyatt Hayman. Share in his inaugural pre– mid– and post– BIF summit:

Pre– summit

How did you first learn about the Business Innovation Factory?
Saul Kaplan (BIF founder and chief catalyst) talked about BIF during a talk he gave at Oberlin College to a group of students in the Creativity and Leadership Program.

What ultimately drew you to the summit?
Two partners and I started a modern feedback business this summer and are now on a networking trip. Our mentor Deborah Mills-Scofield connected us with the summit as volunteers. Tori Drew was amazing in taking us on; we’re here because she said, “yes!”

What are your hopes and expectations going into the conference?
To learn from the mistakes and successes of innovators who have tried and are still trying to improve the world and solve problems through entrepreneurship.

What’s one thing you’d like to walk away with from this experience?
Something I think about every day.

What are you most excited about?
Seeing adults acting like kids during recess. Hearing the buzz at every break and sampling the different types of excitement inspired by each of the storytellers.

Mid– summit

In the midst of the conference, what are you feeling?
Intense motivation. Respect and gratitude toward Saul, Tori, and the BIF team. A new dream is to spend a month living and working with Saul, Tony Hsieh, Jeff Lieberman, and Hillary Salmons. I’m hoping to internalize their stories, and all the storytellers’ stories, to make that at least partly true.

Is your experience in alignment with your initial expectations?
I didn’t anticipate how exhausting BIF would be! I was so excited I didn’t think much about the difficulties – like overcoming the fear of joining into conversations.

What’s something you’ve experienced that you didn’t anticipate?
A talk about staying connected to one’s present moment and its powerful applications in business and life. I couldn’t agree more with Jeff Lieberman’s message.

Saul Kaplan talks a lot of random collisions of unusual suspects. Who’s an unusual suspect you’re grateful you’ve crossed paths with?
Jenny Mcaab, an Innovation Entrepreneur at General Mills. I want to start my own business but, initially, I wanted to do exactly what Jenny and her partner Lisa Pannell do at General Mills. I don’t trust that existing businesses are going to inspire the social and environmental progress that people in power should be demanding of their institutions. Lisa gave me some faith that while the movement may be young, some large corporations have seeded a powerful shift. Corporations are social capacitors. To me, Jenny represents a seed that might give rise to a new standard where businesses invest power back into communities by empowering progress.

Post– summit

In a sentence of two, can you summarize your BIF experience?
Powerfully motivating, comforting, and humbling. I learned creating great change is a slow and difficult process. I’m reassured people who have experienced these frustrations firsthand are still forging ahead and rallying the troops.

What was your high point?
Experiencing Hillary Salmons. If I don’t get enough traction in my pursuits I’m finding Hillary and joining her cause until I’ve learned what it takes to inspire change.

Looking forward, how do you plan to put what you learned to work?
I’m going to try to build positive habits while BIF is fresh in my mind. Validating like Alex Osterwalder. Staying positive and present like Jeff Lieberman. Saying “yes and!” like Second City. Getting people to switch shoes with each other like Nicholas Lowinger. Creating virtuous cycles like Tony Hsieh. Building culture like Dries Buytaert. Embracing fear like Lara Lee. Getting to the heart of the problem like David Stull. And, of course, amplifying and facilitating change like Saul Kaplan. I’m going to try to make them part of me every day so that I can be an effective catalyst of change.

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