When my good friend, industry peer, and three time author, David Passiak mentioned Katapult in Oslo, I was interested in attending mostly to spend time with him, in real life. Most of time time we hang out virtually because he’s been nomadic for the past three years.

And while I’m on the topic of David, I may as well give you the rundown on his new book, Empower – How to Co-create the Future, which is available free and by donation at cocreatethefuture.com. And bonus, at least for me: I’m in it!

He features a number of authors, subject matter experts, media commentators, global community strategists, and visionaries, to look at what kind of future we can create together. In the section of my interview, I talk a lot about shared value in the form not only of ownership and governance, but also in how we govern and think about ourselves, our individuated purpose as it relates to the whole, and identity within the collective. I think he did a good job of capturing the whole story of what my work embodies, rather than disparate parts.

Ok, back to Katapult.

This was one of the best conferences I’ve been to and I’ve been to hundreds. One of the main reasons was the crowd and the speakers. I don’t think I’ve ever been surrounded by so many heartful, kind, magical, activated people. You know… the type with a glint in their eye and the willpower to follow their instincts from a place of love, creativity, expression, and persistence.

Before arriving in Oslo, I was definitely feeling a bit disenchanted about the world, but these people gave me hope that there are enough of us working from a spiritually centered place to band together and give more people permission to do the same.

“A Chinese saying describes it well: “As far away as the horizon, and right in front of your face.” You can run toward it forever, run faster and faster, and never get any closer. Only when you stop do you realize you are already there. That is exactly our collective situation right now. All of the solutions to the global crisis are sitting right in front of us, but they are invisible to our collective seeing, existing, as it were, in a different universe. When we are trapped in a story, we can only do the things that that story can recognize. Often we are aware of being trapped (the old story is ending) but don’t have access to any alternative (we haven’t yet inhabited a new story).”

– Charles Eisenstein, Author
The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Possible

The book, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Possible frequently comes to mind when I think about communities. I often think about how Charles speaks of creating a new story within community, holding a sacred place for maintaining and occupying a new set of values.

Katapult put together that energy force with hundreds of speakers from all over the world, attendees from all around Europe, and a general sense that there is an emergent story being born in countless ways. For me, this was a living, breathing example of what Charles writes about.

And right, you probably want to know something about the programming. Well, here are the titles of some of my favorite sessions:

– Future of investing
– Borderless society
– Building a movement
– Circular economy
– Spending city money on empathy
– Changing the scarcity mindset

Oh, and the fun! Norwegians know how to party. The first night, there was a party in the sauna with hundreds of people dancing in their underwear, many other skipping to jump into the ice cold sea, and a number of others sweating their faces off in smaller sauna bunkers nearby.

I gave a talk on Trust and the Evolution of Sharing in the sauna the very next day. I feel like I honed in on some important elements toward the end and hopefully gave the audience actionable ways to reconsider their business, structure, equity, governance, and way of thinking about their respective endeavors now and in the future.

I especially like this slide:

On the last day, my friend Casey Fenton, who also happened to found one of the greatest platforms for world peace of all time (Couchsurfing), made me some wild spandex pants. The team stitched over 100 pairs of pants during the conference, just to make things a bit more fun, colorful, silly, and uninhibited. I would say it worked!

The day after the conference, the Katapult team took the speakers on a boat cruise party, complete with sparkling wine, lunch, and dessert. I can’t imagine a better way to end a conference than to relax with one another in the Norwegian sunshine, on a body of water.

Overall, my impression is that this is and will continue to be a real community, which is not something I can say for the majority of conferences. Already, there are decentralized chat groups meeting up in different locations including Copenhagen and San Francisco. People really bonded.

And I feel exquisitely lucky to have been a part of this and looking forward to helping this community thrive in the future.