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Nerd Girls are back at Lotusphere 2012 (and if you’ve been at a user group or conference this year you may have noticed we never went away).  At this year’s Lotusphere we’re changing things around and bringing you a brand new concept called Spark Ideas. It’s January, it’s Lotusphere and time to be inspired and Spark Ideas is a series of 6 minute talks aimed at doing just that and encouraging you to think differently about your world.

We had lots of great submissions for Spark Ideas but in the end we wanted to put together as wide ranging selection as we could.  Each speaker has 6 minutes to talk about their idea, so they and we are trying something new.  I’d like to thank them in advance for sharing what are in many cases very personal stories.  I hope you are able to come along and be inspired. Spark Ideas and the Spark Ideas Birds Of A Feather will be hosted by Jess Stratton. We hope to see you there.

Meg Petersen – Taking the Stage

Getting up in front of people and speaking with ease and confidence is a life skill. It’s not necessarily a natural thing, so it requires nurturing, opportunity and practice. I’ve spent time in both my extra curricular life as well as my professional life at IBM encouraging children and colleagues to “Take the Stage”.  I’ll tell you all about it in just 5 minutes!

Mitch Cohen – Get Cancer Get Social

Six months ago cancer made an unwelcome entrance in to my life, when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. A cancer diagnosis is overwhelming to say the least, and comes with a lot of doctors, opinions, medications, etc. The tools you may not think of immediately to fight cancer? A positive attitude, a sense of humor, a blog, twitter, and facebook. Hear the story of how these social tools make coping with and fighting cancer easier.

Francie Tanner – How To Live Without Self Imposed Limitations That Stand Between You and What You Want

What do you see when you look at a roll of duct tape”, is what I had to ponder after I moved my four kids from our abundant life in the US, to an empty house on a remote Caribbean island with only two suitcases each. I had four bored kids, no art supplies, no toys and nothing to entertain them with and it seemed I had made a giant mistake with this move and that is when the first duct tape purse, wallet and pencil holder was born. Since then, duct tape taught me an important lesson, to look past the obvious, and to employ creativity, community and imagination to create solutions to our problems. “The art of Duct Tape” is now not only a fun hobby but a way of looking at life, imagining what we want out of it and the creative edge to pursue happiness

Warren Elsmore – LEGO – how the company almost fell completely apart and was rebuilt

What happens when you don’t know your customers? Or when your community has better ideas than you do? That’s the problem that faced LEGO in the last decade and it nearly caused the end of the company. But the worlds’ best toy company turned things around in only a few short years. In just 5 minutes, hear how they did this and how LEGO’s fan community was central to the restoration. And find out why a grown man still plays with LEGO too 😉

Marie Scott – 2 Women, 2 Countries, and a Journey: How A Single Decision Forms A Generation

The internet allows us now to find out more about our past through electronic records. Imagine the stories hidden there. Marie found that two strong women helped shape her family based on their brave decisions made at times when women didn’t normally take the lead. She’ll share their stories and how they inspire her on a daily basis

Tim Davis – Choosing To Be Lucky

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of studies that prove that people who consider themselves “unlucky” turn out to be so because their mindset often means they don’t pick up on opportunities through observation and if they do they don’t act on them. Lucky people do both.  It’s been demonstrated that people can enhance their own luck by increasing their awareness and willingness to act and by choosing to consider themselves “lucky” instead of “unlucky”.  I will talk about examples of this in my life and how easy it is to make yourself “luckier”.

We are delighted that Kristen Lauria, Vice President Marketing IBM Social Business and Collaboration Solutions, will be joining us at Spark Ideas.

Spark Ideas
NERD101 Tuesday 17th January 11.15 – 12.15 Swan Mockingbird 1 & 2

Since this an ambitious idea and we have no opportunity during the hour’s session for feedback, we’re going to be hosting a Birds of a Feather later the same day called Spark Ideas – The Discussion where we can take the ideas further.
Spark Ideas – The Discussion
BOF130 Tuesday 17th January 17.45 – 18.45 Swan Parrot 2