Doing BIF--the Business Innovation Factory--Collaborative Innovation Summit.

I’m in Providence, RI, at the start of BIF-4, the fourth annual conference on innovation that revolves around story-telling. The idea is to get brilliant people who have innovated or who have great new ideas to speak for 15 minutes about their work. The audience learns and participates in making those innovations come to life. BIF is more of a conversation than a conference, which is why it attracts me.

Tonight all the storytellers go over to John Maeda’s house for dinner. Maeda, as you probably already know, is the new president of RISD, ex-MIT Media Lab and brilliant designer.

Tomorrow I moderate stories from Jacqueline Novogratz (founder of the truly amazing for-profit non-profit Acumen Fund. www. James Ludwig (VP for Global Design for Steelcase). www.steelcase. And Richard Saul Wurman, one of the most brilliant minds of our day, founder of TED, who is now working visualizing the data on 19 cities around the world with 20 million people in the 21st century.