Photo by tsmall

In a world where natural disasters are the norm, I’ve become intrigued by of the idea of pop-up structures. Pop-up retail, pop-up museums, pop-up soup kitchens. Somehow, temporary has a new appeal. It offers intensity—a willingness to exchange ideas more honestly because you’re not afraid to sh_t where you eat.

Inspired, we’ve begun experimenting with Pop-up Think Tanks. Asked to help a client forecast adoption rates for a social innovation 18 months prior to launch, we mingled thought leaders, consumer influencers and channel partners. We set a rigorous half-day agenda. Everyone had to present something. It was like an add-water-and stir micro-TED.

Our biggest worry was whether or not the group’s chemistry would click. So we provided an emotionally intelligent “ringer.” You know, that person who likes people and can get conversation out of a stone.

Voila! It worked. Yes, yes we’d change a dozen things. But for now we are popping up our laptops to track the ripple effect as the group stays connected.