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Hi. I’m Michael, a RWU Law Class of 2013 graduate. I’ve traveled all over, from summers spent hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, to an archeological dig on the Island of Crete, Greece. I’m also a former small business owner. My background is varied, as is the direction...

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Random Collisions of Unusual Suspects

Posted by Michael Rekola on 10/08/2012 at 10:26 AM

Being a law student, most days are filled with breakfast, reading, class, reading, reading, lunch, class, reading, reading, dinner, reading, one TV show to relax, bed, and repeat.

However this past week offered a way to break the daily routine of class and reading.  I experienced something new and exciting!  I was able to attend the Business Innovation Factory Annual Conference (BIF-8) as a scholarship recipient.  This was a rare opportunity that all of my professors collectively thought was worth an absence in their respective classes (that is rare in itself-- teacher approval to miss class!)

The Business Innovation Factory is a place where both public and private individuals, companies, and non-profits come together to try and remake, recreate, and change vast areas, like business, healthcare, education and energy.  The BIF motto is “Random Collisions of Unusual Suspects.”  The conference BIF-8 seeks to bring together a collective group of individuals across all spectrums, from CEOs to genetic engineers, to artists, and even law students, because their belief is that the world has so much potential that when great minds meet up transformation occurs.  The BIF-8 has even been listed as one of the best places to connect with the nation’s greatest minds.

The setting is simple, an intimate gathering in a local Providence theater (Trinity Rep) where selected speakers come and talk, not lecture, but converse about their life story, problems, or solutions.  It is meant to be a place where personal conversations can easily lead down the road to amazing collaborations.  During BIF-8, I was able to meet some truly revolutionary individuals, from Tony Hsiesh (the CEO and Founder of Zappos), to Robin Chase (CEO of Zipcar), Andrew Hessel (a Genetic engineer whose focus is open sourcing cancer treatment), and even Harry West (the CEO of Continuum, the firm that created the Reebok pump).  With such superstars of innovation, economics, engineering and so much more, it was amazing to see the power of conversation.  Over the two days I was truly inspired and am now motivated to see what part I can play in the future of innovation, whether in the legal field, business realm, or just at home.  The most important take-away from the whole conference is that sometimes the most powerful action can be a simple conversation between strangers that sparks the ideas of tomorrow!

So my advice to you, whether searching for a solution to life’s problems or just trying to figure out which law school to attend, be open and search out those “random collisions of unusual suspects!”