Posted April 9, 2015 by Mandi Bryson 

Takeaways from Frans Johansson's Keynote

This post was written by Rob Stagni, director of the Arkansas Union.

2015 – OrangeIf there’s anything we’ve learned from this year’s conference keynote kickoff, it’s this: What is established is no longer reliable. Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect, has given us his well-received take on diversity, innovation, and the value of doing. Johansson’s insights on creativity and innovation stem from the value of diverse connections and intersectionality—namely, what can one area learn from another? What new links, ideas, concepts, or strategies can we translate from operations to programming, from maintenance to human resources, from marketing to custodial?

For my take, Johansson’s most compelling question requires us to reflect on the value of strategy; in a world where rules always change, strategy should serve as a motivation to act. Maybe we’re just building on what we already do—perhaps even taking baby steps—but we’re always focusing on the smallest executable step to achieve our vision. Frans Johansson has given us a compelling, innovative, and energetic kickoff to our conference topics.

Mandi Bryson

Mandi Bryson is the Associate Director for Events & Operations at College of Charleston.


I thoroughly enjoyed Johansson's keynote, and mostly because it wasn't anything that was too difficult to conceptualize. It was one of those talks where you realize that you have sort of had the answer in front of your face the entire time...You have just been looking at it for too long that you neglected to recognize it. I especially enjoyed this being one of the professionals within ACUI who has campus programming/student activities as the core focus of my job. I have often gone to these conferences looking to just steal an idea and force my campus to fit the idea's mold. But, this talk challenged me to go about things a little differently and begin utilizing the strengths of my campus and the strengths of ideas in a collaborative, intersecting way. It was a solid way to kickoff the Annual Conference, and it was in the forefront of my mind through every experience.
William Takewell
Comment posted 04/13/2015 12:15 AM
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