“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat” – Steve Jobs

Why

The theme for Like Minds 2011 encapsulates what is undoubtably the zeitgeist of the early 21st century. While a global recession has forced so many businesses to the brink of destruction, the digital revolution has created new opportunities that have birthed innovations that are changing companies, industries, and the world.

Winston Churchill said “A wise man makes more opportunities than he gets”, and with the call to innovation in front of us, a forward thinking mindset requires the inspiration and practical application that is found at Like Minds.

Not just listening: Learning

As humans and as adults, we don’t learn by just listening. So where as most conferences will have you listening to one speaker after another, Like Minds is a social learning environment where you can debate with each other, have lunch with the speakers, and get hands-on help in a range of topics to practically help your business on Monday morning.

Not just learning: Connecting

Of course learning from and getting inspiring by great leaders is only half the fun. Your next connection, your next collaboration, your next big opportunity, is waiting at Like Minds. With over 300 agencies, small businesses, brands, entrepreneurs, graduates, creatives and leaders, you’ll be able to connect in the corridors, over lunch, across the rows and in workshops with those making it happen in the UK and Europe.

Make it a festival: Like Movies and Like Music

Last year we ran Like Movies and Like Music – our film and music festivals that make Like Minds less of a conference and more of a festival. This year we’ve focusses them even more. Read about them in the schedule.

5 Reasons to participate

Like Minds has a reputation for bringing together a vibrant group of participants, whether on stage or off stage, that will inspire you and help you gather the latest thinking to help change your business or organisation.

Here are 5 reasons why you should attend and participate in Like Minds 2011:

  1. You’ll hear from and meet some of the best speakers in the world (who’ve spoken at TED, World Economic Forum, DLD, Summit Series.) Most events, if they do get speakers of this calibre, rarely engineer the event so that you can have lunch with them – but we do – so you’ll hear more than just 20 minutes from them, you’ll get to find out how they think and add their details to your address book.
  2. You’ll learn in two ways – getting inspired from 20 minute Insights, and getting practical application from 2 hour Immersives. This means you learn by listening and doing and you then apply it on the following Monday morning. All the video, slides, documents and participant profiles are on our site for you to access whenever you need.
  3. You’ll meet 300 incredible people, many of whom will become colleagues, collaborators and even friends. Many of these are influencers in their various fields and your contact book will drastically grow. We’re pleased to hear people find the job of their dreams at Like Minds every year, including some of our speakers! Many local businesses have also gained large international clients as a direct result of attending a Like Minds event.
  4. You’ll get a serious competitive advantage for your business or organisation. We work hard all year to get the leading thinkers and doers in a range of sectors to run sessions at Like Minds and being with them will equip you with the latest leading business thinking.
  5. You’ll experience 3 incredible days that you won’t forget at a fraction of the price for comparable events elsewhere, guaranteed. You’d normally pay at least £600 a day for an event of this calibre in London.
4 Ways to Learn at Like Minds

We take learning very seriously. There is little use in attending a conference if something of value isn’t learnt, and to learn, you need to do more than just listen to people talk. 2 years of continually changing our format has led us to these 4 ways that will help you actually learn and extract value from Like Minds in order to use it on the following Monday morning:

Insights

This is the main part of Like Minds and what we started with when we began in 2009. All participants at the conference gather in the Exeter Conference Centre for a 2 hour inspirational and mind stretching session.

Within a 2 hour slot, a number of speakers will deliver 20 minute Insights on a particular topic or subject that have a common thread. Our themes are always conceptual so that within the overarching concept, our speakers can drill down into specifics.

Also in this 2 hour slot we help profile an Endeavour. Like Minds Endeavours are worthy (and often charitable) causes that we support and give a global platform to in order to help them further their efforts. We believe it’s important that at every sitting, there is a cause that we can get behind and use our influence to assist.

Immersives

Immersives are exactly what they say they are – an Immersive learning experience in which a speaker workshops content with a group of people, around 30 – 50, so that they can practically use everything they have learnt for their organisation.

We started running these as solo events in 2009, and added them to the Like Minds Conference in October 2010. These are held in venues across the city centre of Exeter, all within 10 minutes walk of the Exeter Conference Centre.

What is particularly good about these is that you met a good group of new people and make connections quicker as it’s easier to connect in a room of 30 than 300.

Lunch Time Talks

We came up with these in 2010 when trying to tear down what we call the “speaker attendee divide.” It annoyed both us and our speakers that they were on a stage and largely inaccessible to the ‘attendees’ who sat listening to them. At Like Minds, everyone is a participant, so we created a way for everyone, whether speaker or delegate, to host a lunch in a city centre restaurant around a certain topic.

This not only helps people to have possibly the best working lunch of their life, but also helps people meet and connect with others more easily, as it’s even easier to get to know 10 people over lunch than 30 people at an Immersive or 300 in a building.

Festival Activities

The sales saying is true that people buy people, so in order to get us into a more social mindset, we have festival activities going on every night for you to enjoy yourself at and meet a whole bunch of people in a memorable evening setting.