I’m still recovering from my trip to Tel Aviv. I’m still thinking about my trip to Tel Aviv and how I happened to find myself there, “representin”.
I have many many people to thank. So I’m going to try like this, A Twitter List for you to follow http://twitter.com/DarenBBC/irlcontributors-4 , some photo’s and some thoughts, experiences and emotions I went through. If that sounds interesting then please do read on, I hope you enjoy, it was EPIC for me.
London Heathrow – T5 – Jayne had the great idea that I drive myself to H/Row and park using long term parking. I found a new service that meets you at the short term parking area and takes your car away for you, then when you return, they meet you back at short term.
Perfect and only a £5 premium, which given a black cabbie quoted £100 one way to heathrow, it was a no brainer.
Heathrow T5 8.45pm on a Saturday night was deserted, if you’re going to fly, fly then, it was heaven.
Take off was 10.30pm and I have to say the British Airways plane was great, got us in 30 mins earlier at 5.00am. I spoke to the crew because I thought the plane was new, but it wasn’t it had been refurbed. Good job, it felt new. Whilst chatting with the crew, I found out that they would be on my flight home, they were staying in Israel the same amount of time as me, 26.5 hours, of which I slept for 1 hour between 8.30am to 9.30am and 3 hours between 1.45am to 4.45am. I’m not complaining, but I;m not in my 20’s anymore, i’m still feeling the pain of no sleep.
Jeff Pulver graciously offered me the use of his hotel room to shower and change before Conference, I woke Jeff up at 6am, I was earlier than expected. Jeff bought me coffee and cake and gave me some background to Tel Aviv and his activities there, the key to his room says how highly he’s thought of in the tech powerhouse that is, Israel.
The cab ride, was I have to say, that of a middle eastern experience, no english from the driver and no idea where the venue was, Coool! 🙂 I was running a bit late, but, I’ve learnt on my travels, let destiny take it’s path, I’m powerless in effecting the outcome.
I arrive just as Jeff is finishing his intro, the energy and buzz in the room was off the scale, physically, there was standing room only. I had my suit carrier and “man bag” so felt very concious walking to the front of the room, there were 200 people plus. Once settled I was greeted by smiles from the people that surrounded me. Jeff then announced to the audience that I had arrived and the room applauded, I felt joy, embarrassment, great pride and a real sense that I was “welcome”. I was in room of full of Israel’s “thought” and “geek” leaders and achievers.
First up was Yossi Vardi – The Grandfather of the Israeli Tech Sector, founder of ICQ. Amazing charisma, wisdom and humour.
The laughter and engagement from the audience was amazing, and so natural, it was just part of what seems to happen when a couple of hundred tech/media/education/spiritual/young/old/political/music/finance related people get togethr in a room. There was a stage, with mic’s and seats for “speakers and panelists”, but that stage was for audience “use” too. I learnt, that Israeli’s take part, they don’t sit back and think it, maybe talk it down in the corridors quietly, they say it, share it, challenge and act. If it was too cold, someone shouted, “turn the heating up” or if someone said something funny ( which they did a lot) lots of people would laugh, but laugh properly and look at each other while they laughed. It’s a tough subtlety to describe, i guess you had to be there :-).
And “be there” I was… Lot’s of people chipped in cash to make the experience (trip) possible, and I have expressed my gratitude to you all in some way, but there are seven people I’d like to really show my deep appreciation to. They were the catalysts, and often the work of the catalyst is under valued, if valued at all, as it’s often forgotten, but is actually the vital spark that is always required. So…here are the catalysts, thank you once again.
http://twitter.com/digitalmaverick – He suggested asking the community on Twitter for funds – Drew is a teacher
http://twitter.com/drewellis – He is Scott’s business partner and signed off flight costs within minutes of Scott’s suggestion
http://twitter.com/robocallaghan – My 1st “Chip In” donator, and what a donator. Just amazing.
http://twitter.com/JeffPulver – He invited me to Tel Aviv
Next edit, I will go into some of the people I met. Until then enjoi the music vid. The tempo is reflective of the intensity experienced and the “here I am” line sums up my feeling once I’d settled into my seat for five minutes.