Today I’m going to write about a different kind of hungry.
The hunger for depth and breadth and meaning.
It is from this hunger that CRAVE and Urban Campfire was born.
Melody Biringer, a serial entrepreneur from Seattle, was hungry for deeper, more meaningful conversations in her life – both personally and professionally.
She started CRAVE 12 years ago, having spent over a decade being a cheerleader for entrepreneurs.
Bored of the traditional networking arenas, Melody created Urban Campfire.
It’s been hosted in a few cities so far, and the Studios at Overland Crossing, in south Denver, was where our city was host to its first Urban Campfire last week.
An open, loft-like space was the perfect external environment to open the possibilities of exploration of the internal environment.
This is what we were there to do, though they smartly lure you in with cocktails and cuteness.
Around the space were beautiful touches like glass jars with tealights, cheese platters, and colorful journals at each place setting.
Rounds of tables of 8 encircled an open space in the middle, mimicking a campfire set up.
Each of the speakers – who told their stories in a TED-like format for 10 minutes – took this ‘stage’ to speak.
After each set of speakers, we enjoyed dinner and a more intimate conversation at our tables – led by facilitators Melody had hand-picked and trained – on topics like what had been our greatest failure and what gets us excited about life [in campfire language – What is your Marshmallow?].
There were tears, there was laughter, there was revealing and revelation.
And thankfully, to add some levity, there were actual marshmallows.
Chocolate chip stuffed, no less.
The goal, as it is at any good campfire, is to gather around and share stories.
It lends perspective.
Melody feels if you can see yourself in the other and they can see themselves in you, then a meaningful conversation has been started that can result in all kinds of possibilities for connection, liberation, and wholeness.
This process naturally results in reciprocal business too, but it’s a more humane manner than the stiff networking events we’ve all [sadly] experienced.
Connections are made that are truly authentic and powerful, with the opportunity for longevity and sustainability that aren’t typically present when you’ve shaken hands and made small talk over a runny drink in a staid ballroom.
Friendships are sparked as well.
Already, from just that one night, I met two women who I know will be lifelong friends.
Special acknowledgment to:
Brit Stueven / Owner of Pollinize Media / For serving as the emcee + event planner for this particular lovely evening.