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Russ: This is the BuissnessMakers Show heard on the radio and seen online at thebusinessmakers.com. It's guest time and our topic today is The Up Experience 'cause with me I have the co-founder of The Up Experience and The Junior Up Experience, Sheryl Rapp. Sheryl, welcome to the Businessmakers Show.
Sheryl: Thank you for having me.
Russ: You bet. Tell us about The Up Experience 2013. I know most of our viewers and listeners know about it but I'm certain there's some that don't.
Sheryl: We are in our sixth year of The Up Experience. Very excited about that.
Sheryl: Thank you. It's an event here in Houston where we bring in 12 to 16 thought leaders from all over the world, experts in their field who come on our stage for 20 minutes each and describe their perspective of what's ahead and we cover every topic from medical breakthroughs to what's new in technology, the environment, the economy, social issues, global issues, so it's an incredible, very intellectual day all about what's ahead.
Russ: And kind of patterned after TED, right?
Sheryl: Sure. My husband actually went to the first TED 25 years ago.
Sheryl: And he would come back so incredibly expired and charged up and just coming back with all these different action plans of what he was going to do. We decided to start attending them ourselves and other conferences and we came back one year and said “Why doesn't Houston have something like this? There's got to be this intellectual community in Houston that would love this type of rapid fire information from experts from all over the world” so we created Up.
Russ: Right. And there are a few differences. I know the one that I particularly like is sort of the up close and personal sessions after the major big 10 session.
Sheryl: That is literally one of my favorite parts of the day because as we attend all of these conferences all over the world it's very frustrating to hear these amazing people on the stage. You just want to ask them a question or hand them your business card or make a connection and you can never do that and trust me, I attend these conferences all over the country. No one has this so what we created is the day divided into four sessions so the first session three or four speakers will speak their 20 minutes and then we break. Those speakers go down the hall into huge Q&A rooms and the audience has a chance to go down and spend the next 30 minutes with one of the speakers or two or three or four of the speakers that just spoke on the stage and it's absolutely amazing. The first year we had about a 15 minute Q&A and it's gone all the way up to 30 because our attendees have said “please give us more time.” They found this group of people, like-minded people, in that Q&A in addition to hearing these intimate conversations so it's terrific.
Russ: Well I have to sort of interrupt your flow and tell you my favorite sessions like that were both with Don Sadoway last year with MIT with the liquid metal battery and the prior year Saul Kahn. Jeez. What rock stars those two guys are in their categories.
Sheryl: Aboslutely and we'll be hearing a lot more from both of them in the future definitely.
Russ: Great. Ok so tell us about this year's lineup.
Sheryl: So what I do to decide the lineup is really very precise so we survey the audience and we always ask them “What topics are you interested in hearing about and what speakers have you heard in the past that have affected you or that you think are working on incredible projects?” and we really get an incredible response from our audience. I love our audience. So people think I do a survey, no one reads it. I mean I literally read every word and I make an action list from that survey every year and then I take that with what's going on.
I read every periodical out there, Popular Science, Wired, Fast Magazine - I mean Fast Company. I read as much as I can about what's current and what's going on and what's ahead. The Future Society, I just got back from that conference so we make a list of all these different topics and people that are doing amazing things and then I travel to go hear them speak and I travel to different conferences and one thing I learned from the first year is that I just don't put someone on our stage that's written a great book or that is working on a project that is fabulous.
They have to be able to deliver a passionate 20 minutes that will evoke change in my audience whether it's their business life or their personal life so not everybody can do that. That's a gift to be able to be a passionate storyteller and an expert in their passion or whatever their specific field is. So we took some of the information from last year. One of them was body language and reading people and how to tell if people are lying so we searched out Janine Driver who has written a book and I have the book right here, You Can't Lie to Me. And she is fabulous. Ernie and I saw her six months ago at an event where we sat there for an hour and a half and we don't sit anywhere for an hour and a half for one speaker.
Russ: Right and Ernie is also the co-founder and also your partner in life, your husband.
Sheryl: Yes. My husband for 30 years so we sat there with our mouths open for an hour and a half listening to her and her incredible knowledge. She worked for the CIA and helped them for I think it's like 20 years so she's incredible and we're bringing her to The Up Experience and excited she's going to be there teaching us all about body language.
Russ: Great. Great.
Sheryl: The next speaker is David Agus and he wrote the book The End of Illness and it is fabulous. I have that one too. We've already started implementing incredible things that he's put. He's an oncologist that truly believes we need to take charge of our own personal healthcare and wants to prevent cancer from happening and so he's written an amazing easy to read book on simple steps that we can all take, proven steps, so I'm excited Dr. Agus is coming to Houston.
Then we have Allan Savory. He is an incredible incredible founder of the Savory Institute and he's going to talk about the decertification of our grasslands and it is a simple simple process but it is changing the world and especially in Texas and in fact we found two farmers about an hour outside of Texas that have been using his holistic methods for years and we're bringing them down to just give a brief little summary of how it's changed their life and the future of agriculture.
Russ: Wow and so it's to prevent the continuing diminishment of the grasslands. Cool.
Sheryl: Exactly. Very simple process so we're excited to have Allan Savory. Jason Roberts is coming is coming in from Dallas and he is this amazing community outreach person that is literally making changes within the community by using social media so he rounds up the community and he evokes this unbelievable change for the better in all these different areas from bike trails to beautification to walking trails and he started in Dallas and now he's sought after all over the country to come into the cities to have the communities develop these changes and implement them.
Sheryl: One that we haven't announced yet but will be announced soon I'm very excited with about is Mark Goodman so he is a cyber security expert and he is going to talk about big data and -
Russ: And is he going to scare us all to death?
Sheryl: Yes, he is.
Sheryl: But he's amazing and what his message is and it's really interesting because we're not allowed to film his. He will be giving some incredibly important information for everyone, for home personal computer use, for our businesses, and what to do with all this incredible information we now have and how to not be hacked into and it's just - he will blow everybody away. Very excited about Mark Goodman.
Russ: That's fantastic. All right. We'll be back with more from Sheryl Rapp co-founder of The Up Experience after this. This is the Buisnessmakers Show heard on the radio and seen right here online at thebusinessmakers.com.
Russ: This is the Businessmakers Show heard on the radio and seen online at thebusinessmakers,com continuing on with Sheryl Rapp, co-founder of The Up Experience. Ok. Who's your next 2013 guest?
Sheryl: So we're bringing in Nancy Lublin who is actually the founder of Dress for Success, amazing organization now all over the country. She has started an organization called dosomething.org and she rallies millions of teenagers all over the world to work on projects giving back to the community and to address different issues.
Sheryl: Teenagers. That's who she goes. She does no email, she does no phone calls. Everything is by text and it will blow you away what she's been able to do and what she's uncovered my implementing dosomething.org which she will tell us all about her new project.
Russ: Looking forward to that. All right.
Sheryl: then we have Sugata Mitra. He won the prize, the TED prize this year, the million dollar prize and we are so excited. He is - if you saw Slumdog Millionaire.
Russ: Oh yeah.
Sheryl: He's actually created the story for Slumdog Millionaire so he's in India. He decided to put a computer in the wall outside of his area which was in the slum area of little kids and just filmed it and uncovered this unbelievable self-organized learning that these kids - these are kids that didn't speak English, kids that had never seen a computer and they completely taught themselves how to a) speak English and b) solve problems on the computer. It's a phenomenal story and he's going to talk about really the future of education and these organized learning groups that kids will really succeed with.
Russ: And his name again?
Sheryl: Sugata Mitra. And then we have Dr. Eric Topol. This is so phenomenal. His book is called The Creative Destruction of Medicine and his whole talk will be on wireless technology and controlling and monitoring our health on a regular basis, not just going to a doctor once and they get your heart rate and your blood pressure and if it's ok at that time then you're ok. He has created apps, unbelievable digital technology on your iPhone on your smart phone that will literally monitor everything going on in your body.
Russ: Continuously monitor it. How exciting is that?
Sheryl: You talk about big data, right?
Russ: That's right.
Sheryl: Very exciting. It really is the future of medicine.
Russ: Right. Absolutely. Great.
Sheryl: We are also bringing down Dan Pallotta so he wrote the book Uncharitable. He actually is a founder of a multi-day charity event so he was the first one who did and I'm not sure who which one - I think it was Avon, a two day charitable event where you get people involved for more than a one day event. Anyway his whole mantra is that we should be treating non-profits like they're businesses, like they're a for profit business. We should be hiring the best of the best to run the non-profits. We should not be skimping and saving on these charities but yet spending the money where it needs to go so that the charity will benefit and it's really, it's an amazing talk. I loved hearing him and I'm excited with all the charities we have here in Houston to hear his message.
Russ: Right. Absolutely.
Sheryl: We are also bringing Avi Reichental and I am so excited about him. He is the CEO and President of 3D Systems and he is bringing with him six 3D printers for our enjoyment all day at Up so he's bringing the little bitty one that now everybody can have in their home and he's actually going to have a few guys carrying them around all day and we can literally watch them printing different things. He's going to have a very large color one on the stage and we'll have up close and be watching as each layer is printed and he's going to have a few other that we can literally see exactly the 3D printing process so his whole presentation is on manufacturing the future.
Russ: Well it's definitely changing because of 3D printers.
Sheryl: It is unbelievable and every different area from medical to -I mean every area it will affect everyone and every business so I think people will be talking about 3D printing non-stop after they see Avi's presentation and get to experience it all day. Next we have Jack Andraka and I haven't announced him yet either but I am so excited. He's a 15 year old that developed a cancer detection, very inexpensive cancer detection for pancreatic cancer which is now.
Russ: Read about him in the Wall Street Journal I believe.
Sheryl: Oh my goodness. He's a power house and he's so excited to be coming to Houston. He's just darling. It is incredible what our youth are able to do these days and I always like to showcase some incredible story of what we call “I Invented That” so every year we have someone in here who's done just an incredible, in fact Sal Kahn was in our “I Invented That” category but Jack Andraka has just done amazing things with early cancer detection to prevent a lot of different diseases so we're very excited to have Jack come and tell his story.
Sheryl: And I may have a few more up my sleeve.
Russ: Ok. Well I am real excited about it. I love your comment about it's a requirement that they're passionate their topic because I can feel your passion about yours. Tell us a little bit more about this search process. I mean it seems like it could be real exciting but I guess it's also exhausting.
Sheryl: You're absolutely right. It's both. It's absolutely exciting when you can find somebody that can do that but you've got to listen to a lot of people to get to that point.
Russ: Well and your comment about passion. I'm sure you go into a lot of them thinking “This could really be cool” and it really is but the person, the inventor, the person fighting for the cause is just not able to deliver and that's very important at The Up Experience, right?
Sheryl: It is very important because people remember it, people are affected by it. We've had different speakers that we've fallen in love with what they're doing and if they get up on the stage and if they read or if they stand at the podium people aren't - they're looking at the Blackberry. They're not paying attention so they have to deliver their story with passion or at least with an inspirational or an educational presentation that really grabs people or else they won't listen so I go to these conferences all over the country. They may have 50 speakers booked and I may find 1 out of the 50 I like.
Sheryl: I mean and so and these conferences are expensive and they're time consuming and they're two and three day long conferences really all over the country so I'm a nut. I am a nut who I put on my stage so.
Russ: But a very successful one so particularly at this but you mentioned Jack Andraka and his being 15 years old. Tell us about Junior Up experience as well.
Sheryl: Well our first year when we had The Up Experience my son Cody who was a Junior in high school that first year came back to us at the end of the event and said “Oh my God, my head is spinning.” Malcom Gladwell was at the first event and Steve Wozniak and Ray Cardswell and he just, he was blown away but what he heard and he said “I am forever changed. My perspective has changed. My future has changed. We need to make this available for high school Juniors all over Houston” and he said, “I want every economic area of Houston.” We were so exhausted we were like “Cody, go write a business plan and come back to us” cause just figure it out. He literally came back with this business plan and created The Junior Up Experience so we invite 40 different schools to bring their top 10 high school Juniors and it could be anywhere from the best grades, the best essay that they wrote why they want to attend, the most intellectual. They can decide however they want. We just want those kids to want to be there and to learn from these thought leaders. These 400 kids come in for the day and they literally down the hall in this huge room that we have and Cody, MCs the event and puts it on and he picks his six favorite speakers from the main theater and they walk down the hall and make 20 minute presentations to the kids.
Russ: Really neat. Really neat. Ok. So what's the date this year of the show?
Sheryl: October 24th, Thursday October 24th.
Russ: Ok and if somebody is watching or listening right now and is wanting to perhaps check it out and sign up where do they go?
Sheryl: They go to theupexperience.com.
Russ: Ok. That's pretty straightforward.
Sheryl: Yep. There you go.
Russ: Well Sheryl thank you so much for doing this and for sharing your passion and your story with us.
Sheryl: Thank you for having me.
Russ: You bet. That's Sheryl Rapp co-founder of The Up Experience and this is the Businessmakers Show heard on the radio and seen right here at thebusinessmakers.com.