When John Larson conceived of the Council of Awesome back around February, he envisioned it as a sort of network for people who want to do more than network - an experiment, you might say, for people who like to experiment. Like a college chemistry lab except totally way less boring, the council aims to bring strangers together to work for a common goal for no other reason than that it is fun to do, and toward that goal, more than 100 people have already signed on -- but the acid test is yet to come: Tonight, the Being Awesome Is Awesome Fest 2011 makes its inaugural run.
"You know, there are people that I meet who have more to talk about than what was on TV last night or complaining about their jobs, and those are the people that really inspire me; those are the kind of people that I want to be around," explains Larson. "So Project Awesome was conceived as something to attract that kind of person."
And the council makes no bones about what kind of person it's looking for: Don't like to work with others? Whiner? Can't commit? Don't come. But that's not to say that the project is elite, either -- if you're into the idea of it, the council is into you, and all you have to do to be a part of it is to declare yourself awesome.
What you'll get is access to people like you and -- perhaps more important -- their ideas. But for starters, Larson and the rest of the council already have some ideas of their own, and they'll be rolling those ideas out tonight.
Here's how it works: After you declare yourself awesome, show up at Being Awesome Is Awesome Fest at the Grant Avenue Community Center at 6 p.m. and come prepared to brainstorm, with a pen, paper, thinking cap and so forth. You'll hear a little about the project from the MC, and then there'll be a mix-and-mingle where you can talk to the other people who came, get to know them and peruse some of the projects the council has already come up with -- suggested projects include breaking a Guinness World Record and helping homeless people look sharp -- and decide which one you think you'd want to work on. "The vision," explains Larson, "is that hopefully we'll get people glomming around the same project, and those are the people that should be working together. Then those people will go off into groups, teams of five, plus or minus a couple, to start formulating a three-week project."
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And then you go forth with your team for three weeks and do it.
"This is totally experimental," says Larson. "We have no idea how it's going to pan out." In the best-case scenario, the project will in some way help the community, but even if it doesn't, it'll at least be pretty fun. For Larson, though, "The most interesting thing about this whole thing is what happens in three weeks when we reconvene."
That happens Wednesday, June 29, at 7 p.m., but don't just sit around waiting for it. The fun starts now.