Rochester, N.Y., skyline
Rochester, N.Y., skyline

Recently I attended a local TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference TEDxRochester. I heard all kinds of speakers, from a scientist telling us what we could learn from gambling monkeys to an architect who participated in the Mongol Rally (driving a car from the Czech Republic to Ulan Batur to raise money for an orphanage) to an educator and software developer with Second Avenue Games talking about getting "serious games into the classroom,"  and a board member from Rochester's FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) group who brought along students and the working robot they had created. There were a couple of modern dance performances and amazing fresh brewed coffee from local coffee barista extraordinaire Joe Bean.  

In all, it was a stimulating day with the talks — shared stories, really — leading to good conversations during the downtime. While nothing that I heard or learned about had a direct correlation to the business of the remodeling industry, it was important to network and connect with others.

It's good to get out of the office once in a while and do something different from what it is you do every day. Inspiration comes in many forms, but you have to be open to it. I mean, who knew that monkeys are not so risk-averse and like to gamble?

Find out when TED is coming to your city and sign up.  —Stacey Freed, senior editor,REMODELING.