For the next four weeks I am taking an ICT detox! Yes, the tweets will cease, as will status on Facebook and my blog. This is not because I am suffering from ICT overload. Indeed, I find all of these things stimulating. But I, along with my wife, am going on a trip around Northern Italy.
I have always valued the unstinting support of my wife and I believe we both should take the opportunity to see this beautiful countryside and to wallow in the history and culture of the place.
While the keyboard and the constant checking in will be absent from my schedule, the brain will hopefully be working overtime. With or without access to technology, I never stop looking for examples of the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit that is all around us.
I believe that by focusing too much on high tech innovations we miss the abundance of creative spirit from the rest of the world. I want to accumulate examples from the trip that will create examples and ideas for me on my return.
I want to see the entrepreneurship that created the great historical sites of Rome, or Florence, but I also want to see the way entrepreneurial street entertainers in the Mercantia Festival have developed original crowd-pleasing acts.
I want to experience the mini-boat tour that lets people see a side of Pisa that is different from simply observing the tower and to witness the creative abilities of great artists and musicians. Obviously my wife also wants to observe the creativity of the great fashion houses of Milan, as long as observing doesn’t require a credit card!
I want to see how places like Turin and Rome have taken old trams and cable cars and used them as a way to provide night-time sightseeing with food and drink. But most of all, I want to find those little gems of businesses tucked away in side streets and in villages that reinforce daily that indomitable human spirit that created a Roman Empire but which still flourishes today.
I look forward to returning in August to share these stories with you. In the meantime, remember that the only person from stopping you from joining the entrepreneurs of the 21 Century is YOU. Happy holidays.