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Uncomfortable Learning, Inspiration Station & Connecting Innovators in the 305

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April 30, 2018


What Makes You Uncomfortable?

Spiders, Snakes, heights, public speaking . . . Take your pick. Discomfort comes in many forms. Like the first three months of the year spent in the gym before deciding that dropping the pounds is probably not going to happen right away, or ever.

Or, perhaps, when  the prospect of giving a presentation, speech or pitch in the presence of others falls somewhere on the scale of “waaaaay beyond my comfort zone.”

What about being uncomfortable  with people? It’s not a topic we discuss openly or often.

In his TED talk, “Why It’s Worth Listening to People You Disagree With,” Zachery Woods unpacks the concept  of Uncomfortable Learning, based in part on the premise that we miss opportunities to learn when we write-off the opinions of others because listening to them may be difficult, or uncomfortable

So this week, we’re exploring the value of getting comfortable with discomfort. 

Can You See?

Just like we all have pronouns, we all operate in bias at one point or another.  Some unconscious, others, openly explicitly.  This does not apply only to racial, gender or other bias against immutable traits.  Some biases are harder to spot.

In his book, The Art of Thinking Clearly, Rolf Dobelli, illuminates 99 cognitive propensities that impact our decision making, about which many of us remain unaware.  Confirmation, hindsight, information, like, groupthink, associative, effort justification; the list of biases goes on and on.  It’s not so easy to check our biases, more often than not, it is our engagement with others– particularly those with differing points of view — that uncover our blind spots.  Want to see clearly? Try listening to others.

Go Deep[er].

We are often reticent to engage across lines of difference, not because we are uncomfortable , but because we lack confidence in our own perspective.  We might let fear dictate and ultimately give too much credence to the question:  what if I’m wrong?  But wrong or right is irrelevant.  The true value of discomfort is learning.  Making the effort to approach opposition with empathy and openness to the experience actually offers a deeper level of understanding and conviction in your closely held beliefs.

So this week, in light of the Connect Miami 2018, try experiencing one of 70+ opportunities to connect across lines of difference during the next 10 days.  Venture Café Miami’s May 3rd#ThursdayGathering has made it easy with a stellar lineup of experiences designed to push the boundaries of comfort and building meaningful interactions

How will you disconnect from discomfort this week?


Venture Cafe Miami

View the 2017 Impact Report Now

Supersized #ThursdayGathering: Connect Miami Theme Night

This Week’s Agenda: May 3rd, 2018

4:00p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
South Florida Cares Wellness Circle | South Florida CARES Mentoring Movement (Great Bear Room)
Details4:00p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
So You Want to Be in Pictures? | Miami Connect PSA (Altamira Room)
Details5:30p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Performance: Unlock The Power of Music | UP! Music (Cafe Space)
Details | RSVP (optional)

6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Maximizing Your Thursday Gathering Experience I VCM Ambassador

(Altamira Room)

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
Breaking Stereotypes of the Middle East  | Kerning Cultures (Amazon Room)
Details RSVP (optional)

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
Demystifying Sexual Health Barriers and Stigmas | Planned Parenthood (Deering Room)
Details | RSVP (optional)

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
Miami Characters Exhibition & Art Tour Part II | CIC Miami ft. Creators Lounge (Altamira Room)
Details | RSVP (optional)

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
Trademarks: Harnessing The Power of Your Brand | IPS Legal Group (Great Bear Room)
Details | RSVP (optional)

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
Connecting Through Poetry | The Biscayne Poet (Cafe Space)

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
The Power of Design: How to Concept, Build & Market Your Business | Florida Funders & Haneke Design (Everglades Room)
Details RSVP (optional)

7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
Connect Four Tournament: Where Networking Meets Classic Gaming | Shngli (Cafe Space)

7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Dress Rehearsal for Public Speaking | Peter Cummings 
(Great Bear Room)
Details | RSVP (optional)

7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Its “Ask An Asian” Time! | NAAAP Miami & #SoFloAsians 
(Amazon Room)
Details | RSVP (optional)

7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
CryptoEconomics: Token Curated Registries | Hyperledger Meetup 
(Deering Room)
Details | RSVP (optional)

Office Hours
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Strategy Office Hours: Accelerating Social Impact | Radical Partners (Pau Rosa Room)
Details I Book Your Session Now
Info Tables
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Inspiration Station: Inspire 305 | United Way of Miami-Dade
(Cafe Space)

VCM Extras
Connecting Innovators in the 305 
May 3, 2018
4:00PM to 9:00PM
#10DaysOfConnectionare around the corner!
Step out of your comfort zone & connect with community at the#ThursdayGathering
May 3, 2018
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

We are helping Small Business owners ‘Build Brands and websites in a day.
We are excited to partner with & Rebrand Cities to impact neighborhoods.
Drag Queen BINGO!
May 10th
6:45 pm to 7:45pm

Cafe Space
As part of Connect Miami #10DaysofConnectionjoin the famous Missy Meyakie LePaige for Bingo with a Twist! Powered by SAVE ! 
Details Here
This month’s Around the Table features:
Dr. Julio Frenk, President, University of Miami 
Got Talent? We’re looking for supporting photographers and graphic designers to join our awesome Ambassador crew.  Drop us a line
Join The Team
Your Stories
Produced by our friends at SLAM! Content Marketing Agency and Digital Grass Innovation & Technology.  
Innovation City Podcast New Episode Alert!  Listen to Mallesh Murugesan, Co-Founder of Chirrp.Ai. Powered by SLAM! and in partnership with Venture Cafe St. Louis.
New Episode Alert. Tech Beats & Bytes live @ the #ThursdayGatheringJoin us each week for great conversation, anecdotes and a few surprises.
Our Community
We just hosted our Ambassador Appreciation Night! 
If you want to get involved with the innovation, tech and entrepreneurial community, sign up to lead as a VCM Ambassador! Photography courtesy of Evens St.Louis.
Sign Me Up!
Loved the #ThursdayGathering last week?
Jump on over to the VCM Facebook Page and tag yourself.  Photography courtesy of


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