A place to learn how to think differently finds the right spot for them in Lowville. Bring socks.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 16, 2013.  They used to be located on Locust Street, half a block away from city hall – just a bit further from the Performing Arts Centre.  The service they offered was delivered from that location but the overhead was – well too much.

Debra Pickfield called the place THiNKSPOT – a place for groups of people to get away to and think – think differently and work “outside the box”, a phrase that is terribly over used but does describe what gets done at THiNKSPOT.

THiNKSPOT is a place for people to gather in small groups and large groups to talk.

Breaking the boundaries that tend to determine what people can and should do at whatever work they do is not easy.  Management tends to want things to run smoothly – no disruption please.  Pickfield argues that disruption is exactly what is needed if organizations are going to be moved out of the complacency she feels smothers many operations.

The feature that makes THiNKSPOT work is the setting and the level of facilitation,

Pickfield works as a facilitator and from her perspective, location and setting for meetings is critical. Meeting in a stifling hotel meeting room where the setting isn’t much different from the office is not, according to Pickfield, conducive to bringing about a change in the way people think.

So – off to Lowville she went,  where she rented a nice space.  The setting is pleasant.  The grounds are really nice with a sculpture garden yards away and,  if people need to get out for a walk to talk, the paths and streams of Lowville Park is just across the road.

While the setting is important – people use THiNKSPOT to transfer knowledge and exchange ideas and use the latest in technology to make it happen.

One of the draw backs was the amount of meeting room space.  Quite a bit but at times not enough for larger groups. What Pickfield didn’t know when she decided to move her operation to Lowville was that there was an old school-house literally on the other side of the road.  Once Pickfield saw the space she met with city property types and put together a rental arrangement.  She now has a very small meeting space, a larger meeting room and now one of those large school-house rooms as well.

Pickfield explains: “We focus on shifting the way people think and the way they work together.  When you connect all the various intricate pieces of the puzzle – the people, the process, and the place – you create a sort of “sweet spot” where we can collaborate and think creatively and find solutions to complex problems.”

So – what do they do up there in Lowville?

Pickfield is holding an event to introduce people to the setting and to give them an example of how it all comes together. She is holding – not sure what to call it – let’s say an “event” which Pickfield describes as a unique way to experience THiNKSPOT and then extends an invitation:

We hope you can join us, and look forward to catching up and seeing everyone on June 20th as we introduce THiNKSPOT 2.0  Take part in a Summer Sockstice in the idyllic world of Lowville for a time of storytelling through Art.

A wonderful selection of artists will share their creativity and encourage you to recognize the creativity that resides in all of us.

Join Walt Rickli, sculptor, Fred Magie, songwriter/musician, Kevin Sutton, spoken word and drummers Tribal Thunder for an evening of creativity through music and stories.

Admission – a half a dozen or so pairs of socks – there are people out there experiencing homelessness and a pair of socks is a big deal for them.

Want in?  Click here and reserve a spot.

There is no admission – there is the request that you buy a bundle of socks that will be distributed to people experiencing homelessness.  That’s why the event is being called a Summer Sockstice.

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1 comment to A place to learn how to think differently finds the right spot for them in Lowville. Bring socks.

  • Jack Arno

    GREAT IDEA !
    Walt Rickli extended and invitation to me …..
    I am looking forward to meeting Debra et all.

    Jack Arno
    Retired VP Sales and Marketing
    Photo Industry