Several years ago Fahrenheit 212 invited me to present at their communal Genius Lunch. This time around it was to sit in, listen in and document experiential food artist Emilie Blatz presenting as the guest genius du jour. I talked afterward with Fahrenheit 212 original partner Marcus Oliver about his initial inspiration and why they continue their genius lunches.
As an innovation, strategy and design firm, we essentially make things better ~ and make better things. We have been around for 14 years, and doing Genius Lunch for the last 10. The idea is to help introduce other perspectives into people’s days, and help make our innovators better. These creative sessions work really well over lunch.
LEARNING IN 3 / 4 TIME
Each guest genius presents for around 45 minutes over lunch. Then there’s time at the end for questions, discussion, and for people to share their perspectives. Most of the geniuses who come are friends or family of staff here. They’re all individuals we think have something interesting to say; where our team will benefit from hearing their stories.
ALWAYS A FULL HOUSE
We do around 15 Genius Lunches a year. In the early days, the whole staff could fit around the table; now seating has spread to the windows, couches and anywhere you can get a comfortable space to watch. Sometimes we film the talks; you can see a selection of them on our website.
GOING BEYOND LUNCH
We often engage the guest genius in projects, as consultants, and also introduce them to our clients. Past genius’ presenters from the design firm AVROKO and The Meatball Shop we wound up working with ~ and of course we did some work with you!
THE FOMO FACTOR
We definitely have a high staff turnout at each genius lunch. When I sent the note out about today’s event, certain people from the company were offsite and really disappointed. There can be real FOMO when someone has to miss one. After lunch the team was buzzing. There’s always conversation following it; then we’ll often talk for a long time after that about the ideas and concepts we heard.
IN ADDITION TO THE BRAIN FOOD
We mix up the food we serve. Often the type of genius dictates what we’ll order. When The Meatball Shop founder spoke with us, naturally we had theirs. Today was Ox Verte. They only do catering, but they create a salad bar experience in the workplace in a really visually appealing way. It’s fresh and healthy and was a big hit with the team.