It all started with an idea. A simple idea. Just a tiny seed. In their clever country called Wales, Clare and David Hieatt set out to bring the DO-ers of the world together - the movers and shakers, the disrupters and the change-makers - and ask them to tell their stories. Under star lit skies, in a bind with nature, they would inspire others to go out into the world and DO, too. The intent was that pure, the motivation honest.
In 2008, The DO Lectures was born, in an inexplicable cross section between a festival and a conference. There were no name badges, no bad coffee and impersonal, draughty lecture halls. Instead, an intimate number of speakers and attendees gathered under canvas on the west coast of Wales and shared the whole three day experience as a community. They ate together, camped together, shared a beer around a fire as the sun went down together. That intangible but very real spirit is kinda what makes us different from everything else. The sodality of it all.
Every year since, DO has stuck to the same formula: ideas + energy = change. Inspiring speakers, an engaged class of attendees and a beautiful location. It’s a potent cocktail, and one that works. Year in, year out, people arrive with their tents and their dreams and leave three days later with a shift so profound it’s been said that DO changed their lives. What an incredible thing, a humbling thing. It’s the very reason we work all year round for something that lasts 72 hours.
After six years, we’ve come a long way … in more ways than one. We’ve grown, we’ve learnt and we’ve migrated across the world to three separate continents.
First, Duke Stump felt such an affinity with the essence of DO that after speaking in Wales in 2009, he took it home with him to Hopland, California, and an old Hop Barn surrounded by the beautiful vineyards of Campovida. DO USA is now organising their fourth event and they get better every year.
Then, DO attendees Sam Bell and Mel Jacobson glanced at each other during a particularly breath taking talk and wordlessly decided that Australia needed a DO Lectures, too. In short order, they built their team, assembled their sponsors and put on a seamless inaugural event only a few short weeks ago. They have the DO-er in them, that gnawing hunger and relentless drive to get things DOne.
For all of the DO family - from Wales, to USA, to Australia, to DO Books - the beating heart of this thing still remains as pure as that tiny seed we started from. DO was born as, and will always remain, a labour of love for everyone involved. We don’t do it for profit; in fact, any profit we make goes straight back in to making the next DO even better, and towards inspiring more people.
We do it for the look on someone’s face when a speaker’s words hit them. Right between the eyes. And their focus alters, just enough to show them the path they’re supposed to follow from that point on.
That moment is unquantifiably awesome. Watching the fire in the pit of their stomach spit and flare to life.
It's the inspiration business; it may not be financially lucrative, but man do we love it.