I took a break from my paternity leave to come to San Francisco and meet with about 100 other folks who work in the intersection of tech and social change. It’s a yearly event held by Aspiration, and facilitated by my close friend and mentor Gunner.

It’s 3 days of insane mind-meld with some of the smartest and most passionate people I ever get a chance to meet, and it’s an opportunity to meet my “tribe”. People who do the same type of work I do, for the same types of reasons. And people who have so much to teach. Mostly I just thought I’d take the opportunity to talk to some folks and see if it would help me clear my mind about what the future may bring in terms of professional projects. In many ways it did. It helped me clear my mind on some issues, wipe some silly ideas from the rusty membrane, and fuel up on some much less silly ones instead.

I’m basically refuelled, ready to think long and hard about my continuing role in the non-profit sector. I’ve always felt that if I didn’t have the passion and the skills to make a difference, then I might as well step back into the for-profit sector once again. I’ve had 3 days of intense discussions on topics as diverse as mobile security, founders syndrome and non-profit mgmt, writing books as documentation and ensuring that your non-profit remains value-driven rather than feature-driven. Luckily those 3 days of drinking from the firehose has left me convinced that I still have the skills and the passion to make a difference.

Now for the hard part: figuring out how to lay that puzzle in such a way that I can also contribute a little bit to the family upkeep. Wish me luck.