I recently watched Aaron Davis’ 2013 SCAA Symposium lecture in Boston, “Arabica — from Origin to Extinction,” and found myself reflecting on the profound impact of his research and also feeling grateful for the opportunity to share that knowledge, which has reshaped my view of the world relating to coffee.

Like so many others, I tend to look within my own narrow industry segment for answers to solve obvious and immediate problems but rarely look to the outside for a larger picture that can help to more effectively position, change and improve myself for the future. Working reactively, or by responding to each day’s challenges without taking time to explore new ideas is like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle one piece at a time without backing away from the table for a clearer look: one may complete all of the necessary tasks at hand but probably not as effectively and without truly understanding its significance.

Just take a look at his SCAA Symposium session:

The service provided by the SCAA Symposium is a crucial one that provides thoughts and ideas from innovators around the world that can help all of us to avoid the mistakes that we repeat year-after-year or generation-after-generation and to accomplish more than we ever thought possible. New experiences and exposure to new ideas change who we are, if in only some small way, and only through change is it possible to grow.

I’m going to be at the SCAA Symposium this year in Seattle and I hope that you will too.