The meaning of cake

To do improvisational theater together, one has to build an environment in which it is okay for adults to be silly and weird with one another. It is risky to play in professional settings. We work years on creating our professional character and to do something that is counter to that character is to take a risk. An important quality of risk-forward environments is being able to fail.

In the American Meteorological Society Early Career Leadership Academy (AMS ECLA), I asked the group, “how do we want to celebrate our mistakes?” Two people spoke simultaneously, “high five” “cake.” From this was born the high-five-cake that is now the signature meme of this unique gathering of people who built their community together. #cake.

It is not important for people to say “cake”. The culture of a group is created in the moment, with human beings looking uncomfortably, awkwardly and invitingly at one another.

AMS ECLA scientists are taking on the social, cultural aspects of their fields: water, weather, climate science. They want to create vibrant, innovative, growing environments where what each person gives is used to create something better in the world.

Social leaders see that science has a culture and that it is ours to create. Improvscience is one of the resources available for us to build our communities and grow our culture. Thank you AMS ECLA for growing and building scientific and social leaders. #cake