Upcoming: BarCamp Bodensee 2010

Well, buzzing a lot prevents me from blogging more – sad truths of an ever evolving digital smarter work knowledge worker’s lifestyle. But then again, other than with Google buzz (and this movie we all know and love) the first rule of BarCamp is “You talk about BarCamp”.

And the http://barcampbodensee.mixxt.eu/ this weekend is something we better talk about – an international event, attracting people from France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark et al.

Denmark? Yes, I am happy that Kim Bach is making the trip from Copenhagen. I met him last year at reboot – another international event drawing geeks in literally droves – and we had the great time that’s facilitated by an athmosphere of kindness to strangers and intellectual curiosity. Yes, my reboot experiences are fueled by both the shared understanding and the sparkling contrarian discussions – it’s a very special climate and I am sad that this year will be a year of breath-taking and pausing (there’s a substitute for those that can’t live without their yearly rebooting fix experience). And for crying out loud I can’t even make it to the Ersatz because I’ve got a major event lined up. More on that later.

For now, let’s blog about the proposed sessions at #bcbs10, there’s some interesting stuff in there, my selection:

You see, I am cheating a bit about the interesting proposed sessions, but I really do hope that we can do some collaborative, live-documenting the BarCamp in Wave this year:

Yes, that’s the second rule of BarCamp: You blog wave about BarCamp …

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Upcoming: 2010 conferences calendar (and what are they good for)

Yes, the social web continues to change this consultant’s and analyst’s work – it’s changing the ways we think, interact and work. Yikes, one could say that the plethora of networked information and virtual network opportunities should be enough for everybody, but I don’t care for information overload fears and shivers.

Thus information-(over)loaded conferences are fine for me (that is if they provide some inspiration, they’re always wonderful and productive interruptions …), but besides these and some other reasons of going there as a freelancer, it’s basically about the opportunity for meeting old friends and real networking. They are chances to have the real personal conversations that deepen networks. And that’s why here’s my preliminary schedule for 2010:

First and right around the corner is Lotussphere, next week in Orlando. I am basically sitting on packed suitcases, but the whole event has it’s own tag here already and will trigger a lot of posting for sure. More coming up later on …

Did I say real conversations need face-to-face contact? I need to reframe this, otherwise my participation in the Virtual Enterprise 2.0 Conference on February 2, 2010 won’t fit, huh? I expect this to be equally good as my virtual participation in last year’s E2Conf in San Francisco (much of it is buried inside tweets and bookmarks, alas).

Now, it’s so much easier to participate in such an event than actually getting there, that’s why I am hesitating to register for Lift Austria in March. But the topic “Enable!” is as tempting as Vienna in spring …

Mechanistic models and a deterministic worldview may have worked well for the last centuries, but are not apt for the upcoming challenges we are facing today. Rather, we need completely different concepts and attitudes, accepting that the underlying processes escape our control and are unpredictable. It seems that the concept of “Enabling” is the key to this shift of thinking. Enabling is the art of carefully configuring adequate levers (physical space, networks, resources, etc.) that best support specific innovation processes, such as idea generation, prototyping, market entry, etc.

OK, then, on with already booked events – starting with re:publica April 14-16 in Berlin – Germany’s blog, social media and digital society main event. Then CeBIT & WikiCAMP in March, the german LinuxTag 2010 in Berlin (will see if I can make it there, June 9-12) – because it may collide with my travel plans for the 2010 E2Conf in Boston, June 14-17. Later this year I will try to return to Copenhagen for another reboot

Add to this several BarCamps – including the Barcamp Nürnberg (February), Barcamp Furtwangen (May), BarCamp Bodensee (June) and possibly BarCamp Ruhr too (may collide with Lift Austria, sigh).

Oh, and right – I need to get some work done in between as well ;)

Above picture of cute calendar work http://www.flickr.com/photos/booberrystudio/ / CC BY 2.0
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Howard Rheingold on essential media literacies

21st century media literacies from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

“Increasingly I think the digital divide is less about access to technology and more about the difference between those who know how and those who don’t know how,” he said. He’s convinced that what’s most important is not access to the Internet — we have more than a billion people on the Internet now and there are 4 billion phones out there — but access to knowledge and literacies for the digital age. “The ability to know has suddenly become the ability to search and the ability to sift” and discern. “Skill plus social” is the key.

“the difference between those who know how and those who don’t know how” – this is ringing a bell also for the corporate setting (granted, we need this more when thinking about knowledge workers working in ad-hoc and informal multi-project work settings than on the automated shop floor).

For Enterprise 2.0 it’s always less about providing the tools but about helping people evolve and develop the methods they need to do their job better (sounds like the real job of the Enterprise 2.0 change management consultant, huh?). And if that helps improve “day to daycorporate life” all the better.

Notice also the essential skills (literacies, I call them media competencies):

  • Attention (we need attention management ..)
  • Participation (and empathy I say)
  • Collaboration
  • Critical consumption (having a well-tuned internal crap detector)

Update: There’s also a video of Howard Rheingold’s talk on 21st century literacies at the Reboot Britain conference (40 min in totl) here

Posted via web from frogpond’s posterous

upLIFTing conference videos – being an innovative traditionalist and ideas on changing innovation

What makes conferences special? Is it the athmosphere, is it people, is it food? Is it after-conference provision of videos or blog posts?

Well, even when I say that it’s easier to scan through blog posts after conferences sometimes having video content available is just cool. TED is in fact offering many cases in point (and I am waiting for the idea of organized TED video screenings to take off), reboot videos are probably a good example too. Then there’s the LIFT conference, a

[...] series of events built around a community of pioneers who get together in Europe and Asia to explore the social implications of new technologies. Each conference is a chance to turn changes into opportunities by anticipating the major shifts ahead, and meeting the people who drive them.”

Some of the talks are free to see, like the one from John Thackara on Changing the Planet:

[...] gives a provocative talk about the role of design in finding solutions to the ecological crisis. After inviting us to avoid terms such as “future” or “sustainable” as they maintain a certain distance to the problem we face, he shows a rich set of projects he participated in. He makes the important point that the resources to be put in place already exist and that they might not necessitate complex technological developments.

And there’s also Bruce Sterling, who talks about the “Internet of things”:

[if it was] just about adding chips, antennas and interactivity to the things we own, it would be no big deal. Discover a wholly different perspective: Open, unfinished objects which can be transformed and reprogrammed by their users; Objects that document their own components, history, lifecycle; Sensitive and noisy objects that capture, process, mix and publish information. Discover an Internet of Things which intends to transform the industrial world as deeply as the current Internet transformed the world of communication and media.

From an collaboration (or shall I say organizational structures and design, or even more cheekily, Enterprise 2.0) point of view this little talk by Lee Bryant is most interesting, take 5 minutes of your time and see if you’re a traditionalist like him:

Equally interesting (but with no video to be checked out so far) are the talks by Marc Giget (Cnam) and Catherine Fieschi, Counterpoint/British Council on Changing Innovation:
First one on the end of IT (#yesyesyes), where Euan Semple got involved obviously (as living and walking proof for “Social computing for the business world”), second one on “Innovating with the non-innovators”:

  • Today, corporate information systems are innovation’s worst enemies. They set organizations and processes in stone. They restrict the enterprise’s horizons and its networks. They distort its view of the world. But ferments of change emerge. Meet those who breathe new air into current organizations, those who design tomorrow’s Innovation Systems.
  • Innovating used to be a job in itself. It has become a decentralized procès which includes, in no particular order, researchers, entrepreneurs, designers, artists, activists, and users who reinvent the products they were supposed to consume. Why is that important? What does it really change? And where will it stop? WILL it stop somewhere?

I think that both points are of interest to Enterprise 2.0 practitioners (who are – when they understand their job right – designing tomorrow’s IT systems, err, innovation systems), while catering for both the needs of their corporate users and allowing for the freeform emergence of user-contributed solutions. And yes, it’s funny in a way that “old and basic” tools like wikis excel at both of these tasks …

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reboot11 – recapping day 2 and wrapping it all up

Time for a wrap-up, huh? Blogged about day 1 here, now onto the remainders, which included favourite talks by Lee Bryant, Euan Semple, JP Rangaswamy, Stowe Boyd and Bruce Sterling (interview here).

And with favouriote speakers on stage I am a bit hesitating to see it like Anders who writes:

[...] the slightly holier-than-thou tech-savvy social media web crowd in the hall. And the ribbing was needed, in my opinion, since the first keynotes of the day – Lee Bryant and Evan Semple – had been gagfests of we-know-what-it-is-about-and-they-do-not-comments on enterprises and old media, entertaining and insightful though they were.

I don’t think this was only for the converted, the smart guys who get it – talks like these provide us with inspiration and things to think about. Granted, from the outside “cyberutopianism and activism” look very much like a sick insider’s joke, yet it’s more mainstream than one assumes at first. The changes are underway, both in social media as whole and in the enterprise.  And the topics of this year’s reboot are probably more mainstream than we realize, like we can see e.g. in the race for the colonization of social media. As Stowe Boyd demands:

[...] we are not online for money, principally. We have created the web to happen to ourselves: to shape a new culture and build a better, more resilient world. And we need better media tools than we have at present, to make that a reality.

So reboot11 was a success in my mind – giving us stories and storylines (or shall we say a Reboot mythology) to proceed. And some nifty action projects like the solar bike went live too (the rebike in fact turned out to offer better wifi than the regular reboot one, watch the video …). After all you can’t fit everything into two days, sometimes you just have to be content with what you’ve got, it’s like Casper says:

[...] a lot of friendly people and generally the conference went beyond my expectations for a reasonably small tech (not in the real sense anyways) get-together as this was. I hope to join next year as well.

To close, my short video interview with Ton Zijlstra, talking about what makes reboot so special (and yes, some systems work best when they’re not stable):

ps. reboot presentations get collected on slideshare, tagged with ‘reboot11′ and then probably added to the reboot group on slideshare

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reboot11 – recapping days 0 and 1

Ah, I promised some learnings, did I? First one: it turned out a good idea to arrive early, that is on Wednesday afternoon, the day before reboot. When I got to Kedelhallen some people were already there and while I was too late for getting into Wemind’s event there I happened to meet Kim Bach, with whom I had a very cool conversation around everything in between anarchy, bread baking and zoos and then a nice walk to the pre-reboot boat trip.


I guess there have been some photos taken at this boat-trip, which was nice and a good start to an evening at the Copenhagen beaches  …

OK, now onto some of the talks on day one, I arrived early too:

Matt Webb started the talks, demanding more cultural invention – if only as a way to do more interesting things. Agree, we should stop “solving problems” and start “inventing culturally”, if this means going for the deep thinking. Needless to say that it all related to “design thinking” – and yes, “design has to invent, to create new ways of doing things, and to contribute to culture”.

David Weinberger, here I can say it with Peter’s words: “David Weinberger, who I always love to see talk, spoke about the web being a morally charged tool, and about optimism”. Yay, nice video, found via Peter:

Missed the talk by Matthias Müller-Prove, but went into Martin Jul’s session on what we can learn from Japan when they rebuilt after World War 2 – as they called on Deming for ideas, the session evolved into a collection of management principles (“Reboot your management“), some of whom are equally fitting our world of Enterprise 2.0.

It concerned Deming’s 14 principles for management, the humanistic, long-term thinking, keep learning, use the scientific method, and build from quality philosophy, that helped shape companies such as Toyota and Honda..

Researching the background of his work, it was interesting to see how the World-War 2 Training Within Industry principles played a big role in shaping his ideas and how its focus on operating from a basis of scarcity – such as saving material, time and labour to win the war faster, plays so well in an entrepreneurial setting and in cutting through the big-company trap of just throwing more money at problems.

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Back from reboot, now onto blogging (again)

I am back from reboot 11, after basically two action-packed days on Thursday and Friday, and more socializing on the following weekend. Turned out to be a good idea to prolong the Copenhagen stay, not only was the weather very fine but got to meet some cool people too. And it sure helps the post-event wind down – happening when you have to retreat from the special reboot athmosphere into something more regular.

So I want to collect some takeaways based on me attending selected sessions (I was at nearly all of the keynotes) – yes, you only get a limited view of what was happening, but with sometimes five or six talks in parallel, and more longer-lasting side-projects running all of reboot time this is just the way it is. And of course it only is a part of my braindump mindmap …

My highlights included talks by (in no specific order) Matt Webb (check out his presentation), Lee Bryant and Bruce Sterling. That said, Bruce Sterling’s closing note was grappling, but some were supposing he’s making fun. I will leave that to your judgement, check out the video with him explaing his talk in short words:

Overall I learned a lot, not alone in the sessions but also in the many informal conversations happening around the conference. And while I am not feeling that much rebooted it inspired me to tackle some things anew, to refurbish some stalled mental investments and encouraged me to think about changing and tuning some of my approaches by giving me hints and inspiration (like “What does it mean to be an expert in social media?”, “How do I want to proceed with partnering, i.e. consulting in teams?” and more). Moreover, I decided to put more energy in my blogging once more, that is stepping up the frequency, together with being more flexible as to the ways it’s employed.

This was influenced in a way by Stowe‘s talk at reboot, which reminded me how lucky we are when we’ve got our own, self-designed venues to publish to the web. And while Twitter is cool (I think it’s way cooler than Facebook for that part), Friendfeed is great at managing (work)-lifestreams and other tools have their merits as well, blogging, that is putting up stuff with a permalink and means to comment, is still the difference between living a life of self-direction or dwelling in digital favelas. And I can still push all of what I want into the other feeds …

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