Spoke at geeKyoto yesterday: had a wonderful time and left feeling energised and inspired. Lots of different things to think about, a few changes I want to make to the way I live, and (hopefully) the start of some really interesting conversations: there were some really bright and talented people I felt privileged to be around. Full marks to messrs. Simpkins and Hammersley – thank you both!
I’ve got longer notes from the day that I need to digest before I put up here: broad themes that seem to stand out right now are a faith in the power of making the invisible visible (so a lot of talk about data visualisation and open data), the importance of community in effecting social change and a refreshing lack of faith in technological fixes that are unsupported by changes in behaviour. Two things that seemed to arise from a lot of people’s talks that I need to think more about: all the failures that people described (in regulating emissions, or in delivering aid or technology) seemed to be more about management and process than technology or access to data, despite this last point being a central article of faith for the conference, and I wonder if that might be a more productive (though more boring, perhaps) thing to think about. And the second was this idea of “community” – it seems to come loaded with a set of ideas about the sort of people in the community, that they’re nice people like us, whereas of course plenty of revolting people form communities as well. Minor point, really.
Anyway. My bit didn’t make anyone leave, which is my usual measure of success, but I think there were a few points that I might have offered people in a more structured and articulate way. It was a good experience to speak to a different audience, though, having spent the last couple of years talking mainly to education conferences and policy types, and I’ve got a few points to consider for the next time I talk in front of people. Learning, learning, always learning. For what it’s worth, I’ve put my slides up here if you’re interested. And I was really pleased to discover, during a vanity google, a twitter survey on a question that Ben posed afterwards, from Jemimah Knight: really interesting responses, will have to give them a bit of a mull.
So. Notes to come on speakers and ideas but short version: it’s brilliant, go to the next one.