To the concept of the unConference as well as the discussion around Design Thinking I was introduced by Judi Piggott. I owe her many thanks for nagging me into participating. This background seems relevant to me in unDerstanding my build up of expectations for this unEvent.
I’ve enjoyed the first day and looking forward to the one I’m just about to head out to. In the past decade or so I’ve worked on eliminating expectations from big human gatherings as much as possible. People are trying hard to make things work and I seem to always expect more.
Trevor Boddy’s tour was a great start. His charm and knowledge are fascinating. The weather was perfect. The time was limited and it was nice to hear about the fragments of this city I wouldn’t be able to know about otherwise. The conversations I’ve had with my peers along the walk were only a start and they all felt great. The dim sum made us join a little late into the Emily Carr theater.
As soon as I sat down I was struck with the sense of boredom I tend to get when sitting in front of people sitting on the stage, talking to the audience. Having a speaker projected on the screen had a magical touch when the technology was first introduced. This was about the time we, the dim sum bunch got back from the morning tour. Harold Nelson had nice things to say which I’m sure were just as insightful as any of the other panelists’. In light of the concept and origins of the unConference…, well, that was the first blow in my face.
With all the talk about energizing a conference by opening up the floor to the audience, engaging in meaningful interaction between people and removing the invisible wall between “sages from the stage” and the rest of us, this was not what we got on the first day. My habit of lowering expectations proved to be useful for the first day.