Design Thinking, You See

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.

6 thoughts on “Design Thinking, You See

  1. Thanks for those insights. Both the logistics of the room and the shortened timing that we were forced into did not allow for the ‘vision’ I had designed for the flow of conversation/exchange. For that I apologize. Know that there were best intentions and what you experienced was not what was planned.

  2. I was surprised by the lack of questions and engagement from the audience yesterday. It would have been maybe more engaging to have the speakers leave the stage and leverage the group genius in the room for conversations. We spent a lot of time invoking the old masters or pitching our own deal and shied away from the tough questions other than poking at Bruce. I am hopeful today will be different in all the right ways.

  3. Don’t disagree, but we are still learning how to bring together a LinkedIn Group, a disparate collection of designers, business innovators and social innovators, and to learn how to share a common language. This is a design in process. Today is the unConference day.

  4. 4 panels may have been too many? Most valuable take-away for me were the connections I made. Day 2 when participants proposed discussion topics was VERY interesting – loved that format – would have liked to have heard a conversation ‘pitch’ from everyone at the conference and had more time to connect with specific people. Having said that, I came away pretty saturated. 🙂

  5. My mother’s best advice was: “Always leave them wanting more..” and like most good advice, I recalled it best AFTER I hadn’t taken it. (sigh)

    In the case of DT2011, I made a point of keeping that advice in mind, and also saying that ‘perfection is the enemy of good’. Designing the event was a collaborative effort and I appreciated that ‘failures’ are as important as ‘successes’ to give a group of diverse collaborators the opportunity to learn through the experience. Including me.

    All the ‘experience designers’ in the room identified the uphill battle we had to make a theatre setting interactive (especially at the start when folks were new to each other). We appreciate everyone’s willingness to do their best to get the most from that.

    We are recruiting for next year’s org team, don’t forget….

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