RE: ORG: Conference Architecture (Was: Confronting The Singularity Conference)

Date: Fri Jun 02 2000 - 13:17:04 MDT

--- Original Message --- Wrote on
Fri, 2 Jun 2000 09:37:45 EDT

>There ARE some good things about the multi-track pattern of
the last two
Foresight SA gatherings. The small groups allow better opportunities
interaction and insure that there is always something interesting
going on
for everyone.<

Sorry I missed it this year. My experience last year was educational.
 First, I appreciated the challening approach that Foresight
set up for the gathering. I found it visually appealing re:
the large board display where ideas and sessions kept "evolving"
and attendees could pick and choose how much data they wanted
to take in for the weekend, with whom they wanted to learn, and
with whom they wanted to nanoschmooze (as Chris says).

Second, I enjoyed designing and leading a session. From this
perspective, the gathering was instructional because I had to
deal with (a) how to get people to the session --whether or not
my session would be full or if it would be a no show; and (b)
how to keep participants focused and interested while much noise
and movement was occuring around the session.

Overall for most sessions, periferial factors such as lack of
ecostics and physical partisions caused interference but in the
overall scheme, they were minor. The major interference was
larger sessions scooping up participants from smaller sessions
because of better seating arrangements, voical power, or person
power. In otherwords, I noticed that participants (such as myself_
who might change sessions mid-point pending on popularity of
session as well as content. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad
thing. In fact, it creates a fluid and mobile environment (similar
to the coctial party vision that Robin mentioned previously).
 The downside for people (like me) is that I want to know what
is happening in other sessions!

Problems occur when there is an imbalance with context and intent.
 If a conference is designed to function like the leaning Tower
of Pisa, it needs to have some stabilazing turf to hold it upright.

<I can envision trying to get the best of both kinds of conference.
 Perhaps a
traditional auditorium for single-speaker/panels with large-group
coupled with a separate, nearby area in which "nodes" could be
set-up for
ad-hoc discussions. The nodes MIGHT be labeled for use by people
in particular subjects. These node areas would have comfortable
places to put up posters, whiteboards, etc.

A "conference architecture" might be built around having only
two large-group
presentations per day, and the rest of the time could be reserved
for ad-hoc
discussions around the "nodes".>

This similar to the architecture Max is working on and Extro
5 will be different than the conferences we have had in the past.
 This is a good thing.


"The best defense? Make ideas happen."


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