Opening Remarks Birthday Unconference

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My opening remarks on 'Working on Stuff that Matters' for my 40th birthday unconference

My opening remarks on 'Working on Stuff that Matters' for my 40th birthday unconference

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  • 1. WELKOM Welkom, as this is my birthday I'd like to claim a few minutes to start the day.
  • 2. 40 But first get this number 40 out of the way. Some of you asked me if I think this number 40 is an important thing for me. It is not. I donʼt really care about birthdays. The only thing that I find not entirely fair is that the time from 20 to 40 went faster than the time from 0 to 20. And that people tell me the next 20 years will go faster still. The number 40 seemed a good round number to use to bring a lot of people together for today. Otherwise it could just as well have been 39 or 41.
  • 3. WOW! Elmine and me are very happy and also amazed to have you all here. You are a very diverse and very smart bunch of people, and we are sure it will make for exciting conversations today. Over the last 8 years, catalyzed by social media we have met so many incredible people, and we saw our peer network virtually explode. For me, you, the network of people around me have become my prime place of learning. As a kid 35 yrs ago I felt that everything was somehow connected to everything, if only you could see the web of relations and links that was there. In school they taught me different, and told me everything was supposed to be in its own neat little box. When I was 26 I allowed myself to think in terms of those interdependent connections again. And internet (I'm online for 20 years in the fall) and esp the social web reinforced that. The sense of wonder I felt when the first connections with other people started popping up online, never left me again. I still feel that sense of wonder every day. Especially today.
  • 4. tool builders learning rockstars 3d printing scientists FabLabs germany bizz dev dutch finnish gov 2.0 entrepeneurs italy roomware norwegian denmark k-collector theology 20 yr old friends canada austria open data complexity virtual worlds ireland russian storytelling innovation conference switzerland education portuguese romanian agile projects physiotherapy uk law Because today we have this amazing group of people here There are those of you who are old and dear friends from 20 years ago. Others I've actually met only once or twice before. There's family, with his home built 3D printer. We have a dr. of theology who works in IT. We have civil servants on the front line of bringing social media into government. Some of you organize their own great conferences in Lisbon. Others work with me on stimulating the creation of more FabLabs. Some of you work in education, trying to innovate what we teach students. Some of you build tools, tagging tools before the word tagging was even coined, years ahead of the curve. We have scientists, entrepeneurs, rockstars. Masters of narrative methods and sensemaking. A dozen nationalities and countries represented, proof of the deep and diverse connections our new infrastructures have allowed us to build.
  • 5. Time / Currency Ernst, a client and a friend, wrote in his blog this week that time and attention are his currencies. We're rich today, all of us bringing a full day worth of time and attention to the table. So it's up to us to make that matter, make it worth spending all that currency. By having great conversations, by inspiring each other, by making new connections. In our minds, and with each other
  • 6. WSTM As a general theme I chose 'Working on Stuff that Matters' . That doesn't mean world peace, or ending hunger in the world per se. There are loads of big things and small things that matter. So how do we recognize the things that matter? How can we work on those in ways that matter? For me personally I ask those questions in the context of declining physical resources, failing macro systems, and an increasingly complex world. But also in the context of being able to tap into the new forms of abundance that digitalization and networked access to all of human creativity bring us.
  • 7. I am trying to translate those things into stuff that I can tackle in my own sphere of influence. And to me that is the stuff that matters. Stuff that's connected to the large scale things that are in motion, yet close enough to be of actual relevance in my own life. And the quest to bring more things into that place of actual relevance.
  • 8. Explore! Today we can explore together what is of actual relevance to us individually and what connections, support, experience and inspiration may be found in others.
  • 9. BarCamp = You create Your experience We are going to do that in a BarCamp format. Let me explain in some more detail what that means. It means you will create your own experience
  • 10. 20+ Sessions By us For us We have room for over 20 sessions, created by us, and created for us
  • 11. 10:20 Making program 10:45 First round (4 sessions) 11:25 Second round (4) 12:00 Third round (4) 12:30 Lunch + Walk 14:45 Making program 15:15 Fourth round (4) 15:55 Fifth round (4) 16:30 Round-up 17:00 Sociogram 18:00 Drinks 19:00 Dinner This is a rough outline of the program
  • 12. Diner Lounge Library (1st fl) Crow’s Nest (2nd fl) We have four rooms to use
  • 13. Sociogram And during the day, because most of you don’t know eachother, we’ll build a sociogram, a map of the connection we will build today, under the guidance of Patricia Wolf and Peter Troxler
  • 14. Principles / Rule There are a few principles and one rule that you need to follow. They are posted in all the rooms, so your glance will fall on them every now and then.
  • 15. Whoever is here Are the right people Whoever is here are the right people. You are the right people. Some couldn’t make it today, but in the end what only counts is who is here.
  • 16. Whatever you talk about is the right topic Whatever you talk about is the right topic. Because that then is the topic that you and your conversation partner want to address. That’s the topic you have energy for.
  • 17. Be prepared to be surprised Be prepared to be surprised. There’s so many great people here, from very diverse backgrounds and bringing very diverse perspectives. Open your mind, and allow yourself to be surprised by the new views and perspectives that will bring.
  • 18. Law of Two Feet And there is this one rule: the law of two feet. Whenever you are in a session or conversation where you feel you no longer have energy to contribute something, or to get something from it, let your two feet take you away and find another conversation you can join. It is not an insult to the others in the group you’re walking out of, it’s simply a matter of spending your currency of time and attention wisely. If you are hosting a session and someone is leaving the group, do not take it as a sign of boredom, do not be insulted. It’s just someone making the most of her day, just like you are. It’s perfectly ok to follow your two feet.
  • 19. tool builders learning rockstars 3d printing scientists FabLabs germany bizz dev dutch finnish gov 2.0 entrepeneurs italy roomware norwegian denmark k-collector Let’s make the program! theology 20 yr old friends canada austria open data complexity virtual worlds ireland russian storytelling innovation conference switzerland education portuguese romanian agile projects physiotherapy uk law Now let’s start building the program together, based on the large variety of things we all bring here today.