I just finished reading the hashtag flows from the likes of #TED, #GDC, #SXSW, #LSCON, and #IAS12 - sheesh - talk about wishing to be able to have a superpower to transport from one awesome conference to the next and then instantly synthesize all the data coming out of those sessions into some insanely powerful new discipline that could sweep across multiple communities and problem sets like some benign Eye of Sauron leaving nothing but solved problems, renewed relationships and powerful new connections in its wake.
I feel like though we all go to these conferences and lament how we hate silos and then fail to tear down those silos in terms of the scope of the domain that we operate in. Think different yes! but also think more broadly! Take a look at this ridiculously small sample of tweets from these events.
- The best plenary #GDC keynotes have been the ones from outside the industry. Ron Moore, and even Ray Kurzweil despite the latter's insanity. (link)
- RT @tedxbraam: “Doodling is considered to be anti-intellectual and counter to serious learning.” — Sunni Brown http://t.co/t5yvlOq0 #TED (link)
- Social learning is not what you make people do (as in training) but something that happens naturally and spontaneously #lscon (link)
- Whoa! RT @theRab #sxsw tagged photos on instagram are growing at a rate of about 10-12k per day, casual observation (link)
- “@ejaeson: Flashy polish means nothing if a user wanders in and breaks your design doing something unexpected but totally natural. #ias12” (link)
Maybe conference organizers (hey @guildmeister and @hfisktwit et al, looking at you, w much <3 of course :-)) - need to think differently about their events. Maybe instead of professional development moments we need to think of them as professional exposure opportunities (no, not like that! ;-)) ...in the sense of new ideas and new domains. Its not like the speakers aren't good (they are) or that they're not saying smart things (they are) but they're saying them to same people. Maybe what we need is to swap the job of designing the schedule for the next conference with a different conference organizer.
Yes! What do you think it would look like if #GDC were designed by folks from #IAS12? What if #LSCON had its next program built by the folks who run #TED? And what if #SXSW organizers built the next #LSCON and #DEVLEARN programs? I swear if we just did that once - think of the absolutely SICK cross-polination that would go on and that would reverberate for years in our respective domains.