When you need to get rid of cobwebs in your brain I recommend a few things

  • A long dinner with friends with a conversation repertoire
  • A long walk in the Sydney bush – in particular the ones with vast views to the water
  • A long canoe journey along the Sydney foreshore(s)
  • A week skiing with friends and family
  • A cottage in Finnish Lapland [winter] or by the lakes [summer]
    ……
  • And then there is Pop!Tech

Pop!Tech happened already some weeks ago but I have really had to digest it for a while to write about it.

I had never been to Maine before, nor to Camden. It is a gorgeous New England town by the Atlantic. Timing was perfect as the fall [autumn] leaves were getting to their joyous colors. My flight in was in a jumpy commuter plane from Boston to Rocklands. I had charming chat company in a man who is local to the Maine coast and was sharing insights about the area and the night coastline as we flew in.

From the airport I took a taxi to Camden and a motel very close to the Camden Opera House where the event was held.

As a pre-event extra I had booked myself to a workshop discussing mobile solutions in Africa. It was eye opening to see how the technologies are used when you have to be innovative to make it work. The solutions go from business tool related solutions [sales tool] to being a part of the health care system to community assistance.

The next day the show was full on.

I met with some wonderful people from the West Coast of the US, Seattle and San Francisco who became my guardian angels. For a newbie to Pop!Tech I got lucky as I was shown to a coveted seat out front, thank you Buzz, Pat and Brian . Every conversation I had with some 50 out of the 500 total attending was worthy of some stage time, everyone had something to say, a great business they were running or building or research they were doing etc – so many wonderful people and so little time. Lucky girl!

Pop!Tech has a mixture of presenters: artists, researchers, published authors, inventors, not for profits, religious leaders, technologists, community leaders.

Each presentation was a culmination of talent, persistence, belief, passion, dynamism wrapped up in 20 minutes of self-controlled or less so outpouring in the form of visual, performance, voice, texts, presence, storytelling, themes….

You can see the presentations on Pop!Tech site but what you have to be there for are the discussions you have

  • with the presenters who for the most part take their turn in the audience to be wowed by the other presenters and
  • with the audience which is also vetted to attend.

The idea as I see it is to form a large conversation to move things forward, to engage people who have ideas, means, energy and contacts to offer.My take aways and impressions

  • Africa is enterprising
  • Mobile is growing in millions of niches
  • Solar has great future potential
  • Creating the system is hard
  • Youth is ready for green leadership and roles
  • Light is fundamental is villages without electricity – there is a solution
  • Worlds first not for profit pharmaceutical company was founded a few years ago
  • Now biotech company joins nfp pharma and gets Gates Foundation to join to eradicate some illnesses
  • Artists Association should become the new Ministry of Defense [Vanessa German – you gotta see the argumentation]
  • We disgard a lot of cans, bottles, printed paper if you have trouble with the numbers go see it visualised by Chris Jordan
  • Storytelling is an old art form, at Pop!Tech we were delighted with digital storytelling from Alaska and other [Jonathan Harris]
  • Africa has a values and culture issues from years of hardship and misery – how to work on that while at the same time treating the symptoms
  • Language is a tricky bedfellow, we screw up so much in life by an inability to converse more directly without ‘feeling like’ we’re losing face, potentially [Pinker, I am about to start reading his book which we found in our goodie bags] – I always preferred direct talk, hard as it might be at times to receive and give, makes for a better relationship
  • Men and women, yes it is such a fun topic and when delivered with humor it had us cracking up – we’re just wired differently. Who is smarter than the other? I [dj] think we have to know which smarts we’re talking about [Louanne Brizendine on brain]
  • What we communicate with our skin – a la modern anthropology
  • Eating al desko is one modern issue – until we all embrace slow living – what is it that we’re in so big a hurry to get to, I don’t think many even know, it is just churning wheels and feeling important
  • Affordability is not an economic problem, it is an engineering and design problem
  • Microfinance works real well in many countries
  • “Money is a sign of poverty” Ian Barks {?}
  • ML King did not change the world by saying, “I have a problem”
  • Fast trends get all the attention and slow trends make all the change [Brand in 06]
  • Mass observation from the 1930s, recording daily lives, citizen journalism
    my own addition to this is history will never be the same, not formal, not as rewritten by the victorious, but tells us how we thought, felt, appreciated, hated, commented, understood, …on a daily basis and recorded [Google and other projects??] for generations to come
  • Living in cities is a form of consensual hallucination. London has food for 3 days, fragile?
  • Participatory sensory mapping has fascinating potential – need to talk to Christian Nold more about that
  • Making toys is art and science – beauty of blending the two
  • Harvesting the ambient RF already out there for wireless power
  • We need some things to be present to threatening change: a face of terror, speed/abrupt change, visceral to us, morality of change. All these lacking in climate change and we sit and wait….

…..and much more

Thank you!!!!!

One Response to Pop!Tech – Camden Maine – Oct07

  1. Our pleasure…see you in October of ’08?

    As it only gets better…

    Buzz

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