and why the twenty hexayurts? they were there to partition off the main business of the day: facilitated conversation in small groups. some form of internal market had been conducted in advance to arrive at the best 200 suggestions for topics, and the proposers were there to host each session. suffice to say, there were going to be a lot of ideas. and this is where we came in: could we capture them? visualise them? archive them?
“we” were stef and i, reforming our rave-era visuals partnership in our decidedly more rarified present – he a webby winner, clore fellow, top five of the observer future 500 (need i go on!?), and me deep on a journey of reorienting live events from the passive observation of ever more spectacle to something that builds on the character of liveness as i’ve experienced it, that exploits the potential of here and now of us together.
stef told me of the blue-sky conversations he’d had with the event’s mastermind, inspired arts producer boz temple-morris who had earned the trust of a corporate client to really explore what their events could be, and more importantly be for. this time, it all seemed to be around yurts, facilitated conversation, and the event being precisely the opposite of a bubble – the lynchpin of an on-going process yes, but that on-going process very much the thing.
a day or two later, stef had taken a conversation annotation web-app from idea to prototype. this was serious, and so i introduced stef to ford vj, kinetxt and how my *spark titler was changing the game of running screens at organisation’s events. there was something big and interesting that we could do here.
in the photo above, there’s a facilitated conversation in full flow, and on laptop the stef’s corporate-IT grade version of that original prototype1. most importantly, its enmeshed with all the other instances of the web-app in the room, and – drumroll – with our setup.
hardening and security is one thing, just don’t talk to stef about last minute requests for IE8 support on XP…