First published at www.lasolidaridad.com (cross-blogging) Learning about the Make Trade Fair campaign of Oxfam was an epochal event for me where I received enlightenment regarding the difference between aid and trade, the latter being a more effective approach on eradicating poverty. The implications are tremendous, knowing that trade is a concept that should entail the cooperation of governments, and for me this sounds too remote if not too utopic. I am looking for something a little bit more on a close proximity, which individuals and organizations can embrace to spin economic development and social transformation, in their own small way.
The whole way home I tried to write this blog post. Figure out what I wanted to say. I keep coming back to the same thing: at the end of the conference people were eager to share the work they'd done during the Making It Happen sessions. You can read Sarah's report to get a sense of what folks did.
And what then I think of what happens next. How do we take the energy and conversations in the room, on the remote conference and in the hallway, and the collected next actions. How do we take all of that and bring it back to our everyday world -- our community and conversations?
So the past hour or so has been a meeting and melding of minds, as geeks of all stripes gathered in small groups to hammer through projects together. Seth got newbies blogging, there was a group talking about Tagging to Save the World, the Drupal geeks gathered to do their thing (this happens all over the world, every time more than two of them get together), some folks Mashed Up some maps, others talked about Microformats (I finally found out what those are), some people got initiated into the Cult of Second Life (I checked it out but my feelings about video games run deep. I'm sorry.), Rolf demonstrated the new Melt social networking tool for climate change action, and I can't remember what else. There was more! Much more!
Transcripts from our May 30th remote conference sessions and May 30th hallway chat are now online. You can find transcripts on the remote conference page or on the hallway page -- or just follow the links below.
So now I'm having a table topic about Skypecasting. It's led by an "expert" who's done four Skypecasts. That qualifies him as an expert. Skypecasting has only been around a couple of months.
So what is a Skypecast? Skype is a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service. It enables you to make voice calls over your broadband hookup. Make those computer-to-computer calls for free. That's pretty standard for VoIP services, but Skype is now beta-testing a service to enable you to hold conversations with up to 100 people anywhere in Skype's worldwide network--also for free--for now. So it's a lot like a broadcast.
Things I learned: No way to restrict it at this time. It's open to the world. Skypecasts are listed in an open directory. But you can mute or eject callers you don't want in. (Seems kind of rude.) So if you want to convene your group you can email to the people you wanted. You could mute or eject other people. Has used it to put together a group to talk about higher education on Fridays with a specific set of friends. subject. But another idea discussed at the table is to put the conference public address directly into a laptop and then out to Skypecast. For nothing you could have another 100 people in on the event.
When you see this emerging technology your wheels begin to turn about possible uses. But this is definitely early-adopter technology. Lots of issues to deal with. But in a couple of years...
I'm at a loss for words, so a photo from yesterday's plenary will have to suffice. Over and over I hear people say, "what an incredible mix of people", and "everyone is so friendly and nice." Seems like people arrived ready to share, build and collaborate as well as to listen and learn.
Or maybe it is the enormous quanitity of cake available that is making everyone so happy:
Micah: Democracy is changing â€“ new tools, new strategies, new ways of thinking The cost of finding like-minded souls and banding together around a common cause is almost zero Network means something very different from the days of CBS, NBC, ABC People want to be heard Members expect more of a say Readers want to talk back to journalists/editors Citizens demanding more transparency and responsiveness from their governments
People are attracted to participation â€“ more than writing checks to support a cause â€“ also realizing they can be co-creators.
So the session question â€“ how can we adapt to this?