Tag Archives: conference

Lift13, Gudrun Pétursdóttir: Icelandic Constitution

Here are my live notes of the Lift Conference session “Democracy in Distress: Re-engineering Participation.” Keep an eye open for mistakes, inaccuracies, and other flakiness due to live-blogging.
Gudrun Pétursdóttir

From the Californian dream to the cold reality of the Icelandic quest for a Constitution for the people by the people.

Economic collapse in 2008. Huge amount of public anger. Demanded a cleaner and reformed constitution.

Iceland has been independent since 1944 (before: Denmark). Hasty constitution adopted with great national support (98%). Was to be revised very soon but it never happened in the hands of the Parliament. Maybe they weren’t the right ones to deal with it? Vested interests.

How they did it: put together a national assembly which had only one role, work on the constitution. Random sample, 18-92. Very well-prepared. In one 8-hour day of work, they had drafted out the major points that the constitution should include, and were able to publish it online the very next day.

25 people elected from the general public (anybody could run) form the Constitutional Council. Worked for 4 months solid (leave of absence from their work). Draft proposals posted on the website and open to public comments. 3600 comments. 370 formal suggestions processed by the Council. So we have a bill which took shape in the Council but with open exchange of opinion with the community. General feeling of being able to participate.

After 4 months the Council presented to the president of the parliament a bill for the new constitution — which had to be done in a way that was in line with the old constitution: only the parliament can change the constitution.

A year and a half later the constitutional bill is still under deliberation by the parliament. Heck. Conventional party-political practices: the opposition has to be against, by principle anything the ruling majority supports.

The question remains: will the parliament manage to complete the task that the public has contributed so much to? Dreary and pessimistic last slide. Whatever happens however, Iceland will never accept to go back to the previous ways of having the Parliament only work on the new constitution. They have tasted participation. steph-note: that’s depressing

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Posted in Live Blogging | Tagged conference, democracy, geneva, Gudrun Pétursdóttir, iceland, lift, lift13 | Leave a comment

Lift13, Micah Daigle: Upgrade Democracy

Here are my live notes of the Lift Conference session “Democracy in Distress: Re-engineering Participation.” Keep an eye open for mistakes, inaccuracies, and other flakiness due to live-blogging.
Micah Daigle

Activist for 8 years.

Story: city with only one clock, owned and controlled by the king. He’d tell people when to wake up, go to work, eat, etc. Revolution, stormed the palace, took the clock, and put a replica in the public square. Good time will be kept, and it will be kept in public. Years and years later, the clock starts wearing out, and it cost so much to maintain it that only a few wealthy people were able to do it: they became the clock-keepers, and controlled it just like the king. People took the clock apart and realized it had inherent flaws. They came up with a better solution, but it was rejected by the people, because the clock in the city centre was the symbol of their freedom. The clock remained. Years later, completely solved by a solution which did not involve taking the clock down.

This is about democracy, not about a clock. How we make decisions together.

Democracy is both an ideal and a system. You can agree with the ideal and not the system.

Micah Daigle at Lift13

We have direct and representative democracy. In CH and California, hybrid system. Direct democracy seems like a good idea until there are too many people making too many decisions. 100-page book in the mail with all the stuff one has to vote on (California). But that was just a small percentage of things the government needed to vote on. They had got on the ballot because of money, etc. Not that good a system.

Representatives do not represent all your opinions on all the issues. People get in there because they care about certain issues, but then need to take a stand on others, start trading favors, slippery slope to corruption. Money buys access to politicians.

Humans have inherent limitations (trust, etc.). What if we could turn them into strengths? “What if we could represent each other on the issues that we know best?” What would that look like? Well, we would vote on issues we knew about or cared about. And delegate our vote to somebody else we trusted for other issues. But what about money, buying votes? If I’m representing my friends, that would be an incentive to not get bought out (would break their trust). But what if? Kick the person out of the system. “Liquid democracy”, “distributed democracy”, “dynamic democracy”… better: networked democracy.

We move from hierarchy to networks. Though old networks turn into pyramids. Everything the internet touches, though, seems to want to turn into a network. Makes sense our democracy would become networked. Makes sense in theory, but how does that work out in practice?

To change something, build something that makes the existing model obsolete.

Back to our town clock: wrist watches.

Lesson here: this isn’t about upgrading democracy, but upgrading collective decision-making.

Where are we now? Started thinking about how to build it. But to build the network, need to raise money, which would in a way trap the network inside a pyramid. Others than him in the same situation. Started company called collective agency. Looks for these projects that might transform the world, but can’t get funded by traditional VCs, and helps them tell their story in a way that allows them to crowd fund them effectively.

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Posted in Live Blogging | Tagged conference, democracy, geneva, lift, lift13 | Leave a comment

Lift13, Maximilian Stern

Here are my live notes of the Lift Conference session “Democracy in Distress: Re-engineering Participation.” Keep an eye open for mistakes, inaccuracies, and other flakiness due to live-blogging.
Maximilian Stern

Think tank on Swiss foreign policy (foraus). Anybody can join and contribute to drafting papers on Swiss foreign policy. Party membership declining.

We face big challenges, however, and need to act — there is a tension here with our desire to include people’s concerns for our political decisions. Protests: Stuttgart 21. Nuclear power plant shutdowns. But you need to install new ways to produce electricity before shutting down power plants. Germany: wind in the north, industry in the south, so you need high voltage power lines to bring electricity from the north to the south.

=> new ways to integrate people into political decision-making.

But what kind of reform?

  • direct democracy. Flaw: you can say yes or no, but not make comments. And it takes a long time to implement direct democracy.
  • liquid democracy (cf. German Pirate Party). Only works within one party, the big parties are losing members.
  • deliberative democracy: public discussion to reach decisions.
  • go one step further: collaborative democracy.

Maximilian Stern at Lift13

Developed 6 tools for deliberative democracy:

  • analyze
  • check the facts
  • joint planning
  • engage financially (citizen’s wind parks)

Examples: Iceland tried to crowd source its new constitution. Merkel’s dialogue with randomly picked citizens. Shell project connect to build a pipeline under the Rhine. Invited people to their plants and talked to them. Ended up changing their project a bit (different placement), and the project cost a little more, but they avoided all the inevitable protests.

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Posted in Live Blogging | Tagged conference, democracy, geneva, lift, lift13, max stern, maximilian stern | Leave a comment

A Conference Where I Hardly Knew Anybody!

I had a really lovely time at Coworking Europe — it was actually very relaxing to be at a conference where I hardly knew anybody to start with. I got to know the two people I’d already met a bit better: Ramon Suarez of BetaGroup Coworking in Brussels, and Linda Broughton who founded and ran Old Broadcasting House coworking in Leeds, and was also one of the speakers at Going Solo.

It was really a change to not have the pressure of wanting to catch up with an inordinate amount of people I already knew and liked and would end up spending only a few minutes with, as it often is when I go to my “usual” conferences Lift and LeWeb.

A conference full of “new people” is like a library full of unread books. I certainly missed out on getting to know some other great people, but I did get a chance to hang out with and get to know some really lovely people I hadn’t even heard of before coming to the conference.

I love how the world is always ready to present you with new stimulating encounters. I personally like taking the time to know people a bit and tend to hang out with the same crowd throughout the conference. This is fine if you don’t know too many people. It can be very frustrating if the people you’re not hanging out with are also people you already know and appreciate and aren’t spending time with during the one occasion in the year where you have a chance to. And then I end up writing posts like this one.

It was also really nice to be in an uncommercial conference. To have a day of unconference included (I ended up hosting a session, something I absolutely hadn’t planned to do, and did on the spur of the moment because I wanted us to question the assumption that “more” is always “better” (more people, more money, more networking). I got the same kind of “high”, inspiration and remotivation that I got from my participation in Startup Weekend Lausanne earlier this year. I think I need to start going to slightly geekier events again. Like Paris Web.

Some of the people I met and got to spend a little time with, in addition to Luis and Linda: Rebecca, Stefano, Julie, Philippe, Anna, Tony, Adam, Pierre, Nicolas, Pascale, Anna… and a few more of you whose names I can’t recall right now or never learned. Say hi in the comments!

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Posted in Event Musings | Tagged conference, Coworking, coworking europe, people | 3 Comments

LeWeb’12 Paris Official Bloggers: Selection Underway

[fr] C'est le moment de vous porter candidat pour être blogueur officiel à la conférence LeWeb à Paris. Lisez l'annonce sur le blog de Frédéric.

LeWeb - Register Now!Here we go! Selection for official bloggerdom at LeWeb’12 in Paris (4-6 December 2012) is underway. Time to apply if you haven’t heard from us and think you would make a good addition to the team. Time, also, to pass this around to all the various international and “rising star” bloggers and podcasters around you!

Read the announcement on Arne’s blog.

Here’s a link to the form if you can’t see it above. Please tweet/facebook it.

Here are some banners and badges for your blog.

See you in Paris in December!

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Posted in Conferences, My work | Tagged blogger accreditations, blogger relations, bloggers, conference, leweb, leweb12, lewebparis, official bloggers, paris | Leave a comment

Blogging in the Morning: Lift12, 3615, StartupWeekend

[fr] Bloguer le matin. Lift12, il fallait y être (ne manquez pas l'an prochain si vous n'êtes pas encore allés à Lift). Ecoutez la nouvelle émission de Laurent Haug: 3615, l'émission qui se demande si le 21e siècle est une bonne idée. Je n'ai pas encore pu mais je me réjouis. Et je vais au StartupWeekend Lausanne ce week-end, il y a encore quelques places, qui d'autre vient?

En rapport, lire Donner un bol d'air frais à son cerveau: conférence Lift, StartupWeekend sur le blog de l'eclau.

Here we go again. Inspired by one of my good friends who has been working in her studio in the morning and doing paid work in the afternoon, I’m going to have another go at “blog in the morning”.

I have, as always, a ton of things I want to write about. This post will be random.

I spent three days at Lift conference last week. For those of you who have never been to Lift, you must put it on your calendar for next year. Buy the tickets in the summer, so you get the early-early bird price. Lift is a wonderful conference. The talks are fascinating, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, the fondue is awesome.

I live-blogged the conference, like I do each year. I’m never happy with the job I do as a live-blogger (I always think others like Adam or Suw do a way better job than I do), but I’ve come to accept that live-blogging is gift not that many people have, and that I’m good enough at it to do a decent job of it and deserve my pass year after year (until now, at least).

Speaking of Lift, Lift’s founder Laurent Haug has started a podcast/show I haven’t yet had time to catch up with (I’m dying to) called 3615 (reference to old French Minitel codes). It’s in French. I think it’s great that it’s in French. What’s it about? It basically calls itself “3615, the show that wonders if the 21st century is a good idea or not”. Neat.

Lift this year properly lifted me ;-) . I feel excited about technology again: 3D printing for example, I’m actually very tempted to order a RepRap kit and build one for eclau. Or robots.

I’ve decided to take part in the next Lausanne StartupWeekend. It’s this coming week-end! There are still a few open spots if you want to sign up, by the way. Julien Dorra is the guilty one: his talk made me realize I’d love to take part in the kind of events he was talking about. Actually, I’ve been inspired more than once to organize hack-dayish events: Website Pro Day, World Wide Paperwork and Administrivia Day, and more recently (still at the idea stage) “important but not urgent” days for eclau. Basically, “let’s get together and do stuff”. I also find Addict Lab fascinating, even though I still (after a lunch with Jan) can’t quite wrap my brain completely around it.

I like playing with ideas and doing a variety of things. Maybe putting myself in the kind of context StartupWeekend offers will also help me understand better what it is that I do. Plus, it’s going to be great fun.

So, anyway, I’m going to StartupWeekend. I even have an idea to pitch (I think). Who else is coming?

While I’m rambling on about Lift, one major take-away for me was the idea that information overload is part of the human condition. Go read my notes of Anaïs Saint-Jude’s talk, and once the video is online, listen to it. Well, listen to the whole Lift conference, actually. That’s what week-ends are for!

There is a whole lot more to say about Lift (3 days, folks!) but I’ll stop here. I feel like reading through my notes again, I have to say. Live-blogging, even if it’s not particularly difficult for me, requires a lot of concentration (it’s tiring) and it does mean I suffer a little from the post-effort brainwash syndrome. You know, like how after an exam you can’t remember a thing you wrote? That.

As for the other stuff I want to write about… let’s keep some for these coming mornings, OK?

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Posted in Blogging, Conferences, My corner of the world | Tagged 3615, 3d printing, conference, laurent haug, lausanne, lift12, live-blogging, startupweekend | Leave a comment

Lift12, Technology vs. People: JP Rangaswami

[fr] Je suis à la conférence Lift12 à Genève ces prochains jours. Voici mes notes de sessions.

Live-blogging from Lift12 conference in Geneva. These are my notes and interpretations of JP Rangaswami‘s talk — best effort, but might be imprecise or even wrong!

lift12 1100288.jpg

So, is technology good or bad?

We need to think about the reasons this technology exists. For a long time, two drives to create new technology:

  • Flying? Perceived need.
  • Velcro? Observation.

Interesting: cooking as pre-digestion or external stomach. Cooked food allows us to have a relatively small stomach for our size.  => wish to speed up evolution.

Technology: we need to evaluate it in context — e.g. Cocaine toothache pills, dentists recommending which brand to smoke..

We’re not leaving enough time to evaluate the impact of technologies.

Interesting: medicine has gone from customer-centric (holistic) to product-centric (treating the illness). Not that much progress with cancer.

We should not just be thinking the technology we have, but about the technology we do not develop. What we choose not to do is also important.

Technology is also pioneering: e.g. Foursquare, mapping the digital world. Pioneers are sometimes ridiculed, or pay with their life (Marie Curie). Innovation seen as positive today did not come without criticism and bad things happening.

Crickets biggest betting scandal figured out by somebody who had all the time in the world to look at hours and hours of tape (and connect the dots…).

Unintended consequences of banning technology (ie, Pakistan and YouTube).

How Target Figured Out Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before her Dad Did.

Sometimes technology is not to accelerate things, but to slow them down (e.g. qwerty — steph-note: wasn’t that a myth? need to check.)

Look at things holistically: pioneers exist, unintended consequences.

Development of the suburbs. Positives and negatives coming out — was television created to produce a generation of couch potatoes? Unintended consequence. Was Google created to “make us dumb”?

Online interactions to augment offline interactions, but from the outside, fear that online is replacing offline.

Photo rescue project. People giving their time and skill to help save other people’s memories.

Mermaid.

Technology itself is not good or bad, it is the engagement of humans that decides that. We still get to choose good or bad.

Every economic era has its peculiar abundances and scarcities. Hyperconnectivity is our abundance. How can we create business value from this abundance? What does it mean to have pressure on attention?

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Posted in Live Blogging | Tagged conference, lift conference, lift12, notes | Leave a comment

LeWeb’11 Is Underway

[fr] LeWeb, édition 2011!

I would not be doing my job if I didn’t drop you a note to tell you I’m at LeWeb. But you know that, don’t you?

The conference is well underway, and I’d like to invite you to keep up with what’s going on through the Nespresso Lounge, a collection of Twitter activity of speakers, participants, official bloggers, startups, and general chatter about #leweb, and the posts a bunch of the official bloggers are producing during the conference.

If you’re wishing you were there, pick up the live video feed and pretend you’re in Paris!

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Posted in Conferences | Tagged conference, leweb, leweb11, paris | Leave a comment

Internet: 3 règles d’or

[en] The talk I gave yesterday to students of ECCG Monthey.

Très rapidement, et sans grand commentaire (je dois faire mes valises pour le Bourget!), la présentation que j’ai donnée hier matin aux étudiants de l’ECCG Monthey (Ecole de Commerce et de Culture Générale de Monthey).

Il s’agissait d’insister sur trois principes importants pour approcher internet de façon intelligente et mature:

  1. faire preuve d’esprit critique face aux informations que l’on trouve (en passant, ce n’est pas valable que sur internet!)
  2. partager avec discernement
  3. verrouiller ses mots de passe…

Un grand merci à l’ECCG de m’avoir invitée à nouveau cette année, et aux étudiants pour leur attention à mes propos!

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Posted in Digital Youth, My work | Tagged conference, école, mots de passe, prezi | Leave a comment

LeWeb’10, ça démarre!

[en] LeWeb'10 has started! Links to follow the conference online.

Eh ben, on pourra dire que les dernières semaines n’auront pas été de tout repos. Un deuxième dan de judo, le module 2 de la formation SAWI que je co-dirige, et LeWeb’10.

LeWeb’10, c’est près de 3000 personnes qui se retrouvent à Paris pour deux jours de conférences: plus d’une centaine d’orateurs, des dizaines de pays représentés, du contenu et des activités diverses qui satisferont les participants quels que soient leurs besoins. Mais surtout, surtout, du réseautage du tonnerre: tous les grands noms sont ici, et l’ambiance un peu “américaine” (vu d’Europe) rend les contacts faciles.

Mon rôle dans tout ça: gérer l’attribution des accréditations pour les blogueurs officiels. Un sacré boulot, sur les détails duquel je reviendrai dans un billet ultérieur.

Quelques photos pour commencer: #yulbizpar (rencontre de blogueurs d’inspiration Montréalaise), visite derrière la scène des Docks avec les blogueurs officiels (ils ont clairement bossé toute la nuit pour préparer l’endroit!), et l’album d’Egobox (sur Facebook) montrant nos délires photographiques lors de la Blogger Party au Six-Huit hier soir.

Plus à venir (on parle maintenant de voitures et de l’avenir de l’automobile — le hack “iPad comme auto-radio”, j’adore), tant côté photos que contenu.

Pour voir ce qui s’écrit en ce moment au sujet de la conférence:

Enjoy, que vous soyez sur place ou bien en train de suivre à distance!

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Posted in Conferences | Tagged conference, leweb, leweb10, liens, Links, paris, ressources | Leave a comment