One of my clients, the technology company IBA Group, has asked me to come over to London in September to MC their birthday party event on September 10th at the Wellington Arch.
It’s their 20th birthday, they have a great and historic venue and corporate birthday parties always feature plenty of Champagne so it should be fun, but London has no end of parties so I suggested they add a little bit of business value to the event for the people who will attend.
Of course, it’s a party so nobody wants to listen to endless speeches about SAP integration or how the cloud is affecting the future of IT. What I suggested to them was to invite a group of IT journalists to the event to give their view on the next 20 years in the technology business – especially how outsourcing is changing.
The CEO of IBA will open with his summary of the past twenty years, then each journalist who wants to try giving their view will have just 5 minutes to predict the future. The audience at the event will all have voting cards so they can vote for their favourite futurist…
As an incentive to the journalists, the one who is judged to be most compelling by the audience gets an iPad.
It’s only going to be about 40 minutes of talks, then a return to the drinking, but it should be quite interesting to see how different IT experts see the future playing out. I might even try to chip in myself, though if I win then it will be suggested that I fixed the whole event as I’m supposed to just be chairing!
If you are a London-based tech writer and think it sounds interesting – plus it means you get to spend an evening in the company of a bunch of other tech writers – then drop me a message here or on Twitter.
Photo by Richard Masoner licensed under Creative Commons
The financial crisis of the past couple of years has shocked the world. House prices collapsed and jobs were axed. Yet, now in 2010 we are told that the worst is over and growth is back again. House prices in the UK are growing again at over 10% a year, according to some market analysts, and the economy is officially growing once again.
But are we just going to fall into the same trap of debt and chasing ephemeral growth to hit political targets?
Is there another way? Well, Philippe Legrain has jetted around the world to look at different systems and ideas and he has produced a new book explaining his views on where we should go next – ‘Aftershock’.
The book launch is tonight at 6.30pm at the New Theatre in the LSE. Do come along if you can… details are here…
I was at a lovely office by the river Thames on Tuesday, chairing an event focused on the environment and sustainability. It was interesting and there were some good speakers from companies such as HSBC and IBM, but a few thoughts crossed my mind as I sat there controlling the speakers and taking notes:
- At most conferences, the audience is packed full of knowledge, but they end up only having a few short minutes in a controlled Q&A session, the rest of the time is given to the speaker. Yet more knowledge and learning can be drawn from having a debate with many experienced people, rather than all listening to one experience. So why isn’t the unconference format more popular?
- Why isn’t more knowledge captured at conferences? All these learned speakers get together with an interested audience, but the majority of events I attend don’t bother to video the talks, or even capture the audio. All that information can be extremely valuable and published in a rich multimedia format with notes from speakers or audience members. Usually the last you hear of the content is at the end of the day over networking drinks.
I realise the status quo is that sponsors finance events and sponsors want visibility and the opportunity to provide ‘thought leadership’, but when will some event organisers start structuring conferences that (1) create learning and real knowledge that lives on past the day itself and (2) allow everyone to participate in a meaningful way – if they want to?
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Tagged audio, conference, environment, event, podcast, speaker, speech, sustainability, talk, unconference, video