LeWeb ’08

I’ve missed the last couple of Loic’s uber-conferences since they morphed into LeWeb, so it’s actually 3 years since I went to the second LesBlogs. I hear that the food has recovered from the curse of the microlunch… I’m looking forward to finding out more. If you’d like to come too, you can register here.

Last time I was in Paris, I came away quite depressed by it all – it felt like we as Europeans hadn’t found our voice. We knew we had something different to offer from the Americans but weren’t sure what it was. The silliness between Ben Metcalfe and Mena Trott epitomised that. We’ve all learned a lot since then, haven’t we?

I think I’m most comfortable with it now because I no longer have great expectations of participation. I get my participative kicks elsewhere – this is big and it’s going to be like watching telly, it just is and if I don’t feel like watching every minute of what’s on stage, I shan’t be too bothered, because I’ve built my network up now to the point where I know I’ll be able to find plenty of people to hang out with, either online or off.

Having said that, thanks to the excellent blogger outreach programme, I will be there to write about what’s going on and there are some prospective super-goodies in the programme – Brian Cox, David Weinberger, Paolo Coelho, Chris Anderson and Joi Ito stand out for me – I’m glad to see that there’s a split on the second day between the plenary and “deep discussions”

And Marc Canter is running a panel on the second morning, so the book’s open on when he’ll sing and when he’ll be asleep.

If it ain’t broke

Thanks to Tim Davies in the comments of “No to Quotas” for helping me see why I’m getting worked up about this one.

Where is the problem that we’re trying to solve here?

The problem with Innovation Edge wasn’t that the wrong people turned up. It wasn’t that certain groups or parts of society weren’t represented in the whole. It was that hundreds of super smart people did turn up and then were strapped into their seats and lectured to by a very small group of super smart people. It wasn’t a diversity problem – it was a power problem.

No matter which event we’re talking about, what I’m interested in participating in is a shift in designing gatherings in terms of the form and the rules of engagement, the way that a wide multiplicity of views and opinion can be expressed and worked through in conversation rather than meddling with the composition of the group.

Too late on a Sunday to be writing any more, but there is more to say.