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FutureFest 2015 - Future Democracy

The Politics of Hope - Owen Jones

Owen Jones - FutureFest 2015
The Politics of Hope

I have seen Owen Jones taking part in several panel discussions on television and the opportunity to hear him speak at FutureFest this year was a hi-light for me. A lot of attention was gained by Edward Snowden's appearance via Google+ but for a trade union member and social technologist Owen's talk did not disappoint.

I was at FutureFest for just one day and planned my time meticulously. As a dyslexic I use the assistive technology 'Livescribe' and the audio I captured I'd like to share with you.

Please listen to Owen Jones's Politics of Hope talk. It's 24 mins 18 secs - I'm happy to continue this post as a discussion in the comments if anyone is interested.

FutureFest


#FutureFest - paperless

Do you have a QR code scanner of choice? Do you have a QR code scanner at all? What about creating them? If you don't use QRcodes what about link shorteners like bit.ly? For the leap of uber geekery, where do you stand on augmented reality?

I am always looking to optomise and declutter, part of that is not acquiring more. 

IMG_0299Heading to FutureFest on Sunday my thoughts turn to packing and preparing to be present. Business cards are a staple, but if my card collection and networking experience is anything to go by I tend to exchange tweets, exchange email via DM (direct message) and meet for coffee if a work collaboration is really on the cards.

I do like cards and have quite a collection! I tend to attend events in many capacities so getting a one size fits all card is always problematic.

I do meet people who are far more interested in the projects I've worked on and supported rather than me so I used to carry a few project packs or booklets in a folder.

Now I carry a key ring. (see picture above) I like to share and distribute the project findings, especially in same sector conferences.

On the digital key ring are the following

The TLOEOLT - The League of Extraordinary Online Talent - Brochure on Scribd

@pcmcreative - @PhilCampbell - @DanielRoseArt ... The Team 

Thumbnail_horizontal_QRC_Cellar54_Brochure_PDF

The Great thing with these is I can update the brochures, even change the links at not extra cost.

There is also a geo-location feature that enables me to see where the scan was made. This is particularly useful with unique codes on posters or printed materials. 

PCM social web assistant program - MONICA brochure on Scribd

  Thumbnail_horizontal_QRC_PCM_Monical_Leaflet_PDF

This would be brochure number two I'd be carrying around. Its the consultancy service I offer and I tend to be at conferences to represent client projects and not to promote myself. If anyone asks I'm prepared if I have a code that can be scanned. I'm looking for clients with a spirit of tech adventure. It they have a scanner it tells me a lot about their mind set.

The 2014 Audiences Europe PDF case studies to share the Open All Areas audience development research findings resulting from the Creative Europe Grundvig Funded program. 

There are 13 reports in this set of PDF's they have been collected on ISSUU in a 'stack'. Access and downloads can be tracked. Data and use stats can only be a good thing?

Thumbnail_horizontal_QRC_AEN_OAA14_PDFs

Casestudies

 
 
A QR code makes sharing so much easier!
 
PCMcreative QR code contact detailsI also have one with my contact details, including a follow link to Twitter and G+ plus a YouTube video showcasing the Livestream continuity studio, which is part of the Digital Audience Experience I'm working on right now.
 
I've got a few more QR codes... There is also the event app for Arts and Audiences created with Bizzabo and a code for the Bizzabo app itself. Only thing I can't have a code for is a QR code reader!
 
So I wonder if anyone at #FutureFest will have a quick draw QR code reader?

#FutureFest - On your marks...

NESTA asserts to be the UK’s innovation foundation. They say it “uses FutureFest to gather some of the most radical thinkers, makers and performers together to create an immersive experience of what the world might be like in decades to come.” Is it audience or participants they want? Where does the line get drawn between speakers sharing, industry networking, sector research, practitioner showcases and the general attendees experience?

FutureFest is designed as a multi-format festival, which gives visitors ample opportunity to take self-guided journeys. Is life not a self guided journey? This event, like any event needs linear thought. Conferences do tend to run multi-threaded programs. You can't be everywhere and as nice as the OpenSpace ‘rule of two feet’ is, it isn’t a solution for indecision.

FutureFest tell us on their site "The programme will span discussions, performances, installations and interactive experiences. Attendees will be engaged as active participants, informed and challenged to explore and formulate their own vision of the future.” So we are promised engagement, information and provocation encouraging us to determine what the future will look like from where we stand today looking forward with the explorations that are taking place.

This position is important. Where we are now. This impacts on the understanding we have in the future. We are all aware that the generation classified as ‘Millennials’ are categorised by their perspective on technology, that they don’t know what the world was like before the dawn of the pervasive web. A similar generation would have been those who had no living memory of life without the electric light switch. Going forward a defining era will be that a generation will emerge with no living recollection of a time without augmented reality.

The physical senses are important and this is clear to me as I look at the FutureFest program and plan out my time. How will they, the organisers engage me in these sessions, in the event itself? What information will they provide? How will they challenge my perspective? Will they shape my thinking? Will it impact my work? Will it help me?

I have a ticket for the Sunday only thanks to Body>Data>Space

This is where I plan to be (defined by the purple outlines).

Futurefest_org_wp-content_uploads_2015_03_Sunday-Schedule_pdf
Futurefest_org_wp-content_uploads_2015_03_Sunday-Schedule_pdf


Rocketbook - Dyslexics & Scribblers, you need one of these.

Potentially, the only notebook you will ever need to buy, ever again. I kid you not. You don't need a special tech pen, but you do need to use Pilot Frixion pens. I can't wait to get mine. 

"Rocketbook allows people to enjoy the pleasure of writing in a traditional paper and pen notebook, while digitizing all notes and sending them to the cloud, without introducing any special electronics." says the campaign page.

image from images.indiegogo.com

 Cool or what?

Go check it out

image from images.indiegogo.com

Women Shift Digital - Catalyst Event - Nov 2014

WOMEN IN CREATIVE DIGITAL INNOVATION

Conferences don't just happen. This was a catalyst event, A meeting of key influences identified by the lead organiser Ghislaine Boddington from Body>Data>Space. She invited to a half day workshop around 80 people to brainstorm where the event WomenShiftDigital should head next. If WomenShiftDigital, Body>Data>Space or Robots and Avatars is new to you I captured on my Livescribe pen this introduction at the event's opening where Ghislaine provides a little insight into the history of the projects and how they sit together. Its just a few minutes and you can hear me taking notes. As a Dyslexic I couldn't live without my Livescribe pen. Thought I'd share this. Ghislaine puts it much better than I can transpose!

WSD opening intro by Ghislaine Boddington

IMG_3786After the opening introduction and context the audiences was presented with a series of presentations headlined as provocations. All of these aimed to interrogate the following.

- What does the word creative mean today in the digital context?

- How many companies in the, so called Creative Industries are fully aware of the process of creativity at play in their work?

- What is the connection of the experimental arts and the creative culture sector to the expansion of creativity in the digital realm?

- Would the heightened recognition of the importance of creativity within digital innovation, encourage more women and girls to work in the technology sector?

This was followed by several round table discissions.

This was a gender balanced call asking us to look at 'the scheme of things' right now. Not women standing together in a struggle, but men and women together standing to promote a cause and work towards a solution.

Only with women, men and a common understanding of the issues facing the cause, the low uptake of women in the technology sector and STEM amongst other concerns discussed at the WomenShiftDigital catalyst event do we progress. In this case to contribute our thinking to an evolving event WomenShiftDigial to take place in May 2015.

I had become aware of the Robots and Avatar project when Audiences Europe showcased at the Culture in Motion - European Audiences 2020 and beyond. Getting involved and networking within the sector with practitioners and producers is vital for me to understand the cultural context of being present and proactive in this fast moving tech centric society.

There was a brochure from the European Audiences 2020 and beyond lots of amazing projects.

I look forward to following this event (WomenShiftDigital) and hope to be part of it as it unfolds and develops.

Arc_and_ISSUU_-_European_Audiences__2020_and_beyond_by_iservice-europa


Reviving the High Street - @philcampbell - Sittingbourne - Nov 2014

There is much talk about independent high streets and the behemoth multi national superstores invading the gentility of shopping. Don't know why, but wicker baskets with cotton covers and visits to the butchers comes to mind. Pats of butter being wrapped in grease proof paper and dusty loose leaf tea in boxes. I am not that old (42), but often we are nostalgic far beyond our years!

Bringing social, breathing life into the modern retail environment of shopping is a huge challenge. And I think Phil Campbell has an affordable, digital-social, retail compatible solution which he talked about when invited to talk about ThePiStreet in Sittingbourne last November at 21st Century High St & Town Centre's half day seminar hosted by Kent Design.

I always enjoy Phil's delivery he is always knowledgeable and like me often rambles. But unlike me he is very good at staying on topic. This is a 15 min video edited down from 25 mins. It's a good overview of what PiStreet is and what it's been up to. Phil is currently developing the ideas and lessons learnt from the pilot installations in Nottingham and Derby as he continues to explore social technologies and representing big data in a meaningful way for audiences and the general public at large. 


The Digital Audience Experience - Continuity Studio

For Arts and Audiences this consisted of a comfortable seating area in a circle formation. Below is a selection of photos from the DAEX Arts and Audiences continuity studio. 
 
DAEx Studio montage
 
The Continuity Studio
 
The Continuity Studio and Bloggers Lounge are audience facing spaces. The Continuity Studio ideally has 2 screens, one relaying the live-stream feed and the other, aggregated social media activity. One immediate benefit of this is for the event team and those not in the auditorium ‘on the ground'. As part of the 'Camera to Cloud' solution the continuity studio has a live camera and an anchor presenter. This is the entry point for the audience attending online, 'In the Cloud'. The result is presenter hosted live participatory webinar. When available the host receives data showing how many are watching and for those with tickets, identifies to the presenters who is watching.
 
An established, well appointed and publicised continuity studio will be able to chat and take questions from the 'in the cloud' audience connecting them with the venue, the program and the 'on the ground' attendees. Social Media outreach engagement continues beyond the pre event promotion through the continuity studio using the apps adopted by the event organisers.
 
If there is not a speaker or live session on the stream, then the continuity studio takes over. Speakers can be scheduled to be interviewed as live stream content during the breaks. For Arts and Audiences additional guests were scheduled and displayed on a screen via skype. The studio team behind and in front of the camera work to a floor-managed production schedule and remain in voice communications using radio communication. The floor-manager works closely with the 'on the ground' events team.
 
 

The Digital Audience Experience - insights

In October last year I was invited to create an online audience experience for the Nordic Nations' annual conference Arts and Audiences being held in Reykjavik, Iceland by the host organisations Audiences Norway and the DCAI (Danish Centre for the Arts and Interculture). Both organisations had worked with me previously as they are partner members of the Audiences Europe Network where I have been a digital audience adviser and content producer since 2011. 
 
Digital_Audience_Experience_-_Reykjavik_2014_-_Audiences_Europe_Network
 
For Arts and Audiences we used many social technologies in the final event delivery. With the live-stream they wanted to engage that audience as an entities in their own right. One audience attending at the venue and one not able to attend the venue in person but wanting to take part. To be there or not to be there, that is the question.
 
The human connection is essential in the creation of experience. Its not the apps its the people posting and for a live-stream to succeed I believe the people hosting are key to the experience too.
 
 
The provision of watching a live-stream from experience and anecdotally is not a comparable option to attending 'in the flesh' or as I have come to refer to it, being 'on the ground'. 'Sitting' on the livestream can be a lonely experience. You have to physically set yourself aside and use headphones, especially if you are at work in an office environment. You have to be separate to listen out loud. You don't get to chat to fellow delegates, you don't get a goodie/swag/bonus bag and you don't get the change of scenery. A change is as good as a rest so the adage goes. You also get resigned to the back of the auditorium to watch from the sidelines. Long camera shots, zoomed in head and shoulder shots, picture in picture slides presented in a faux news reporting style crossed with an agonising realtime PowerPoint. Then there is the question of audio, picture quality and buffering speeds.
 
It was a dialogue along these lines that formed the foundation of the Arts and Audience's Digital Audience Experience. It became clear that a new lexicon was essential to establish a common understanding of the experience we were trying to achieve. IE. Not the above! We didn't want to keep reiterating what the DAEx (Digital Audience Experience) wasn't.
 
Finally, and above all the Arts and Audiences team were insistent that there should never be a "Be Back Soon" holding slide… ever.
 
Evernote_PremiumThese screen shots were taken only minutes apart as I watched the TEDxBaltimore event a few weeks ago.
Great speakers, but also a perfect illustration to why a continuity studio is so valuable.
 
Our terminology
  • The Event - A programmed 2 days of conference speakers with breakout workshops and smaller discussions following a module theme. There were 4 modules, each had a keynote speaker, a case study presentation and a selection of theme related breakouts.

  • The Audiences - Ticket holders who turn up physically or digitally

  • 'On the Ground' - Ticket holders' environment for those who travel to the venue to attend

  • 'In the Cloud' - Ticket holders' environment for those who attend online

  • Camera to Cloud - the technology infrastructure delivery expectation required from the Livestream provider, including vision mixing, camera operation and audio channel.

  • Continuity Studio -  the social technology hub of the event 'on the ground’, the eyes and ears for the audience ‘in the cloud’.

  • Bloggers Lounge - the social media hub of the event, providing a working space with power, water and wifi to ‘on the ground’ attendees to engage with the ‘in the cloud’ networks.

  • Live-streamed Linear Event Path - A predefined simplified event program offered to the audience 'in the cloud' providing an optimised produced event experience.

Check out the live streamed content from Arts & Audience in Reykjavik. It has had a little bit of post production trimming and is available to watch on demand. 


When the PCM Bloggers Lounge was born.

PCM (Caron Lyon and Phil Campbell) offer for those who want more from their live stream a Digital Audience Experience (DAEx) for live performances, festivals and conferences in association with Audiences Europe Network.

Very_Agency_on_Instagram__“Apparently__this_is_the_blogger_lounge_-_we_ve_got_plenty_of_coffee__water_and_hashtags___hashtag__artsaud14__verycommunities”Combined Bloggers Lounge and Continuity Studio at Arts and Audiences 2014 in Reykjavik

The foundation of a DAEx is the Bloggers Lounge, a hub in which digital divas and dudes pause to drink coffee, tweet to their own networks, scan QR codes to collect offers and sponsor codes, blog, make notes or… and this is the important bit charge their iDevises with the confidence that when they return they will still be there. But be warned, should you use the facility you will probably be interviewed and tweeted, audioboo’d or instagram’d. GalleryCamp hosted PCM’s first Bloggers Lounge, the building block of a credible Digital Audience Experience.

This intro text was written for the Gallerycamp Fringe held in Derby's Media Centre, Quad. Bloggers Lounge was an exclusive for #Gallerycamp14… the very first PCM Bloggers Lounge in the DAEx journey. The photo above is the Bloggers Lounge resulting from the GalleryCamp premier when Phil and I hosted the first DAEx in Iceland at the Arts and Audiences annual conference.

GalleryCamp14 Day on Storify 


Would you Google Hangout to Network?

Stage Managers and Production Creatives, Event Professionals

GooglePlay Hangout
 
 
Google Play hosted this Hangout (above) with Steven Spielberg and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Google+ is ideal if you want to host events with an online dialogue and interact with fans its a great starting point solution. This particular event was to promote Spielberg’s upcoming film, Lincoln. Five lucky people got to actually ask questions and chat with Gordon-Levitt and Spielberg. Three used their personal computers, while two others joined from Times Square–where the Hangout was also broadcast.
 
With key industry conferences, events and networking opportunities being in major cities it is inevitable that new initiatives start here too. As an event organiser and stagemanager,  I understand the attraction of holding events in hi profile venues. As an audience developer, livestream producer and excluded audience member I also understand the frustration experienced by those who don't live so close to these prestigious hubs or would like to attend events that they aren't actually working on.
 
In October last year I was invited to create an online audience experience for the Nordic Nations's annual conference Arts and Audiences  being held in Reykjavik, Iceland by the host organisations Audiences Norway and the DCAI (Danish Centre for the Arts and Interculture. For Arts and Audiences we used many social technologies in the final event delivery, but Google Hangout holds the engagement potential I think can make attending ‘in the cloud’ worth while. 
 
Both organisations had worked with me previously as they are partner members of the Audiences Europe Network where I have been a digital audience adviser and content producer since 2011.
They wanted to engage both audiences as entities in their own right. One attending at the venue and one not able to attend the venue in person but wanted to take part. To be there or not to be there, that is the question.  
 
ArtsAA googlehangout
We held meetings prior to the event for the blogging and social media team. This is hangout (left) was attended by the bloggers.
 
Each blogger was representing one of the Nordic countries so a face to face meeting was not an option. 
 
We ran a Google Hangout as a mutual digital meeting space, "live lounge"
 
We also discussed running participatory discussions, talks and workshops using it as a digital breakout space.
 
 
Future Equity events
 
So what is this all about? I want to attend the Free 2015 Stage Management Training events via Google Hangout. I am hoping to convince Equity to actively run their Google+ profile (EquityUK's Google+ profile) and run a hangout in parallel to each event taking place in Guild House. Google's Hangout facility can host up to 10 connections at a time. With one connection used by the venue to host and one for the guest speaker we had an audience capacity of 8 connections. I say connection because one computer connection can be watched by a room of people or by a lone viewer.
 
Who else would be interested attending via an 'in the cloud' Green Room?
 
EQUITY: Free Stage Management Training
 
Equity is running a series of Equity/ SMA Brunch sessions, their free* programme of professional development for stage management members. The first event is today - Monday 16th February and I would like to have been there, Equity Organiser Paul Fleming is scheduled to be telling us all we need to know about the Sub Rep Agreement (the Pink Book and accompanying contract) and answering questions. It would have been great to have been able to attend online, but also to have met other members not able to travel to London in the hangout "digital green room". Integrating this aside technology would be no problem for multi-tasking stage managers attending the event 'on the ground'.
 
Future Events
Mon 2nd March - Tax, NI, Pensions and Welfare Benefits - Alan Lean, Equity
Mon 13th April - Accounting and Book Keeping
Mon 18th May - Touch Tours and Access - Lucinda Harvey, SOLT/UK Theatre
Mon 1st June – UK Theatre/ BECTU Get-in and Get-out Guidelines
Jul - None scheduled
Aug - None scheduled
Mon 7th September - West-End and Commercial Theatre Agreement, Equity
Mon 12th October - Risk Assessments, Touring and Site Specific - with ABTT
Mon 9th November - Employment Law (Worker vs Employee), Equity
Mon 7th Dec - TBC
 
Each session is held between 13:00 and 15:00 at Guild House, Equity, London WC2H 9EG. The training, which has been popular and widely appreciated by members, aims to inform, bring you up to date and help you in your professional lives, whilst offering a sharing experience and networking opportunities for new entrants and experienced pros alike.
 
As sessions are confirmed and more information is available Equity's SM committee will update the News page on the Stage Management Section of the Equity website - http://bit.ly/EquitySMnews
 
* Sessions are free to Equity and SMA members, £10 for non-members. All sessions are jointly run by Equity and the SMA. To book please email: admin@stagemanagementassociation.co.uk and tell us which session(s) you would like to book for.
 
Equity’s Stage Management Constitutional Register keeps Stagemanagers informed. If you want to be on this register or would like to read more about the register then please follow this link