Tag Archive for Conference notes

Thoughts on An Event Apart San Francisco

AnEventApart Logo

We just returned from An Event Apart San Francisco and I am trying to put down notes and ideas while they are fresh in my mind. It was three full intense days of information — some great, some good, some not so much. But overall, it was a valuable experience (and they do conference right — great food, comfortable location, endless supply of coffee and sugar). My take is always unique — I overheard some people who were ecstatic over the presentations that I felt were completely off — but I have been in the business for over three decades now and I want ideas that are new to me. So here are my notes from the presentations. “The Fault, Dear Brutus (or: Career Advice From a Cranky Old Man)” by Jeffrey Zeldman A lot of what Jeffery spoke about resonated strongly: the need to force ourselves to get rid of disdain for our clients that just “don’t get it” — mutual respect is the foundation of designer-client relationship in conversation about design, focus on purpose and use and stay away from esthetics — every person has their own sometimes, people (clients, bosses) are incapable of seeing our growth as…

Sage Mentors and Scholars

2015 Sage in Paris.031

One of the goals of the Sage Assembly was to facilitate opportunities for groups whose members rarely have a chance to make their voices and opinions heard at such events, whose members could benefit from the exposure to the ideas and people at the Sage Assembly, and who can take those ideas and projects and connections back to their own social networks and help them grow. To achieve this goal, Sage Bionetworks had set up a scholarship fund — Open Innovator Awards — to assist ten recipients with travel and living expenses in Paris. The recipients of the Open Innovator Awards were pulled from a pool of applicants, Sage Scholars, who have been nominated by Sage Mentors. Each Sage Mentor was responsible for selecting no less than 2 and no more than 10 Sage Scholars. Sage Mentors had complete freedom to choose those who they believe would have benefited from participating and who could contribute in a positive way to the Assembly. Sage Scholars had to be 18 years of age or older. Sage Mentors were expected to help their Sage Scholars with their applications and the final Poster Presentations: “Instances of Open Practice”. The presentations were be on display…

Mapping the Wisdom of the City

Sage Assembly 2015

One of the events at the Sage Assembly in Paris this year was the group design sessions to try to solve “problems of the city” after the Charley attack. Paris is still in shock and the city is trying to do something to heal itself. My group, led by Arno Klein of Sage Bionetworks, was charged with finding ways of using crowdmapping to help find some interesting solutions. This was a complete blue sky session. And our ideas were presented by Arno at the Hotel De Ville in Paris. Here are my prep notes for this event. Cities generate an enormous amounts of data: parking tickets data; water consumption data; number of riders using public transportation per hour per location; etc. But most of the data stays locked within isolated databases inside frequently competitive city departments. There are several cities that are trying solve the data silos problem. Palo Alto, CA, created a city API and open-sourced all city data to allow its citizens to discover problems and develop novel solutions. One of the prevailing problems, even after the break down of data silos, is that the data is not normalized, making it very difficult to manipulate. Data normalization can…