Yesterday I came from Amsterdam, where I participated in PICNIC08 conference. Picnic is probably the world's largest conference on creativity and innovations. Besides main program there were a lot of 'hosted events' — thematical sections of presentations. I was invited as a speaker to one of the hosted events — European Bloggers Conference provided by the European Journalism Centre.
My presentation was about the problem of e-literacy, the avarage users' low usage of tools provided by the Internet. I was speaking about the barcamps and minicamps, New technologies in the Internet project and the Educamp.
Ethan Zuckerman, one of the founders of GlobalVoices, talked about the danger of homophily (love of the same) in closed societies and online communities. The idea is that living in the society of like-minders leads to stupidity and radicalism, but the social networking sites are exactly closed societies so we should be aware and we should strive for diversity (see wider report abou this presentation here). His presentation was quite inspiring but I have already heard similiar thoghts from Evgeny Morozov, on his presentation at OCI YOUTH Barcamp in Istanbul two months ago. After that, Evgeny even launched his own project Polymeme - news agregator helping to get the most important news on diverse topics.
Francesco Federico made rather interesting overview of new media in Italy, Emin Huseynzade from TOL told about the new media in Azerbaijan and Jure Cuhalev, the founder of Zemanta presented his beautiful service for blogers. Zemanta was one of the Seedcamp winners in 2007 and now is rapidly developing so I invited Jure to tell about their expirience on Blogcamp, which will take place in Kyiv on October 17-19.
If there were two of me, I would have seen more. Unfortunately I missed the Clay Shrinky's keynote speach which was definetly worth to hear.
I was pleased to have a dinner with Wilfried Rütten - director of EJC, Bernd Kapeller - Associate Producer in EJC and Prof. Heike Sperling from Institute of Music and Media in Duesseldorf. We talked about our countries, technologies, the last day presentations and talks with such people always inspire me more than anything else.
Among main program speakers there were such persons as Charles Leadbeater - the author of We Think, a groundbreaking analysis of a changing world; Aaron Koblin - contemporary artist, the author of the latest Radiohead music video; Philip Rosedale - the founder of the Secon Life; Clay Shirky - an Internet thinker and the author of Here Comes Everybody, Gisele Hiscock - Google's European Director; Ethan Zuckerman, whom I've already mentioned; Bill Moggridge - a founder of IDEO, one of the most successful design firms in the world; Werner Vogels - CTO of Amazon and many other world-known thinkers and entrepreneurs.
I was lucky enought to be present at Zuckerman's Suprising Africa speach and Bill Mogridge's presentation about design as a collaborative process.
There were two big competitions on the PICNIC. PICNIC Green Challenge - a 500,000 Euro award best green initiative in the field of lifestyle, design, mobility and communications technology - the winner is Igor Kluim with Qurrent project. The second contest was Vodafone Mobile Clicks - a competition for the best Dutch mobile start up.
Everywhere you go - you see and hear incredible, incpiring, shocking and amazing stuff. A lot of buzz and networking at the event and that incredible atmosphere of creativity is one more thing that makes PICNIC so special. Thanks to guys from EJC - Bernd, Bianka, Anniek, Ivan, Rina, Kathlyn and others, for that unforgetable two days on Picnic and thanks to Wilfried Rütten for inviting.