[Foundation-l] Reboot9.0

Delphine Ménard notafishz at gmail.com
Tue Jun 5 21:45:05 UTC 2007

Hi all,

I went to Copenhagen last week, to the 9th edition of Reboot. [1]

Reboot is a community conference about all technology and the world we
live in. It gathers geeks (and not so geeks) from around the world to
reflect on social networks, new social order, education,
participation, values, new technologies and many other subjects. My
impression was that of a big think tank with all the inertia and
boiling intensity of ideas that I put behind the word.

This year's theme was "Human?". Importance being the question mark.

I held a "conversation" [2] about Wikipedia/Wikimedia and their
workings as a new model of governance. The idea of a conversation
would have been to actually engage people to exchange ideas and views
but the setting of the room was not exactly what was needed for that
(I was standing in front of the whole room with a microphone and they
had just one microphone for all of them...) so it ended up being more
of a Questions-and-answers session. The interesting part was that few
people actually know exactly what Wikimedia is all about, whether the
Foundation or the chapter. I believe this bit of explaining actually
helped people understand how Wikimedia is structured.

Questions revolved around the following topics:
* What is the decision making process within the organisation
* Role of Jimmy Wales as head of a constitutional monarchy rather than
a "benevolent dictator" (both in the projects and the organisation)
* Are we afraid of Wikia and the fact that it might be taking over Wikimedia?
* How long do we think that this model of openness (in Wikipedia) will
balance itself and how long can we stay "open"
* and other questions I cannot remember

I talked much longer than I intended to and not really so much about
what I intended to but we did manage to stay centered on the
organisation, its inner workings, its challenges and interests.

Other very interesting talks, (for different reasons) included the following:
* While We Wait for the Babel Fish (Stephanie Booth)
About multilingualism on the internet, its drawbacks, its advantages
and how we can make it better
* Social (Ross Mayfield) (http://www.reboot.dk/artefact-2407-en.html)
A very interesting take on collaboration, collective intelligence and
participation, with Wikipedia as a core model.
* What humans can learn from Cats and Dogs (Ted Rheingold)
An amazing down-to-earth yet passionate account of how if you actually
give people the tools to express their passion, it just works.
* Flow (Stowe Boyd) (http://www.reboot.dk/artefact-862-en.html)
An interesting view on ... well, flow.
* Citizens of the future (Ewan McIntosh)
That was probably the most inspiring of all the talks I have been to.
Ewan presented the work of Learning and Teaching Scotland, a
completely new way to look at education for young people between 5 and
16. A good summary of his presentation can be found on his blog (here:
http://edu.blogs.com/edublogs/2007/06/reboot9_citizen.html) and his
blog altogether is a good way to look at the amazing ideas that are
deployed on the lerning front in Scotland. I sincerely hope Wikimedia
UK can connect with him to find a way to partner, because I believe
Wikimedia has much to learn and much to bring on this front.

On a format thing, I simply loved the micro presentations
(http://www.reboot.dk/artefact-466-en.html) which are fantastic to
give an overview of a longer presentation. They should be used at the
start of every conference to give a good idea of what is happening,
how good or interesting the speakers are and how good they master
their subject. An idea to steal for Wikimania.

That's it for a summary. All and all a very interesting human
experience, as the nice weather did do more for social networking
outside on the grass than inside in sessions. Good contacts made and
good ideas seeded.


[1] http://www.reboot.dk/
[2] http://www.reboot.dk/artefact-2484-en.html

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