In this post I will make some personal notes after a summer journey that has taken me across parts of Europe.
Lets start with some background. At the last network meeting in Norway the group agreed that www.networkplace.eu should be the "official website" for the European Network. The group also agreed to the I, Leif Josefsson, would be appointed coordinator for 2008. We also made a decision around a model of network sponsorship in order to fund some work around website and coordination.
As a result of this we now have five sponsors:
Three Gold sponsors: ESADE Business School, TNO Management Consultants and AI Practitioner.
Two Silver Sponsors: Optimum Interventions and LeanderLeander
With some funding in the pocket I decided to go for a European tour this summer. This took me to Italy in June to visit Yvonne Bonner, and recently to UK to discuss with Julie Barnes and the UK network. And as I write this I have just met Kees Ahaus in the Netherlands. Kees was together with Anne Radford the originator of the current network.
Here are some thoughts and findings from these meetings.
In Italy we had a lot of discussions around the network meeting (The result of that you will find HERE) but also around ideas of networking, where the philosphy of AI fits in, and around use of the web. The "Landscape" metaphor is one result of our discussion.
As we talked about the web we tried to recapture what people had told about what they would like to see. And our conclusion from our conversations was somewhat like the following.
In the UK I had some wonderful meetings leading up to the UK network meeting.
On Thursday July 10th with Julie Barnes, Lesley More and Linda Mitchell. The UK AI network is already over 50 people and is really growing fast. The topics of our discussions was a lot around individual profiling, and about how the UK AI network could fit in the larger network. We also discussed the idea of Web Co-Creators which is a nicer role than being a Web Master.
The network meeting hosted 26 participants with many new faces. Lots of energy. Lots of laughs. One result of the meeting is a commitment that the UK AI network would use the Networkplace.eu framework. And possibly also a group of "Web Co-Creators" who could work together to facilitate communication through the web.
In an interesting session about "communication in between meetings" we were sketching ideas around tools to support connections, very much in accordance to the discussion above. For a couple of us with a deeper IT knowledge we realized that we were talking about something that is closer to Web 3.0 than 2.0 .....
Finally, I flew to the Netherlands to meet with Kees Ahaus.
We worked together on the first day to explore the program ideas of the Reggio Emilia Network Conference and I think we now can say that we do have a program we feel very happy with. We looked into the meaning of the first day - Connecting to the Landscape - and found at least two very relevant reasons for our approach
On Sunday we also talked about why the topic of "organisation" of the network always brings a certain level of frustration. Maybe it is because when we start to talk about "Purpose", "Goals", "Business Model" we think of the network as a "Person" or an "Organisation".
How would it be if we instead think about the network as a place? And instead of paying membership fee you pay an entrance fee to the place?
And when we come to this place together, we can find others, in order to Connect, Combine and Create ideas, projects, artifacts out of what inspires us and out of that find direction and commitment to change our lives, our workplaces, our community - or the world?
Haarlem, the Netherlands
July 15, 2008
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