There are times in your life when you get to go on a gig that, on the face of it seems relatively mundane, but actually has some significant relevance to yourself, your work and maybe even your life.
Traveling Geeks, on the face of it, looks like another round of US entrepreneurs and commentators foisting themselves on a UK public. But for me a it was a bit different, the key thing being able to talk candidly, openly and at close range with some people that I have admired for a very long time. Not in a conference style, but round a table as equals.
For me, meeting and talking with Howard Rheingold was a particular lifelong goal. Howard inspired me in the 90s to start thinking about communities of people as the source of learning for each other, and inevitably caused me to develop ideas on community-based learning (we call it “social” now) that I used towards the end of my time at the University of Salford and in the development work that I did at Academee. I still use those ideas now in the work I do with students in their online learning communities. Nowadays I think of it as ordinary, but it’s great to think of them as coming from a time when they were classed as ground-breaking.
It’s also good to see that as Howard has got older, his dress sense hasn’t gotten any better :-) I hope I degrade as disgracefully as he does.