I had the pleasure of working alongside colleagues Daniel Rose, Ryan Coleman, Liisa Sorsa and Disa Kauk to bring various kinds of participatory engagement for the Collingwood Conference 2010: Imagining Ontario’s Future. This was a long-term focused ideas conference put on by the Ontario Liberal Party, organized by Laura Miller and wrangled by Kelly Legris.
We all enjoyed bringing our skills to the table with a large and very professionally-run conference like this one, with its clear connection to important public policy issues and the challenges of our shared future. These are the kinds of issues that my practice was created to help address by bringing social technologies (both digital and analog) to enable participation, public engagement and collaborative problem-solving for the public good.
I remain an agnostic non-partisan, but I have to say that I was genuinely impressed that a provincial political party was willing and able to create a large-scale event like this with big ideas, bold content and then share it with the world in new ways. Hearing personally from the Premier himself that he appreciated the participatory nature of the event was very gratifying.
The conference was a hit online, with live streaming video and online discussion, it was the #2 or #3 trending topic on Twitter in Canada most of the weekend. The liveblog took almost 5,000 comments!
The in-person experience was as (ok, more) important as the online experience, so we brought a variety of graphic facilitation methods, included beautiful live graphic recording of Friday night’s keynote addresses from the Premier and Malcolm Gladwell by Liisa and Disa and a massive 500-person sticky note theming exercise.
You can see all the conference content (session videos are still being uploaded) by visiting http://www.cc2010.ca/. Check out the participant-created interviews on the YouTube channel and the great shots created throughout the conference on Flickr. And you can still follow the ongoing conversation on Twitter at #cc2010.