This is a multi-part story about the themes I picked up at the Reboot 8 conference in Copenhagen, June 1st and 2nd.

Privacy and Ownership
Without wanting everything to be free (as in both beer and in speech), or everything to be protected under exclusive rights, it is still possible to think about whether the systems we use are really helping us in achieving what we need. And that we can do something to make those systems better tools for us.
Without wanting everybody to know everything, or wanting to hide everything from everybody it is still possible to discuss the nature of privacy.

That privacy is not the place where you can be on your own without anyone knowing what you are doing, that is merely solitude. That privacy is the gift you receive from others when you are in that grey zone where you are in the public space but somewhat withdrawn from it in your own space. When we visited the Illum department store on Saturday there was a couple kissing while riding down the escalators. People looked elsewhere, or merely smiled when they saw. We gave them their privacy.

Privacy is not a place seperate from the commons, it is something right inside the commons that I can give you and you can give me. We really know that already in our hearts, otherwise we wouldn’t say “can you give me some privacy?” on occasion. It’s not ours to take, it is ours to give, asked or unasked.

Privacy and copyright are in that sense also similar to me: copyright is not an exlusive right of me on my writings to keep it from you. It is a gift from the commons to the author so that he may have enough time to gain back the money and energy he spent on creating it. If you want to exclude others, keep it in your drawer; the copyright’s equivalent of solitude in the case of privacy.

All parts in this story:
I Renaissance
II Diversity
III Good Enough
IV Privacy and Ownership
V Relationships, Visualization, Contactivity

Photo’s: Privacy in Public by Susan NYC, license CC BY, Privacy Eroding by Fred Armitage, license CC BY NC SA.

Reboot is over, and am now in need of some serious down time.

Thomas
had been afraid up front to not live up to expectations after the tremendous event we had last year. He did not have to be. Yes, it was a different event from last year. The world is different from last year. We are different from last year.
We had a different mix of people, different spectrum of topics, different conversations. Reboot was very much the same however in certain aspects: inspiring, challenging, fun, professional, interactive, deeply social, very real and about humans, not technology as such. And these were the aspects that made Reboot so good last year.

Meeting up with old friends, some for the first time. And in this day and age that thankfully is no longer a contradiction. Meeting up with new people, some not for the first time (oh that is you that writes ) And in this day and age that thankfully is no longer a contradiction either. Thanks. You know who you are.

The children and baby’s present in the audience. Keeps you connected, keeps you sane. All ‘real’ business conferences should have them mandatory. CEO’s: bring your family. If you learn one thing from the Danes, let it be the way they let their children really be part of all aspects of their life.

I did what I promised myself last year, be part of the programme, and found myself lucky to do that with Lee Bryant of the brilliant Headshift company, and Martin Roell. I also became part of the programme ad hoc by doing a session with Frank Meeuwsen. He made my day by the energy and inspiration he found for himself when he realized he could turn his criticism on a presentation into something constructive by voicing it and doing a session himself and add to the dialog that way.

The boat ride the evening before, the two days that were as socially relaxing as can be and at the same time tremendously intense to the point of exhaustion. The great atmosphere during the after conference dinner with 25 others, mostly new faces again, that triggered even more thoughts ideas, and even concrete steps to take.

The after party at club Rust, where I summarized everything in a simple “Good show” when I patted Thomas on his shoulder. Thanks to him and all volunteers and supporting companies for making it happen once more.

And on top of all that I got to share yet another conference with Elmine. Both working on our own stuff, doing our own thing, but able to share the same context and energy this created.

On the way to the after party, someone asked me what I like to do in my spare time:

THIS.


Thomas and his wife during the boat trip. Making one more Reboot happen. Photo by Jarkko, license CC BY.

While I drove Marc Smith, his son Eli, and Andrea Ben Lassoued back from the G.O.R. conference in Bielefeld to Enschede to meet up with Lilia Efimova, it was Marc that started the thoughts for this blogpost rolling.

At some point, after discussing opinions on the EU, and how living in a border town felt and feels, he concluded "then you are part of the international class".

True I guess. But what does that mean? Over the past 5 years the mycelium of my social network has indeed come to encircle the globe. It means my empathy now flows to a much wider range of people on almost all continents. Their local news becomes my local news too, and from it I build patterns and notions of what is going on in the world. That is a good thing: having a sense of world events build on my empathy for the emotions and experiences of distinct individuals. It brings it all home in a way the main stream media never can hope to achieve.

We do build a class I think, as Marc called it. We spend money, time and effort to meet eachother in different European capitals, we invite people we never met face to face before into our homes to stay. Going to a conference like Reboot or BlogTalk brings multiple days of very intense conversations, and exchange of ideas, while we recognize ourselves in the other. It is a heady mix and it’s addictive.

But is it as diverse as it is international?

I and others say it often: Europe’s true innovative potential lies in it’s diversity.
Not in emulating other parts of the world, best practices make you runner up at most, but in what defines us most: the patchwork of local cultures, languages and traditions that is this continent. That diversity worked against us in numerous wars and feuds across the centuries. Over the past 50 years we are increasingly finding ourselves under the roof of the EU, establishing common ground. It is a remarkable political experiment: a supranational construct that does not lay claim to any specific geographical area. Now that we start to see our common ground better and better, how to learn to build on our wonderful diversity?

What can I do, what can I take as an action list to start celebrating diversity. And what about you?
What on the agenda of an event like Reboot 8, would help us do that?

Your thoughts are appreciated.