Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Conversations with Richard Saul Wurman

I was having a nice conservation on Monday with my friend, journalist Amanda Robb, about topics that floated in interesting ways from pitching social awareness campaigns to women's magazines to the role of Twitter and other social media in reporting. The conversation got me thinking about the two different angles that we approach our respective careers in media: she with the words and stories and publications of a journalist and me with the technology platforms, codes and administration of new media operations that bring those words to the world.

So what a treat to find out about Richard Saul Wurman's newest venture, the WWW.WWW Conference, which will celebrate improvised conversation.

Simply pairings of amazingly interesting individuals prompted by a question, generating a conversation. For 10 minutes to 50 minutes. And so it will go – conversations interlaced with threads of improvised music. An astrophysicist & a microbiologist. An actor & a playwright. A jazz musician & a classical one. An energetic exploration of the lost art of conversing.

WWW.Wow. Where else could you find TED founder Richard Saul Wurman, Yo Yo Ma, Herbie Hancock and ESRI's Jack Dangermond all in one place? It's the WWW.WWW Conference, currently planned for September 18/20, 2012.

WWW.WWW will be a gathering of the greatest, most interesting & curious minds in the world engaged in immersive & improvised conversation. It will celebrate the 21st century while drawing attention to the new patterns & convergences effecting our health & that of our planet.

A unique un-conference that pairs up incredible minds for brief chats in a single venue. No presentations. No schedule. Just 100 interesting people and 50 conversations.

Richard Saul Wurman, who also founded TEDMED and the eg conferences, and coined the term "information architect" in 1976, is himself a M.Arch graduate who has been exploring the themes of design and place and livable urban environments since the sixties, so it is fitting that ESRI president and fellow mapping pioneer, Jack Dangermond should host the conference. You will recognize other great names associated with the event incuding glass artist Dale Chihuly, who will create an installation for the event and SEED Media Goup's Adam Bly as Science Curator. SEED was an original creator of what was to become my all-time favorite MOMA show, Design and the Elastic Mind.

The event will be streamed live to multiple locations and the talks will also be available via a yet-to-be-released, multi-platform tablet application.

Watch for details.

I won't want to miss the conversation, so I've already added it to my calendar.

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