UK Diary: Monday – Reboot Britain – The Traveling Geeks Help Out

by on July 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Monday morning several Traveling Geeks take part in the Reboot Britain conference organized by NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts).

Howard Rheingold:

The day starts with an exercise in cat-herding, with the whole crazy crew piling into three London taxis. Try putting any five of those rather strong individual personalities into an enclosed space and “intense” is the only word for it.

… It was the first time I had spoken publicly about a subject I’ve grown passionate about – 21st Century Literacies. You know you’ve hit the mark when people are still sitting at the end of the last session of the day. I finished speaking, acknowledged warm applause, sat down — and people kept sitting. So I got back on stage and fielded questions for another 20 minutes. Thank you, London, for making my day!

There were lots of interesting panels.

Renee Blodgett:

On the panel, “is the web female?” moderated by BT’s JP Rangaswami, four women talked about their opinions around a) what does the web ‘being female’ mean and b) should there be the “divide debate” at all?

…The debate in the hallway was mixed but most didn’t feel that technology was geared towards men. They haven’t been to Silicon Valley I was thinking. 99% of my client CEOs and head honchos have been men as have the majority of their engineering team. There’s always a token woman or two among us but I never feel as if they’re the main decision drivers. Bear in mind that this is the majority of my experience but not all.

down the avenue: Is the Web Female?

Renee Blodgett posted a short video of Jeff Saperstein’s talk:

Craig Newmark was on a panel talking about his favorite topics.

Meghan Asha: A website that allows users to report, view, or discuss local problems (like graffiti, street lighting, or broken paving slabs). Craig plans to employ a similar site in the United States. Thus, using social media to employ change in the public sector. A social network that connects the government community. You can join if you’re a government employee, organization, contractor, or student. This social network cuts through the bureaucracy, empowering government officials for change.Check out Craig’s blog, he plans to lead grassroots effort using social media growing the engagement of others from millions to billions in the next 20 years.–

Here are Craig’s thoughts…

My focus was on how a lot of people in the US, gov’t and private industry, know how to get stuff done. That’s equally true of the UK.

That is, there’re already a lot of solutions out there, but getting people to work together is required. Online social media can be used to do that.