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OSOS Update #4

Somewhere around afternoon tea time I started to get a slightly disembodied feeling. It’s all very well being a conduit between an open source conference and the outside world, but after a while I started feeling like a piece of hardware, welded to my keyboard and touch screen by the fingertips.

So I thought, rather than blogging up a storm of snippets, perhaps I should actually immerse myself in something. So off I went to the Open Sharing Cities workshop with Helen Kirlew Smith and Darren Sharp. Darren’s a user-based design facilitator specialising in urban development, and Helen’s a theatre practitioner who works a lot with the Letting Space and community, including Mark Amery and Sophie Jerram.

After a bit of show and tell, Darren took us through a little urban development exercise, using his consultancies’ (Sharable, and Social Social Surplus) methodology. He uses 6 tools: Share; Facilitate; Repair; Activate; Steward; Grow. My table got the Repair card. Each table had to use one of his conceptual tools to solve a problem for Wellington. And present it in a creative way.

About half my table was from out of town. I said I wished Wellington didn’t have so many hills. Somoene else (a Wellingtonian) said if she could repair anything, it’d be the wind. Amen to that, I thought. But nobody was listening.

Instead, we thought it’d be quite good if all the stuff we chuck out when it breaks down could get repaired or recycled and so on, which you can’t really argue against. So we sort of cobbled together the idea of adapting something like Pokemon Go where if you had something go bung, you could snap it and geotag and pay someone (or not - moot point) to take it away and deal with it in an appropriately sustainable manner.

Extreme close up view of the workshop Open Sharing Cities.

I have no idea what that has to do with Pokemon Go, but if you do, let us know.

There may have been some discussion about whether you could make a sort of reverse auction out of it, so as to make it incrementally more appealing for people to come and take your old shit off your hands. But I’m not sure if that bit ever got off the ground.

I thought it was funny that we were a table of 7 men and 1 woman, and it was the woman who did all the note-taking. And I wondered briefly whether Dale Spender would have thought that was typical of men leaving all the heavy lifting to the one in the dress, or atypical of men’s tendency to dominate the conversation.

Anyway, just as we were wrapping it up, Darren reminded us that we had to present it in a creative way. Like a story. Or a song, or something. At that point I tried to block my ears, while looking as if I was doing something else. One group managed to figure out a way of everyone in the group narrating a different part of their story, but most groups just left it to the poor erstwhile member who’d done most of the note taking to recite out what they’d come up with. No points for guessing who that was in our group.

So at about that point I resorted to Twitter.

Which lead - eventually - to the following exchange

Which they seemed to like, and even went on to encourage in others. So. In the spirit not only of open source, but brazenly open creativity, let us know any workshop or keynote experiences you may have had, in haiku form. For those of you inclined towards coded accuracy, that is a three line poem in which the first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third line has 5 syllables. Like an english football strategy: 5, 7, 5. Got it? Let’s hear it. You can get me here or Joe Cederwall here.

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