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Food brings people together. Sharing favourite recipes and talking about interesting spices can open conversations. But it’s not the recipe or the spice that leaves a lasting impression. It’s the people that come together to share the meal. It’s going to be a global smorgasbord when the Creative Commons Global Summit comes to Toronto, April 28 to 30th. I’m looking forward to swapping some recipes and experiencing new spices while sharing about Virtually Connecting (VC).
At the CC Global Summit there will be many opportunities to share the magic that happens within Virtually Connecting sessions in both physical and digital spaces. It’s an opportunity to bring people together in small groups to share ideas, experiences, feelings, connections between and among the formal conference sessions. These common ingredients often become remixed and cook up unexpected results. VC sessions range in format from hallway hangouts to conversations about conversations. However these sessions happen, it’s about the people at the table that makes the meal a memorable one. A list of the many VC sessions shared is found on the VC site.
Since I’m a relative newcomer to the Creative Commons (CC) neighbourhood, I’m looking forward to meeting new people and actively sharing my VC experiences. I’ll also be connecting with the VC community through conversations with people who are attending the summit. Since this is now a sold-out event, there’s an opportunity for those who can’t physically be present to engage in the conversations. VC sets the table and anyone can join the meal.
What will happen when Virtually Connecting meets CC?
Will new topics simmer while recipes are remixed? Will exciting flavours be exchanged? There’s a wealth of creativity in the common ground that food and cooking can bring. A meal together breaks down barriers and builds community – no telling where this can lead. Toronto and the CC Global Summit will have much to offer when VConnecting meets CC.
VC is centered on people, conversations, and topics that are open and invitational. These global campfire conversations are “motivated by a desire to improve the virtual conference experience for those who cannot be present at conferences for financial, logistical, social or health reasons.” (Virtually connecting web site). These video collaborations use Google hangout to connect people from the physical conference space to virtual participants who engage in live conversations. Check the VC website to see how it all started over two years ago and how it’s grown over time.
The aim of VC is to welcome and include while recognizing that these conference conversation experiences are bounded by time, space, access, technology, and by the availability of volunteers who can engage in these synchronous physical-with-virtual gatherings. Technology issues with hardware and software are often uncontrollable ingredients. Speakers, microphones, laptops, tablets, mobile technologies, and environmental locations become controlling factors in the quality and novelty of the conversational context.
The recipe for VC sessions is an ever-changing blend of ingredients. As master chefs are aware, it’s not the recipe that rules the outcome, but the serendipity of quality, quantity, diversity and novelty of ingredients that create the best dishes. While adding spices to the combinations, it’s the magic of the moment that determines the outcome. As it is with VC conversations, not all seasoning combinations work out well and the resulting flavours aren’t necessarily to everyone’s liking, but the lessons learned in the explorations are worth the efforts. When VConnecting meets CC at the Global Summit it’ll be less about reduction or intensifying discourse, and more about adding zest to the open dialogues.
The CC Global Summit will provide space and place for people from diverse neighbourhoods within the CC movement to engage openly in conversations of importance to the community. With there may be separate tracks for engagement at the summit, there’s potential for a rich diversity of flavours to add into the mix. VC will bring a metaphoric campfire to augment and spice up the conversations. With this shared collaboration in physical and digital spaces, VC and CC can create a savoury exchange of ideas, people and experiences. With the upcoming VC and CC interactions, I hope that some VC spice will leave a lasting, positive impression in the CC cooking pot. In return, I’m certain that CC experiences will flavour the meal for VC participants. The possibilities that can come from the CC Global Summit with a VC presence are potentially catalytic which hopefully will continue the remixing of recipes for both movements.
You are welcome to join in these conversations and add your unique ingredients. The schedule of VC sessions happening at the CC Global Summit is posted on the Virtually Connecting site. If you are on-site at the summit, you are welcome to watch a session in action. When you’re ready, join into an event. If you can’t get to the CC Global Summit you can participate in a session virtually or watch live while it’s happening. Sessions will be recorded and can be viewed after the event. Send us a tweet @VConnecting or add a comment on the blog post to let us know you’re open to the opportunity. Please let us know how and when you’d like to join in.
So let’s get together in the kitchen and stir the pot a little! New spicy combinations will emerge.