Quick notes from first Drumbeat events
March 24, 2010 § 2 Comments
Recent Drumbeat events in Rio and Sao Paulo provided a good chance to test out our agenda format. Things went well and we sparked some good momentum in Brasil — but there was definitely a great deal of learning on how we can make these events better. I need to synthesize this into the event wiki over the next week or so. In the meantime, here are some quick notes while it’s all fresh in my head:
1. Using local events to refine our talking points re: what is the open web worked well. Not because everyone agreed, but rather because people engaged passionately in the debate in ways that added value. The hard part won’t be having good conversations about the open web in cities around the world — it will be linking these conversations together so that the concept gets clearer. That’s something we need to think through as we develop our event organizing kit over the next couple of weeks.
2. People want to learn about Drumbeat projects. But they want to talk about their own projects just as much. We did a speedgeek w/ two Drumbeat projects and three local ‘drumbeat like projects’. After it was all over, people said: ‘Great, love it. Can i talk about my project now?’ We used much of closing circle to let people give 1 minute pitches. This says two things to me: 1) we need to make a clear invite for speedgeekers in advance of these events and 2) there are many people out there with ideas that could feed into Drumbeat.
3. A clear ‘what is drumbeat?’ presentation is essential for the first meeting in any city. We’d originally talked about going light on this, relying mostly on the project examples to illustrate the Drumbeat concept. That wouldn’t have worked. People really wanted to dig into the Drumbeat framework in detail. Bruno and I delivered a quick slide overview in Rio, and Pedro did this on his own in Sao Paulo. This gave people most of the info they were asking for, and also sparked good debate and discussion on how Drumbeat should work.
4. Two messages that came through loud and clear in the ‘how should Drumbeat work?’ discussions: 1) keep it distributed, both in terms of the projects and technology and 2) make sure that it’s about **doing things** that you can trace to an outcome, and not just about ideas and talking. Both those things are at the core of our existing thinking, so it was affirming to hear that these were the things that people cared about.
5. Drumbeat events should probably be on Saturdays. We did these events on Thursday and Monday. Many people said that made it hard for them to get there in the first place.
6. Half a day was a good introduction, but we needed longer. While our plan is to do full day events in most cities, we weren’t able to for Rio and Sao Paulo. This meant that we didn’t have time to get into any substantive hands on work on projects or collaboration. It’s worth pushing through to do the full day events in other cities to see if we can get to this practical collaboration part.
7. Drumbeat events can be infectious. People in both Rio and Sao Paulo expressed interest in organizing similar events in their own cities. We need a way to follow up with these people right away when they put their hand up. The good news is that we’re developing a local event kit and support system. This sould be coming in very rough form in the next few weeks.
In any case, great events. Deepest thanks to Bruno, Pedro and Daniela for taking the lead to make these happen. I was really in awe of how quickly they pulled these together. They are exactly the kind of community leaders that Drumbeat needs.