Going into day two of Silicon Beach 2017 I was disappointed to have missed the five awesome additional speakers from the evening before but I was at least clear-headed and ready for day two, which was not something that could be said for everyone I met clamouring for the coffee this morning!
In sharp contrast with some of the audience, the day was kicked off full of energy when David McQueen took to the stage. David was there to teach us how to be BRAVE (bold, resilient, authentic, visionary and empowering) in our leadership and he made us laugh out loud along the way but for me, the standout message was one of values and honesty. I was surprised that I couldn’t easily define my values when he asked us to but in the spirit of honesty, it’s something I’ll certainly be putting more thought into this weekend.
The high energy and audience engagement continued when Bo Hellberg spoke to us about the three acts of all stories and how most of tend to focus on act one and three but forget or fear the importance of act two: chaos. I loved Bo’s method of making his point by combining real-time examples using volunteers with historical case studies of chaos giving rise to awesome discoveries. I think we could all benefit from embracing chaos and Bo gave us a list of things to remember in order to truly do that which I promptly photographed and will be working from moving forward. Really I just wanted a legitimate reason to procrastinate and daydream and now I have photographic evidence that it’ the right thing to do during the creative process. Thanks Bo!
I feel that this year’s Silicon Beach quietly raised some underlying themes that seemed to come up in many of the presentations and the break time chats while never being the entire focus. The risks of being overconnected and the potential for a dystopian and the need for us to be digitally mindful. The later was approached brilliantly by Victoria Buchanan today. Victoria asked us if a digital resistance might be required to combat persuasive technology and our focus and attention being held hostage. Some big questions and ones that in my experience are usually answered with things like digital detox periods or unplugged cafes but it was refreshing to be reminded that the poison might just be the cure if people like Skylar Jessen continue to design digital products and experiences that support rather than risk our mental well-being.
I could completely relate to Matt Ballantine when he came to the stage and announced that he suffers with ‘Imposter Syndrome’, in fact, I’m acutely aware of it as I write this! I found Matt’s talk really interesting and inspiring and not just because he talked about one of my favourite things (Lego) but because he gave me the tools I need to embrace my inner imposter. I think I understand clocks and clouds, I tend to work openly now and clearly, I network diversely but the big takeaway for me is to ‘get tinkering’. Matt also lifted the lid on a Scandinavian conspiracy to manipulate us into buying Ikea furniture through indoctrination at an early age with Lego!
I promised myself I would write with brevity this year and pick out only key points that I would definitely action and I think I have but I have to mention a couple of other things that I took from day two. From today I have a newfound fear of mirrors, a rekindled love of Twitter and a rejuvenated respect of the World Wild Web!
So it’s been another fantastic Silicon Beach with almost as much inspiration coming from the breaks as coming from the stage. I love that every year I have more and more productive and interesting discussions with like-minded people while hearing from some brilliant minds that have been hunted down by our charismatic host. Take a bow Mr Desmier and keep up the good work because I’m already looking forward to Silicon Beach 2018!
See also: Silicon Beach 2017 Day One