Manchester, a Tech City?

To Sharp Campus and a decent verbal punch-up on Manchester’s future as a Tech City.

Manchester, a Tech City?

An event at Sharp Campus

Storified by Brian_Condon · Fri, May 18 2012 02:15:38

Event 004 Manchester, a Tech City?2012 sees Manchester ideally placed to be the national engine for digital growth. Investment and development in connectivity, including the Urban Broadband Fund, resources and education have created the opportunity for the city to compete at the forefront of the UK’s key emerging new sector. But
Pre #event004 drinks in The Campus – due to traffic we’re starting a little later Sharp Project
At #event004 to hear about Manchester’s future as a city for startups.
Managed to make it to @sharpproject for #event004 & see @MartinSFP after slog from MCUK. Interested to see how relates to @BBC_Connected.
At @sharpcampus (swanky!) Download: 8.49 Mbps Upload: 7.28 Mbps wifi! For #event004Brian_Condon
Ian Aspin introduces Elizabeth Varley of TechHub and Martin Bryant of The Next Web. Elizabeth says that they focus of tech led product companies especially start-ups.
Full house for #event004 – just starting now, @IanAspin leading the panel Sharp Project
Panel at #Event004 @sharpproject
#event004 "You have to be slightly crazy to be an entrepreneur" @evarley
@MartinSFP I gave up job for life, great pension to pursue the dream but it isn’t for everyone and that ain’t a bad thing #event004
TEDxManchester – Martin Bryant – Where Are the Manchester Startups?
He says he did the “worst talk ever at TEDxManchester”. Ian says he feels people do want to do big ideas in Manchester but there doesn’t seem to be one location or ways for people to connect. Is it about isolated individuals?asks Ian
Drinking beer and sitting at the back at #event004. Should I heckle? Just for kicks.
@Simon_Swan Yes – heckling is good. 🙂 #event004Brian_Condon
#event004 started with some frustration at how to scale up tech start-ups, but not pinpointed the lack of critical mass
Time for anarchist entrepreneurs to get organised 😉 #event004
Simon Swan asks about the creative environment in Manchester – we have the music industry can we really upscale into serious business?Martin says we need an attitude that treats tech entrepreneurs as rock stars – why not. Talks about VCs wearing suits. Need a punk attitude. It’s about getting out there and doing it. Similar to the way a new band might go out.
Ian says isn’t the passion enough? Can we find people over social media? And then maybe meet them. But I feel connected. My community is in the phone and on Twitter. I can hang out with people.
@MartinSFP does it really matter what someone is fucking wearing? #event004
@MartinSFP but equally looking like a scruffy bugger can say you just aren’t serious about your business. #event004
There is something to be said for actually meeting people says Martin – and there s a sense of belonging to place. Elizabeth says she agrees and that the “bumping into people on the street”. Not everyone can approach mentors or ask for help – facilitating introductions and helping people to meet. We need to include people who may not be quite so socially outgoing.
Actually I am starting wonder is there too much emphasis on inbred networking in digital and not enough with just getting on #event004
Our scribe @Hankers4Charlie will be writing up coverage of #event004 live & post event – we’ll link to full feature when blogged
Question about critical mass and whether wealth and critical mass can spread from London. And Tech_Britain raises the issue of finance. Elizabeth says it’s not the £5m we need it’s 25k – or maybe £10k. We need to look at very early stage businesses into which those who’ve done well in other businesses can invest in early stage business.
Whoa Snoreditch alert! Bow & worship all Mancs! #event004
Stuart Smith – the investment question is very complex. Been going for 4 years and he feels there is an obsession about finance and not enough focus on trade. Trade will build economic recovery he argues and it needs a build up of trust in new business.
"There’s too much emphasis on investment and not enough on trade" #Event004
@StuMSmith "Trade will rebuild the economy" yeh! #event004
Point from tenant about investment – we have a free model and we have revenue down the line; funding is problematic give that we need to build up users and our value in its user base.
Web businesses can fail or succeed quickly – it’s about spread bets for them – often Angel funds. Problem is there’s lots of these new businesses and that means that the barriers to them getting funding are higher.
Ian is asking who from Manchester is just going to build something and get on with it. Participant says it doesn’t matter whe the money comes from – why is it a problem going to London for money?Andrew Barlow of Applearn and Andrew Mullet have joined the panel. Andrew says he hasn’t got an investor – we might need an investor to help build machines. We don’t want an investor.
Andrew says he helped to start Manchester Confidential – and he doesn’t see the funding thing.
Interested to hear of a lack of infrastructure in mcr at #event004. I agree we need to be more supportive, collaborative & collective.
Of course the IP laws relating to digital in the UK compared to the US does make the industry far less attractive to invest in #event004
Ian says we need to go back to our “Grandad’s business model” sell stuff that people want to buy. A participant says that no one should go for a big bang exit company – certainly not in Manchester. It is true that some businesses need a runway – but that is not true of all of them It’s all about the people and the atmosphere.
Ian argues that there’s not much missing – we need to attack the right people.
Shaun Fensom has joined the panel and he says Manchester has the 2nd biggest tech scene in Manchester – big enough to have scale; small enough to be able to bump into people.
Taking about the importance of community & collaboration #event004 – can elevate a startup
"Manchester is all about the people and atmosphere" #Event004
#event004 development versus the need to bring in £££ – "don’t forgot about your staff & value of the city" (from the floor)
@StuMSmith funny how these ‘off the cufflinks’ comments develop #event004
@MartinSFP groan! 😉 there is the talk title! #event004
FENSOM! #ledge #event004
Ian says “do they push themselves to do things they couldn’t do without your Hub” to Elizabeth Varley. She says the important thing is the challenge you get from those around you. But sometimes people just have to push on.
We need to say ‘fuck off’ to the hoops that VCs et al want us to jump through and get on with the job in hand. #event004
RT @sharpproject: #event004 BBC talking about innovation studio – bringing people in to pitch across network, again, collaboration becoming a key theme
A frustrated entrepreneur speaks from the back of the room. He says in Boston most of the people wanting to do startups the are in there twenties or even in their teens. Also we seem to have a much more stratified or structured market and this inhibits working across boundaries. Over focus on big companies. Missing link is bringing disciplines together and helping young people to get more involved. Mentions the endowments of the big US universities.
A participant says he set up a business and grew it organically. He ended up selling it and getting the same amount of money as someone who set up with equity investment. Both were people-based companies. An exit route is a bit more complicated – and potential buyers will also point that out to you.
"It doesn’t matter whether you take the equity funding or revenue funding route as long as its right for the business" #Event004
Ian says it’s about doing something that matters. “Find people you don’t know who’ve done stuff and hang out with them. Find a life that matters and create an impact.”
#event004 closing statements from @IanAspin – be aware of obstacles but look to the community, achieve more with people around you
Nice bit of jostling and debates and questions #event004

MyDex – William Heath

Mydex – William Heath

Approaching the control of personal data

Storified by Brian_Condon · Thu, May 17 2012 10:52:53

RT @markbraggins: Now listening to William Heath @MydexCIC talking about ‘the next technology that will change the world’ #futr
@MydexCIC "People will only change their behaviour if it’s convenient for them" #futr
SOme interesting insights from the Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge at #futr anyone read it?
The issue, says William Heath, is involving people in owning and managing their personal data easily rather than exporting all that data and leaving it in the hands of your suppliers. But it needs to be really easy.
Mydex is potentially really useful & may intrinsically change the way public sector customer services deliver services. #futr
Faire trade for personal data #futr @FuturEverything
@MydexCIC "You live everything in your own life, and want a holistic view" of your data #futr
Range of personal data stores of which Mydex is just one. #futr
Excellent approach to control of personal data from William Heath of Mydex CIC #futr
Mydex connecting with BBC/the Space, local authorities, professional bodies. How about alumni? #futr
Very interesting to hear William Heath present @MydexCIC – check it out if u’re concerned about online identity and security. #futr
Feeling a bit paranoid about personal data…thankfully my tesco club card is in @KatieHarrison8 name! #iwin #futr
Man, we were competing with zombies?? Great that the session was so well attended. Thanks #FUTR


A brilliant talk on data visualisation from Moritz Stefaner.


Moritz Stefaner

Storified by Brian_Condon · Fri, May 18 2012 01:55:32

Views of the world or worldview – take your pick
Moritz Stefaner at Future Everythingdigitalcitizenuk
Wow, a truth and beauty operator Moritz Stefaner #datavisualiser #futr
@moritz_stefaner shares visualisation of Wikipedia deletion discussion for "Biscuits and human sexuality" topic #futr
Job title of the day #futr @moritz_stefaner ‘Truth and Beauty Operator’. Ah I do love a bit of data visualisation
Stefaner calls himself a Truth&Beauty operator comparing data visualisation as a means of seeing the world fr above like an astronaut #futr
Moritz Stefaner and "Keep Delete" voting on #lolcats #futr
RT @goldenlatrine: Inspiring talk by "truth and beauty operator" @moritz_stefaner, creating beautiful patterns from data! #futr
#futr @moritz_stefaner guiding us through his data viz of Wikipedia. Fascinating.
@moritz_stefaner fascinating insight in to the OECD Better Life Index #futr Braggins
RT @markbraggins: @moritz_stephaner explores the data using his own tools, and then tries to turn the essence of that in to a picture #futr
Better Life index, Moritz Stefaner… #futr Papadimitriou
@moritz_stefaner extracting core meaning of data sets and visualising beautifully *joy of pictures* #futr
muesli Ingredients as data visualisation. I like @moritz_stefaner #futr
OECD Better Life – gorgeous interactive visualisation with @moritz_stefaner at #futr
So beautiful. Sexy informative data. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! #futr Brearley
#futr @moritz_stefaner discusses the Emoto #London2012 project – with much self restraint!
He says he works analytically and everything is there for the data – but if the solution is not beautiful, the answer is probably wrong.
@moritz_stefaner working on project with @toodrew Emoto – visualise Olympic games social media responses #futr
RT @brian_condon: @mauritz_stefaner says (a la Buckminster Fuller) if the solution’s not beautiful, the answer’s wrong #futr #dataviz Lawson
Now here’s a good one "pragnanz" concise, clearly shaped, elegant #futr @moritz_stefaner
@moritz_stefaner @futrConf #futr Loved hearing about your approach, inspirational!
RT @FuturEverything: #futr @moritz_stefaner discusses the Emoto #London2012 project – with much self restraint! Stefaner

“Social media is cave painting”

The Mass Observation panel at Future Everything caused a bit of a spat (polite, of course) when Pauline from the BBC in Liverpool described social media as “cave painting” and “tweeting about having a latte”.

Mass Observation

Some tweeting around the panel sessiom

Storified by Brian_Condon · Fri, May 18 2012 01:42:23

Conference Panel: Mass Observation | FutureEverythingFutureEverything Conference Panel: Mass Observation 2012 is the 75th Anniversary of the Mass Observation Movement. FutureEverything has been working with the current custodians of the Mass Observation archive to explore the relevance of the movement in today’s new participatory culture.
I was late to this panel as the previous session I was in overran. And live blogging @rohan_21awake’s keynote was intense – so rather than a full liveblog this is a few notes, pictures and tweets from a really interesting discussion session.
The Mass Observation panel at #futr with @fionacourage, @billt et al Bryant
Hearing about story-telling and how it can be incorporated into local archives.
Interesting start on theme of mass observation at #futr
Bill Thompson says hat cameras in domestic use were unusual in the 1930s and we now need new metaphors.
Need to ask ourselves "what is worth keeping" but we can’t know and lots of BBC’s archive is ‘incidental’ #futr @billt
Love it! @billt calling for death of spreadsheet to make it as easy as possible to mange, use & play with metadata #futr #massobservation
Social media is really just cave painting in the 21c! This is the world of an archivest #futr
Bloody hell. The bbc lady on mass observation panel is a social network hater and wants to edit online histories. #handbagsatdawn #futr
at #futr – @daveaddey listening to @brian_condonundefined
What are the implications for access if corporations own most of our online data? #futr
#futr Not mentioned so far: Video Nation was a BBC project that was based on Mass Observation and pioneered video blogging.
Pauline keeps coming back to the central importance of the function of the Editor and selector of content. I disagreed with her especially on her attitude to social media. Paulne kicked up a bit of a stir – which was good fun. Bill Thompson displayed perhaps another face of the BBC. This Storify is, of course, one aspect of social media which does not involve “Tweeting about having a latte” as Pauline described it…

How Can Gen Ys Become Gen Wise?

Rohan Gunatillake gave opening keynote at Future Everything in Manchester. Thought-provoking, intriguing and, to some in the audience a bit baffling. I enjoyed it – here’s the Storify:

How Can Gen Ys Become Gen Wise?

Rohan Gunatillake

Storified by Brian_Condon · Fri, May 18 2012 01:25:29

Keynote Speaker: Rohan Gunatillake | FutureEverything ConferenceFutureEverything Conference Keynote Speaker Rohan Gunatillake presents one of the most original talks you are likely to see this year – on how people are using technology to reinvent Buddhism. Rohan was recently named in Wired Magazine’s The Smart List 2012: 50 People Who Will Change The World. Conservative, dogmatic and authoritarian…
Hoping Rohan Gunatillake, founder of urban Buddhism app, is going to help soothe my morning stress @FuturEverything #futr

The importance of good beginnings

Rohan says “memorable” can go one of two ways. At the beginning of a conference we have fresh minds and we don’t know where it might go.

Starts in 2007 in a meditation practice and study centre – and he met a young novice and realised that he was also 2nd generation Sri Lanken. They had lots of mutual connections. He was a monk in Thailand and saw something in Rohan and asked “Have you thought about becoming a monk” and I said no.
And we’re off! @rohan_21awake, explaining his experiences in Thailand #futr to begin his Keynote "Generation Wise"
@rohan_21awake : if you want to stay there for more than 3 nights you have to shave your head, and that includes your eyebrows #futr

Buddhism in the Digital Age

But he also realised that Buddhist practices can work in cities and big organisations. The are lots of people making Buddhist practice work in urban environments and in technology.

@rohan_21awake "Generation Wise wants to make Buddhism part of our lives but our lives are digital, relational, urban" #futr
"it’s not fashionable to talk about religion" and now we delve in to the thick of it, note convoluted subtitle #futr
RT @bilalr: Buddhism as an innovation tradition, in inner technologies and design – by @rohan_21awake at #futr
@rohan_21awake in full flow at #futr Buddhist practice in the Digital Age

“Inner Technologies”

RT @findmandy: Like @Rohan_21awake #futr description of the Buddah as a protoscientist- using inner technologies to gain insights into the human condition
@rohan_21awake "We’re here in a cathedral to external technologies. Meditation is an inner technology of attention and intention" #futr
@rohan_21awake talking about the Buddha and the development of "inner technology" #futr
Moving into the Zen aesthetic and a change in inner technology – about simplicity and Koan practice. The 3 grand traditions of Buddhism innovating and changing but in their own largely geographic areas. Once the hippies came along this changed – as some of them engaged and took the thinking back to the West.
But now it’s not in the Hippies – it’s in the Hipsters! Now you have all the traditions in one place whose teachers are baby boomers and it’s all a bit of a mess.
#futr Buddhism has now moved from the realm of the hippies to the hipsters.
Paraphrasing @rohan_21awake: hipsters are a growth market for Buddhism #futr
Hipster meditators. Ha. #futr
Lots of comment on Twitter about Rohan’s comments about Hippies to Hipsters transition.
Buddhist GeeksDiscover the Emerging Face(s) of Buddhism
Now he’s talking about Buddhist Geeks as “hackers of the mind” – and he made the Buddhify app as an example of meditation design applied to the modern world.
Buddhist geeks are "hackers of the mind" says @rohan_21awake at #futr
@rohan_21awake #OMCru is a community of people all around the world practising meditation together, mediated by Twitter #futr
Buddhist geeks as mind hackers, online meditation communities, urban meditation, buddhify. Real food for thought #futr, and I’m an atheist!
Corporate buddhism – scary. Buddhist geeks – intriguing. Hacking operations of the mind – ?! @rohan_21awake at #futr
#omcru buddhify as learning mediation walking around the city #futr #wellbeing
RT @futrConf: @rohan_21awake : Buddhist geeks are working on hacking the operating system of the mind. They take it seriously. #futr
BrainBotBrainBot began as a trip to the Himalayan mountains to measure the brainwaves of meditating monks. In the summer of 2011, we won a grant from the non-profit healthcare incubator to help people be more mindful through technology.
His hypothesis is that using your phone will aid mental health – and eventually we will start to integrate technology into ourselves.
There seems to be hi-minded a Buddhist "inner technology" meme at #FUTR. I was going to talk about Data Wombles #pullmysocksup
@rohan_21awake : I get a lot of flak…someone’s writing a masters thesis on the spiritual disaster of [my app] @buddhify #futr
I like the sound of “algorithmic meditation”, I’d be so much more inclined to meditate if I had a robot teacher #futr
Now he’s looking at attention and activism and how we can soften the minds of activists as well – as a way to avoiding ‘burn out’ and the feeling of being overwhelmed. He sees this happening in the next 5 years – where inner technologies can play a bigger part. Mentions Steve Jobs (influenced by Zen aethetics) and Eric Ries and the Lean Startup movement.
Attention economy, why don’t we design with the mind in mind? Is silence actually silent from an attention point of view? Interesting #futr
QuestionsRe use of term Buddhism – does it become obsolete?It’s why we called it meditation by design – not Buddhism by design. Not necessarily using the transformative power.
great opening keynote by @rohan_21awake at @futureverything: meditation as internal technology of attention and intention #futr
@rohan_21awake interesting! Something to munch on this morning……. @VincentHorn
@rohan_21awake great talk Rohan! Really enjoyed it.

Ultra-Connected Smart Cities

An INCA event in Manchester

“Today INCA launches a Special Interest Group for ‘Ultra-Connected Smart Cities’ – those cities in the UK working to improve their digital infrastructure. The launch event at Manchester Town Hall has attracted a large audience wanting to find out what cities like Manchester, Bristol and Derby are planning. They also have an opportunity to hear about major private sector initiatives, including City Fibre Holdings plans for commercially-funded urban fibre to the home (FTTH) networks, and new wireless broadband initiatives.
The Special Interest Group brings together public, private and community organisations in a dialogue about how our cities can get the best digital infrastructure for future prosperity and economic growth.”
Here’s a liveblog of the event:

Shaping the Catapult…

Shaping the Connected Digital Economy Catapult

A focus on SMEs

Storified by Brian_Condon · Thu, May 10 2012 12:06:24

Here’s the briefing material for the day:

“The workshop will start with a presentation on the vision, scope and process for the establishment of the Catapult and will be a chance for participants to understand and debate the range of ways companies will be able to work with the catapult, including strategic partnerships, delivery partnerships, and participation in projects and use of resources and facilities. 

The main part of the workshop will delve into and debate the type of resources and facilities that the centre could provide that would benefit SMEs once the centre is established; note that this will not be about specific technology areas or projects, but about the nature of the gap that SMEs face and where practical support from the Catapult would make a big difference. 

The information captured from the debate will be used as part of the ongoing development phase of the CDE Catapult and will form valuable input into the initial business plan for the centre.”
#CDECatapult meeting starts with 100 people @nick_appleyard @kramix @drgeep @brian_condon @JeremyS1
In a room with windows, high ceilings, room to breathe….. must be the SME day for the #cdecatapult !
RT @marekpawlowski: Interested to hear from anyone at #cdecatapult with a view on the importance of user-centred design in digital industry
At Bristol Science Park workshop on how SMEs will engage with #CDECatapult. Essential to find ways of involving them at the heart of it.
Nick is introducing the CDEC and some of the work that has been done on the CDE Catapult. Consultations going on over several years. Over the 7 catapults there will be £250m available to invest.
@nick_appleyard presents on #cdecatapult in Bristol
The playing field is the internet #cdecatapult
#CDECatapult will be important – flagship even – at the right point in history for convergence (e.g. of tech / creative).
Good question: what is a #CDECatapult? What does it do? Hopefully finding out, we’ll let you know!
Conference underway, briefing from @nick_appleyard on connected digital economy #CDECatapult Craven
Questions:How do SMEs get involved with the #cdecatapult
7 Catapults in total – ICT-heavy – centres to help grow the economy – looking at big conversations – all interconnected #CDECatapult
Catapults take on big challenges, big conversations of very diverse sets of people #cdecatapult
Aim of #CDECatapult: UK to be a global leader – where people/companies come to innovate for digital services/media/content.
End to end visibility of media content across infrastructure – how to monetise? #IP fits nicely here #CDECatapult
@EIP_Digital Don’t you think "end-to-end visibility" of content on the Internet is an oxymoron though? #cdecatapult
@brian_condon Depends on the level – packet-level can trace vs. content-level tracking (e.g. who has/is downloading what).
@EIP_Digital but the ISPs/Telcos keep saying they don’t do Deep Packet Inspection……#cdecatapult
@brian_condon They don’t but they could (at least technically). E.g. If legal structure was in place. #CDECatapult
We, as an SME working with digital data (legal services), also need help exploiting power of the Internet for global business. #CDECatapult
Good to hear @nick_appleyard recognising central role of UX at #cdecatapult. Hope today will define how #cdecatapult most effectively helps
SMEs much less well-behaved than delegates at other sessions – asking questions before the Q&A session! #cdecatapult
Graham was right – in the other meetings I’ve been to, people waited until the Q&A to ask questions – actually these participants wanted to get into the debate.
@graham_hitchen if you want disruption, they’re the ones to provide it at #cdecatapult
That’s a new slide on the governance structure of #cdecatapult
#cdecatapult shd be funded around £20-30m per annum around 100-200 people
Advisory board include sme representation #cdecatapult
Outline business plan by June, launch by autumn #cdecatapult
150 SMEs responded to registration of interest in #cdecatapult
Strategic partner of #CDECatapult – organisation w/ resources to help centre (mainly large companies/public bodies could be co-ops of SMEs).
@JeremyS1 discussing role of SMEs in #CDECatapult: most innovation in the digital economy comes from them. Boyd
What’s the point? SMEs hv key role in this space. It’s abt innovation that comes fm SME space #cdecatapult
Internet is the lab, digital startups are researchers, SMEs the innovators #cdecatapult
Irene’s tweet above was much re-Tweeted and it seemed to capture the imagination and put the pieces together very cogently.  Others also picked up on this theme:
The Internet is the lab – from Bell Labs to connected SMEs. #CDECatapult
@JeremyS1 : ability to be flexible, innovative is inherently an SME capability #cdecatapult
SMEs key to success of Catapult; in high velocity environment they are the innovators #cdecatapult
How do we harness SME capability for UK, and how do we grow and scale that #cdecatapult
Simplest ways for SMEs to be involved in projects but there are other ways #cdecatapult
Jeremy used a quote from Albert Einstein which @kramix links to SME participation:
"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research." SMEs innovate through their flexibility #cdecatapult @wmgsme
New slide on role of SMEs in #CDECatapult
Collaboration is key. But I argue, convergence is the opportunity #cdecatapult
SME capability matching seems right up your alley @jaybal #cdecatapult
Some ways for #CDECatapult to experiment – not sure how this links to what’s already out there?
#cdecatapult should model interdisciplinary working, addressing cultural issues blocking effective collaboration in the convergent landscape
Need for hack days – ideas generation as well as demonstrators- showcasing what has been done #cdecatapult
Like the idea of spare-time skunk works & themed hack days to experiment – IPR headaches abound though. #CDECatapult
@jeremyS1 singing praises of #SMEs: researchers, innovators, speed adopters, disruptors – with hotline to consumer appetites #cdecatapult
Collaboration between different entities to remove cultural boundaries & friction. E.g. Big & small companies working together. #CDECatapult
Reminder from @JeremyS1 #cdecatapult must reflect flexibility of digital industry it serves. Best achieved through dialogue with SMEs IMHO
Delighted UX is topping list of #cdecatapult proposals for year one capabilities. Hope multi-disciplinary projects will also get attention
@mcseain @nick_appleyard hopefully #cdecatapult capabilities can help facilitate some of that UX skill to make it easier for SMEs
Moving into questions now and the question of location for the CDE Catapult emerge. Needs to be maximum accessibility for the maximum number of people says Nick Appleyard. Jemy Silver argues that some things can be done virtually – not all the people at this meeting are in the room many of them are looking remotely. A questioner says that “Shoreditch and Manchester” are impossible to get to!
How does a 1-location centre help SMEs nationally? Very good question – virtual integration coupled to a physical location. #CDECatapult
Answer: one centre accessibility to everyone rather than be dispersed. Creating a singularity? #cdecatapult
Obvious really. RT @marekpawlowski: Perhaps single main #cdecatapult should link with existing regional hubs ….?
#cdecatapult TSB putting forward the case for the Catapult. Should it be one centre or spread out across the Uk?
Need right balance between physical/virtual – virtual first. Spend time fixing physical location problem – key. #CDECatapult
Of course, many in the room (especially us SMEs) were thinking that the ‘virtual’ stuff is all very well but most of us don’t have the bandwidth for serious telepresence applications.  
Where should the Connected Digital Economy Catapult be located? Where SMEs are or where expertise is? Near strategic partner? #cdecatapult
@EIP and many SMEs collaborate from different national offices – tools and solutions exist. #CDECatapult
How do we create interactions, maintain all the conversations across the country? #cdecatapult
@ireneclng using business platforms such as our WMCCM infrastructure @jaybal #cdecatapult
#cdecatapult debate highlights the difficulty of creating operational model for Centre which purports to have micro/SME culture at its heart
I agree that it’s difficult – but it is possible.  Needs a different approach to engagement than that which works with Big Companies and some new thinking on how resources are provided.

Naturally, location kept coming up:
Location is obviously a well-trodden touchy subject! #CDECatapult
@bjh_ip yeah – a difficult one alright #cdecatapult
A few questions about how a single physical #cdecatapult can be useful to SMEs throughout country. Is network of centres needed too?
TSB ‘supervising’ is too strong a term. aspiration is that #cdecatapult is independent and collaborative with voices of many
Good question: how does public/private split work? How’s does it differ from TSB? #CDECatapult
What’s in it for SMEs? Resources, expertise to help you scale, grow and compete globally? #cdecatapult
Obvious really. RT @marekpawlowski: Perhaps single main #cdecatapult should link with existing regional hubs ….?
@nick_appleyard about creating conditions & part of the environment leading to innovation. It’s free to make the decisions. #cdecatapult
Brokerage for microSMEs: where service-providers (attorneys, accountants, solicitors, consultants) can help w/ exposure. #CDECatapult
In Bristol and Bath SP; questioner says "Manchester and Shoreditch are impossible to get to…" I came here from Kent! Ha! #cdecatapult
Key challenges emerging: location, collaboration, resource, funding/bidding, and speed! It must be quick in this environment #cdecatapult
Lots of brainstorming and chat on the Twitter ‘backchannel’ – some of which I could only capture by tracking n=both ends of the conversation – difficult to follow without using the hashtag!
ORegan wondering what the stone is in the catapult? It is David and Goliath! #cdecatapult
Think #CDECatapult needs to be more than another incubator – lots of these already existing.
SMEs are the engine of innovation. SME asks if the #cdecatapult will offer real co-location office space and what support is up for grabs?
@ireneclng gov’t likes defining how parties have specific skills. Was at EU event where only uni’s spoke cos they had ‘ideas’ unlike SMEs.
@Acuity_Design if any group has the license to do things differently #cdecatapult shd have. Do we still remember how?
@Acuity_Design perhaps the counterbalance of large org power is the SME spring? #cdecatapult
@ireneclng metaphorical models of pivots, levers, etc may not help describe a political/financial creation #cdecatapult
Q. How do we make #CDECatapult profitable for microSMEs? Can commercial relationships help? [within EU-law]
Consensus growing that SME delegates’ disruptive potential inversely proportionate to their politesse to the hosts #cdecatapult
@creativeKTN Disruption as oligarchy meets artisans #cdecatapult
Now we are moving into workshop groups – will continue to add content to this Storify if possible.
#cdecatapult Groups asking what the Centre should provide. Be bold in vision and don’t just do what’s happening already. Make it special
My group discussing how #cdecatapult can work. 6 in the group – 4 from Universities.. Speculating about what SMEs might need 🙂
Lots of talk on how to make #CDECatapult worthwhile for SMEs – need to understand problems faced by SMEs – difficult for public bodies.
Creative thinking on #cdecatapult struggling with the need to fill in a form….
Workshop 2: why and how would a fictional SME get involved? (Designs for #CDECatapult on a postcard.)
Success for #cdecatapult will be in *how* it behaves rather than *what* it does
#cdecatapult cannot deliver incubation space or business support – but might be part of a local ecology where this is available in spades
Does #cdecatapult need operational (JV?) model combining very specific capabilities with a broader range of business incubation services?
During the feedback session for Workshop 2 we heard 2 minute feedback presentations from each of the working groups – indicating the wide-ranging ideas for scenarios for CDEC operation. A common theme of brokering relationships, building consortia, helping to take risk and coordination emerged.
Good discussion on a hypothetical SME. One thing is clear, SPEED is crucial. #cdecatapult
Tweets about #cdecatapult have reached 11,556 people via @tweetreachapp
#CDECatapult as broker – working on multiple geographic levels in UK; providing access to advisors. #brainstorming
Company has big idea – don’t have resources for design/manufacture/testing. Need project management by #CDECatapult. #brainstorming
SME based in innovation centre – recommended to #CDECatapult – put in touch with advisors & investors. Reduction in risk. #brainstorming
Need to answer what is in it for the SME? #CDECatapult #brainstorming
Bar to entry for #CDECatapult – incentive to join club & share. #CDECatapult
#cdecatapult scenarios all need "convening power", relationship building/brokering, intervention to accelerate and build scale and speed!
"We’re all into localism now." Does a national centre like #cdecatapult need local points of presence? Affiliated universities suggested.
A recurring theme for SMEs is "time". Don’t drain it: offer things that create more of it. #cdecatapult.
Service exchange. VC connections. TSB funding facilitators. #CDECatapult #brainstorming
Good day at #cdecatapult. Good recurring themes emerging- things are progressing but still work to do. Use of case studies worked well todayPeter L
Using scenarios and user journeys proved a powerful framework for generating ideas for #cdecatapult – we need more models like this.Frank Boyd
Agree case studies very useful. Thanks to all who attended. #CDECatapultBen Hoyle
Will be interesting to see how #CDECatapult progresses – broad themes emerged & there was momentum at end of day. The hard part follows…EIP Digital

Text and Electricity

Text and Electricity

Poets and Geeks

Storified by Brian_Condon · Tue, May 08 2012 11:03:42

I’ve been thinking about this for a while – the idea of bringing together poets and technical people – geeks, coders, hackers – insert whatever descriptor you feel comfortable with. Of course, similar things happen all the time at #C4CC – but generally focused on projects and usually with a specific goal in mind – such as a performer working with a coder on a piece, or a fashion artist collaborating with an electronics engineer… 

I phoned Will Montgomery of RHUL’s Poetics Research Centre and talked it through with him. He liked it; we talked about structure and approach – a conversation punctuated with short sections where participants talk about their work but with no formal presentations. A quick Eventbrite page with words mostly from Will. And a name “Text and Electricity”.
Text and ElectricityText and Electricity is an afternoon symposium designed to bring experimental poets together with those working creatively with technology: coders, circuit-benders, dorks and hackers.We plan a loosely structured and exploratory conversation, punctuated by short informal accounts from participants talking about their work and approaches.
Will and I did a bit of prep before the meeting, agreeing on our approach to facilitation and some back up themes if the conversation flagged (misplaced fears!). We decided to “let go” of the meeting as much as possible; hoping the conversation would flow naturally and that the approach would work.
popping down to Text and Electricity at the #C4CC now. may be interesting re: bringing together @OKFN coders w artists.
Beginning #textandelectricity at #c4cc . Wow. The intros are blowing my mind even before the conversations start.
As we went around the circle and people introduced themselves and mentioned their interests, I thought “This is going to work” and glancing across at my co-facilitator Will – I could see he thought so too.
John Sparrow Talks While Mark Rooke Listensbrian_condon
We started with John Sparrow, based in the USA, and talked about his work and generative text – projected on a wall outside the circle.
Itch AwayWelcome to Itch Away, which houses the poetry discussions and practical work of John Sparrow. New material will be added to this site on an ongoing basis. For now, please check out the blog. You can subscribe to it using the link in the left-hand bar.
Initially, I thought that I’d be able to facilitate, participate and Tweet. But it soon became obvious that something had to give – so I focused on the discussion and listening hard. 

 Our in-house polymath – @kat_braybrooke was active on Twitter – joining in the discussion in the room and beginning conversations with people on Twitter. What follows is Kat’s tweeting and some other material from the web.
@zeroinfluencer @stml, are your ears burning? we are discussing @weavrs & new forms of generative interactivity at #C4CC code/poetry meetup.
WeavrsStarting from interests given to them by their designers, Weavrs learn new emotions and grow to empathically reflect the interests of those around them. Social Formed from the social web, Weavrs publicly blog, checkin, comment and chat. Give them their own Twitter account and they’ll Tweet about their lives and answer everyone’s questions.
@robmyers last tweet pertains to you too. "how does one deal with language thats currently deconstructing *itself*?" cc @weavrs (via #c4cc)
@kat_braybrooke help it by growing its corpus and giving it new tools?
"the rise of blogging was a way to write ourselves into existence, but what happens when those blogging aren’t human?" @brian_condon #c4cc
Kat’s Tweet follows my reference to the work of David Weinberger and his blog – here is his post: 

 “Thursday, November 29, 2001 
The Web vs. Computers Please allow me to state the obvious: the Age of the Web is succeeding in part because it is undoing the excesses of the Age of Computers. With the introduction of the PC, we spent our days staring into a screen, manipulating data and composing words in clicking silence. With the Web, we spend our days staring into a screen looking at other people, or at least looking at how other people choose to present themselves. But the Web runs through and on computers. 

The way computers have changed us persists in our online selves. Just as we can manipulate symbols and words with computers, we can manipulate our selves on the Web, if only because Web conversations are mediated through written language and thus can be drafted and revised. Even the immediate conversations – chat, IM – occur through keyboards, allowing us to compose ourselves as we compose our words. We are writing ourselves into existence on the Web. Together.” 
You can find his blog archive here:
@zeroinfluencer @robmeyers u should come to next discussion! now talking post-post structuralism (hah), nodes, David Harvey, machines. #c4cc
David Harvey at Occupy London (12 November 2011)
"I’m trying to provoke a feminist analysis of flippancy." at #c4cc people now (inevitably) adding gender into the discussion about machines.
poet using "Internet as stimulus" to portray a march, while reading her poem from her phone at #c4cc – an interesting mesh of agency & code.
The poet Kat refers to is Prue Chamberlain and here is the poem:
Join Me on The BridgeIn an act of undeniable symbolism I have burnt my upper thigh with the iron while doing a shirt. Not a small affliction, no, but the welt…
talking more about @weavrs, avatarization, coding and ‘Self’ at #c4cc, we’re realising it’s all the same: authored, constructed poetry.
"language is now collapsing on itself… that might be horrifying." "but it’s also now dynamic and interactive. and that’s amazing." #c4cc
hahahaha, @lloyddavis. am especially amazed by the poignant nature of @LewDDavis’s most recent tweet [cough] cc @weavrs
@robmyers shared ur point re @weavrs at #c4cc discussion. really interesting fodder for intriguing conversation btwn coders & poets/writers.
KAIBRAY DOT COMKAiBRAY DESIGN: graphic/web design and online community-bulding for NGOs by kaitlyn kat braybrooke.
@therourke haha. nice to meet you. also, your glitchy avatar reminds me of those pokemon episodes that caused seizures amongst viewers 😉
@therourke ha. i like how you managed to mention ‘loops’ re: your seizure avatar. very #c4cc discussion 😉 speaking of:
Thanks @kat_braybrooke at #c4cc & @robmyers for positing @weavrs as "bots that think they’re human". I can feel a #PKD reference coming on
RT @therourke: PKD was 1st writer to posit robots that thought they were human. Do @weavrs have empathy? Some of #PKD’s did (cc @kat_bra …
Phillip K. Dick Android
@evanraskob ah, before i forget, here’s what i was talking about: #radcoco / cc @federicacocco – and yours? 🙂
WE ARE LONDON’S RADICAL CODING COLLECTIVE.Somewhat unsurprisingly, I’ve been thinking a lot about the intersections between gender and machine languages lately. An article has been making the rounds on Twitter today that raises some key points about the so-called "women in tech" boom, specifically as applied to startups and small organisations in Silicon Valley.
And here is Evan’s blog
Computational Designer In Residence at Ravensbourne | pixelpusher :: pixel performance and artI’ve recently been appointed as Computational Designer at Ravensbourne, which allows me to continue developing open source software for art and design and also teaching people how to make things using software (and programmable hardware).
There’s also other activity – during the same week even – looking at this area:
Can Artists Help Us Reboot Humanism in an Over-Connected Age? | ArtinfoThis year’s "Seven on Seven" conference seemed to represent an emerging consensus among artists and technologists that it is time to slow down. But can we?
And of course, we need to think about what happens next. Positive feedback from participants. It was an extraordinary discussion – and I’m still thinking about it. We may do it again possibly in June. Let us know – add a comment perhaps. The important thing it seems to me is to connect people who might not otherwise meet; and see what happens!
@PrueChamberlain hey lady 🙂 thanks for follow, and rad to meet you at #c4cc meetup. would like to see more of your work re poetry/feminism!
@kat_braybrooke it was great to meet you – I’d like to hear more about your work & hacking, so if you fancy a drink around #c4cc let me know