I’ve just come back from a 1 night only conference called Interesting South. See their website at www.interestingsouth.com. Wow, what a fantastic evening. I met so many lovely people and the conference was… well… just so interesting it was more than interesting it was, as described in their website, like a blog surfing evening but LIVE (or “Culture Jamming” is another reference I saw on a blog about the event). The evening was so well organised and well prepared that things went really smoothly and relatively on time. I suppose it was a bit like BarCamp but everyone was listening to the same stuff and all the topics were prepared and listed before the event.
I found out about Interesting South through Brad Howarth’s Lagrange Point Blog. It was just a small post but tweaked my interest enough to have a look at the site. I just thought, sounds interesting, I might go along.
So there were some themes throughout the night, some around sustainability, the internet, words, and the 5 senses.
I’m going to do a bullet point comment on each of the topics based on their order on the Interesting South site so you can follow, although it was not the order they were presented in…
- Beyond Body Language: A self-described “Blind Dude” who spoke about the power of the sound of our voice and how to get in touch with it. His message, we are so over stimulated by visual imagery these days that we’ve lost the art of just listening to how ours and other’s voices sounds.
- How to Make a Zombie: A poem about zombies set to a slideshow – very well done.
- Open Arms and Open Homes: Juan Mann the Free Hugs Guy talking about how his new project has meant that yesterday he was evicted from his house so now has 21 das to find a FREE place to live.
- The Well-Tempered Personal Environment: A really really cool presentation by an equally cool guy about architecture, sustainability and an open source project that he’s started the thinking on to design / build a way for us to actively monitor our consumption of energy in our homes, our immediate environment, our communities and our cities. I hope he posts a link to the slides on his blog, because it was really really great. My fav presentation of the evening, and we had a great discussion in the break about the stupid stupid NSW Government for dropping the T-Card system.
- Smalltown Australia: A really interesting photo essay about the visual bleakness of small town Australia as seen from one person’s point of view. I could have looked at those images all evening – very powerful.
- On Dork-bot Sydney: A quick lively presentation about a group who get together to do interesting things with electricity – sort of like a Maker’s Fare kind of thing – cool and very dorky.
- What is this thing called Happiness: A really interesting presentation about the current research into happiness and very well presented with great slides.
- Moose dancing: Very off beat story telling to slides – quite fun.
- What is Fairtrade and Why Should We Bother: An intro to what is Fair Trade and the Fair Trade logo and she supplied great Fair Trade chocky to sample in the break.
- How To Not Feel Like A Twat When Looking at Modern Art: The first presentation of the evening – really well done, 5 points, 5 tips on how to get out there and look at / experience Art.
- Speaking the world into being: This one was good. The premise was a quote “We do not describe the world we see, we see the world we describe” and how the power of the words we use can influence our lives
- Taking it to the Streets: The last presentation of the evening and my second favorite. About The Zero Coke Movement – a grass roots movement to subvert the “astro turfing” by Coke on a fake blog about Coke Zero. See the Zero Coke Movement’s FAQ here to see what it’s all about. I loved this one because I’m an avid fan of no Aspartame, no diet products, no brain trashing chemicals, but that’s for another post. This is one guy who is living Cameron Reilly’s moto of “What are you doing on a daily basis to make your world a better place” This is one guy who is standing up to the corporate giant of Coca Cola and gaining some ground – very inspiring.
- It’s Not Rocket Surgery: A great presentation, excellent slides and a really well thought out and presented message about sustainability and the exponential effect of economic growth and the almost mirroring exponential rise in energy usage.
- Looking Through the Eyes of a Child: Excerpts from “The Cluetrain Manifesto” put to really cute slides containing photos that the presenter’s young children had taken.
- What is Green: short anecdotes from a guy who used to teach blind kids, about his experiences and what he learned from that – very interesting.
- The Secret Life of Tango: A short, sweet presentation about the passion of Tango – great.
- Sex workers providing services to clients with a disability: An interesting presentation about the power of Touch.
So wow, just even re-capping each presentation in a small sentence was great. I hope they do another one because it was just too good to be a one-off.
Thanks to the great people I met, Amantha, Zoe, Christie, and Steve – from my new fav site http://www.thecoolhunter.net just to name a few.