TED Conference Talks now online
Have been lucky enough in the past to attend TED a couple of times. This inspiring, up-scale, invitiation-only conference on Technology, Entertainment and Design, usually held in California every year, features a glittering roster of speakers and entertainers. TED have just made good on their desire to make some of this material available to a wider audience - placing half-a-dozen terrific talks from the 2006 event online. It's truly marvellous stuff - I particularly liked Sir Ken Robinson's talk on creativity in education "why don't children dance at school as regularly as they do Maths..?" and Al Gore's speech on sustainability (much better in the original than the resulting movie...). The only down-side is that it has made me want to attend the February 2007 event, which is unfortunately now closed for registration...
Point your browser at: http://www.ted.com/tedtalks
Justice on-line and away with the wigs
Amongst the papers on my desk a somewhat out-of-date clipping emerges and I remember to blog! Back in April the Judges of England and Wales made their debut into 21st Century cyberspace with a new website aimed at casting off the dusty old image and putting the judiciary back in touch with ordinary peoples lives. The website includes a range of learning tools - a myth busting quiz to help dispel fallacies about who our judges are and what they do, a lifeline to show under what kind of circumstances Joe X might find himself in touch with the judicial system throughout his life, and yet another quiz to test your perception of crime as it stacks up against the reality. It also includes a court dress section that differentiates the big wigs from the small, and the tippets from the bands, and explains that once upon a time a these sorts of outfit were deemed 'essential fashionable attire for polite society'. And in case yoU're thinking of getting in touch, it gives a handy matrix explaining when it is best to use 'My Lord or My Lady' and when to stick with the more formal address. According to the clipping in question (The Guardian 3 April 2006) the judiciary were shocked to discover the widespread perception of judges as old (and white and male) and reflecting the the values and biases of a priviledged elite.
A microwave to play pong? Why not. Contol freaks clamp onto everyday objects (including people) to turn them into video game controlers, they are the thesis project of former RED intern Haiyan Zang. Read and watch more here
Participatory Design Conference
Expanding Boundaries in Design
Trento, Italy, August 1-5, 2006
The theme Expanding Boundaries in Design focuses attention on the multiple contexts in which design takes place and on an expanding range of possible design outcomes.
While participatory design principles and practices are most often applied to the design of technical systems and artefacts, increasingly there is both the need and the opportunity to focus PD approaches on other domains, such as physical environments, organizational practices, and IT-enabled services.
See PDC06 site for full details and to tregister
Democracy meets Pop Idol
More on the democracy meets reality TV theme... City Idol, a not for profit in Toronto has run a Pop Idol-style intitiative to find candidates for Toronto's upcoming City Council elections.
'We're recruiting one hundred candidates for City Idol. We're looking for people who are passionate about Toronto and about the issues. People with ideas about important issues such as pollution, poverty, racism, infrastructure, taxes, political engagement, public spaces, social inclusion, sustainable transportation, waste management, energy and the political system itself. Everything is on the table.
We'll put our candidates in front of a large live audience and instead of singing songs, we'll ask them to make short speeches, participate in debates, improvise press conferences, answer audience questions and react to emergency situations.
The audience gets to vote for their favorite candidates.
The prize? A real election campaign. We'll help the winners run for City Council. '
Many thanks to Haiyan Zhang for this link