As we’ve got our fair share of folks who have only recently come to New Zealand in our team at work, we were discussing the many and varied things that can be done to soak up the incredible sights of summer in our region.
One of our guys really enjoys the outdoors and suggested “Epic Little Missions” as a great site which has curated some nice walks in the great outdoors. Having lived in Auckland my whole life I’d never come across the site myself but I’ve done quite a few of the walks it recommends. Certainly one for us to refer back to when kids need to get outside and enjoy the incredible 3D graphics, resolution and realistic haptic feedback of the outside world.
Chris McDowall is a very, very clever person. In addition to all the other cool stuff he’s done in the NZ data space, he has just released this post on taking the Maxx public transport data feed of movements over a day, and plotting it out on a map. It’s hypnotic and astounding in the sheer volume of movements – but you need to see it to appreciate how cool it is.
Barcamp Auckland is an annual gathering of developers, designers, start-ups and social-media types. It’s a full day event held in an ‘unconference’ like style, where the attendee (see my attendee & interested folks list on Twitter) set the schedule – and people turn up to discuss topics which interest them.
The following are the session notes I took during this years Auckland Barcamp
Second to the stage was a â€˜Reluctant Futuristâ€™ namely Wendy McGuinness from Sustainable Future, an â€œindependent think tank specialising in research and policy analysis.â€
Wendy spoke on â€œThe Danger of Nowâ€ which, in summary, was about ensuring you take into account whereabouts you (or your project/strategy) fits in the grander scheme of things. Some takeouts from the talk were as follows:
There are three types of futures:
When testing a scenario or future one should:
Define: Parameters, Trends, Drivers, Assumptions
Explore: Uncertainties (and rank them)
Build: Scenario Worlds / Write Stories / Test
Use: Consider Implications / Review / Communicate
I found the talk to be somewhat disjointed, yet filled with amazingly wordy slides with paragraphs of text which may have reinforced a point if they had have been on screen long enough to read. It was always going to be tough to follow the first (very engaging) speaker â€“ however, with some practice, feedback and basic presentation learning under the belt, this could have been a lot better received – so I hope I am not seen as being too harsh in my summary.
As I alluded in my initial TEDx Redux, the inaugural Auckland event was awesome. In the next three posts I will briefly cover my perspectives on the presentations delivered at this, the first TEDx event in Auckland, New Zealand.
The first speaker was a fascinating guy called Michael Henderson[UPDATE: Looks like something ‘weird’ is happening with his domain,try here for his cached page in the interim] , a Corporate Anthropologist. As well as being unemployable (who wantâ€™s an Anthropologist anyway?), he is never bored â€“ because people are so interesting to study. Some observations:
Organisations are the modern tribes
CEO â€“ Interesting title
Chief â€“ Head of the tribe
Executive â€“ Head of Structure
Officer â€“ Very Militaristic â€“ Head of Strategy
The difference between a cult and a culture is:
In a cult, the leader sees greatness in themselves
In a culture, the leader sees greatness in people
Silo mentality never occurs in a tribe
Engagement = email sort
Worldwide ~20% of employees are engaged and 80% sit on the fence
Engagement = contact sport
No tribes run engagement surveys, all members are engaged 100% as you are either learning, doing or teaching
“Why is no one teaching GenY to respect those who came before them as sources of learning?”
Executives go on a â€˜retreatâ€™ (never an advance?) then return to proclaim new company values to their employees.
Employees donâ€™t hear values, they hear violations;
â€œIntegrity, really?? Arenâ€™t you the CxO trying to set up XYZ to fail so you can get more headcount/budget?â€
â€œLanguage is the bloodline of a tribeâ€
His parting observation was on the two dynamic forces of organisations: Relationship versus Results
â€œMeasure yourself on Relationship versus Result â€“ is the win [on this point] worth more than the long term relationship?â€
The interesting observation I made about his talk was that, not only was I noting the same points as one of my colleagues, these same points were also being noted by a number of other â€˜corporate typesâ€™ around where we were seated.
TED. Three letters, a veritable treasure trove of new ideas, challenging thinking and incredible people with finely honed presentation skills.
I first stumbled across the TED initiative in 2006 when I was shown a presentation by Hans Rosling using Gapminder to do some incredible data visualisations. From that day onward, they have been a regular both in my RSS feed readers and in my browser as I immersed myself in the site from which I have gained so much.
It was with huge excitement then that I saw that TED was not only allowing independently organised events (under itâ€™s banner of TEDx), but one of these events was going to be in Auckland, New Zealand â€“ my home town.
I must admit I was initially reluctant to fill out the registration form, as chest puffery and self promotion doesnâ€™t sit well with New Zealanders. Encouraged by some colleagues, and with the knowledge that the official event attendee spots are so coveted I did sit myself down and force my fingers to the keyboard to tap out an introspective view of what I have achieved to date, and why I should be amongst those fortunate enough to sit in attendance. The exercise in itself was worthwhile as it gave me an opportunity to cast back over many years in the technology industry, and to re-celebrate a number of the awesome innovations that I had been involved in over that time. The submit button was clicked, the â€œThank you for registeringâ€ page loaded â€“ and then all there was to do was wait.
In the fullness of time, I received an acceptance email and, excitedly, I checked in with my other colleagues to find they too had secured their place â€“ timing-wise, the TEDx Auckland event was scheduled for the day before a weekend away at TelecomONE, a FOO style “Innovation Unconference”, so I knew that we would be in for one heck of a lot of brain stretching. We made our plans to meet up and attend together, and then again we waited for the beginning of the first ever TEDx Auckland, October 01, 2009.