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March 26, 2007 » 1:51 am

Nexus For Change Observations

I’m about to comment on a conference that I reluctantly didn’t attend: Nexus For Change. Sure, I’ve read rumblings from the conference site as well as the blogosphere and Flickr, and I’m sure there’s more to come as folks recover from what was undoubtedly a mind-blowing two days. I’ll also happily use my absence as an excuse to touch base with friends and colleagues who did attend.    (M1G)

Despite my lack of complete information, what’s compelling me to comment is this picture that Nancy White took:    (M1H)

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/168/433799450_fd35e6de3e.jpg    (M1I)

I love the elephants that were identified. But the thing that really jumped out at me was the elephant on the upper right: “No youth present.” Disappointing, but not surprising. And frankly, probably a good thing… this year. This convening was already a coup, and it takes baby steps to make big changes in the world. But it will be a horrible thing if it becomes a trend.    (M1J)

About a month ago, there was a thread in Chris Messina‘s Flickr stream about the need for a book on unconferences. I commented:    (M1K)

There’s already an excellent book like this. It’s called The Change Handbook, and it documents a ton of great thinking and experience on group process and catalyzing transformation.    (M1L)

The Bar Camp phenomenon adds something new and vibrant to all of this, and is not represented in the book (AFAIK — I haven’t seen the second edition yet). So there’s still a need for that knowledge to be integrated into the larger body of practice.    (M1M)

This is a classic case of two communities with similar values and different demographics not talking to each other and certainly not collaborating. How do you get these communities to collaborate? You either wait for it to happen on its own, or you catalyze it.    (M1N)

At the Blue Oxen Associates 4th anniversary party last December, I said that I’d have some exciting things to announce this year. I was being dramatic then, and I’ll probably be dramatic again in a few months when I announce some new initiatives. In short, I’ll be describing a concrete plan for catalyzing collaboration between these communities. I’ve been preparing for months now, and I’ve still got a few more to go, but I’m already giddy. This has been the vision behind Blue Oxen Associates from day one. When I started the company, I had a five year plan for achieving this vision. It’s a good thing, too, because I’ve needed each and every one of the past four years to reach a point where I felt like I could make a significant difference. I’ve still got a ton to learn, but I also feel incredibly empowered, and I can’t wait to share and apply what I know with the rest of the world.    (M1O)

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