Rebooting Iceland and Block Party Capitalism

Report part 1 of 5. South by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring (usually in March) in Austin, Texas, United States. It is a conference that attracts media, web and design people from all over the world. This is a recap of the sessions I attended.

Rebooting Iceland: Crowdsourcing Innovation in Uncertain Times
First session today was with four icelanders that have been involved in the building of a post-collapse Icelandic political climate. Building on the idea of “sustainable transparency”, these people have tried to answer the simple question WHAT VALUES SHOULD WE BASE OUR NATION ON? with the help from methods such as agile planning, scrum and dot voting, gathering 1500 randomly selected people to take part in a convention where the core values of the Icelandic political climate should be decided.

A main actor in this process was The Ministry of Ideas, an organization aiming at making Iceland a laboratory for prototyping the development of a sustainable model society in all areas, including democracy and economy. The result of the above mentioned convention was, of course, recorded and analyzed through software developed by Birdcore, a data-mining platform. The data was then compared with the visions stated in Icelandic parliamentarians speeches and, not surprisingly, the people’s and the politicians’s visions didn’t correlate very well.

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Hold on Loosely: How Loose Organizations Work
Second session today was on the topic of modern work environments where a lot of work carried out is “distributed work” where everything is outsourced. The guy in charge of the discussions was Clay Spinuzzi, associate professor of rhetoric at The University of Texas at Austin and author of Tracing Genres through Organizations (2003) and Network: Theorizing Knowledge Work in Telecommunications (2008)

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Block Party Capitalism: Where Analog and Digital Intersect
The third session today was based on the notion that the next evolution of our digital world is where off and online intersect to make everyday life more economical, meaningful and pleasant, taking examples from environmentally friendly and customizable pre-fab housing company Bluhomes, group communication service GroupMe, indie-fashion company ModCloth and community-curated reading-suggestion tool LongRead.

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Further reading from SXSW
Rebooting Iceland and Block Party Capitalism
Theatre on Skype and Bloggers vs Journos
Music Visualizations And a Critical Perspective on Crowdsourcing
Hobos With Shotguns And Grey Area Music Distribution
Collaborative Creativity And Flight Delay Predictions