Office Hours: Did You Miss the R-Squared Conference? It Was a Barn Burner

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/09/opinion/michael-stephens/did-you-miss-the-r-squared-conference-it-was-a-barn-burner-office-hours/

My new column is up online at LJ for this month – I wanted double word count so we went with the virtual for this one. The column is all about my experiences at R-Squared:

Over two days we explored creativity and curiosity, heard from keynoters such as Josh Linkner, author of Disciplined Dreaming, and each of us chose and completed our own immersive group experience. I chose Customer Curiosity, though other options included Creative Spaces, Culture, and Abundant Community. With John Bellina and Tasso Stathopulos from the Denver marketing firm Ricochet Ideas. Ricochet is the design group that helped create Anythink and transformed services such as the Anythink summer reading program through disruptive innovation—our group worked at turning the conventions and assumptions about Banned Books Week on its ear. Ideas in the form of action briefs flowed (an action brief is a framing statement used in planning that includes who we want to convince about a service or product, how we will do it and what the service will be that makes the change). Bellina challenged us with: “If we are not offering people something new, are we really doing our jobs?”

This was unlike any library conference I have ever been to, a sentiment echoed by other participants, across Twitter, Facebook, and in the hallways of the conference center. What made the difference? I believe that active engagement promotes learning and transformation more than sitting in the room and watching PowerPoint or Keynote slides go by. We were up, we were talking, we were writing and sharing. We were walking around the room answering questions.

The conference also offered an opportunity to spend time with Jenny Levine, my friend and co-presenter for the Social Technologies Roadshow back in the day. What fun it was to spend time!

Photo by Patricia Martin

My Flickr photo set is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsphotos/sets/72157631630350937/with/8027464777/

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