Shannon Clark


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MeshWalks at BIL in Monterey

author Posted by: ShannonBlogPosts on date Feb 29th, 2008 | filed Filed under: my Blogs

This weekend I will organizing a series of small scale MeshWalks as part of BIL. BIL is to TED what barcamp is to foocamp – an open to all, free to participate, community driven conference and event. Like TED, BIL will feature many great speakers (I’ll give a presentation on Networked Economics) and BIL will be a great chance for many highly engaged conversations.

BIL has attracted over 200 registered attendees (and like more than a few people will stop by from TED on Saturday afternoon). Both to help ease the space limitations and to provide a format for many conversations I’ll be organizing a series of small scale MeshWalks over the course of BIL.

These will be 1-2 hours in length, involving a walk of a mile or two (perhaps a bit more) in a large, slow loop away from the main BIL space, through parts of Monterey (likely including down to the ocean & beaches) and then back.

So, what is a MeshWalk?

A MeshWalk is a walking conference – a series of conversations held outside and in motion. On a MeshWalk participants are asked to hold their conversations in an “appreciative listening” format. This means that as one person speaks in a small group, the others have a responsibility to listen and then to ask positive, appreciative questions – to help the speaker. And the over time each person gets a chance to speak from their personal perspective or interest.

Often I ask each participant to also take responsibility to show the world around you to others on the MeshWalk. Part of the point of holding discussions outside and in motion is to allow for the world around you to inform your discussions. Share how you see the world with your fellow MeshWalkers.

And finally each person is asked also to help document the conversations and the MeshWalk – take notes, take pictures, shoot video, record bits of audio (for the video and audio feel free to ask someone to repeat a point so it can be recorded).

Quite literally MeshWalk conversations are in public – so typically they should be considered “on the record” – but do use common courtesy here, ask if you have any doubts.

I will be bringing about 20 MeshWalk bags with me up to BIL this weekend, any participant on a MeshWalk who wants one is welcome to it. They are free, though contributions to defray the cost of the bags are welcome (but not required).

Later in 2008 I plan on holding many more MeshWalks, watch this blog for announcements or join our low volume Google group.

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