I thoroughly enjoyed the CCI conference. I thought it was well done and involved many incredible people from a wide range of disciplines, including law, journalism, creative industries (creative writing and literature, music, and the arts), education, cultural science and the humanities.
The conference structure consisted of a number of plenary sessions to the whole audience, and then a number of concurrent sessions broken down by “streams”. I was in the law stream (legal issues for social networks and creating public value) the entire time and while it was certainly very interesting, I was a little disappointed that I missed some of the sessions on citizen journalism, creative industry development agendas, broadband innovations and the creative economy, and creative capital and workforce futures that were running in the other streams. It would have been nice to mix things up a bit and truly have everyone intermingling.
The conference kicked off with a plenary from Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE, a renowned neuroscientist from the UK. The Baroness spoke about the impact of environment over genetic disposition and considered whether children today might hold shorter attention spans because of the influence of digital technologies such as videos and games in their lives – a theory that was somewhat provoking to the largely tech-centric crowd (particularly the educators). However, the talk set a good tone for the rest of the conference – a point made by Henry Jenkins – that all opinions could be voiced here, no matter how controversial. The conference ended with an audience feedback session which further cemented the ideals of openness that had been prevalent throughout the conference.
Overall, an excellent experience.