Explore the Future of the Web

Be Here Now

Every day we move through dozens of spaces and places. We participate in lots of inter-personal interactions, conversations and (god help us) meetings. And we spend bursts of time working alone. But how much awareness do we bring to the spaces and places we inhabit while we're in them? How much intentionality do we bring to our inter-personal exchanges? How much creativity do we foster in our own solo working situations?

Often, not nearly enough. Focus is limited, attention is split, and opportunities are lost. This session will explore purpose-driven approaches to the places, people and situations we encounter every day. With an emphasis on how to be truly engaged in where we are, mindful of what we're doing and focused on helping creativity flourish. 

The Talk in Five Distinct Sections

  • Be a Better Observer - When you're aware of your surroundings, the world around you becomes a behavioral research lab. Strangers using their smart-phones on the subway or in the grocery store become sources of insight and ideas. And paying close attention to your own mental state over the course of a day can lead to more productive and fulfilling days and relationships. This section will provide examples of observational techniques and the benefits of using them. 
  • Be a Better Practitioner - Focus on the needs of your audience / collaborators as you begin to work. As a UX guy, I see every task I perform as a collaboration with folks in other disciplines. Partner with a content strategist to define information architecture, with a designer to define wireframes, with a developer to define interactions. This section will highlight the intersections of various creative disciplines and the benefits of planning our collaborations deliberately.
  • Be a Better Facilitator - First, understand that every inter-personal interaction, conversation, meeting and workshop requires a faciltator. If you or your colleagues aren't stepping-up to play that role in the workplace, it's likely going unfulfilled. This section will focus on three types of exchanges — Explore, Decide, Review — and how to go about leading a discussion of each type.
  • Be a Better Manager - Great managers are countervailing forces. If an employee is exceedingly tactical, it's up to the manager to help him see the bigger picture. If an employee is too focused on getting every detail perfect, it's the manager's job to help her manage the necessary trade-offs. The section will identify the personality-types and approaches a manager must identify and counter-balance to create a happy and effective working group.
  • Be a Better Leader - Leadership requires acting in the absence of all the facts. By understanding how to conduct a thoughtful analysis of incomplete information, leaders can often reach confident decisions. By focusing on the details of of what you do know and being mindful of the facts you don't (yet) know, it's possible to move forward with confidence. The section will drive home the importance of drawing a line in the sand. And acknowledging that it's just sand.

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WebVisions Barcelona explores the future of the web with a lineup of badass visionaries. July 2-4 at IED Design School.

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