First of all I want to thank everybody at Clear:Left for putting this together. I know they all have a lot on their plates and it would have been easy to turn down the opportunity to do this conference. I am glad they didn’t.
Alchemy or science?
For me a lot of the day was actually summed up by Cory Doctorow from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation. At the start of his talk, Cory spoke about the Dark ages here in the UK when Alchemists competed against one another to turn lead into gold. They worked in secret fearing that others might steal their ideas. It was only as these people started collaborating, sharing ideas and working together that the superstition of Alchemy turned into the discipline of science and the Enlightenment dawned. I feel like in many ways that was what today was about.
Sleeping with the enemy
I was fortunate enough to spend a few minutes talking to Andy Budd from Clear:Left and it struck me how strange a situation I found myself in. Here I was sharing ideas, and chatting about new innovations with a man who has set up in direct competition with me! It’s wonderful that instead of all working in secret we can talk and innovate together. I have received so much from so many online, people who have had the vision to look beyond corporate competition and share with the wider community. I hope that to some extent this blog and podcast returns the favour.
I could go on and start talking about how perhaps if we keep this collaborative vision we too might see our own enlightenment, but then that would be just too cheesy for words ;)