So, The Flow Conference was quite inspirational for me. I don't think every conference should be like this, but I can honestly say that I wouldn't mind if it was every other conference. All of this had to do with the format, which I think my friend Derek gets just right when he notes,
The idea was to open up the usual conference panel formula (i.e., four 20-minute papers, followed by about 15 minutes of discussion) to allow for much more interaction. For the most part, this worked well, with most sessions that I attended having active, engaging discussions for most of their allotted time. However, some panels had too many “official” participants (one that I went to had eight), which sucked up a bit more time and attention. It took almost an hour to get through the panelists’ statements a couple of times on panels this size. So, in future, I’d cap the number of participants per panel at six, and more strongly suggest the 2-3 minute time limit on their statements; again, let’s get to the discussion.Yeah, well, I klind of agree, even if my presentation clocked in at around 5 or 6 minutes. If you have 6 people going 5 minutes it will clock in at 30 with an hour and a half of discussion. Ideally. I was at one session where a person took around 15 minutes to present. Heck, tack on 5 minutes and you got a standard paper presentation at larger conference, which is what you do not want for this kind of conference, which was supposed to "flow" and, for the most part did. I now my own panel just rocked and rolled in a really rhythmic and smart manner, all of which was due to the right mix of particpants and the format. A real rarity.
But now it is Friday, almost a wweek since the conference and while I am resting my mind a bit, I am getting amped up to write and begin a new book proposal, grading and, well... see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Nice!