What a week! What a weekend! We’ve been crazy busy with short notice client work that we try to stack on top of all the ongoing stuff (which is always good), but we’ve also been cooking up some more stuff that we expect to announce soon.
CoCities Salon Amsterdam
We hinted at it before, and we’re just sooo short of announcing the details – on June 30, there’ll be a Cognitive Cities Salon in Amsterdam. Imagine a half-day event with a few inspiring talks and plenty of opportunity to discuss
the state of affairs the future of cities and technology. Our very own CoCities speaker and good friend Juha van ‘t Zelfde will be hosting it in Amsterdam, and we’re really excited to see this happening. For the speaker announcements and any updates, best watch Juha and the CoCities on Twitter.
London: Interesting2011 We spent a few days in London for Interesting2011, put on by Russell Davies. And boy, did we have a good time there. While outside the weather kept changing like crazy from warm to wet and back, we spent the day inside lovely Conway Hall tinkering with molecular food, 1000 mouse traps and ping pong balls, Playdoh monsters, and a mix of white powder and funny pills (sounds more dangerous that it was!).
While we were there, lovely Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino of Tinker and RIG fame kindly showed us around the area of Silicon Roundabout, and we had the chance to meet up with a whole bunch of fantastic London geeks. (Rumor has it that Johannes has also been convinced to get an Aeropress, but that’s an entirely different story.) Thank you, London, I’m sure we’ll be back soon.
Travel thoughts On a meta level, and particularly after Igor and I were temporarily stuck at Heathrow airport after missing our flights*, we’ve been thinking a fair bit about how our (currently crazy) travel schedules impact our lives, and how to best handle this kind of hyper-mobility. Luckily, we aren’t the only ones who travel a lot. (In fact, compared to some of our friends it feels like we are basically hardly traveling at all. I’m looking at you, Team Dopplr!) So when we read this post by Ben Hammersley it really hit a nerve:
There’s downshifting, and minimalism, and decluttering, and simplification, from everyone from Oprah on up. Combine it with GTD, throwing everything into the cloud, and an emphasis on networks over hierarchies, and that, right there, is pretty much my life at the moment. I’m writing this in a cafe in Barcelona – I’m lecturing here tonight and tomorrow – and being here is functionally, purposefully, designedly no different from writing it at ‘home’ in London, or in a hotel in Beirut, a tent in Afghanistan, or my favourite diners in New York or San Francisco. I’ve spent a lot of effort making this to be the case. It’s not a Monocle style pose, or a How To Spend It affectation, but a hard-fought-for way of life, and it has not been without its dark doubting moments. (…) It’s perhaps this shift in complexity, from the physical to the intangible, that marks the new modernity, and this sort of lifestyle reifies that. I don’t know. I’m working on it, as it marks a growing class of people that my clients, business and governments alike, need to deal with. The pan-national migratory digital elite are opting out of a lot of the stuff that makes them governable.
With those thoughts I’ll leave you and wish you an excellent week – I’m off to the airport.
Our travel schedule this week Johannes and Igor will be largely in Frankfurt for client gigs. On Wednesday, Igor will be at Cologne to give a workshop about the future of cities at Medienforum.NRW (together with our good friend Edial Dekker). I will be in Zurich, Switzerland, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
* A big thank you to a fantastic Lufthansa employee (whose name I don’t know) at Heathrow who hooked us up with a new flight within just a few minutes after British Airways folks left us standing in the rain.