Campaigning for Itínera - Looking Back at our First Encounter
We did it!!! Yesterday morning we had our first successful session of our weekly Conferences for a Better Future. Our guests of this first encounter were my friends Tony and Susan from the Doighouse on Vancouver Island. It was a great pleasure to see two groups of friends share this online event, both of which I got to meet through the Earthship Academy, and subsequently worked together with on their natural building projects: These two groups being of course the Doighouse and Itínera Theater.
The Anxiety of the First Live Event
I still feel somewhat euphoric from having completed this event in such a wonderful manner. This also means that I had been quite nervous for a number of reasons, all of which had turned out to be hardly worth the bother. Being the first of our online conferences, all of us wanted it to be just perfect. But of course life is less fond of perfection, so it threw all sorts of obstacles our way. Technical problems abounded, including a failing Internet connection (which we attributed to my WiFi booster - yeah, kinda counterproductive in nature), as well as the ECHO (...Echo...echo...) of having two microphones next to each other. As if this wasn't enough, the European half of Itínera happened to be sitting on a bus at the time of our conference, rolling through the Alps. (But of course, what else would you expect from a group by that name?) Funnily enough, their connection was probably the best one of all. So in the end, none of these concerns actually turned into serious impediments. Still, after the session ended, I collapsed into a great sigh of relief.
Some Things to Work on
Not that the show wasn't anything but perfect. There were numerous things we noted down to remember for the next one, such as coordinating participation. I guess we were too afraid of the chaos that would ensue when everyone was given free reign to talk whenever they wanted. But not giving the audience the ability to unmute themselves made it really difficult to get them to say something when we reached the Q&A part. Next time we're going to rely on the raised hand rule, for sure. The other thing we've learned, is to skip the entire live translation. Even an experienced interpreter (with speed-typing skills) would face a formidable challenge in translating everything in closed captions, in a way that can be enjoyed by the audience. Instead, we'll use our language skills to verbally facilitate the Q&A if anyone is not good at expressing their ideas in the language of the presenter.
Perfect Guests, Ideal Participants
Looking back, it was probably the best idea to invite Tony and Susan for our first encounter. While these kinds of large Zoom meetings are something fairly new for all of us, the Doighouse Learning Center has been running very similar “Fireside Chats” on a regular basis. They have been inviting groups of over twenty people, to introduce their project to, give updates on their most recent progress, and also include a discussion theme depending on the occasion, such as the International Day of Water. (If you're curious to know more, please check in on their page for the next Fireside Chat.) Having so much experience in this, they had a wonderful presentation prepared, with plenty of photos and other visuals, with which they brought the Doighouse close to us.
But it weren't just the presenters who were well picked. We also had an amazing audience from a diverse number of circles. There was a good friend of Susan's who I also became friends with during my time at the Doighouse. There were friends and family of Itínera, as well as previous volunteers we had kept in touch with. I'm not going to mention any names now ... except for one guy I was super thrilled to see here: @edouard , the first Hivean I met in person. He lives in the city of Vancouver, and during my second Summer at the Doighouse I stopped by and paid him a visit. Not only did he check out the encounter, but he contributed substantially by asking interesting questions. Thank you for participating, @edouard, it was awesome to see you attend!
Enjoy the Show and Be Part of the Next One!
As we were publicizing the event, a few friends expressed their interest, while also stating that they could not come. Of course, breakfast time on the West Coast is dinner time in Europe... and way past bedtime in Australia. Other friends of ours had to work at that time, so they could not come. Thinking about them ... as well as numerous people who are probably going like “if I had only known” right now, we recorded the entire conference, and posted it on both facebook and YouTube. For YouTube we are planing to edit the conference, removing empty bits, technical issues, and other disturbances. It should be up within a few days, but if you want an immediate impression, you can also see the facebook recording here.
Seeing this event turn out so well makes me even more excited about the following ones. And boy, do we have some interesting things coming. But first of all, we are going to give our own presentation of the theater project in Mazunte, next Sunday at the same time. And yes, after such a well executed presentation as the one we hosted today, the pressure is back on to follow the example of Susan and Tony, and create one that comes close to theirs. I kinda believe it will turn out great, though. So instead of stressing about things outside of our control, we will look through the copious material we have, and put together something epic. So stay tuned for next week's encounter!