BrainJams Mission Statement – Simple is Hard


I have received some good private feedback, but not much in terms of public contributions. So onward I press. And press onward I must.

Was just reaching out to someone I met online over the summer to see if they might be able to help in some way with BrainJams. Phil has a great blog called GeekyInfo and works with the Northern Community Church of Christ down in Austrailia. He lokes gadgets, games, knowledge, helping people and mindmapping – a lot like me.

Anyways the point is that I think I have finally simplified the mission statement and really, really need to hear back from you on this one. For me, it is a one liner that has the right focus, attitude, intention, description and everything else.

BrainJams are events that connect people, resources and ideas to make the world a better place.

Ok, so the last bit could be more directed perhaps, but it feels a lot better to me than the other ones, though there is more to take from those still so please do consider those statements as well.

The struggle with the mission statement stems from the seemingly still to be decided question of Web2.1 vs. BrainJams. Web 2.1 focused on Web 2.0 technologies and the need to really put people at the center of the design/development process – going even beyond user centered design. I think it is important to include the idea of having the “bllinking 12’s” and the “technogeeks” learn to speak the same language, trust one another and collaborate, but that is not the core idea. The core idea is embodied in that statement for me. “Connecting the dots”, helping each other solve problems, gathering new Insyts and sharing our experiences. The core idea for me is positive intention towards contribution from everyone and cross-boundary, ad-hoc collaboration.

Think how powerful this can be if we seed the world with local BrainJams, bringing people together from the Government, the Community (NGO), the Business world and the world of technology (open source software in particular) – ad-hoc collaboration focused around the conversations that lead to right action in the world. An organizing principle of the event, and an implicit focus for the conversations of that day can certainly be centered around using technology systems to enable these connections, but it is not necessary to receive the benefits of getting together and jamming.

This is why I specifically thought of doing BrainJams rather than just joining BarCamp and helping them out. For me it is about spreading this deep belief in the power of sharing knowledge and collaborating in the commons beyond the open source community. It is about the fact that I believe the knowledge you need at this very second to do whatever work you are doing even better is out there somewhere – it is simply a matter of making the connection. It is what I have been doing since kindergarten, sharing what I have with others.

What I hope we get from BrainJams is a community of people experimenting and sharing what they learn from bringing people together for local, cross boundary, unconference, open demo, knowledge networking sort of events. Whether it is called SeattleMinds, BarCamp, TagCamp, TechCamp or a Meet-Up BBQ is not the point – it is not about being the be all, end all in this emerging event space, it is about making sure the intentions of the original idea stays true, helping facilitate the connections between people, resources and ideas by getting people together and talking.

Whether it is specifically focused on making technology more accessible, establishing systems for disaster preparedness/recovery or coming up with new ways to combat global warming, BrainJams are valuable for all those purposes. It could even be used as a format for a community of practice like a Macintosh User Group (MUG) though the intention is cross boundary collaboration. So perhaps it might be more interesting if the MUG got together with a PCUG…

They are also valuable with no purpose at all, but the types of BrainJams I will be personally involved with are ones that address how we can increase technology accessibility, awareness and usefulness – particularly in regards to what people call “Web 2.0” and what I call “The Open Web”. For me, it is particularly important to get the right strategic and technical knowledge in the hands of people who can benefit from a deeper understanding of what’s possible. The people who ‘get it’ and can go back to their office on Monday and use the new knowledge to make an immediate and lasting impact on their organizations and the world around them.

So while the verbiage around the idea increases, the idea simplifies – now more than ever, it is clear that this is merely one aspect for the vision i had for The Noble Pursuit.

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