Thursday, October 15, 2009 1
Hi I’m Kris.
Thanks for having me in Calgary tonight. It’s an honor.
I’m part artist, working on photography, part geek working on software technology and the web,
part teacher talking, writing, publishing books, part hippy sharing learning loving growing, part
media maker telling the stories of my life, these times, and the people around me.
Makes for a strange and beautiful venn diagram and it’s because of all these intersections of my
passions that i think the future is a very exciting time for creative, innovative, smart, kind people
assembled in this room.
The Future: Open Everything
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I’m gonna try to tell you a lil bit about the world I live in and the future I see. This is a talk that I
wish had one hour to give but since I don’t I’m just gonna talk really really really fast.
This spirit of “openness” that Iʼm gonna talk about represents an ideology that fundamentally changes the we
do “business” and shifts the ways in which we communicate and interact with one another as complex
So i am not gonna get hung up on the technology part of this because technology can be
intimidating and the acronyms/jargon/buzzwords can overwhelm and confuse rather i’ll relate the
technology to ways about communicating more richly and making relationships deeper and more
diverse - and accepting the risks required to get there by looking at examples of this sense of
“openness” in the world as it stands.
The world is already sharing
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People all over the world are right this second sharing knowledge, ideas, stories, intimate details, connections, and emotions -
to audiences known and unknown.
This is not just miscellania but real intimate discourse. By participating in some little corner of the Net, you are contributing
to the organic growth of something much larger - a collective consciousness of info, art and emotion -- and by doing this we
are contributing to the overall health of the public domain and our culture.
Open Media: citizen media making
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The way media is made is changing.
The media is seeing these changes more rapidly and are deﬁnitely struggling to ﬁgure out the
changing landscape.... they mistakenly put their assets into preserving the status quo.
There is a growing tension between who is a journalist and who is not? is blogging journalism?
should journalist blog? These questions are unresolved and becoming less and less relevant as
people seek out the best content, the freshest opinion, no matter the label.
citizen journalism oftern results in inside source on breaking stories,
crowd sourcing reporting more is merrier, deep and compelling coverage of emergencies and disasters.
empowerment through technology tools, digital camera, audio recorders, phones, SMS, video ... put broadcast and media
making into everyone's hand!
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"if you don't put it on the internet, it didn't happen" KK+
Document everything, distribute, get it out to the people on all the channels available to you -- photography, videos, audio and
music, writing and blogs. As much as what is happening here tonight is valuable to the people in this room, how much more
valuable it becomes when shared online and freely with people across vancouver, british columbia, canada and the world. As
an creative, you are already creating content, you now have easy and automagic ways to get it out to the world and to build a
movement and an audience.
Participatory Group Culture
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By sharing the wisdom of crowds the collective beneﬁt is far greater!
There has been a realization that in many situations such as this one tonight.... the collective knowlegde of the audience far
outweighs that of the presenter and new events are being organized without heirarchies and showing all of us are capable
teaching, sharing, organizing, and mentoring. This raises the level of participation and empowers anyone to make a real
difference and contribute their skills and ideas. Encourage your customers, fans and friends to share, comment, tags, add
photos to group. Participate along side you in the creation of culture.
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Free software, built by all of us, owned by none of us. Used to power all sorts of things from
political campaigns, publishing platforms, activist actions.
The open source software movement is intrinsically tied to social change in itʼs DNA. This movement is deﬁned by:
- communities to the core, more like tribes or extended families and trusted collegues
- building things for common good while eschewiing traditional power models
- doing work for free or very cheap in order to bring goodness
the result= levels the playing so small and independant players can compete with the traditional giants and get message out
easily and cost effectively.
Cast off the shackles of your oppressors
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Because of these changes in culture, media and technology weʼre at a unique time in history where we are seeing upheavel of
traditional power hierarchies.
Information dissemention has gone from a top-down model that relies heavily on a few gatekeepers to an open and distrubed
models where we all have the power to put our messages into the world. It used to be hard but now you essentially have
access to the resources that previously would have required owning a television station, a radio tower, a printing press. Every
day that passes this stuff becomes easier and less expensive to access.
The shackles of microsoft and apple are cast off! Brazil and other countries rejecting microsoftʼs “drug dealer” business model
and companies, governments, universities are all embracing open everything because its cheaper, more sustainable and
Open source culture is thriving
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Itʼs easy to look around our city and communities and see that open source culture is in fact thriving.
Small companies and groups are able to do things that only in the past only people with huge budgets like corporations and
governments. Movements like FreeTheNet.ca here in Vancouver & Ills sans ﬁls based in Montreal are growing in numbers and
strength. These are free community wi-ﬁ with local portals that allow grassroots organizations to do things that before now
were only possible by huge corporations. Some of you may be familiar with the Free Geek movement here in Vancouver. This
is a group of passionate volunteers that gather old computer gear and the teach volunteers how to ﬁxand build computers and
then give them to the students after certain amount of work.
Open Unconferences & Camps: Meet-up in real life
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The geeks donʼt live in the basement, geeks are everyone and all around you. Weʼre seeing a groundswell of grassroots cons/
camps springing up all around us.
These are places wher you can share technical and tactical knowledge and information for mutual beneﬁt without sharing
philosophies or other interests. Instead of corporate expensive registration fees, and pay to speak or paid to speak presenters,
you get peer-taught, volunteer run, everyone participates events with better learning, more fun and way cheaper. Things like
art camp, photocamp, vinovamp, transit camp, barcamp, drunkcamp, campcamp, opencities, meetups, Macha pechu, pechu
topics can be anything and size etc. doesn't matter.
Open Culture: Give it away!
(photo by Franz Patzig)
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Biggest danger is as young creatives isnʼt piracy but obscurity .. irrelevance. Get your work in to the wild. Mix
your shit with other peopleʼs shit. Collaborate. Cross-pollinte. Make something bigger than yourself.
In fact, iʼve found in my experience that the more you give away the more you get back and build your reputation and social
capital... like putting coins in your karmic piggy bank. Creative commons is at the heart of this movement and is all about
enabling sharing while retaining creative control over our artist works. Iʼve got a lot to say about this topic and would love to
talk with you guys more about remix culture at any point.
Thursday, October 15, 2009 12
Don't reinvent and create a ﬁefdom, get out of the silo and spread the love around!
The temptation from the early web days was to put everything into its own silo with top down control and re-
creating a new “thing” for all your content and campaigns
Instead, consider layering your causes and campaigns with like-minded others who are working already
(Netsquared and other community blogs) and social networks where your audience is already hanging out (ugh
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Many of your patrons, customers, and friends are capable and eager to do more than write just buy your art or
You can empower them to remix your stuff into meaningful collabroative content - and they will and do a great
job. Find ways to incentive super active agents in your ecosystem with inclusive giveaways, contests, and
parties. Learn to access highly passionate tastemakers, to get out the word our, reach new audiences, and ﬁnd
new venues for your work. The best part is these activities are fun, free, and fulﬁlling.
yes we can!
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Now we can participate and interact through tools like blogs, comments, online video, photosharing and other
We can publish inexpensively through and tree-free using the internet and other tools of the digital world. We
can coordinate throngs and hordes through technologies like SMS and RSS. We can powerfully organize and
access the world of information through things like content management and search. It worked for Obamaʼs
campaign and countless others - perhaps this spirit of participation can work for you.
The Revolution will not be broadcast...
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This movement is new and has only just begun!
What do I see on the horizon?
China and India - many questions and misconceptions in this massively emerging and dynamic
environment, it’s opening up and changing the whole world!
Pervasive mobile technology - ubiquitous and universal access to the collective knowledge of all
mankind. Especially in the developing world like africa where the mobile web is a gateway to the
Open borders - exchange of ideas, love, skills. Creative ideas and endevours are the spices of the
what’s next? the small apps made quickly to do specialized tasks and play well with others
Thursday, October 15, 2009 16
When it comes to online reputation... I am whatever you say I am. The way people ﬁgure out who you are is
through typing your name into Google.
The top 10 results that come up deﬁne you in the eyes of the people researching you... like it or not. Every
should know what picture is painted by the top Google search results for their name and should learn how to
modify and control the information that appears. Our online digital identity is the summation of all the things
that we share about ourselves and that others say about us. Effective outreach requires knowing how google
works (or how to make it work for you). Learn how to track the conversations about you and your brand. This
Thursday, October 15, 2009 17
Move towards distributed life where you can have all your assets and applications available to you from any
computer in the world via the internet using tools like gmail, wikis, google docs, Amazon s2 and EC3,
Moving towards a place where we are all keeping info online instead of on one home computer... we become
untethered and free to roam between devices, identities, geographies, and audiences. distributed lives means
we gain reach and efﬁciency in working and collaborating from far-ﬂung locations wherever your partners,
patrons, or projects may take you.
Thursday, October 15, 2009 18
How does technology play into all of this? Sometimes technology gets painted with a sticky, tarry
brush as a polluter, capitalism driven ... and confusing
The good news is, ... these technology tools are easier/better then 10 years ago even better than
one year ago.
Load up a Basket of Publishing Tools: Drupal Wordpress, Wikis, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter
Fill your Cart with free/cheap Business Tools: Basecamp, Freshbooks, Harvest, Google Docs
Adjust your brain for openness and sharing by default
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Go forth my friends in creativity and kindness.
I encourage you to pack your toolbox, roll up your sleeves, and learn about this shit. Don't get hung up on the
acronyms, jargon and preconceived notions about technology or copyright or sharing. Consider what it is what
you have to share and the value you bring to the table and discover how to spread your message and
contribute to positive change by helping to create a new and open culture. Be open minded and return to the
state of the uncarved block! When there is nothing left to give you have to set yourself on ﬁre.
• “I learned this, at least, by my experiment;
that if one advances conﬁdently in the
direction of his dreams, and endeavors to
live the life which he has imagined, he will
meet with a success unexpected in common
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It’s not just me... these are universal truths.
• EventBrite - manage registration
(smaller: Evite & Mobaganda)
• PB Wiki - free hosted wiki that let’s
• BaseCamp - project management for
• WordPress - free open-source content-
• Ning - Create a social network for your
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• Flickr - collect photos of event via tags &
• Twitter - connect with attendees, listen
• Google - docs, alerts, groups
• Upcoming.org - great place to list events
(also ZVents & Eventful)
• NetVibes - create a dashboard out of all
of the above
Thursday, October 15, 2009 22
Addendum: 3 Things You
Can Do Today
• Start listening - Google Alerts + Twitter
Search + Google Reader
• Develop your brand - register your domain
name and reserve your namespace across
major social networks
• Join Twitter & Facebook
Thursday, October 15, 2009 23
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