Upcoming Speaking Engagements & Events

On Saturday I was invited to speak at the Annual Sustainable Campuses Conference, on the subject of Open Data. I gave an overview of open data, shared some examples of open data apps for sustainability, and described how open data arrived here in Edmonton. We also spent some time chatting about Twitter, both in general and how it is being used by the open data community. Thanks to the organizers for including me!

I’ve got a few additional speaking engagements coming up that I wanted to mention:

  • January 25-28: Social Media for Government (on ShareEdmonton)
    The conference started today and finishes tomorrow, with post-conference workshops taking place on Thursday. I’m leading the last workshop that afternoon, where I’ll be taking participants through a social media campaign from start to finish. We’ll look at examples of campaigns that have worked, as well as examples of what to avoid. There are some really smart people speaking at the event, such as Jas Darrah, Diane Begin, Troy Wason, Ken Chapman, Walter Schwabe, and many more.
  • February 5/6: What Happens Next? Future of Story (on ShareEdmonton)
    I’m really excited to be taking part in this conference, hosted by MacEwan’s School of Communications. I’m participating in a panel on “The Next New Journalism” along with Karen Unland and Colby Cosh. The panel will be moderated by Rey Rosales, Associate Dean at MacEwan’s Centre for Arts and Communications. I obviously have some strong ideas about the future of journalism and media, as I’m sure Karen and Colby do, so it should be interesting, and fun!
  • March 11: MacEwan Student Business Conference 2010 (on ShareEdmonton)
    This conference aims to connect students with business leaders and innovators. I’ll be taking part in a roundtable discussion on social media – what is it, why is it important, how can businesses use it, and how it relates to an overall communications strategy. Hopefully we’ll also have some great discussion about how students are using social media.
  • May 5/6: Technocon 2010 (on ShareEdmonton)
    I’m honored to be one of the keynotes for this conference, open to all City of Edmonton and University of Alberta IT employees. The conference focuses on three key themes: open, world class, and transformation. I’ll be talking about open data, open government, social media, transparency, and more all related to the theme of open. Can’t wait!

Here are a few other upcoming events I’ll be at:

Hope to see you at a few of them!

An Evening with Bill Clinton

Post ImageLast night Megan and I went to “An Evening with Bill Clinton” at Rexall Place here in Edmonton. The former president was in town to talk about his life, his work, and to offer some advice and guidance on the future. Patrick LaForge of the Edmonton Oilers, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, and a representative from CIBC Wood Gundy (didn’t catch his name, sorry) were also on hand to make some opening remarks and do their part to introduce the man of the evening. Ralph screwed up though, or someone did at least, as he introduced Mr. Clinton to the stage when really he should have introduced the guy from CIBC! It was kind of funny.

The president talked a lot about security and terrorism actually, more than I thought he would. It was part of his “framework” for looking at the world. His main argument is that the world is interdependent, and we need to recognize that and move towards integrated communities. So whenever he reads a news article or sees a report on TV, he asks himself the same question – does this help us move closer to an integrated community or not? Based on that, he takes the proper course of action. Obviously he layed it out in much more detail.

He also spoke about the worldwide problem of obesity, other security threats like biological and chemical weapons, the spread of disease, and climate change. Seems he has done work in each of these areas since leaving office. The evening finished with a short Q&A, where we learned that the last movie he watched was Crash, and he doesn’t know whether or not his wife Hillary will run for office in 2008. He did say, however, that if she did run, she’d do a magnificent job. He said many great things about her. We also learned that the thing he misses most about being the president is the work.

The takeway, he told us, is that we can effect change without being rich or doing huge things. He talked about the opportunities provided by the Internet, and shared some really interesting stories of people he has met over the years who have made a big difference through small action. He also mentioned the rise of non-governmental organizations, and when he did so, he almost sounded proud. I got the feeling that he has special respect for NGOs.

Bill Clinton is actually a rather engaging speaker, much more so than I expected (his hair is also a lot whiter now than I thought it was). As is often the case with these kinds of events, it was his stories and experiences that were the most interesting to hear about, and he certainly has had lots of those. It was a really great event, I’m glad I was able to go.

You can learn more about the Clinton Foundation and the work Bill Clinton does at their website. The Wikipedia entry on him is quite extensive with lots of great information too.