Signs of Change National Networked e-Conference: Highlighting emerging sustainability and social business
The Signs of Change National Networked e-Conference was held 15-16 November 2010 in New Zealand, and it was convened to demonstrate two new concepts, low-travel conferencing and emerging sustainability. The conference was held at seven venues along the length of the country that were connected via the Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN) using an HD323 bridge between the university lecture theatres. Each venue was organised as a small local conference with local speakers, catering and activities. Live video of the speaker and their PowerPoint slides was projected onto dual screens at all the other venues, and question and answer sessions simultaneously displayed the moderators at each venue and the audience at all of the venues. The presenters came from all walks of life, and gave reports of how their work or business was progressing in a new direction toward energy, environmental and social sustainability. Most presentations were limited to 10 minutes so that a large number of reports could be heard. All presenters were advised to focus on reporting their own experiences of emerging sustainability and operation of social business rather than to discuss the un-sustainability of the 'business as usual' path of society. The feedback from the 250 participants was overwhelmingly positive, with most citing the progress exhibited in the presentations and the “whole of society” approach as providing them with a fruitful learning and inclusive experience. The conference was recorded and videos are available from the conference website www.signsofchange.org.nz
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