talk: what do do when your change agent is broken

I gave a talk yesterday at the NEASIS&T event in Providence Rhode Island. I was psyched to present with John Blyberg and Jill Stover (also at Designing Better Libraries) who have very different backgrounds but both gave great talks. I pulled the “after lunch” slot which is sort of what happens when I ask to not speak before 11 am but I thought it went really well. ASIS&T get togethers are generally a really good time because they are often filled with accomplished and interesting people. I’m not sure why this is, but it’s definitely something I’ve noticed. The topic for the day was From Guerilla Innovation to Institutional Transformation: Information Professionals as Change Agents which to me sounded a little silly, — I have change agent reflux disease — but everyone made really nifty stuff out of it and we had a good time despite being in a really weird room with iffy wireless.

Buoyed my my recent presentation in Michigan, I decided to write the talk I really wanted to give and talk a bit about how my activist background has informed my current work. Sometimes you have to say that something sucks [my suggestion is to go for “suboptimal”] and write a manifesto to get noticed, but that these are okay tacks to take if you’re really solving the problems and can do it without being a jerk yourself.

Anyhow, I did another Keynote presentation — I’m still in favor of a no-PowerPoint approach generally but I’m learning other methods for other occasions — and you can see my slides and links online here: Sleeper 2.0 – Agitprop problem solving. Thanks to Jill and John for giving such excellent talks and thanks also to ASIST&T for inviting me.

6 thoughts on “talk: what do do when your change agent is broken

  1. Jessamyn,
    I agree with your no-powerpoint approach – I have heard information professionals of all abilities, ages and backgrounds use the term ‘Death by powerpoint’.

    I have also seen an AlTiLAB presentation by an American who had (and insisted on using) a tablet PC. He slouched in a chair (all teeth and hair) drawing what eventually resembled a snake’s wedding on an interactive whiteboard (bore no relevance to the issue of Open source learning tools). Not good! The technology simply masked the fact that he had neither talent nor knowledge of any value to impart to his audience.

    Take care


  2. Sounds like you had a great time. I agree with the no powerpoints as well. While I was in library school, we read a paper on why you should not do them for one of my classes.

  3. Hey, Jessamyn! I wanted to catch you before you left to say I had a great time listening to your talk – very captivating and fun. :-)

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