Last night I went to the first Sydney Interesting South Conference on ‘Interestingness’ organised by Emily Reed of the Open Intelligence Agency. It was put on by a group at Interesting South that meet regularly for coffee in Surry Hills to just chew the fat and geek out together (which in itself is appealing especially if you work on your own). The idea behind Interesting South seems as if it’s sort of loosely based on the US-centred idea of the ‘unconference’, sharing knowledge, passions and geekdom for freshness. It’s about exposing yourself to a whole bunch of different points of view, changing the lens you have on life, that sort of thing. Lovely. The first Interesting South event was first held in London in June 2007 by Russell Davies and last night’s gig followed a similar in Sydney. They had a line up of interesting and unusual speakers, each one was allocated 10 minutes (or in the case of more commercially orientated speakers like the Fair Trade lady – 3 minutes). The idea being that we got a sound byte of whatever each person decided to talk about – from How to make a Zombie to the Moose Dance, the art of vocology and even Pia the Sydney Overlord who talked to us about the strange things people at Darbot do with electricity. We got cuddly with the Free Hugs, met a grassroots activist who took offense and aim at the Coke Zero movement (still amazes me that one guy with $18 can cause a genuine grassroots backlash against a multi-million dollar fake grassroots campaign), the place was jam packed with interesting people came to share a little of their geekness on stage.
Interesting South describes itself as “. . not about brands, advertising, blogging or twitter but a wide variety of interesting, unexpected, original things. We’ve found 19 fascinating people and asked them speak for 3 or 10 minutes about something they care about. We want to replicate the experience of clicking from one really good blog to another, ranging across sciences, arts, music, jokes and whatever. The idea is to be informal and fast paced.”
For those of you who geek out on interesting and wonderful bits of brain candy, this event was magnificent. There was a couple of speakers I found particularly interesting and made a note to Google later. A great way to shift your thinking sideways a little. Well done to Emily and the team, Interesting South was a great event.
You can check Interesting South here