Piloting Human-scale Conversations

How do conversations begin in real life and can they migrate online?

That’s one of the questions I’m interested in exploring as part of the work a group of Tuttle consultants are doing with the British Council.  And we are trying to learn from the first of a series of conversations.

Lloyd Davis made an Audioboo which describes the first meeting as “a small beginning” and explores the dimensions of the conversation in terms of time, place (both the location itself and the influence of the place on the conversation) and whether conversation over food is advisable or not.  His boo reflects thoughts on the process:

Download mp3

Unthemed and undirected?

Does the conversation need a purpose or is it open-ended?  Should the conversation have a purpose?  And there are issues about how the conversation can be managed.  Listen to the boo and you will hear the ‘letting it happen’ and open principle emerge!

The impact of the venue

poppiesFor me, the place had a massive impact.  I got there early and had a wander round.  Went to the ‘Trench Experience’ and looked at photographs.  Felt the vibe.

My learnings include how we deal with awkwardness in conversation and how we break through that and get into the realconversation.  The other thing is the extent of the ‘knowing’; how well you know one another and the way this drives the conversation.

If you click on the link you can hear the Audio Boo I made immediately after the conversation.

Download mp3

Place drives all

Meeting in the Imperial War Museum was deeply odd.  I’ve been there only once before a long time ago.  It affected the conversation – how could it not?

What was also striking for me was the single slab of Berlin Wall outside the Museum.  It impacted the conversation.  Especially as one of the lunch particpants lived on the Eastern side, 200m from the Wall, and was one of those brave and excited people hammering away at it 20 years ago.

And at some level, I did recall there was the Tibetan Peace Garden which has been there since 1999.  It was opened by HH the Dalai Lama.  I went to see it after the lunch.  It seems odd, but once you think about it, putting a Peace Garden in the grounds of a War Museum has a certain correctness.

We have a useful juxtaposition  – a chunk of wall whose destruction signalled the end of the Cold War 20 years ago and the inauguration of a Peace Garden 10 years ago.  The Wall stands between the Museum and the Peace Garden.

Ten years from now, what else will be there?  A fragment of steel from the Twin Towers, a desert Land Rover from the Iraq Wars, a pilot-less Predator from Afghanistan?  It’s non-trivial going to have a conversation . . .


One Response

  1. Hopefully next to the bit of Berlin wall there will be a bit of obsolete copper cable…
    but I doubt it. The telcos will still be using it to deliver broadband to the UK effectively building a wall between us and the rest of the global village of the ether.
    We can live in hope that soon they get the message and realise we need to replace the copper with fibre can’t we?

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