Notes about Nokia Open Lab 2008
I am still trying to come out the euphoria. Out of my six days in Helsinki spent first three days geeking out. The idea of OpenLab was to bring together 35+ geeks from the field tech, blogging, programming, education, music and photography to discuss about social media, connected life, mobile life etc
Womworld had planned the event so meticulously that they had even scheduled sauna time. The pattern of discussion was completely new where we were made into four groups with little introduction to subjects. The objective being the *ideas* should come out of discussion. Then a leader from the every team presented it to the rest of the group. The members of the group were shuffled enough number time to create an opportunity for networking.
The first session started with social media and networking. Least common denominator amongst the participants was we all were on some social networking. So it was great subject to start the sessions. I did not know anything about others. Its not easy to talk when you don't know whom you are talking to and they are best thirty five from around the world. More than that I am great listener than a talker. So my initial participation was listening to the comments made by other and in some cases making some comments. In the afternoon we had discussions on how to use collaborative and social tools at work, future films, games and usage of geo-location data.
Time was very limited. Each of the subject on the agenda would have taken a day. I still remember during our discussion on environment we had not even started the discussion when the bells went. Never the less, me and Jen continued our discussion about Bangalore autos, LPG and nuclear power. After a long time I found somebody who liked Bangalore amongst all the chaos. Jen said and I quote "Bangalore today is like LA in 80s. Its growing heavily, attracting people from all over the world. It will take time but it will become one of the best cities in the world".
For me the best things were lunch and coffee breaks. I had great conversation with Steve about education in India and US. How education is becoming expensive and there is such a lack of good teachers in India etc.
Each and every conversation I had is memorable. It was the best part of the workshop. Lots of people to talk to and lot many different subjects. At the end of the third day we had just begun and it was already time to bid good bye.
I am not sure how this is going to help Nokia. Probably its going to help them if they want to build a new internet service or want to improve a service. Or they just wanted to feel the pulse of heavy internet/mobile users. Nokia kept all the conversations open and earned a lot of my respect.
Note: Cross posted at Bangalore Mirror Blog Talk.