Almost a week has gone by since I returned from Florianopolis and I have not yet had time to blog about it. Ouf, c’est la course.
It was a most energizing weekend, during which I met dynamic and engaged young people I would not have come into contact with, had not been this event. Not only because of their age – some younger than my youngest son – but also because most are journalists, artists, graphic designers, university students – a crowd I have not been hanging out with lately. Many of the issues that came up are the same we are discussing in the educational area: copyright blocking the access and creation of knowledge, Web 2.0, Second Life, Participatory/Collaborative Journalism, meritocracy, communities of practice, networking…
Andre Avorio , the 21-year-old mastermind behind all barcamps organized in Brazil until now, came to fetch me at the Hercilio Luz airport last Friday evening. There I met Johnny, Avorio’s friend and and Paulo Bicarato, a journalist who has been blogging since 2001 on the Alfarrabio.
On Saturday, we all met at the Philosophy Dept building at UFSC (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina) and decided on the themes. I had volunteered to chair some of the WiAOC presentations online, hoping to converge both and show a bit of what is happening in our community. However, the unstable wireless connection and the strong f2f appeal made me finally give up on the virtual altogether and join the discussion groups, which was what we were there for. In the evening, a number of us gathered to raise a glass to Avorio and his newly minted Blaz. Photos on Flickr.
I exchanged ideas on G. Siemens Connectivism with Fabiano Caruso, a researcher at the Certis Foundation who participates in a number of innovative library projects like Extra Libris ; talked to Gabriela Leitao and Pedro Markun, who will be working together on the Jornal de Debates, an online collaborative newspaper launched by Pedro’s father, journalist Paulo Markun. Ana Brambilla, an open source collaborative reporting researcher and journalist, held a session on the subject. South Korean Ohmy News, to which she contributes, was the topic under discussion.
Very late in the evening, I had a fascinating conversation with a young man (whose name I cannot now recall) on how throughout history, literature has mapped the contradictions and aspirations of the human soul and nature. Bianca Santana, whom I had already met at some of the tete-a-tetes preparing barcamp SP, reminded me to send a post to Diversidade Cultural, a blog for the Cultural Diversity International Seminar: practices and perspectives. Time has become a precious commodity and I hope I can make it!
After a sound night sleep (I collapsed before everyone else) in one of the houses Andre rented for us on Praia Brava, we got together for the Sunday round. Julie, a French young woman working for Google in Dublin, and who had just arrived to spend some days at the Markun’s family, joined the group and followed some of the heated discussions. Although fewer people were present, my impression was that the conversations went further and reached a deeper level. Virtual versus physical identities were discussed in the context of Second Life and at 17:00, I moved to skypecast Open and Participatory Webpublishing for the WiAOC. Fortunately, I had managed to get a connection the night before to send the ppts to Patricia, my co-presenter and everything worked without a glitch. Right after finishing, it was time to rush to the airport to catch the flight back home.
The unusual weekend was worth every minute as it made me discover the local cultural scenario and brought me closer to some of the young actors playing in it.