sacher torte & ruby port
back from vienna a week already, followed by days of unpacking the new house and wrapping up loose ends for work. it was an interesting trip, and an interesting conference.
while the content was good and engaging, i hate to say it but knowledge, creativity and transformations of societies was poorly organized and not very well thought out, which is a shame as it could have been so much better with just a bit of different effort, ironic given it’s name and mandate… a few things that bothered me…
panel locations weren’t advertised (even general street signage was lacking) and were spread across the city, there was little in the way of networking and meeting with your fellow attendees. and there wasn’t any wifi, which, isn’t so important in the long run.
but those were the little qualms. the biggest problem was that the organizers rescheduled the panel i was on about 6 days before the conference began. originally set to go on friday, we were moved to sunday, which meant that some people missed the panel as their flights were leaving sunday afternoon, or that they were rescheduled to present at 8am. yikes!
beyond that, the content was really really great. mark rectanus, from the university of iowa, spoke about the tensions between institutional knowledge and emergent knowledge (universities and wikipedia, for example), and ways to reconcile this through teaching, dialogue, active participation with one’s students, etc.
and tatjana chorney, from st mary’s in halifax, spoke about transformational teaching methods that also speak to mark’s themes – that while instructors still need to communicate a historical or contextual knowledge base in their curriculi, there’s also an increased need to facilitate and broker knowledge acquisition, insight and analysis as well – the skills and creative impetus to understand and act upon information.
my paper touched upon the underlying dynamics that aid in that facilitation – how groups form, how they trust and read each other so that knowledge can permeate throughout a community. three overlapping areas, and i’m honored that i was able to speak to theirs and the others work. well done, everyone!!
vienna itself is a lovely city – bourgeousie architecture and winding laneways, grand palaces and wiener wurstl stands everywhere. i completely fell in love with the food – especially apfelpunsch, and the people were kind and hospitable. looking forward to another trip in the future!