Working in an event like CICI is pure adrenalin. We knew it would be a challenge to organize the translation
of a large number of events*. There were 12 of us interpreting (translating to andfrom English and Spanish) and three additional staff members
, who struggled to organize the logistics that wo
uld allow us to deliver the best possible work over four gruelling, twelve-hour days.
Interpreting Theodore Gordon, Fritjof Capra and Nicholas Christakis was both an honour and a challenge, and there were high expectations of our work. We also interpreted talks and lectures about digital networks, social media, ETC twitterers meetings, urbanism, coolworking, architecture and design, green cities, and sustainable solutions. Unfortunately, it is impossible to write about everything but this is an attempt to p
resent our view of some of the best moments of thinking the Web of Life.
The conference opened with Jaime Lerner emphasizing that interpersonal communication should be simple and that the same principle applies to u
rban solutions. He suggested that it is possible to bri
ng about concrete improvements in a city over a three-year period. We had watched his TED presentations and he was very consistent in his line of thought and with his imaginative examples: thinking of the city as a turtle, considering
the electric dock-dock car, and the role of the automobile and public transportation. He took the audience for a ride through
a near future of great possibilities. For those who would like to know what the dock-dock is and to know more about his ideas, have a look at this page:www.ted.com/talks/jaime_lerner_sings_of_the_city.html
The first major lecture, held by Theodore Gordon, was a great surpris
e! The audience was introduced to an extremely optimistic eighty-year old, interacti
ng with his audience enthusiastically through a live videoconfere
nce. Theodore spoke about the latest advances in
technology and biotechnology with promise to improve our quality of life. He demonstrated how small the Earth can be, pointing out that happiness is
what you make of your life, and that technology’s role is to facilitate this.
On the third day, twitterers crowded rooms and it was a great surprise that their association (ETC) was urging its members to have physical meetings once in a while, and stressing the importance of doing this. Fernanda Musardo conducted their meeting as if it was a non-stop orchestra, recreating twitt
er communication with pen and paper. In his presentation, Gil Giardeli showed the audience the power of p
oetry, and Luli Radfather gave an impeccable presentation on “ Where are social networks taking us?”. So
mething to be remembered from Luli's presentation: “we are living in crazy times. Imagine riding a motorcycle and trying to observe all the details. It is impossible! We have to focus on the path”- ON THE ROAD ahead…
Everybody says good things about our dear city of Curitiba, but we ca
nnot pretend that Curitiba has no flaws. Rodrigo Rocha Loures pointed out that despite Curitiba being considered a model city, its carbon emissions are too high – we would need two planets to absorb the carbon emissions that would be generated if all cities were like ours. We can be proud, but we
must be realistic - we have a long ROAD to travel and education will play a fundamental role in bringing about change.
Capra attracted a great number of fans, dedicated followers and admirers. His holistic view of networks is the expression of truth: we will never guarantee our existence or improve our quality of life if we disregard human
relationships and the interactions that take place in nature's processes. One of the main intuitions of his systemic thinking was the percept
ion that networks are unified patterns of life. We do not need to invent sustainable communities from scratch. Instead we can mirror ecosystems, e. g. sustainable communities of vegetables, animals and plants, which are all already here, in our “household". And how can we do it? Awareness should begin in childhood, through ecoliteracy,
through understanding the principles of the organization of ecological communities and using those principles for the creation of sustainable human communities. www.ecoliteracy.org
Christakis made the last presentation and it was a great finale for the conference. We had seen his TED presentation as well, and knew about his research on the hidden influence of social networks, which is fascinating. He reminded us that human behaviour cannot be taken for granted, changeable at the same speed as new technologies. Some dimensions of our behaviour are inbuilt. Some people are outgoing, others are introverted, but we still have a few best friends, independently of our 1000 “friends” on facebook. What we do have is a huge virtual network, which offers non-stop access to information - but this does not make us so different to our ancestors when we
talk about real networks. Eventually, network power is potentialized in the idea of the seedling – what we plant is what grows…and it is the ties between people that make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. So, what if we plant goodness?
More about his book and research athttp://www.ted.com/talks/nicholas_christakis_the_hidden_influence_of_social_networks.html
When I look back at the event I see a great complex network of people being entertained and stimulated to think differently, and an event where knowledge management was running information cars on a rollercoaster of entrepreneurship education.
Translating the event was a challenge worth tackling!
*On The Road was responsible for most of the interpreting during the conference, with some other companies also involved.