Nesta and Sir Tim Berners Lee

I was going to wait for the webcast to be set live to post about the session this afternoon, but I will do another tomorrow.

Feeling really rather lucky for scoring a ticket I made my way to Nesta this afternoon and was lucky enough to be in the second row from the front, with Euan Semple on my left (mourning his iphone’s passing in a rain storm) and Lloyd Davis to my right (in rather a naughty mood).

The occasion was to celebrate the launch of  Sir Tim Berners Lee‘s latest wheeze: the Web Science Research Initiative (which I believe means less maths more science). However, TBL was the draw and all we wanted was 1. to be in His presence and 2. to listen and – if brave enough – ask him stuff.

When the webcast is live I will link to it, and I really will this time, I promise – so you can share in the joy. But I thought that in the mean time I would note what is resonating with me right now, you might find this interesting.

  1. What is supremely brilliant is that TBL is still so excited by the web and its potential. I expected him to be more jaded, to patter out a presentation and take questions but be, frankly, bored by what he has created. He isn’t! He is clearly still passionate about this, that does not do it justice, he buzzes when you mention ‘semantic web’ in an almost childlike, quivering ‘me, me, please sir’ way – he wants to talk about this and watch his baby evolve. I love that, it inspired me again.
  2. People repeatedly referred to the world wide web as a ‘thing’ ‘it’. TBL tried to explain that we need to stop thinking of it as a thing, it is a linking mechanism. People are following links, that is what creates the world wide web, (um think that might be the web thing).
  3. The www removes geography, the world it created means that everything is one/two/a few clicks away – this redefines the way we associate and communicate
  4. The famous story of how He was able to create the www: his boss at the time did not say ‘no’ to what he was trying to do; led to him mentioning championing the champion, supporting those who are doing stuff a little bit differently in our organisations, and giving them enough room to explore.
  5. He suggested looking at challenges on the macro and micro level. See what we could do as a person, as a member of a community, county, city, country, world wide – and devote some time to exploring that
  6. There was also the ever pertinent cry to keep data free – the whole point of what he created was to destroy the boundaries, never was the ‘free our data’ cry so apt as when it comes from the mouth of TBL… reiterated by the number of stickers on his laptop carrying the same lament

I will share the link tomorrow, or you can search for Tim Berners Lee Nesta 8th July and you will find it – along with his presentation.

My own photos are here – bit rubbish but I was being naughty and using my phone, so trying to be surreptitious. (Sorry Jonathan).

PS There were two other panellists, people I would love to have spoken to: Andy Duncan from Channel 4 and Charlie Leadbeater. An odd decision to share the stage… I am not sure why that happened.

4 responses

  1. Pingback: UK government officially geeks out « Emma Mulqueeny

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