Join Us in Revitalizing New Orleans

Though I have only been to New Orleans once before, I have a deep love for this great American city and I really want to help bring it back from the tragedy that was Katrina. As a technologist, business strategist, entrepreneur and humanist, I have been been working with BrainJams over the last few months to bring people together to learn from one another in the real world. While I can’t rebuild the houses that were lost or donate millions of dollars, I can work towards connecting the small businesses of New Orleans with an understanding of how they can make the most of emerging Internet technologies. More importantly, I can help facilitate real, personal connections between the people who are building these Internet tools and the local business community in New Orleans who need the best available thinking to help rebuild their local economy.

BrainJams is about people sharing what they know with one another – people helping people, treating one another with respect and working to understand each another’s unique ability to contribute towards a common goal. If you are interested in working towards
revitalizing New Orleans, won’t you join us for a conversation between the business community in New Orleans and people who understand emerging Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, tags, open source software such as Drupal, and other Web services?

I believe that together, we can discover innovative solutions to the business problems that are being faced today, as well as learn from one another how to make the most of what we already have. We know from firsthand experience that the traditional way of running a conference was seldom best for the attendees. The most interesting parts of the conference were often the hallway conversations we had with other attendees. Often times, the people in the audience have better insights to share than those speaking on the panel. BrainJams takes away the “power of the podium” and puts it in the hands of the people in the audience. We turn attendees into participants, and in so doing, make it easier for everyone to get what they need from the event while having a turn to step up on the soap box to share their ideas, concerns and experiences.

So rather than coming to hear me tell you how it is, we will get together on Thursday May 4th in downtown New Orleans to figure it out together. To share our insights. To learn from each other. To identify the needs of the business community. To launch new projects. To pump new life into the heart of the city of New Orleans. To Jam with each other like Jazz musicians, riffing on each other’s ideas, leveraging everyone’s unique contributions.

There will be many different topics discussed over the course of the day, all of which will be chosen by you and managed under the principles of “Open Space“, which is a simple structure for enabling more powerful conversations for large groups of people. In the morning, participants will create an agenda that addresses the most important issues and opportunities for the New Orleans business community and how it can best use the latest technology. The rest of the day will be spent in small group sessions working on the specific issues that matter most right now. All of the proceedings will be documented and a wireless network will allow us to post all of our notes directly to the internet, where others can find them and support our work. The point of the day is to start conversations that matter while making new connections to the people who can contribute to projects that will make real impact. If you care about what New Orleans has been and where the city is heading, your participation is essential for our success.

Please join us! BrainJams New Orleans is free for all to attend – just complete the registration form and put it on your calendar.

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