Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Eurogel 2006: A Gem in the Rough at the Black Diamond

The First of Its Kind

I just returned from Copenhagen where I attended Mark Hurst's Eurogel, the first GEL event to be held outside New York. It was a challenging conference precisely because it was the first. Probably its most salient feature was the heart with which it was offered by the organizers and received by the attendees. And as you can see from the pictures, taken by Daniel Hunziger, it also attracted a very young, hip crowd of designers, bloggers, and other business people interested in innovation.

Different from New York's GEL 2006

Rather than focusing on wide-spread trends -- in business innovation, in art, in gaming, in innovations corporate communication, in information mapping, and in online community, this gathering had its feet firmly in the life of Copenhagen. Most speakers were city natives, and the numerous artists and designers expressed more their own personal experiences rather than focusing on the connections with trends in the wider world.

There were notable exceptions -- look for them in the following posts.

A Different Kind of Good Experience

Despite the relatively narrow parameters, every attendee with whom I spoke felt lucky to be there. I felt the same. Although it is certainly a work in progress, Eurogel offered a level of intimacy and community that I haven't experienced at any other event.

Much of this is due to Mark Hurst, Dawn Barber, and the other organizers who went to great lengths to ensure attendees were happy with their experience. They were all generous with introductions among those at the conference, and the genuine effort to connect people gave the event a family feel.

Part of the great experience, too, can be attributed to calibre of the attendees who as a group were certainly more than the sum of its parts. Our cross-disciplinary experience and engagement in learning made the Black Diamond buzz.

Don't miss it next year.

For more on the conference from another source, check out the article by Fatdux. More from me in the next posts.

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