Last week the Living the Future 7 conference took place, and it was fantastic! Much of my time was dedicated to logistics, staffing the registration table, coordinating the volunteers, and communicating with the hotel reps, but I did get to squeeze in some great sessions and have some inspiring conversations with participants from around the world (yes – we had attendees from Canada, Hawaii, and Africa!).
First I’d like to share the key points I walked away with:
- From Peter Senge’s keynote speech: Aspiration, Vision, and Purpose. Sustainability. We are born to learn. We need to spread knowledge.
- From the CoLAB Planning Session: we share commonalities, we share ideas; if we make connections and take the time to learn about one another’s assets, we can make true collaborative projects successful.
- From the receptions: librarians are fun and inspiring (as if there was any doubt).
- From the breakout sessions: virtual presentations can be successful! But more importantly… we need to work closer with our faculty. And form closer relationship with our students and campus partners. We need to get out there in our campus community. Successful partnerships are the key to our future.
- From the closing session: talk with each other, and then go back and do something.
As far as the planning goes, we received a lot of positive feedback from participants, speakers, and former members of the planning group. So that’s a very good thing, especially with all us newbies. Here’s a review:
- Only one member of the planning group had done this before, all the rest of us were brand new to the experience. Yet we had more participants registered than in any year past!
- We had a world-renowned keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Senge, who is very difficult to get. We had about 40 people register just to see him speak. He was inspiring.
- We coordinated the first “virtual presentation” to be held at Living the Future – John Shank presented through Elluminate from his office at Penn State. Despite a small audio glitch half-way through, it went smoothly.
- The conference was dedicated to Shelley Phipps, our recently-retired Associate Dean who participated in all previous planning groups to make this happen. She was surprised to see her face on our welcome poster!
- At closing we specially recognized Liz Bezanson, who has also worked on all previous LTF conferences, including this one. She retires at the end of this month and it was a pleasure to work with her. She will be missed throughout our organization.
Yesterday we set up a Google Group to faciliatate continued discussions now the conference has ended. I hope you join us: http://groups.google.com/group/living-the-future.