January 14, 2009

ThinkBalm Storytelling Series Issue #2: “End Death-By-Lecture: Tours, Not Speeches”

The ThinkBalm Innovation Community has been experimenting with a new form of immersive event: the “un-lecture.” An un-lecture is a 60- to 90-minute event during which four or five community members each deliver a 10-minute demo, tour, or presentation about something enterprise Immersive Internet-related that they have done or are working on. The purpose of the community’s new un-lecture event series is to spread the wealth of knowledge and experience that exists in the community, strengthen bonds among members, create opportunities for serendipitous interactions, and collectively master how to move beyond traditional, often unexciting presentations to deliver high-value interactive experiences. Participants can move their avatars around in 3D space and interact with environments and objects. They can talk with the presenter and each other via voice, group text chat, or private text chat. In our view, participants in an un-lecture event walk away with an experience, not just a few bullet points and a set of printed-out PowerPoint slides.

On December 1, 2008 the ThinkBalm Innovation Community held its first un-lecture event. We structured the event as a four-stop tour that included:

  • A presentation by Claus Nehmzow, entrepreneur and advisor with Alcus International Ltd., on CIGNA’s use of Second Life for healthcare education
  • A hands-on demo of Jeff Lowe’s 3D mindmapping tool project — Jeff Lowe is a project manager at University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management
  • A presentation on the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)’s use of Second Life for marketing and R&D by John Kinsella, VP in charge of educational curricula and products at PADI
  • A tour of Michelin’s island for training IT pros on enterprise architecture concepts by Philippe Barreaud, chief enterprise architect at Michelin

With the help of six ThinkBalm Innovation Community members who attended our first un-lecture event — Barbara Schwarz, Claus Nehmzow, Eilif Trondsen, Jeff Lowe, Leslie Pagel, and Santi Garcia — we wrote ThinkBalm’s second issue in the Immersive Internet Storytelling Series, titled “End Death-By-Lecture: Tours, Not Speeches.” For a PDF of the article click this link or click the image of the article’s cover above.

Erica Driver

Erica Driver was a co-founder and principal at ThinkBalm. She is a leading industry analyst and consultant with 15 years of experience in the software industry. She is quoted in mainstream and industry trade press including the Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CIO, and Computerworld. Prior to co-founding ThinkBalm, Erica was a principal analyst at Forrester Research, where she launched the company’s Web3D coverage as part of her enterprise collaboration research. She was also the co-conspirator behind Forrester’s Information Workplace concepts and research. Prior to her tenure at Forrester, she was a Director at Giga Information Group (now part of Forrester) and an analyst at Hurwitz & Associates. She began her career in IT as a system administrator and Lotus Notes developer. Erica is a graduate of Harvard University.