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Day 05.29.2012, 9:34am

Entertainment Gathering 6 : A Relaxed Version of TED

Recently Elizabeth and I spent two days at a telecast of the EG6 (Entertainment Gathering): Rebooting Tomorrow conference broadcast from Monterey, CA to Chicago, IL. The event is the brainchild of concert pianist and MIT Media Lab fellow Michael Hawley. Previously unaware of either the event or Hawley, we had no preconceived ideas of what the experience would be like.

We were a little unnerved that there were so few attendees and that half of them seemed to be Field employees who were encouraged to attend (seeing as they disappeared in droves when the lights went down). We became increasing more so when it became apparent that this was going to be a truly eclectic and interesting experience. Both avid conference attendees — as budgets allow — we are usually disappointed in the local fare. Chicago seems to slower to embrace or grasp crowd sourcing of information and the idea of conferences as the new concert, book club, coffee house, etc. The notable exception to that being Chicago Ideas Week.

Rather than boil this down to the essence, to prove my point we are instead giving in-depth descriptions of some of the speakers. Some presenters were less effective because their egos and personalities focused more on their own accomplishments with little empathy about packaging their experience in a way that would be valuable to others. Other presenters were wonderful at packaging their ideas and connecting with participants. Large segments of the California conference were not shown. Elizabeth was a bit bugged that the simulcast didn’t include Neil Stephenson’s segment, but we are both glad it happened at all. Overall, should this event happen be held again next year, we suggest you check it out.