The Keynote Objective
April 03, 2013
An invitation to give a keynote lecture is both an opportunity and a responsibility.
From keynote speakers whom I've admired in the past, I felt that a conference lecture should be about discovery and community, addressing broad concepts, and perhaps controversial issues that can resonate in discussions throughout the remaining days of a conference . . . and beyond.
As Seth Godin says: "Respectfully challenging the status quo combined with relentlessly iterating new ideas is the hallmark of the vibrant tribe."
The theme for the recent International Polymer Clay Association Conference was "Seeking Higher Ground."
A suggestion from the conference organizers was "reaching the next plateau". In fact, it was suggested that my lecture address the controversial topics of inappropriate, illegal and unethical copying and sharing of information and more. And I saw a real opportunity to have impact. Why?
These issues are not just limited to one media. I have heard about similar stories for years, but the problems are growing exponentially with the Internet, hence the topic of the lecture.
These serious issues pervade the craft community. But too often the elephant in the room is an unspoken concern of being ostracized by one's own community for being outspoken despite the honesty. We should not be afraid to discuss difficult topics.
In the few months prior to this lecture, I leaned on my family, friends, and associates to discuss, debate, and argue the issues to zero in on the key points. We did not arrive at easy agreement, but ultimately, we all felt better informed and more discerning about the issues and the recommendations. The topics still fuel healthy critique.
My goal is a vibrant, self-aware, craft community.
More thoughts to come in future posts. Share the lecture The GOOD, The BAD, and The UGLY in the AGE of the Internet on your Facebook, newsletter or blog. Engage in the conversation. Spark debate.
In the meantime I am inspired by the Dixie Chicks song "Not Ready to Play Nice."
It is time to raise our voices.