[OSList] Fwd: reporting back from MIX...

Rosa Zubizarreta via OSList oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Sat Nov 22 16:44:57 PST 2014

Hi all,

In spite of the old-style format, I found the MIX
<http://mixmashup.org/mashup/events>to be an extremely inspiring gathering.
Below some extracts from an e-mail I wrote to a friend...


The conference format was (almost) completely didactic, lecture-style,
jam-packed, hardly any breaks. AND, as challenging as that was, the content
itself was extraordinary, completely inspiring, beyond awesome. How's that
for a contradiction?

The MIX folks are extremely bright, dedicated, and passionate about finding
people and organizations that are totally breaking the mold with regard to
new organizational forms. This includes young companies that started this
way from scratch, as well as older companies that were originally
hierarchical and have transformed in some significant way. They are doing
their best to promote these organizations/networks/initiatives and their

So, great people from all over the world… successful non-hierarchical
companies from all over the world….really good stuff! The MIX folks are
aware that this work isn't completely new, that there have been innovative
examples of successful non-hierarchical orgs at different times. At the
same time, they also believe we are at a tipping point, where we need to
have new organizational forms become much more widespread -- and, they are
doing their best to help make that happen, through sharing the stories of
successful examples, highlighting how each one is a unique journey, and
pointing to underlying principles.

Very little room was allotted for participation from attendees, except
during the lab day. At the same time, it was great to be hearing from the
folks who have actually created these new organizations, or initiated
change efforts within older organizations. It seemed that many of the
presenters had actually opened space in their organizations in drastic
ways, not as external consultants coming in but as founders and leaders
and/or internal change agents. I was moved by their honesty and
vulnerability, and by their openness in sharing their challenges and ups
and downs and work-in-progress.

I can imagine the trade-offs the conference organizers may have been
struggling with...  likely they wanted to offer as many of these stories as
possible, yet at the same time were not wanting to make it a longer
conference. Recently Chris shared a design on the AoH e-mail list, in a
thread about working with experts, of having people work in ten different
groups doing collective story harvests. Something like that could have been
useful here, and/or useful for the next one-- especially if followed by a
way for people to share the harvests with one another afterward.

And, the organizers may or may not be ready for that... seems like there
was some feedback about designing a more participatory event after the
MashUp two years ago. Maybe it's still percolating? Anyway, what a
fascinating mix we ourselves are as humans, such a bundle of gifts
and challenges (still-unopened gifts), all mixed together! And all of us
having so much to contribute, and so much to learn...

In sum, I found it a highly valuable experience, paradoxes and all, and
very much appreciated the opportunity of meeting a community of passionate
innovators, who share a deep respect for a diversity of perspectives and a
diversity of paths...

with all best wishes,


*Rosa Zubizarreta*

*Diapraxis: Facilitating Creative Collaborationhttp://www.diapraxis.com
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