SHiFT 2016- Day 1 | Eastman Innovation Lab

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SHiFT design camp

SHiFT 2016- Day 1

12 June 2016

Who needs an alarm clock when you have a sun clock! It’s 5:45 and whether or not you want to, it’s time to get up.  First order of business is shower and coffee. After that, the EIL team spent some time walking the grounds during the day to become familiar with where the campers were going to register, set up and build their community. We brainstormed with Phil & Jennifer on the Shift staff about best ways to capture content of the campers arriving and getting acclimated to whole idea of deconstructive education. 

Students begin to arrive around 3pm. It started as a slow trickle and then the floodgates opened. This would continue for a few hours with a few campers arrive until the late hours of the night. Students were given a swag , t-shirt & assigned a team for the week to come. You could tell who the experienced campers and who was new. It usually was the veterans helping the newbies out with tent location, set-up, and more than a few Camping Hacks. What was refreshing to see was that the experienced campers didn’t have to be told to help the newcomers out, nor did they seem to even think twice about it. The spirit and level of collaboration were evident from the moment the first camper set hiking boot onto the soil and didn’t stop at all. In fact, it only seems to grow to new heights with each passing hour. Definitely not something you see at your everyday conference. 

Most of the day was set up for the campers to get acclimated and setup for the week ahead. Dinner was a mix of laughter and smiles as well as some nervousness and shyness from newer campers. This didn’t last long and Owen & John again took the stage with their reputations of comedy and slapstick humor to make everyone drop their defenses and welcome everyone to Owen’s childhood home. I could tell that Owen & John feel right at home on the stage with the campers (many who are their students) and would probably go all night with their antics but, time was cut short in order to get ready to kick off the first Campfire Conversation of Shift Design Camp 2016.

The fist campfire conversation was really just a sneak peek into the bigger ones coming up in the week. This was still sort of an introduction to the campers about the camp but also about the idea of the campfire conversations. Like many, many, many other conferences, it’s never really a conversation or even a dialogue. It’s more about an “expert” getting up in front of hundreds, if not thousands of people and giving a prepared speech. It can sound warm and friendly but it’s still a speech nonetheless. The difference here is all in the name. It’s a casual & often very candid conversation about a person’s personal experience in the ID field. Topics will include their life, education, career, dreams, defeats, victories, qualities, and flaws. This speaker may initially lead the conversation but you’ll be surprised how quickly “leader” becomes the listener. Like all roundtables, there is no “head of the table”, no leader or follower, just conversation. Just different people from all walks of life opening up and sharing of the greatest gift they can give…themselves and their knowledge to one another. 

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