Sustainability through Diversity

On the 14th october I presented the above pecha kucha to Be2Camp Be2campOxon event on Ada Lovelace Day, taking the perspective of a young Ada, looking to a career in construction, in sustainability, in IT, in BIM, and the challenges she may face. Not only a glass ceiling but perhaps a triple glazed ceiling.

Initial thinking was triggered by the excellent Nilofer Merchant article in TIME You Are the Industry. You Must Be the Change, pointing out to Satya Nadella, Microsoft that it is not good enough to call for change in the (IT) sector – but that those in power, like Satya Nadella, should affect change.

And so it is in the built environment, particularly construction, where it is no longer acceptable for industry leaders, industry groups and strategy authors to record the fact we have a gender and diversity problem – but time to do something about it and affect change.

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Not one but many Ada

As part of this years pledge to blog  part of the Ada Lovelace international day, I have been thinking long and hard on who to ‘nominate’ and blog about.

Last year my Modern Ada was Pam Broviack and in many ways still is.

Through my involvement in web technology, be2camptwitter and social media I have had the opportunity and privilege to meet, be inspired by, motivated by and discuss many issues with some great Modern Ada’s.  It would be wrong to single out any one in particular.

However, a mention for  Aleks Krotoski who through work at the Guardian and recent Virtual Revolution TV series has done much to popularise and mature internet and game  ‘stuff’.  (We actually met in second life back in 2006 at the Guardians SL Festival, Aleks wouldn’t recall, but we had a discussion about music in second life with Groove Amanda playing in the background.  The meeting has stuck in mind as Aleks was one of the first ‘real world’  people I had met in SL)

But in my mind Ada was someone who rolled up sleeves and got stuck into to the machinery and code of the internet, not just used it as a communication and conversational tool.

It is again in the world of second life and other virtual worlds that I see the modern day Ada Lovelace, and for that Pam would still get a vote, for work in Second Life Public Works and lately in OpenSim, along with others such as Annabeth Robinson (twitter and avatar Angry Beth) whose energy in virtual environments continue to amaze and inspire.

Ada Lovelace at be2campnorth

I am delighted that Suw Charman-Anderson (Social Techology Consultant, Guardian writer and twitter-er) will be talking at be2campnorth on the 15th May in Liverpool on the inspiration of Ada Lovelace  

(Well actually Suw will be presenting from home via web and video link ups so that she can attend (as in walk to) another conference in London on the same day)

I had not heard of Ada until Suw started  her ‘campaign’ to ‘find the modern day Ada via twitter.  Suw wanted to highlight the contributions of women in technology and science so they can serve as role models for women. Reading responses and pledges to the Ada Lovelace day organised by Suw back in March, I soon recognised that Ada is still great inspiration to many women and men in computing, technology and social media.

Ada Lovelace (1815 -1852) was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums

A number of the modern day Adas nominated (on finding Ada) are working in the construction or built environment related  sector.  It is fitting then that be2camp north will kick off with Suw talking about Ada, why she is such an inspiration, her relevance today and future plans for the finding Ada campaign.

So if you are working in or interested in finding out more about web and social technology in the built environment and looking for inspiration, both from Ada and Suw, be2camp north is for you.  And if you cant get there in person, register to attend online. 

Note: Suw spoke on ‘death to email’ at be2camp 2008 in London – the ustream video of which can still be found online at the be2camp network

be2camp north shapes up

www-constInterested in the Built Environment?  Not sure about Web 2.0, social media, blogs, Twitter and the like?

Then Be2camp North is the event for you.

Following on from the world’s first Web 2.0 construction event, in London in October 2008, Be2camp North in Liverpool on 15 May brings together people interested in how Web 2.0 can help industry professionals create a more sustainable built environment. From using social media for marketing to GIS, BIM and virtual worlds, Be2camp will stimulate and challenge how you use the web. Find out more at http://www.be2camp.comJust looking at the potential scope and range of topics for the up coming be2camp north event in Liverpool on the 15th May.

be2camp

The topics and themes for the day are shaping up as follows?  Where else will you be able to get the following for ‘free’ ?

Register Here

Topics:

Ada Lovelace Day – Women and technology (Suw Charman-Anderson – via Skype)

Geographical information

  • Geographical information and urban design (Rollo Home)
  • Earth Exchange, map mashups for construction (Alex Albon)
  • Geo-caching – talk and game (Martin Brown and others)

Second Life + other Virtual Worlds

  • Wikitecture – a Second life view from USA (Keystone Bouchard)
  • Pivote – Second Life emergency training (Dave @ Daden)
  • Maybe a Second Life contribution from Leeds? (Angrybeth)
  • SL Pennine Lancs (elevate) visualisation (Jeff Smithson)
  • Sustainability Now 2009: lessons from the latest virtual exhibition (Phil Clark / UBM?).

Ubiquitous computing

  • Arduino session (Amon Katz)
  • The internet of things – Adrian McEwen

BIM

Other topics

  • Web 2.0 and construction PR and marketing (Paul Wilkinson)
  • Social media guide for AEC people: out of beta (Pam Broviak)
  • Online communities: the Constructing Excellence collaborative working champions (Martin Brown / Paul Wilkinson)
  • Bazaart: Street art and urban design (Daniel Gilbert)
  • Possible Passiv Haus link with San Fransisco
  • CWC recession survival guide launch?
  • Kalexo: new levels of interaction in construction collaboration (TBC – possibly input from California)

What would you like to see?  Please use the be2camp discussion forums feature to:

  • volunteer to speak on an existing topic/idea
  • suggest additional or alternative speakers
  • suggest additional or alternative topics
  • nominate speakers where nobody is currently listed
  • volunteer a presentation, a story or anecdote of your own

Background:

The Be2camp concept started as a Twitter conversation between Martin Brown and Paul Wilkinson, following Martin’s attendance at Barcamp-type events, suggesting we do ‘something’ for the (UK) built environment. This discussion was picked by Jodie Miners in Australia, through Twitter, and through conversations within Second Life with Pam Broviakfrom Illinois, USA. The timing of Be2camp 2008 was fixed to coincide with Jodie’s visit to the UK, while Pam helped coordinate Be2camp’s Second Life activities. So now you know who to contact, praise or blame!