Last Sunday I headed down to the Sun Microsystems building for another VRM event in London. This time it was called “VRM Hub Open Space” and the objective of the session was to participate and listen to ‘participant-sourced’ conversations about VRM. Lloyd Davis did a splendid job of explaining the Open Space method to newbies like myself and thus the afternoon was both pleasant, argumentative and informative. To a certain extent this was a follow-up to November’s VRM event (Unlocking the See-Saw) primarily because a large number of the attendees had been present at the earlier event so, in a way, certain conversations picked up where they left off last time.
VRM interests me because it is a grass roots movements that is promoting an alternative to what I call the “traditional entrepreneurship model” and provides an approach that enables entrepreneurs to be more ethical in their ventures. But what made the event really interesting was not that it matched my personal ethos. Rather it was the sheer variety of ideas and approaches that a relatively small group of people brought to the table. Topics discussed ranged from public sector to mobile operators, from social media to privacy, identity and retail! My take-away value:
- VRM Excites People
Although mostly everyone present had their own interpretation and personal ‘VRM Utopia’ in mind, the level of enthusiasm and engagement was ubiquitous. Moreover, this was not some geek-centric or startup-centric or other niche-centric group of people. There were developers, bloggers, consultants (ahem), academics, entrepreneurs, writers and designers all agreeing about the fact that this is something worthwhile and worth sharing knowledge and ideas about.
- VRM is Still Young
Of course, what all these diverse people weren’t agreeing about was about how to go about implementing, promoting or otherwise advancing VRM. And this is not a bad thing. VRM is still young and in my humble and unschooled opinion, were the energies of the VRM community directed solely towards the realisation of one particular project the likelihood of success (define it how you will) would be drastically reduced.
This is the time to “let a thousand flowers blossom” and let VRM take root in a variety of different fields and soils. Sometimes not even necessarily outwardly shown as “VRM”. But the message will be out there, and, hopefully will take root.
At the very least, I hope to be able to contribute to this in some small way.
(Oh, if you’re new to VRM and have no idea of what I’ve been talking about read this.)