July 1st featured the arrival of some more of our organizers team, the beginning of the cleansing and ordering of D-Lab and further discussions about the plan for the first week of the conference. We began the day with another early start, fed back what we had achieved the previous day and worked out what needed to be done in order to further the momentum we had gained the previous day.
Amy handed out the preliminary schedule for the conference to each of us at the start of the meeting and the room was filled with excitement at the huge array of activities that would be taking place over the duration of the four week long conference. There were quite a few significant changes in style and approach from last year's summit and Amy candidly explained the reasons why she felt these changes would perhaps help to facilitate a more interactive learning environment for the participants. While there will be a team of full time mentors at this year's conference their role will be less didactic than in the workshops of IDDS 2007 leading to a situation where the participants will be, as Amy put it, "uninterrupted, but not unsupported". We also discussed the need for participants to have an understanding of the relationship between product design and entrepreneurship from the outset of their projects as this was paramount to any of the products ever being implemented in the real world. The schedule reflects many of the above points and will be available on the IDDS website, http://www.iddsummit.org/ , within the next few days.
One of this year's organizers, Miguel Chavez, working hard in a workshop at IDDS 2007
We returned to our dormitories for lunch and were delighted to greet two more of our organizing committee, Sumit Pahwa and Deepa Dubey, Both had flown in from India that morning and were understandably feeling the effects of jet lag. After lunch we turned our attention to D-lab and what seems the huge task of ordering and cleaning it before the beginning of the summit on July 14th. The team remains confident however, that it can have it looking a lot more like the picture below and a lot less cluttered than it does at present within the next week.
significantly cleaner and more ordered than it
The day finished with further brainstorming sessions about the potential projects that this year's participants would have to pick from and we also continued to try to come up with innovative ways to break the ice between people on Day 1, taking into account the obvious language barriers that would be faced with teams comprising of people from all corners of the globe.
As of the arrival of Zubaida Bai this evening we now have almost all of the past participant organizers with us in the Burton Conner dorms. Just as I was about to conclude this blog, Sumit walked into the kitchen looking completely disorientated and half asleep. His simple response to the bemused looks on our faces, "It's morning time in India!" summed up just how far people have travelled in order to help make IDDS 2008 live up to its enormous potential.