Innovation requires Improvisation

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I had the great privilege to travel to New Zealand at the end of last year to attend the National Digital Forum in Wellington, which was an amazing international gathering of innovators in the technology and cultural heritage space.  I also took part in LODLAM-NZ, hosted and organized by DigitalNZ.

All of the videos from the presentations have been online for awhile now, and all of them are well worth taking a look–I’m serious.  Eleanor Whitworth wrote up a fantastic summary of the conference as well.

I was invited to give a 7 minute ignite talk about Historypin and Linked Open Data in libraries, archives, and museums.  Unfortunately, I had A/V difficulties that turned my talk into a comedy of errors.  Of course my Kiwi hosts were generous with my alloted time and also spooned out plenty of good natured teasing.  The video is basically an outtake (I’d do it over if I could! Especially the important National Archives photo-fade marking the beginning of the forced detainment of Japanese Americans during WWII, which is when my video flipped on), but I thought it was worth sharing if for no other reason than to illustrate that part of innovating is failing.  Sometimes we come up short, and sometimes things fall apart in front of an international audience of our colleagues.  But in my mind at least, innovation also requires improvisation, humility, and a good sense of humor.

The missing slides that I had to work through with interpretive dance are in the Slideshare below.