July 31st, 2007

Junto: a brainstorm

Geoff DiMasi

About a year ago, P'unk Ave's Alex Gilbert brought the idea of having a Junto to our weekly meeting. He had been reading Ben Franklin's Autobiography and thought it was great way to bring people together for a common cause. Referring back to our notes, our intended mission included:
  • To help grow the tech/communication/interactive community in Philadelphia
  • To further Philadelphia in the national & international web/interactive/communication scene
  • Conference – bring them here or have one
  • Center for Information
  • Co-working
  • Technology related to physical spaces
  • Bottom up (emergence)
We had our first Junto in March 2007 and one every 3 weeks or so, since then. As we go, we have been evolving and refining the format. We have tried to keep some of the above themes in mind, but have also been very open to experimentation.

Last thursday night, we started with an hour of socializing and then everyone took a number from our TAKACHECK machine. Five discussion groups were created based on chosen numbers. The assignment was to come up with 3 ways to continue on the energy generated from the recent Blog Philadelphia conference. After 30 minutes of brainstorming, we gathered together again and one person from each group had 5 minutes to present the 3 ideas.

The process and results were very satisfying. Each group came up with great ideas and each presenter did a fantastic job. Our group's main idea was to stage a big game event. Other groups talked about creating an aggregate site and connecting up with students. However the presentation that brought down the house was Dave Speer's presentation on Identity, Communication and Purpose with main theme of "making a living doing what we love." In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we actually let him go beyond the 5 minute limit.

Our Junto has only been happening for a short time, but progress has been made on our goals that we guessed at in a P'unk Ave meeting about a year ago. Can't ask for much more than that.

If you want to join us at a future Junto, add your name to the email list.
Geoff DiMasi

Check out another article
July 20th, 2007
Oom Space