TransFUSION at the RSA


Today I attended the TransFUSION Conference organised by Creative Skillset at the RSA in London. This provided a great opportunity to listen to new perspectives and to take part in workshops and activities with academics from across the UK. In particular I looked forward to hearing from Aleks Krotoski, Steve McKevitt and learning first hand about Brighton Fuse.

Aleks on Google:

  • A relevance machine, can’t cope with attitudes
  • Assumes usefulness can be predicted
  • Does just enough to be magical
  • Creates the mise en scene (in the same way a director might choose the frame)
  • Assumes  all sources are created equal
  • Infers quantitative judgments are superior

… on Facebook:

  • An authentication service
  • Be your tools
  • Be your categories
  • Be your wallet

… on the Web:

  • Life beats (personal or group rites of passage, watersheds, re-birth) don’t translate to the web
  • The web never forgets
  • It cannot make that judgment
  • Don’t expect it to adapt to us
  • Remember the biases
  • We don’t yet understand how power works online
  • Developers produce profound socio-cultural transformations

Ali Blackwell from Decoded who’s mission is to demystify the digital, by contrast, found computational thinking empowering. Services such as If This Then That and Make Things Do Stuff can demystify app development and how Raspberry Pi (and the web in general) captures the spirit of the BBC Micro.

Steve McKevitt (Chairman of Golden and formerly with Designer’s Republic) left us in no doubt about what agencies look for:

  • Divergent thinkers
  • Determination
  • Talent
  • Fusion skills

Contrasted what what they all too often find:

  • Straight line thinkers
  • Idealists
  • Qualified
  • Vertical skills (as opposed to ‘T’-skills?)

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