Monday, February 16, 2009

Join us for the Creativity and Collaboration Retreat!

Imagine a conference. Now, imagine it happening in a beautiful retreat center on the beach. Imagine activities that actually encourage you to spend time on said beach. Imagine a small enough group that you can spend meaningful time with brilliant people in your field. Imagine making and playing together. Imagine workshops led by inspiring rock stars from gaming, festivals, and special effects. Imagine bonfires, musical jam sessions, and iron chef exhibit design.

Sounds good? Then you should check out the Creativity and Collaboration (C2) retreat sponsored by NAME and AAM, May 31-June 2 of this year in Monterey, CA. You may already go to a lot of conferences and money is tight this year, but isn't this the kind of experience that might actually thrill you and change your life? The focus is on bringing in outside influencers--folks from the Burning Man festival to World Without Oil--to help museum experience designers recharge, connect, and explore new ways to do creative work in teams. We're limiting the registration to 80 and we're about halfway there, so now is a great time to reserve your spot. The registration fee is $325 and there are three fellowships available that cover registration plus $500 towards travel expenses.

Being on the C2 planning team has stretched my brain to consciously think about the processes and conditions for creativity and collaboration. There are so many times when we're good at one and lousy at the other, and we've tried to be intentional in designing every aspect of the retreat to tease out some of the complications and magic involved in putting them together. There will be discussions, workshops, immersive activities, and plenty of time to relax and seduce the creative genius inside you. As a bonus, C2 falls immediately after (and about 90 miles south of) Maker Faire, a force of creative collaboration in its own right. Registrants are encouraged to come a day early to explore the Faire together on May 30, after which I am happy to host you at my place for the night before the retreat starts. What better way to get into the C2 spirit than to spend a day with fire-breathing robots followed by a night in the redwood forest? I'm hopeful we'll get a good group who can spend the morning of the 31st together hiking and talking about our creative goals and dreams going into the retreat.

Registration for C2 will close at the end of April. We've created an alternative website to provide a more participatory version of the standard pre-conference informational site. I made this website for free using Wordpress, and we're using it to answer questions, learn more about attendees' interests and needs, and most importantly, to hear about the awesome and inspiring reasons that people are coming to C2. If nothing else, please check out the C2 blog to hear your colleagues' honest, thoughtful reasons why C2 seems useful to them--whether to confront economic uncertainty, exercise their creative brains, take a risk, or boost the old "create-o-meter." I hope you'll join us and add your own reasons soon!

3 comments, add yours!:

David K said...


This sounds fantastic! Unless my wife allows me to abscond with our two month old daughter, I doubt I'd be able to attend. Any plans to live blog or Tweet throughout the retreat? I'm sure I'm not the only person who'd like to be a virtual fly on the wall.

Nina Simon said...

Fortunately/unfortunately, there is poor cell coverage at Asilomar, and while we will be using wireless for some workshops, we are trying largely to "unplug" during the retreat. So post-event reflections for sure, but live tweets, maybe not! Of course, two months post-baby, I'll be surprised if you even have a moment to glance at a screen...

Anonymous said...

Yes, a live blog would be helpful as we are not a member of NAME or AAM (we are in the Philippines). Thank you for your wonderful insights and the challenges you pose in your Museum 2.0