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The Art of Staying Curious & Doing Good

During Saturday and Sunday, I attended a string of panels that loosely captured a significant personal passion of mine: how the intersection of art and technology can create opportunities for good. Now, mind you, none of the 3 panels below were hosted by non-profits (of which there were plenty at the conference that provided how-to education), but I experienced a connective thread of “possibilities” in these panels that sparked my desire to curate, collaborate, and participate in the future of the web and it’s impact on the world, especially through art and quality content.

The panel The Curators and The Curated, lead by Maria Popova (@brainpicker) who runs the amazingly curious blog, brainpickings.org, gave me a new understanding of why the curation of web content is so important. They discussed how the moral codes of bloggers influence what content they bring to their audience, who usually share similar value systems. Thus, we need more people creating content (art, words, etc) that is constructive, positive and hopeful — the kind of stuff that makes people want to get up off the couch and create positive, lasting change in the world. Here are my sketchnotes for this panel:

The second panel, Mixel: Art, Technology, and the Creator’s Economy by Khoi Vinh, was more than just a pitch for a unique tablet art creation app. Khoi spoke eloquently on the need for the public (especially adults) to participate in the creation of inhibition-free art like they did when they were children, in order to better themselves as individuals and to discover innovative ideas that could have a positive impact on both local and global communities. I encourage everyone to get the app, and start playing with art and technology today! Here are my sketchnotes of this panel:

The third panel, Go Forth and Make Awesomeness featuring Jeffery Zeldman and Leslie Jensen-Inman, was a fantastic hour of life stories from both speakers. Zeldman had countless examples of how his past experiments influenced the creation of modern day web standards, and how his work (and professional relationships) really have helped to shape the digital industry as we know it today. To sum it up, this panel had two major points. (1) Make the kind work/things you want to see in the world, and don’t expect them to go anywhere (lower expectations and try to be humble). (2) Share your awesome life stories and experiences in order to inspire and encourage others to take risks in their pursuit(s) of awesomeness. Here are the sketchnotes from this panel:

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