I learned not too long ago that projects have a postmortem methodology that allows you to evaluate the whole process in order to improve for a future life. Iteration is a big part of life, of weeks and of anything that is meant to evolve into a movement.
So, a day after the UP-rAIHSe citizen outreach event, I am going to perform this postmortem exercise to express what this little ride has been like. And since there is a pedagocial element to this tale, I will do it in the form of a list.
A list has different meanings. Or better yet, there are different ways to look at a simple concept, like a list. List are arrays of words. The list to groceries allows you to prepare for the act of going shopping and getting everything you need. It’s a first step to getting it right. But it’s also one of the few metastructures in code that allows you to generate what we all undestand as a list. Or what we learned, thanks to Microsoft Word, or maybe before, in our first language class, when we were first introduced into a hyphen.
Hyphens coud then, Microsoft Powerpoint taught us, could be the old «-«, or a dot, round, a little smaller in radius as the regular circle, the «o». A little more than a period. A «.». But higher above the ground. One of those thing between two «L gemanides» in the Catalan language. But still, maybe a little bit fatter. A pixel or frosting on the top.
Theses elements from languages translate into the code because coding is no other that a new language. It is probably the most universal language we have, and it’s still currently evolving. New programming languages pop up. It’s not the old days when c++ was king. It’s all about the latest trend. And how that brings us closer to the market. A market that is hungry for new shit. So we feed the monster within.
The whole system has been programmed this way. A list could go a long way, just as a point could be purposedly posponed in time to serve creating an expectation. I could live in the expectation for ever. Just driving the waiting element for a higher cause. Until people loose interest. And then, there is no show.
But this is not what happened with the UP-rAIHSe Citizen Outreach Event. The show was delivered. People showed up. The stage was set. And people had fun. Enough building up, and let’s get down with the list:
- An event is a moment in time and you have to prepare for it and then, when the time comes, deliver the show.
- Preproduction is 66% of the job.
- 33% is the live show.
- 1% is this postmortem postproduction.
- Those percentages are crooked, but still, gives the impression that there’s some real life data here. The postproduction might take a little more that that in order to close the loop properly. Maybe it deserves a 9% of the effort. And the 33% is a 25%.
- People show up. Only 1% of the people who got your message do.
- Once you are in the show, deliver the show.
- Your team needs to understand what you are doing, their role, their tools.
- Meet with them, and evolve the planning and execution.
- You need to prepare the platforms you are goint to be using. We used ZOOM and MIRO.
- ZOOM allows you to create the event, to send invitations with a text, and image that serves as a flyer and a logo. You need all those things.
- I wrote whatsapp messages to be passed on by the team members who were part of the organizing consortium of the event. This facilitates the way in which people share with their groups.
- People don’t share easily these kinds of things.
- Some people won’t give a shit about what you are doing. They have a life. They have work to do. They have a family. You can’t come to an assambly to fix the world every week. There is always something in the agenda.
- You have diferent roles in a participating event. You need first, someone whoe desings and becomes responsible for the execution of the act. This person should define every minute of the action that is goint to take place during that show, and then communicate this to the people that are going to help him deliver the show: the feedbacklooppers.
- Feedbacklooppers is a term I designed a long time ago, but never have commercialized, nor spoken about publicly. First you would need to secure the IP of all the things that you may want to use for commercial uses before you encounter a free thinking soul who would just get it before you do. That’s why when you make up a concept, a narrative, or whatever, make it about the uniqueness of yourself. That perspective may never be taken. And it’s you. For real.
- The design process of something like these takes time. You have to give it a few iterations until you come up with final result.
- This process implies having the process of generating different documents:
- A meta document where some questions regarding the project are put out there.
- The feedback to this document was zero.
- A word document that represents the items needed for the event, the texts, the roles, the goals.
- The Flyer.
- The texts for invitations.
- The document for your inner groups to explain what their role is.
- A guide for citizen to come.
- A video with a call to action. I did about 9 videos, for the call to action. Calling for people to come to the event. But I never released the campaing. There was a little more to be done for us to close that gap. Once again, my audiovisual self is still waiting in the background of all these noise, of all these life.
- I’m ready for the action.
- You have to pick your battles
- When everything starts to connect, some things may be left behind. Don’t mind. Keep building something to get you closer to the moment of disruption.
- That’s the only offer I can make, but that’s for me to deliver.
- Maybe there’s an act to be a part of.
- An act of deliverance.
- A process of iteration in real time.
- Expect for people who said they’d come, not to come. The place to be.
- Too much text is a gate keeper. People like short messages.
- This list is getting too long.
- We introduced Miro platform. We tested the feedbackloopers so that they would feel confortable with it. A week before none of us had used this platform, except for María (who played a key role to teach how this tool could be used to perform the workshop).
- The fast learning capacities of the feedbackloopers allowed them to play the role of dinamizers, embarking citizens to play along in our field.