Archive for the ‘Lunch for Good’ category

Video Highlights From Lunch for Good #3 – Finding Common Ground, November 18, 2009

December 7th, 2009

Lunch For Good #3 – Finding Common Ground – Intro

Check out more thoughts from attendees at Lunch For Good:

Dave Matthews

Dom Sagolla (140 Characters)

Chai Hwu (23andMe) & Adriel Hampton (Gov 2.0 Radio)

David Spark

Vinnie Lauria (Lefora)

Steven Reading (Dogster, Inc)

Stuart Schmuckler (Breath Research)

Donna Horne (ZoomPool)

Diane Bisgeier (Soar BioDynamics)

Tom Poser (Jones lang LaSalle)

Andreas Wiegand

Diane Loviglio (Wattbot)

Chris Heuer (AdHocnium)

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Lunch for Good #3 Recap: The Finale!

November 20th, 2009

It’s hard to believe that we’ve wrapped up the first installment of our Lunch for Good series, with the finale event happening yesterday at the very top of San Francisco’s Spear Tower. What a view!

It seems that Chris, Myles and I were just brainstorming this get together, and now here we are a few months later having completed a really compelling set of events. Watching the interest grow has been really motivating, and yesterday’s group of nearly 100 attendees just showed how eager our social media and tech community is to effect change. The Lunch for Good series also got an excellent piece of news coverage in PC World today titled ‘Techies Gather for a Lunch to Save the World.’ The article recaps our entire three part series, with a special focus on our ‘Common Ground’ topic from Wednesday.

(cc) Myles Weissleder

(cc) Myles Weissleder

In the process of building Lunch.com, we’ve focused on a handful of principles, which were the direct inspiration for the themes discussed throughout Lunch for Good. I knew all along that the topic of Finding Common Ground would be my favorite, considering it’s at the core of what we’ve created with the Similarity Network. As the series progressed, we started with the basic fundamentals of Promoting Responsible Participation, then built from there into what we could do with that type of accountable engagement. Which brought us to Sparking Critical Thought in online contribution, with the goal of more thoughtful and thorough online conversation, making us collectively smarter and more engaged. Finally, in that state of increased participation and higher quality contribution, we culminated with the true game-changer: Finding Common Ground — the biggest payoff and most exciting topic so far.

(cc) Myles Weissleder

(cc) Myles Weissleder

Considering the pretty undeniable benefits of helping people to find common ground with one another, the conversation turned quickly to how to enable people to bring it to the surface. There were several insightful ideas, ranging from semantic analysis to “life timelines.” One thing struck me most though. While most agreed technology can’t replace our human will to engage and interact, it was clear everyone saw infinite ways that tech can foster and facilitate the process.

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

As I mentioned in my recent post on Mashable, it’s unlikely that we’ll all start proactively analyzing the Twitter streams or Facebook Fan Pages of everyone we come across to learn that we share a love of Cherry Coke and Seinfeld before passing judgment about each other. As a Web entrepreneur, I’m tasking myself as well as my colleagues in the industry, to foster these types of connections through innovation. We need to take full advantage of the current landscape of social media to put common ground at the forefront of our online interactions.

I extend my sincere thanks to everyone who joined us for these events, and look forward to our next sessions. Also, to Chris and Myles, my co-producers, a huge thank you for helping to make this a reality. You two are amazing. There’s a Twitter List of the attendees available, if you’d like to follow those who were there. Many have asked when we’ll host more — and we’re talking now about plans for the spring. Stay tuned at twitter.com/lunchforgood for updates!

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Video Highlights From Lunch for Good #2 October 22, 2009

October 28th, 2009

Community Manager Hiren Patel – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Check out more thoughts from attendees at Lunch For Good:

Greg Galle (C2) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Alexandros Pagidas – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Travis Murdock (Edelman) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Chris Anderson (Freshout) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Francisco Dao (Twiistup) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Chia Hwu (23andMe) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Andrew Fitzgerald (Current.tv) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Adriel Hampton (Gov 2.0 Radio) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

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Lunch for Good #2 Recap

October 26th, 2009
(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

Allow me to just geek out for a moment and say that last week’s Lunch for Good event was flat out awesome, in my humble opinion.  The subject of critical thinking is crucial to our mission at Lunch.com, so it was no coincidence that the majority of the conversation touched at the core of what we’re working to build.  I’m still amazed at how comfortable everyone is at piping up to voice their opinions with the group.  It really speaks to the quality group we’ve assembled for these discussions.  With this many smart people actively engaged in brainstorming how we can evolve for the better, I’m feeling more optimistic than ever (and that’s saying something).

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

There were so many unique and provocative ideas raised around our topic of sparking more critical thought in online contribution, I’m still trying to process it all, actually.  Among my favorite ideas from the day was the “what if” there was a “hold that thought… and think about it for a moment” intercept that popped up before you could hit “publish.”  This spoke directly to the notion of responding rather than reacting.  I also heard that very concept (respond vs. react) interestingly get teased apart to address the point that not everything online is an argument.  Much of what’s posted (particularly on our platform at Lunch.com) is simply an opinion or reflection on an experience, not necessarily a debate.  Yet, even in those scenarios the principles of critical thought still apply.

Everyone who’s contributing online could benefit if we really broke down the why’s behind what we’re expressing.  We could also grow not only the volume of what’s shared, but the quality, by using more critical thought as we reflect on the world around us.  There’s very little – if anything – that couldn’t stand for a bit of scrutiny and constructive analysis.  The power of tapping into a collective of that much critical thought, provided by a far greater portion of the online population … well, it could change the world.

Another idea proposed was to have people post a photo of their face, reflecting their emotion at the moment of contributing their opinion or comment.  This struck close to home for me, as we’ve been working very hard at Lunch.com to instill a culture that encourages members to use real photos of their faces as profile pics (as opposed to avatars, etc).  It actually doubles back to a bit of Lunch for Good #1, where we discussed responsible participation.  It was interesting though to think of it not just as an accountability measure, but as a way to tap into how people are feeling when their sharing their critical thought.

In the end, I can’t begin to cover all of the cool ideas shared, and definitely recommend you take a look at the video (posting in the next day or so) to get a full recap.  Meantime, stay tuned for the third installment of our Lunch for Good series, coming November 18.  We’ll cover how the issues we’ve discussed so far can lead up to helping people find common ground – really the ultimate of our social good goals (not to mention the crux of everything Lunch.com is about!).

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Looking Forward to Lunch For Good #2!

October 21st, 2009

I’m really looking forward to our second installment of Lunch for Good tomorrow (Thurs 10/22)!  Last month we discussed Responsible Participation and ways to get more people contributing online (see a recap here) and this month our topic is Sparking Critical Thinking.  Specifically, we are going to try to answer the question, “How can online contribution evolve to encourage more critical thought?

This isn’t an easy question to answer, but it’s worth spending the time and energy discussing it, considering the outcome can undoubtedly yield a more articulate and understanding world.

I believe that while the culture of online contribution is progressing, we still have a long way to go toward more critical thinking and less just being critical.  More towards responding rather than just reacting.  Most of us recall the childhood lesson “think before you speak.”  Some of this comes down to basic etiquette, but let’s take the discussion beyond that and delve into what truly motivates people to think critically.  What will encourage people to take that next step and compose their opinion for others to read and respond?

Why is that so important?  Because until you go through the exercise of articulating your views for the world to see, you haven’t really thought them all the way through.  For example, I don’t care if you simply love or hate Universal Health Care – I want to know why.  It’s great that you’re addicted to Trader Joes’ Oatmeal, but I want details.  A list of your favorite jazz albums is cool, but if you can tell me more about why each one made the list, that’s a far more valuable contribution. These are all examples of critical thinking.  The depth of each topic is different, but the process is the same.  I believe once we can figure out the process to encourage people to think more critically in general, it can be applied from the most simple to the most complex topics.  This will help create a more thoughtful and thorough online conversation, making us collectively smarter and more engaged. If this change is wide spread enough, it will ultimately help us understand one and other on a different level and help us to find common ground on some of the more divisive but important issues of our time.

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Video Highlights From Lunch for Good #1
September 24, 2009

October 15th, 2009

Lunch For Good Highlights: Responsible Participation from Lunch For Good on Vimeo.

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Full Video From Lunch for Good #1
September 24, 2009

October 2nd, 2009

Lunch For Good: Participation Inequality from Lunch For Good on Vimeo.

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Lunch for Good #1 Recap

September 25th, 2009

Our first Lunch for Good event took place yesterday afternoon, and it was fantastic! The caliber of participants and the compelling conversation captured just what we’d envisioned for the event. Responsible participation in online communities, and it’s potential benefits, proved to be a truly rich topic for the first installment in this three-part series. This is an issue very close to us at Lunch.com, discussed daily as we’re building and growing our community. Gathering together leaders and engaged members of our industry is one of the key ways we can begin to really push for dramatic change in the tone of online contribution. As we discussed, leading by example is essential.

lunch for good 1

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

We were particularly interested to hear the consistent themes emerge around balancing accountability with anonymity. There was also a thread of discussion around what exactly the sum of online contribution would look like if we could encourage more participation from the majority of people online who merely consume, rather than contribute. Questions about how that waterfall of opinions and information could be managed arose, which drew a direct connection to what we’re doing with the Lunch.com Similarity Network. It was yet another moment of validation that smart filtering and finding the content that’s best for you will be imperative as user generated content evolves and grows.

As October approaches, we’ll be in touch with more details on the next Lunch for Good — which will focus on sparking more critical thought in online content contribution. Yes, another powerful and thought-provoking subject!

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About Lunch for Good

September 10th, 2009

Lunch for Good is a three-part event series bringing together innovators and engaged citizens in the tech and Internet space to discuss the evolution of how people participate and interact online — and most importantly, how that progress can also coalesce to make the world a better place.

The goal is to connect our industry’s thought leaders for an ongoing, dynamic dialogue about how to improve online engagement so that it can have a positive social impact. Our themes will cover “Responsible Participation,” “Critical Thought,” and “Common Ground” respectively each month.

Over lunch, we’ll explore how we can foster better quality communities and contribution online, by focusing on a collaborated set of universal values. The outcome will cultivate a more positive, tolerant, and thoughtful culture in social media, working toward the greater good of our society as a whole.

Thursday, September 24 – Responsible Participation
Wednesday, October 22 – Critical Thought
Wednesday, November 18 – Common Ground

Lunch for Good is sponsored by Lunch.com with promotional support from SF New Tech and Social Media Club.

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