OuiShare Fest 2015 | Review part I

OuiShare Fest 2015 | Review part I | Patrick Davidson

We’re lost in transition”. That was the theme for the third edition of OuiShare Fest, a fascinating event where thinkers and entrepreneurs from the collaborative economy gathered in Paris on May 20th, 21st and 22nd. The collaborative economy is the term used for phenomenons like crowd funding, crowd sourcing, co-creation and the sharing economy.

The OuiShare Fest formula – a three day event with keynote speeches, masterclasses and workshops – is very refreshing.

It starts with the very special mix of people who gather for OuiShare Fest: philosophers, activists, entrepreneurs involved in a start-up (or about to scale up their company), scientists, hackers, physicists, economists, advertising people, but also the man in charge of the digitalisation of the French rail ways (a major organisation with 260.000 employees), and many more people who had something to tell on the big changes we’re facing nowadays. This happened in a refreshing way, not like we know it: professors who talk for a long time in their own jargon about big themes in a one way speech. Well, that didn’t happen at OuiShare Fest. We saw people who were wondering, wandering, angry or just very enthusiastic to share their story on stage. Lots of young people and no business suit was spotted.

One of the ingredients for success was the short timeslot each speaker was awarded for a keynote, around 15 minutes, so like for a TED-talk.

That meant a high speed keynote where each speaker had to get to the core of his speech in short notice, to get the audience inspired to take action. As a spectator it means you get to hear four stories in an hour or so. Stories which make you think (for much longer), and which trigger dialogue and discussion, for example on the premises of the festival.

The location is very special and enables to feel like visiting a festival instead of a congress. Like a circus but then without the music and non-verbal tricks. Cabaret Sauvage is a musical venue within a circus tent, beautifully situated across the water in the beautiful Parc de la Villette in the North-East section of Paris.

Lost in Transition 

According to the thinkers on stage during OuiShare Fest we’re lost in transition, meaning we don’t know where we’re going with this world, with the economy, with the environment and also how we’re living together and collaborating. Panel discussions with writers and philosophers pointed out that we’re living in an age of transition where major changes occur and where we don’t know which changes are still coming. Therefore we don’t know where we’re going. That’s only part of reality because on the other side there are  people who not only think but also act. Like entrepreneurs from the collaborative economy. These however, not only wonder about being lost in transition but they also demonstrate action and inspire others to do so too. That’s one of the key reasons why their organisations grow so fast. To them, doing is the best way of thinking & learning and they are driven more by finding answers than by raising questions.

Take aways

In the second and final blog about OuiShare Fest 2015 I will share my impressions and findings on four keynotes that inspired me (Ronald van den Hoff, Jeremy Heimans, Robin Chase en Frederic Laloux). If you can’t wait for that, then click on this link to find a list of speakers and an overview of the twelve tracks of OuiShare Fest 2015. Also you can find lots of videos and interaction with visitors (tweets using the hashtag #osfest15) online.

To close this blog my key take aways after some inspiring days in Paris. To me Lost in Transition means:

1. not knowing exactly where it’s going (because there are so many changes at the same time)

2. not understanding exactly what’s happening (for instance with blockchain: I get the impact and some applications of it. Still I do not fully understand how it works.)

3. one thing’s for sure: you got to keep moving yourself. (nowadays, in this ever changing world with exponential organisations popping up, scaling up and disrupting industries it can be over anytime, also for the new monopolist).

Patrick Davidson is the co-founder and co-owner of betterday, a network organisation of highly motivated professionals who aim to help people, teams and organisations realise peak performances in 90 days. Fascinated by recent developments in society, economy and technology Patrick is currently writing a book on leadership in the new economy, entitled Wavemakers. Co-authors are Martijn Arets (Crowd Expedition, Brand Expedition) and Hans van der Loo (Energy Boost, Vaart Maken).