I am calling the last two weeks my Conference April-Mayhem of 2007. Between Research Assistantship duties and my own dissertation research to-do's, it's been an extremely stimulating (and exhausting) time. Given the three conferences that I briefly talk about in this entry, it's hard not to be 'thinking of the world.'
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Conference International Conference and Trade Show Vancouver
Wearing my RA hat from April 29-May 1st, I combed the trade show floor and interviewed international delegates. Primarily, I was in charge of talking to the companies from Denmark. The Danish government, as part of their CanDan initiative, sent a 25+ person delegation in order to make connections and foster deeper relationships with research institutions and industry here, as well as with delegates from around the world.
Of interest was the re-announcement of what the provincial government calls the Hydrogen Highway. Premier Gordon Campbell is working with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to make a hydrogen-friendly path from "BC to BC" (British Columbia to Baja California). During the conference I learned what people were working on in terms of hydrogen vehicles (like bicycles, cars, trucks, buses) and the challenges of implementing those technologies.
Innovation Systems Research Network ISRN 2007 Conference in Vancouver
Directly related to my participation in the H2FC conference the days before, from May 2-5th, I was a graduate research assistant for the ISRN conference, where we discussed the local contexts of innovation (like Fuel Cells). The network is at the very beginning of a very ambitious data collection endeavour that spans the country.
The Innovations Systems Research Network (ISRN) is a network of researchers examining innovation in various cities and regions across Canada. The members of the network are loosely associated with four sub-networks: in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and Western Canada. The ISRN's goal is to better understand how economic, social, and political conditions influence innovation and hence economic development at the local, regional, and national level. The knowledge resulting from this research is intended to assist policy-makers at all three levels of government to better understand innovation dynamics and craft more effective policy.
Online Game Development Conference, Seattle
This past week I was shaking things up in Seattle at the OGDC 2007 conference. It was an information-packed two days, which included prominent speakers in the game industry and exhibitions. I felt very privileged to be there, as it gave me a chance to learn about the most current and specific struggles of people involved in the production of games. I found myself drawing tiny crowds during lunch and break times when those around me heard that I conduct research on Korean online game communities. After all, people were curious who this gal with the VIP badge was! The intimacy of the conference allowed for the making of friends, with the approach of quality versus quantity. Way cool.
After the conference, Lisa Galarneau and I hung out (she and her Microsoft Games Studio User Research panel got some press coverage). Being kindred spirits as well as ethnographers interested in games research, we had lots to talk about. She was kind enough to give me a tour of her workplace at the MGS Millennium campus, along with showing me the not so touristy areas of I-5 Microsoft land. Btw, I'm way better at MMOGs than driving games :P
So that was the coles notes of what went on... And now I'm back in Vancouver, defragging, working on papers, getting my shiat together for comprehensive exams so life can move on...
Photos of the conference April-Mayhem can be found in order of activity on my flickr set.