Events this week – with Oscar winners and air guitar champions

Three events I will be moderating are happening this week. See you in Geneva or Montreux, and don’t miss the free comedy awards with the world champions of air guitar!

Tuesday: Co-création: nouvel outil d’innovation pour les organisations

Le concept de co-création a pris une ampleur considérable sous l’impulsion des médias sociaux. Elle est définie par Wikipédia (en soi un magnifique exemple de co-création) comme “l’activité de conception de produit ou de service où le client consommateur joue un rôle actif dans l’activité de conception”. La co-création est désormais utilisée par les plus grandes entreprises du monde pour développer de nouveaux produits, identifier de nouveaux besoins, communiquer ou vendre. A la base de toute co-création, on trouve les communautés (de clients, d’influenceurs, de partenaires) et les nouvelles technologies.

Comment innover en intégrant les pratiques de co-création? Quels en sont les opportunités et les défis? Avec quels résultats sur le potentiel d’innovation des organisations ?

Ce First est organisé avec Lift11, la conférence sur les nouvelles technologies qui se tiendra à Genève du 2 au 4 février 2011, et dont la co-création sera l’un des thèmes majeurs. Les membres Premium de Rezonance bénéficient d’une réduction spéciale de 25% sur leur entrée à Lift11. En savoir plus

More information.

Friday: Montreux Comedy Forum

The Montreux Comedy Forum will explore new forms of content creation and distribution. We will host speakers like academy award winner Hervé de Crecy (Logorama), star blogger Vinvin,’s Edouard Lambelet, Michel Beaudet creator of the “têtes à claques”, and many more. Some tickets are still available, check the program and full list of speakers.

More information

Friday: Montreux Comedy Awards

Les victoires de l’humour 2.0! Venez célébrer la remise des Montreux Comedy Awards, les MCA, le vendredi 3 décembre sur la scène du Comedy Club au 2M2C !

Ces victoires de l’humour 2.0 seront remis en présence du Comité de la Claque et en compagnie des Airnadette, groupe champion du monde incontesté de Air Guitar.

More information

Hasan Elahi, living in public to reclaim your privacy

I have been fascinated by the story of Hasan Elahi ever since I read a Wired article about him. We will have the pleasure to hear his story at Lift11 where Hasan will be a speaker this February. Here is an interview I did last week, to be published on the Lift blog tomorrow. Discover how what was originally an art project became an identity management system.

Hasan Elahi is an interdisciplinary media artist with an emphasis on technology and media and their social implications. His research interests include issues of surveillance, sousveillance, simulated time, transport systems, and borders and frontiers.

At Lift11, Hasan will tell us his incredible story: he was taken into custody of the FBI as a terrorist suspect in the United States by mistake, and ended up living totally in public to protect himself from surveillance. His talk will show how forfeiting your privacy can in fact become a new form of protection of your identity.

Laurent Haug: Tell us your story, what happened?

Hasan Elahi: I was coming back from an exhibition in Dakar. As I pass through the US customs in Detroit, I handed my passport to the agent who froze. Something was obviously wrong. I was taken to a large room that belonged to the INS – the now defunct organizations regulating immigration, which which no US citizen normally ever interacts. A guy in a dark suit walks to me and says “I expected you to be older”. I asked “please explain!” The guy starts questioning me, and out of nowhere he asks me “where were you on September 12?”. I could not remember. So I took my Palm out of my pocket, and we looked up together on my calendar for detailed records. He then started to question me on a storage unit I had in Tampa, Florida. “What do you have in it?” I had clothes, junk, he looked confused and asked “no explosives?”. The FBI had received a report about “an arab man hiding explosives in a storage unit in Tampa”.

The whole thing was very strange. I had no idea what was happening. More than a confusion, it was a paranoia. I think I convinced the agent I had in front of me I had done nothing wrong. But the machine was started, and there was no way to stop it. For six months I spent my time in meetings at the FBI office, calls with the FBI, etc. It only ended when, after 9 lie detector tests, I was finally cleared of any suspicion. During that time, I had a strange survival instinct that was telling me to cooperate. I knew what was happening to me was completely illegal, and I could have fought back. But I wanted to avoid the confrontation, so I told them every single detail. I was calling every time I was moving to make sure they knew where I was and not raise a red flag.

What was your reaction after the first 6 months?

I decided to disclose my whole life online to let the FBI know where I was. I programed a software that allowed me to share my location and what I was doing. We are talking 2003, way before Facebook places or Foursquare 😉 What I wanted to do was create a file on myself, a file bigger than the FBI’s file. Then it hit me: why only the FBI should know that? If I started flooding the world with my information, I would devaluate their information on me and make it worthless. Their information would have no value as it would be less exhaustive than mine. It was a very symbolic action, but if you imagine 300 million people doing that then the whole intelligence system collapses.

At the beginning my system was only disclosing where I was with a photo. Then the project grew, I added my flight data, my bank records, my phone records.

Then I started to share every single detail. Food, beds I sleep in, toilets I used, etc. And the funny thing is that people started to get nervous, they were like “we don’t need to know all this!” 🙂 That is where I realized I was living an amazingly anonymous life. That data overload was in fact recreating my privacy. As you can not detach from Google search results, the only option you have is to flood the system, take power. You can not delete stuff, so bury it! My project – which started as an art experiment – turned at that point into an identity management mechanism.

What was the reaction of your friends and family?

First people would ask me to not stop at their houses. But as I value other peoples’ privacy, I made sure nobody was recognizable on the pictures I was publishing. Today we are talking over the phone together. But I will only disclose I was on the phone, at that time, at this location. Not who I was talking to. What I do is store pointers to information, not necessarily the information itself.

What do you want to do with this project beyond protecting yourself?

I want to expose the weaknesses of current intelligence techniques. We are very good at gathering information, but very bad at analyzing it. This is a widespread problem for society and business in general – way beyond the borders of the intelligence community.

I also want to show that it is not about fearing big brother. You can turn back the lens. That is when things start to get really interesting.

Lift11, here comes the program

Lift11 will happen in less than three months, and we are building a great program with two goals in mind: bring concrete knowledge to the audience, ideas and projects that can directly be applied in day to day life. We will have sessions on online communities, social currencies, co-creation and crowdsourcing, the new models of organization, the big trends of the digital world.

On the other end, we programmed more prospective sessions, exploring challenges and opportunities that will present themselves in 3-5 years. We will discuss space tourism, transmedia, reinventing schools, the mechanisms of gaming invading our daily lives, robotics, and much more.

Key take away from the conference will be an overview of the moment’s most important changes & the potential they offer, and contacts with the people who drive these shifts with their ideas and projects.

Some of the talks you will hear at Lift11

Hasan ElahiHasan Elahi on “Giving away your privacy to escape the US terrorist watch list”
Hasan Elahi (Professor, University of Maryland) will tell us his incredible story: he was put on the terrorists list in the United States by mistake, and ended up living totally in public to protect himself from surveillance. His talk will show how forfeiting your privacy can in fact become a new form of protection of your identity.

Brian SolisBrian Solis on Social currencies
Social currencies – defined by Wikipedia as “the entirety of actual and potential resources which arise from the presence in social networks and communities” – are central to the success of online communities. Author Brian Solis will explain the mechanisms of this emerging phenomena, and discuss the opportunities and challenges it presents.


Tiffany St James on “How to encourage citizen involvement into communities”
Tiffany St James is the former head of citizen participation for the UK government. She is a digital strategists who gathered a strong experience on how you can motivate people to participate in online communities.


David Galbraith on “Four trends for the digital world”
David Galbraith (co-founder of Yelp and co-author of RSS) will talk about the big trends he sees developing in the digital world, a provocative talk that will trigger reactions among the audience when he says that the long tail is dead or that there is a huge fight brewing between telcos and internet services providers.


Robert Scoble on “Trends and projects from the Silicon Valley”
Über-blogger Robert Scoble will show us the latest projects and trends he found while roaming the Silicon Valley for new ideas. His presentation is sure to make you write down a couple of URLs from new and exciting companies you had never heard of.


Claude Nicollier on “The reality of space”
Why should we continue to explore space? What are the next frontiers to be crossed in the coming years? What is the democratization of space going to bring to the world? Astronaut Claude Nicollier – with four trips to space under his belt – will share his vision for the future of space exploration.


We offer multiple ways to participate in the event. Buy your ticket, ask for a student pass, become a volunteer, or propose a workshop and you might end up speaking! See you at Lift11 🙂