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UCC 32nd Annual Business Conference – Ireland

Being the business lover that I am, I couldn’t pass up the chance to attend a business conference in another country, and that’s how I found myself at the University College Cork 32nd Annual Business Conference hosted by the UCC Commerce society. 1545066_267869370037718_38648092_n The conference was hosted at the Hayfield Manor Hotel near Cork City Centre, approximately a mile walk for me.  I was greeted by a room of 20-somethings in suits and blouses quietly chatting over tea and biscuits, perhaps 75 students in all.  Each chair was laden with promotional material, chocolate, and a notebook. SAMSUNG   The conference itself was divided into two sections, the first portion had Bill Liao (CoderDojo), Barrie O’Connell (KPMG Cork), Lisa Domican (Grace App Communication), with John O’Doherty (AIB) moderating.  The second section had Cullen Allen (Cully & Sully), Deidre O’ Leary (IDME), Alan Gallagher (Voxpro), with Conor Healy (Chief Executive – Cork Chamber of Commerce) moderating.  Both parts spoke on the idea of the Irish ‘Brain Drain’ – the fact that Ireland now has the highest net outward migration of all of Europe, and what can be done to stymie this flow.  Each individual had their own take on what needed to be done to help Ireland grow. SAMSUNG Some Important Points from the Conference:

  • Due to its small population (about 4.5 million), Ireland has a wonderfully tight knit community.  This means that most everyone knows someone affected by something, and can lead you to the people to help, which is why the business community is so strong.
  • ‘Is the point of education to develop people to be rounded regardless of future, or to develop them to support Ireland?’ Ireland provides cheap education for its citizens, so to be educated in Ireland and then emigrate is actually a drain on Irish resources.
  • Ireland needs to start looking internationally for immigration, not just focus on stopping emigration.
  • We also need to recognize our lens.  Who is our network?  Our community?  Is it Dublin? Ireland? Europe? The world?
  • The only way to keep Ireland growing is to start doing our best now, while we are young

I’m almost tempted to move to Ireland for the start-up scene, it seems like there is a lot of potential and brilliance here.  I managed to connect with one man who’s involved with the Irish Start-Up scene and knew of The Kairos Society, and I hope that I can meet with him to discuss future directions. The highlight of the conference for me was probably winning a free Kindle for ‘best question asked’ as voted on by a panel from Accenture.  I knew the Irish were friendly, but I never expected it to go this far! SAMSUNG


THATCamp Feminisms Day 2

After wrapping up a wonderful day yesterday and going to sleep at 9:30 pm after a few rounds of Mario Kart, I started Day 2 refreshed and ready to have my mind blown once again.  The first discussion started with Data Visualization as led by the lovely Mia Ridge, but one of the main things that summed it up was probably a quote Mia posted by Michael Friendly stating that data visualization was ‘…showing quantitative and qualitative information so that a viewer can see patterns, trends, or anomalies, constancy or variation, in ways that other forms -text and tables- do not allow’.  She also discussed the problems inherent in DV and the tools available.  I’m sure as I learn more about the Digital Humanities (or even just as I blog more), I’ll use these tools more and more often.  She also brought up that computer programming is important because when we analyze our data we need to know how the programs reached their conclusions, not just assume their validity.


Example of data visualization

I was then forced to skip the 2nd discussion in order to drive some friends to the airport.  I came back in time for lunch, where we had sammiches.  Each person talked about various tools they used in their research and presentations, Amanda Phillips talked about using ImageJ  in order to compile faces from video games to examine how races and genders were generalized (white males had bigger chins, whites tended to have more variation in faces, etc.).  Suzanne Scott talked about using ComicBook! in order to help students engage and create their own products, and I learned about Omeka from Tassie G. and hybrid Omeka and Scalar projects from Jackie.  There are so many resources out there, and I’m surprised we aren’t introduced to more of the in school (or maybe I’m just not taking classes that use them).  Apparently some people started retweeting my blog post from yesterday, which was slightly nerverwracking 😛


The final panel was about Fan Studies, which once again made a noise like this over my head.  We looked at the Journal of Trans formative Works, which Suzanne described involving ‘modeling accountability to communities that are being studied (aka fans)’.  How to legally protect, archive, and theorize fanworks.  All of you interested in this should check out FanLore, all of you not interested in this should CONTRIBUTE ANYWAY BECAUSE THEY NEED MORE CONTRIBUTORS ❤ kthxbai.  As described by the site, FanLore is ‘a collaborative site by, for, and about fans and fan communities that create and consume fanworks. Here, you can read about fan activities, fannish vocabulary, and the histories of fan communities — and add your own voice, memories, and experiences to our collective story.’  So I’ll say it again, IF YOU ARE IN A FANDOM, CONTRIBUTE  We also talked about Henry Jenkins, the godfather of fanstudies, fake geek girls and the fact that female fans have ALWAYS EXISTED (duh), and moving from being consumers to being producers.

I’m really honored to have met all of the fascinating scholars that attended this unconference, and I hope to keep in touch (or at least stalk their blogs).  I really hope this repeats next year, it was an experience I won’t soon forget.  I’m sorry if I missed anything at the conference or misunderstood anything, and if you are reading this and you were at the unconference, I’d love to hear your thoughts, or you can check out my About Me page and hit me up and the numerous places I frequent.  Maybe I’ll see you guys at the next Research Slam.

THATcamp Feminisms Day 1

Well, I feel I need to at least churn something out regarding my first day at THATcamp Feminisms, which I previously mentioned I was going to here.  For those who need a refresher, it’s an unconference about Digital Humanities and Technology (this one has a focus on feminism) where we create the panels and discuss.

Day 1 started at the Honnold Library (in the room that may someday house the Digital Humanities section of the library) with a wiki edit-a-thon that I was forced to miss because of work,  Luckily I arrived just in time for lunch, which was provided by Soho Taco (it was brilliant).  I managed to meet a ton of new people, including a fellow Scrippsie (Bea Schuster) who had apparently interned with Geek and Sundry (who Felicia Day works with), and she agreed to an interview later regarding that internship (She is my new favorite person~).  It was majority professors, grad students, and those involved in the academic world, I was surprised at the lack of students.  Many seemed to already know each other, and I’m glad I got the chance to discuss with a demographic I don’t interact with often.


The first panel I attended was regarding Femtechnet and Feminist Digital Pedagogy.  What this essentially amounted to (at least from my perception) was incorporating technology in teaching (twitter, blogging, youtube), and how this applies to feminist ideals (can we really force students to post on vitriolic spaces such as youtube when we usually encourage growth in educational environments of support).  Other interesting questions were how your posts follow you, and how it affects your online presence.  Do you want the world to see your maturation in terms of thoughts?  Will an immature thought someday be taken out of context and used against you, even if you don’t believe it anymore? (future blog coming with more of my musings about that)

The second part of the discussion centered around Fembot Collective, a network of scholars, students and artists working to build the first Massively Distributed Collaborative Learning Experiment.  This is very different from a Massively Open Online Course for many reasons, one of which is that the point of a MDCLE is not exposure and reaching/educating as many people as possible, but rather to use the tools of the internet to collaborate for learning, whether it be in large or small groups.


The second panel was Advanced Digital Humanities, which completely flew over my head.  My notes include ‘I don’t understand all this ‘feminist as an identity’/’examining things as a feminist’/’feminist processes’.  One of the professors said ‘only feminists talk in circles’  I don’t have the vocabulary to understand half of this.  Mapping.  Word Clouds.  Digital Humanities.  DH in the academy?  Wtf is the academy?’  I just wish I had taken an Intro to Gender and Women’s Studies course before this THATcamp, I feel as though everyone is talking from an educational foundation I haven’t experienced.  I’m still growing and learning from this experience, but I don’t think I’m understanding fully any of it.  STILL WORTH IT.



Finally we ended up in the Margaret Fowler Garden with NEVERENDING CHEESE FROM THE CHEESECAVE.  Discussion ranged from fanfiction to babies to finding jobs as an academic.  The whole day was overwhelming but thrilling, and it’s fascinating to see what academic life outside college is like.


I am now a fellow with THATcampFeminismWest, which is going to be hosted at Scripps College  on March 15 and 16.  *cue uncontrollable flailing and squeeing*

 Now that I’ve managed to get the glee out of my system, many of you are probably going ‘what the heck even is a THATcamp?

THATcamp stands for The Humanities and Technology Camp, and is an unconference (a conference that avoids being top-down designed and corporate sponsored, and rather aims to be a participant driven space for open communication and discussion).  I am thrilled to be included in such a fascinating experience, and look forward to both offering my own voice as well as incorporating others’ opinions into my idealogy.  It will mostly be focusing (obviously) on the Humanities, Technology, and Feminism, and will include people from all ages and walks of life.

If nothing else, I hope this conference forces me to defend my ideas, and I also hope I have the flexibility to bend when other logic prevails.

(also, I got over 100 hits on my blog yesterday, yaaay 😀 )