Designing the Future – A Recap of Webvisions 2010 in Portland

by Steve Fisher on May 20, 2010


This past week, the Network Solutions team had the great privilege of participating in the Webvisions 2010 event in Portland, Oregon. In its 10th year, Webvisions is a sort of crunchier, organic version of SXSW that is truly about designers and innovation.

Held in Portland, Oregon it is a great place for an event like this, the local and regional community is very innovative and design focused. It was my first time in Portland and I have to say I fell in love with the city. If you are a cyclist or a microbrew fan, it is heaven. With 300,000 bikes it is truly the beer and bikes city. Another cool factor is its light rail system which is a model that every city should follow. It is free to ride in the city zone and very easy to connect with all the other mass transit systems. This is the first city that I never had to take a cab or rent a car to get around.

The light rail also has bike hooks and space for people to commute with their bikes. This makes Portland a very healthy and clean city. Sure, it rains alot, but the attitude lends itself well to this event and the attendees were a great crowd.

Design Mastery with Workshops

The first day of the event was a workshop day outside of the regular event and had some great sessions on topics like iPhone development, scripting, HTML coding, social web UX and the one Shashi and I attended, Photography Tips from the New School. Given by our friend and well known photographer, Kris Krug, and according to the workshop description “He will discuss creating your own style through photo manipulation, publishing on multiple online channels, the changing faces of photography equipment and software, in addition to setting up the composition of a shoot and lighting techniques.” Boy, he delivered. Shashi and I both learned alot in this short period and I know our photos will improve from this session.

Party Sponsored by Network Solutions

After a long day of learning, we were ready to do one of the things Portlanders love to do. Drink great microbrew.

Network Solutions and Read Write Web sponsored the opening event party at Lucky Lab in the Pearl (1945 NW Quimby) with great beer for everyone and even 10th Webvisions birthday cake.

We got to meet the rest of the Read Write Web team that seems to be taking over Portland as most of the team comes from there. They are putting out great content and you should check out what Marshall Kirpatrick and the team is up to over there.

Keynote on Disruptive Innovation by Luke Williams

On the first morning, we were entertained and educated by Luke Williams, a Fellow at Frog Design and an Adjunct Professor of innovation at NYU Stern School of Business, gave the a keynote session on Thinking the Unthinkable: How To Spark Disruptive Innovation.

It was funny and introspective on how businesses can innovate and transform their business or creating radical change. Now while all of those things are great his point is that for people to make real change, people must take their respective industry by surprise and be disruptive thinkers. The good news is that you don’t have to be a small business or come from the outside to be a disruptive thinker and make change. It can be learned and applied by big companies too.

Day 1 Sessions Summary

After the keynote, there were some great sessions and one in particular to highlight is Shashi’s Brand Session. He covered all types of online and offline branding, shared some great personal stories and shared his “recipe for a great personal brand”. He was also gracious enough to share my 10 Rules for Killer Business Cards presentation summary to help people with how to present their brand. You can see the entire session on his personal branding presentation post.

Speaking of building your personal brand, you could put your Twitter handle on a customized t-shirt at our booth as you can see below. Network Solutions had some great volunteers helping at the booth running the computer, t-shirt press and keeping the chaos to a minimum. You can see the team in action below and the sample shirt. It seems like a big hit and I hope we get to do it at more events in the future.

Tweetup at Vindalho

At the close of Day 1 Shashi held a Tweetup at Vindalho and many gathered to hang out and chat at this hip Portland spot. It takes a seasonal, farm-fresh approach to the classic dishes of India and it didn’t disappoint.

Shashi and the gang there tried appetizers like Aloo Bonda, Paneer Pakoras and Masala Chicken Wings. Dishes like Saag Paneer, Jhinga Prawns and Pork Vindalho were a big hit and the loft-like space created an open and inviting atmosphere. Food pics are below. Salivating is allowed.

See You at Webvisions 2011

There was so much more and many sessions that we couldn’t cover everything but we do want to say congrats to them on 10th Year and we look forward to being there next year.

Photos Credit: Shashi Bellamkonda

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