Reflections on the 2009 Improv Conference

Posted by  admin —November 17, 2009
Filed in Uncategorized

Well, today … sadly, the 2009 Applied Improv Conference drew to a close. What an event for everyone who participated.

This event was my chance to dip my toes in the water of applied improvisation. I walk away feeling both nourished and satisfied … excited to be part of this community. I have made many new friends from the US, Canada, South Africa, Turkey and Europe. I have no doubt the conversations will continue with some and lead to future ‘stuff’ at home and abroad.

So the question most will ask when I get home … “So, Geoff, what did you get from the conference?” My response … “Say Yes!And follow the next adventure”.

The keynote presenter, Nick Owen, managed to tell a story that linked together some very relevant models for the complex world. Viv McWaters did a great live blogging summary of Nick’s keynote here.

To read more about Nick go here.

At the conference closing circle, I mentioned that when the invitation was first made to attend, I blocked it and assumed that the distance and time away from family would be too much. Chris Corrigan, Johnnie Moore and Viv McWaters all challenged my assumptions in that moment … and minutes later I was going!

Accepting offers lead to more adventure in life. How true. It also leads to new learning, new conversations, networks and strengthened relationships. Whilst I cannot predict what will emerge from this time away from my family, I know that something will emerge as I remain engaged with the applied improv community.

Leif Hansen, the architect and steward of our online space,  said something really important in the wrap up. His advice relates to ‘everyone’ who engages in social media. “Let others know they have been heard by commenting on anything they contribute to the online space.” So, if you ‘notice’ and value another person’s contribution on facebook, twitter or an online Community that you belong to … let them know they have been heard and make a comment. It’s an offer in its self!

Lastly, I was privileged to be part of a wonderful evening of entertainment and Improv in downtown Portland on Saturday night. Each performance was brilliant and the lighthouse scenes were magic. Koray and Zaynep and Chris Corrigan and myself had the honour of playing music and improvising with music in final act. Now I am seriously hooked …


Other highlights for me included …

  • Noticing more with Denzel, Paul and Kay – particularly finding our inner clown
  • Jolts and Framegames with Kat
  • The session with the ‘On Your Feet‘ team
  • Impro and biomimicry with Belina
  • Finding your inner ‘Buffoon’ with Trilby
  • Contact Improv with the wonderful Munir Rasheed – a session that left me (and others) giddy with energy and presence


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