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Here’s What We Learnt From New Adventures Conference In January 2020


Written by

Luke Davis



Here’s What We Learnt From New Adventures Conference In January 2020

Here's What We Learnt From New Adventures Conference In January 2020

On 22nd-23rd January this year, group of my colleagues and I attended the New Adventures Conference in Nottingham.

Day 1 featured workshops throughout the day, focused on building a sustainable future, learning to build websites from scratch, and how to negotiate with confidence.

Day 2 was conference day with a variety of talks covering the future of design, design thinking, digital curation, privacy, accessibility, and plenty more.

(There was a third day of events including a run club, coffee & photo walk, and a football tournament but we didn’t attend those.)

What is New Adventures Conference (NAConf)?

New Adventures Conference is a future-focused digital design conference held once a year. It was established in 2011 and ran until 2013 before taking a break and returning in 2019. 2020’s edition is the fifth event so far and with a possibility of more per year.

The event is run by Simon Collison and Geri Coady, with help from members of the design industry and volunteers.

What was the best piece of advice you got from NAConf?

Simba: Cennydd Bowles advising to design beyond the user and design for the future, to not just design “things” but also design with the wellbeing of future generations in mind. (Protopia)

Luke: “Clarity is scarce” from Florence Okoye and “designing for advocacy, not inclusion” from Akil Benjamin of COMUZI.

Adam: “Not all things need saving, sometimes they just need to exist” from Liz Jackson and “clarity is scarce” from Florence Okoye.

What was your favourite moment of the conference?

Simba: Tatiana Mac‘s mind-blowing breakdown of the origin of the binary system and code-based language and linking it back to its initial use as a weapon of bigotry and prejudice.

Luke: Tatiana Mac’s talk. When I knew she’d be there, I scrambled to get a ticket and it was the best talk I’ve ever been to. I learnt so much and loved how it linked concepts I knew with history I wasn’t aware of.

What was your favourite talk?

Simba: Tatiana “The Gawd“ Mac.

Luke: Tatiana Mac’s, hands down. Probably the best talk I’ve ever seen.

Adam: Most of the talks resonated with me. Tatiana’s took me on an emotional rollercoaster, Cennydd opened my eyes further, but Akil’s talk spoke to me on a personal level; it made me look at how I could progress.

Were there any recommended tools or systems from NAConf that you plan to use or actions you plan to take?

Simba: To create, be pro-independent blogging, and avoid blogging on platforms like Medium for ownership of your own content.

Luke: Laura Kalbag’s talk made me more conscious of cookies and internet privacy. She also recommended which gives you a collection of privacy-conscious alternatives to popular software.

Adam: Trying to think and visualise in a physical space. We’ve already taken steps to get wall-mounted boards for writing and sketching on, so I’m looking forward to throwing my thoughts on it with a variety of bright coloured pens.

Favourite piece of merchandise?

Simba: My Sketch badge.

Luke: My NAConf 2020 badge.

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