VRM Workshop 2008

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The first ProjectVRM Workshop (tag vrm2008) will be hosted by ProjectVRM and the Berkman Center at Pound Hall at Harvard Law School, on Monday-Tuesday 14-15 July. The event will go from 9AM to 5:30 on both days.

The purpose of the workshop is to bring people together and make progress on any number of VRM topics and projects. The workshop will be run as an "unconference" on the open space model, which means session topics will be chosen by participants. Here is the Wikipedia page on open space.

In open space there are no speakers or panels: only facilitation with no agenda beyond helping participants make progress on their topics.


The workshop is free. You can register through this EventBrite link. Feel free to also add your name to the VRMWorkshop Attendees list.

Proposed Schedule


Non-hosted Dinner

  • Location: Changsho Restaurant, on Mass Ave, up the street from Harvard.
  • Time: 7:30
  • Attendees (please add your name here if you plan to attend so we can get reservations):
    • Keith Hopper
    • Iain Henderson
    • Doc Searls
    • Mark Scrimshire
    • Joe Andrieu
    • Chris Reynolds
    • Jan Searls
    • Brett McDowell
    • Adriana Lukas
    • Bart Stevens (TBC)
    • Maarten Smolders (TBC)
    • Stephen Lewis
    • Mary Ruddy
  • Social networking for those who come early at Cambridge Common restaurant & bar, across the street on Massachusetts Avenue.
  • For help call Doc's cell: +1-805-705-9666.


Room: Pound 101

Morning Refreshments - 8:30

Opening 9-11

  • Overview
    • Introductory remarks by Doc Searls and Phil Malone (of the Berkman Center and Harvard Law School), and a technology review by Joe Andrieu
    • Project reports (5 min each)
  • Marketplace of Ideas for specific projects (1.5 min each)
  • Personal introductions by everybody

Sessions 11-4:30

  • 11-11:30 Agenda Making
  • 11:30-11:45 Lunch, which will be brought in
  • 11:45 - 12:45 - Session 1
  • 1:00-2:00  Session 2
  • 2:15-3:15  Session 3
  • 3:30-4:30 Session 4

Sessions reporting to the group, 4:30-5:30

In open space workshops, topics are suggested by participants in the Agenda making session, which is attended by everybody. Participants write the title of their topic on a sheet of paper with a bold marker, add their name, then describe the topic to the group and post it on a large "spreadsheet" of times and session locations, a blackboard in the front of Pound 101, which will be our main room.

One person in each session will take notes, either directly (or eventually) on the workshop wiki. At the end of each day somebody from each discussion session will report progress to the group.

7:00PM: Non-hosted Dinner

  • Location: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Attendees (please add your name here if you plan to attend so we can get reservations):


Morning Refreshments - 8:15

Opening group gathering (adding or moving sessions, reports of insights from yesterday) - 8:30-9:00

Sessions: 9am-4pm

  • 9:00-10:00 Session 5
  • 10:10-11:10 Session 6
  • 11:20-12:30 Session 7
  • 12:30-1:45 LUNCH - Groups go off to local eateries
  • 1:45-2:45 Session  7
  • 3:00-4:00 Session 8

Closing session, summarizing both days, personal comments, more - 4:00-5:30


We have three classrooms booked, all in Pound Hall. Two rooms have a power outlet at every seat. The third has wall outlets. In each the seating is arranged in a horseshoe shape, so everybody can face everybody else.

If we need additional small session spaces, there are plenty of those out on the lawns and in the halls and public seating areas amongst nearby buildings at the Law School. We'll make room on the session "spreadsheet" for these, so we're ready if the need arises.

Possible Topics

There are many. Here is a list to get us started. Add or subtract whatever you like...

  • The Mine! (Adriana Lukas)
  • Personal Address Manager (Iain Henderson)
  • RelButton -- and first use challenge: a biz model for public media (Doc Searls)
  • User-driven Search (Joe Andrieu)
  • r-cards (Paul Trevithick)
  • VRM and health care
  • VRM and social web stuff (Kevin Marks)
  • VRM standards, policies and practices (Brett McDowell)
  • VRM and TiddlyWiki
  • VRM + (rather than vs.) CRM
  • VRM and legal openings, hurdles, models and precedents (Renee Lloyd)

Getting There

Pound Hall is located on the Harvard campus at 1563 Massachusetts Avenue, within the Law School. Some resources --

Parking is a hassle, so we highly recommend taking public transportation. Fortunately, the Boston Area has some of the best public transportation in the U.S. The Harvard Campus is adjacent to Harvard Square, which is a stop on the Red Line of the "T", Boston's subway system. The Red Line is the best of all the "T" lines. Trains roll through every stop only few minutes apart, and the trains are fast. If you can find accommodations near a Red Line stop, you'll be in great shape. Cambridge area stops are Alewife, Davis, Porter, Harvard, Central and Kendall. In Boston the near ones are Charles/MGH, Park, Government Center and South Station.

Getting to Pound Hall:

From the Harvard "T" station go up the stairs to "Church Street." At the top of the stairs, turn right to walk across Church (and past the church itself), then up "Mass Ave" past Cambridge Common (the large park on the left). At the next light (Waterhouse Street), cross over to the Harvard side of Mass Ave, then turn left to continue north. The first Pound Hall will come up on your right, just before a big construction project. A granite sign says "HARRVARD LAW SCHOOL." Look for the workshop in the center of the ground floor. If you walk fast you can make it in 5 minutes from the "T".