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 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: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Attendees (please add your name here if you plan to attend so we can get reservations):
    • Keith Hopper
    • Iain Henderson
    • Doc Searls
    • Mark Scrimshire (tentative)
    • Joe Andrieu


9AM to 5:30PM

After opening remarks, we'll each introduce ourselves to the group. After that we will have short briefings by people working on VRM projects. These briefings are required by the purpose of the workshop: to move VRM projects forward. We plan to keep these briefings under 5 minutes apiece, though some may go a bit longer. There is a lot of parallel work being done already with VRM, not just on specific projects but also in committees and conversations around various hot topics. It is essential that we get to know a few basics about who's doing what before we break off into the workshop discussions.

In open space workshops, topics are suggested by participants in an opening session 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, located on a wall for everybody to see. Once up, these sessions can be combined or moved around as the sheet fills up.

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):


9:00am-9:30am Opening and Agenda Making -- same as in Day 1

9:30am-4:00pm: Sessions


Closing - Reports from all discussions, listing of Action Items and community conversation about what is next for various VRM projects


We have three classrooms booked. All have a power outlet at every seat, and seating is arranged in a horseshoe shape, so everybody can face everybody else. (We'll also put details here for wi-fi connecting as well. Some advance work is required there.)

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.

As the workshop approaches, we encourage people working on projects to get ahead of the workshop curve by sharing some of their work with the ProjectVRM list and on their own blogs.

Possible Topics

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

  • The Mine!
  • Personal Address Manager
  • RelButton (and first use challenge: a biz model for public media)
  • User-driven Search
  • r-cards (relationship)
  • VRM and health care
  • VRM standards, policies and practices
  • VRM + (rather than vs.) CRM

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:

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 (which will be on the left). Cross over to the Harvard side of Mass Ave at Waterhouse Street, then turn left to continue north on Mass Ave. The first Harvard building on your right (just before a big construction project) is Pound Hall. Look for us in the center of the ground floor. If you walk fast you can make it in 5 minutes from the "T".