Monthly Archives: December 2008

Why I’m Coming: Jenny-Sayre Ramberg

Hey, I’m Jenny-Sayre and I’m really looking forward to the retreat.  Why?

Welcome to Monterey Bay Aquarium's Splash Zone!

Welcome to Monterey Bay Aquarium's Splash Zone!


  • I want to do all these fun activities that we’re planning!
  • I love spending time at Asilomar—you can hear the waves, stroll to the beach and meet in tree shaded rooms or just under the trees.
  • I’m very eager to hear about, try out and take home new ways to build and foster creative teams and keep my own creative juices flowing in collaborative projects.
  • I can’t wait to have 70 some museum and exhibit people on the Monterey Peninsula all at the same time!

I’m also looking forward to talking about how we can meet the challenge of making museums places people feel at home in and challenged by— to borrow Elaine Gurian’s words “safe places for unsafe ideas.” I work at a museum that has wholeheartedly embraced a mission of inspiring social change to protect nature over ten years ago (The mission of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean) and we’re still figuring out what that means in a museum. What does inspiring attitude and behavior change look like? How fun is it? How can it be creative and collaborative?

Lately I’ve been particularly inspired by the use of humor and wit and play to explore usually serious topics. (“Prop 8: The musical” on YouTube, Jon Stewart most nights, World without Oil game) I don’t know where that’s going but hope to talk to some of you about how we can bring lightness with us when we venture into tough topics. 

I look forward to meeting you here on the website and at the retreat. 



Why I am Coming to C2: Eric Siegel

Awed by the golden lady of creativity!

Awed by the golden lady of creativity!

I am planning to come to this retreat for some of the same reasons that Nina gave…I am part of the planning team, and I am the President of the National Association for Museum Exhibition, co-sponsors with AAM.

But I have another reason I am coming…I am worried. That’s nothing new, I worry about a lot of things, but now I am particularly worried.

Obviously, I am worried for all the same reasons everyone else is. The economy is in free fall, institutions that seemed rock solid are vaporizing, I work in NY where the hometown businesses…finance, insurance, real estate…are most affected by what is going on. One of our major foundation funders closed up shop because they had their money invested in Madoff. You know the drill.

At the same time, I am absolutely beside myself with hope because of the change in the federal government, both Obama and the legislature. There is going to be a major investment and emphasis on education, science will now be honored as an important way of understanding the world, and intelligence will be valued (I know, I am a bit over-optimistic about Obama…so shoot me).

There has been a lot of talk for a long time that museums have to change, and we have changed. But I think the events of the past 6 months or so suggest the threat, and the opportunity, of a more substantial and significant change.

Our big buildings and fancy exhibits suddenly look expensive, lumbering, and slow to respond to the amazingly rapid pace of information exchange and knowledge building that is happening on the Internet. Our ability to foster social learning pales beside the self-organizing social networks enabled by communications technologies. I’m not sure that we can keep telling ourselves that we are essential, or even very useful, without some fundamental change.

And I think we are not very good at fundamental change. As the economy has changed, museums, even science centers and children’s museums are starting to appear very conservative.

That is why I was so eager to help organize a discussion with people outside our field toward an understanding of the processes of collaboration and creativity. I was so delighted when our team identified the four “instigators” that are coming to C2. Burning Man? ILM? World Without Oil? Fuggedaboudit…These are signposts in the world of collaborative creativity. Anyone who has participated in a PIE workshop with Karen and Mike know how thoughtful and deliberate they are and creating frameworks for participation, teamwork, and imagination.

Nina, Darcie, Jenny Sayre, Greg and I are planning a great few days…and if you add in the Maker Faire, you will have solid dose of do-it-yourself creativity.

Now back to the worry…if you are worried about your job, can you imagine a better investment than high level networking with leaders in your field and a better way to get perspective than to rediscover what you love about your work? Think of it as Linked In with a beach, an ocean, and pheromones.

It is up to you all, the potential participants, to make this great. So please do come if at all possible, and we look forward to seeing you.!


Why I’m Coming: Nina Simon

Nina_photoHi, I’m Nina. I’m coming to the C2 retreat for at least five reasons:

  1. I’m helping plan it.
  2. It’s close to my home and is in a really beautiful outdoors-focused place, as opposed to the conferences I go to in, say, Indianapolis.
  3. I often feel like conferences don’t let me do what I really want to do with museum colleagues–to dream, scheme, and build some of our ideas. I think the C2 format will allow us to get creative and physical, which suits my learning and social style.
  4. The workshop leaders are superstars. In particular, I’ve known Ken Eklund for a long time and have admired his work building collaborative interactive narratives and am so grateful he’ll be working with us. I’ve also never been to Burning Man and am psyched to learn a bit about how it works from Harley without having to trek out to the desert and paint myself green.
  5. I’ve been working on my own from home, and I’m still learning how to best manage my relationships with remote teams as well as just generally staying connected to colleagues from the woods. I’m looking forward to learning more about effective collaboration with disparate teams, as well as creative techniques for a team of one (sadly, the dog hasn’t learned how to brainstorm yet).

Why are you coming? Once you’ve registered, send us a note and we’ll profile your story on this site!

Welcome to the C2 Participants Blog!

This blog features participants who will be contributing to the retreat as organizers, workshop leaders, and participants.  Check back for profiles of participants, updated information about the program, and answers to your burning questions.  You can also subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog and get the posts right in your mailbox.