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Why I will never be the same after Webstock 2017

February 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Webstock 2017 was, by accident and design, the most powerful Webstock of the eight I have been to.

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It was the perfect antidote to the malign influences that have been dominating headlines in recent months.

That didn’t mean it was an easy Webstock. In fact it’s the only Webstock – the only conference – where I found I had been welling up on several occasions during the day. And I’m not generally a welling-up kind of guy  – at public events anyway.

I have been inspired and enlightened to resurrect this old blog by many of the speakers’ incredible insights.

But this first post is in direct response to the events involving the speaker  right at the end that have already received much comment, social media attention and obvious painful angst from the conference organisers.

Like many at the conference I spent a lot of the weekend thinking about my own reaction – or non-reaction – to a display of unreconstructed sexism.

I talked it over with my wife. Who kindly explained to me it was an obvious example of the conditioning that patriarchy creates in most people. I talked about it with some of the women I was at the conference with who said it happens so often in their lives that their reactions to this sort of behaviour becomes dulled. But I was way beyond dull in that moment.

And I talked about it over coffee with a business acquaintance  who had also been at Webstock. We had met up to talk business. We ended up talking about sexism and our reaction to Friday. We talked about how in a strange way it made the inspirational, nourishing parts of the conference even more inspirational and nourishing. It was a brief, but brutal yang to the perfect yin of the rest of the conference.

I left our coffee with my thinking over the weekend consolidating. Vowing to not just talk about it. To become more attuned and more mindful – and to break my patriarchal conditioning. I admit it shouldn’t have needed this event for me to do this but change is never perfect.

Tash and Mike – it is clear from the honest and heart-wrenching responses you have given, you have been through a personal hell this weekend. I know we all send our love to you in what was a nightmare situation for you, but your reaction to it has been as inspirational as the rest of the conference.

Through a strange mixture of accident and design Webstock 2017 has again rocked the world for a number of us. And this time for me it goes beyond a post-conference enthusiasm.

Webstock you have changed my life.

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Categories: Webstock