MARCH 5:OnApple in the BigApple “Look at this,”mydad said to me recently, pointing to the new digital camera he had purchased. “It’s a Japanese camera manufactured in Chi- na. What else is new?” I thought about that fre-
quent lament—that all the manufacturing jobs have left the U.S. and other countries for China—when I saw Mike Daisey perform his the- atrical monologue “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” at New York City’s Public Theater yester- day afternoon. For nearly two hours,
Daisey sat in a chair on the spare stage to share his love story of all things Apple, and, in stark contrast, a riveting account of his visit to Shen- zhen, China. In particular, his trip to the massive Foxconn Technology plant, where 430,000 workers toil under inhumane conditions to pro- duce those very cool Apple products, as well as nearly half of all consumer electron- ics sold throughout the world. It was sobering, to put it
mildly. As my friend and I sat talking in the theater while the audience streamed out, we wondered what to do with this information. As we made our way out, we were handed a piece of paper. The headline on one side read, “Change is Possible.” The other side: “The Rest of the Story Is in Your Hands.” How is this relevant to the
meetings industry? Two things come to mind. First, how helpful it is—should you have a speaker who will
4 pcma convene April 2012
ETHICAL DILEMMAS: Mike Daisey’s theatrical monologue about conditions in Chinese factories where Apple prod- ucts are manufactured has itself come under criticism.
4_12 TWITTER: @pcmaconvene
A blog by the editors of Convene
Excerpts from some of our recent posts MARCH 13:
This week is Brain AwarenessWeek, a good time to assess the growing influence that neuroscience research is having on how we think about meeting design and creat- ing environments that support learning. At Convene, we’ve taken a lively interest in the topic: In
our cover story in July 2010, Andrea E. Sullivan, president of Brain Strength Systems, introduced readers to mirror neu- rons, and Dr. John Medina got us thinking about chunking information during presentations (convn.org/More-Than- Feelings). In January, David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work, described how the NeuroLeadership Institute recon- figures their agenda and structure in pursuit of the goal of having the brain-friendliest meeting anywhere (convn .org/Brain-meeting). In February, we explored a very new idea: that parks and public spaces don’t just help us relax, they help us think (convn.org/walkable-centers). The role of emotions in cognition and decision-making
also is making waves. One of my favorite interviews in 2011 was with Anne Kreamer, author of It’s Always Personal: Emotion in the NewWorkplace. And Convening Leaders speaker David Brooks surprised me when I talked with him last fall by his knowledge and interest in mindful- ness, which, cometo think of it, we also wroteabout last year (convn.org/meet-mindful).
— Barbara Palmer
be delivering a message that will likely make attendees want to do something to feel less powerless—to provide some kind of follow-up material. And secondly, as Con-
vene’s latest e-panel results to be published show[see p. 81], meeting planners have embraced the iPad, like so many other industry profes- sionals and consumers. Nearly a quarter of those who responded to the survey use a tablet forwork and 32 percent use one for personal use; nearly 80 percent of these tablet users have an iPad.We, too, have a say in this. From Daisey’s handout: “Apple has long been a pioneer in tech- nology—now they have the opportunity to lead the entire field into an era of ethical manufacturing.” Editor’s Note: Shortly after this post, Public Radio Inter- national’s “This American Life” retracted an episode in which Mike Daisey told his story about visiting Foxconn (based on his stage perform- ance) after learning that it “contained numerous fabri- cations.” Here’s a link to my updated post: convn.org/ zp3nvQ.