Red Hook Digital Stewards Take on Allied Media Conference 2016 [Recap]

Thursday June 16

Building Excitement
Excitement is the first feeling I encountered arriving at Wayne State University for the 16th Annual Allied Media Conference. I was joined by 8 other Digital Stewards with strong personalities and perspectives. We thought we were diverse, but were about to learn an expanded definition of the word in Detroit.

Friday June 17

Getting Ready to Deliver Big
By the time we attended our first session at 9:00 AM, half of Digital Stewards lost their personal devices. “Part of the experience,” my supervisor rattled. Later I learned it was an increase in support and responsibility he referred to. The first workshop had lots of tie-in to the work RHDS handle. However, I was shocked participants began to fall asleep in the training. The possibility of our workshop boring participants to sleep was dreadful.

I knew our workshops needed excitement and energy to keep participants engaged, which meant my team and I had a lot of work to do. We set out to make this trip the best RHI experience at AMC ever. I can say a lot about the debrief meeting that came next: we got organized, handled logistics, practices speeches but in the end something grander resulted. Through structured clearing and conversation, competitiveness and discord fell away. We would later find ourselves beginning to grow deeper connections and greater interdependency. We created the strongest team dynamic imaginable.

Saturday June 18

People Powered Technology
In our first workshop, we taught participants technology as a tool by highlighting the similarities between computer components and people parts. Conference-goers were extremely responsive, engaged and didn’t seem to want to leave after the 90-minute session ended. Although our participants were strangers at the beginning, they achieved united success in stopping a “computer virus.” We presented challenges that increased their communication, accuracy and teamwork. The workshop ended with a beautiful web of connections (Local Area Network) created to signify the importance of computer networks and the power of having people work as one.

 

Sunday June 19

RHDS Productions
It might sound counterintuitive, but we didn’t show any RHI films until halfway through our screening. Instead, we began with speed networking, where I found myself telling a complete stranger answers to random prompts such as “Most of my friends don’t know that I am afraid of,” and “My most vivid childhood memory.” This rose the level of connection in the room so when we began the screenings, new friends were able to enjoy the films together.

Conclusion

The Allied Media Conference integrates powerful gender conversations with relevant technology at every point of the experience. Being there challenged Digital Stewards each in various ways but it paid off with as gaining new levels of patience, tolerance, acceptance and sensitivity. This was the ultimate exercise of networking and professional communication. Traveling Red Hook Digital Stewards returned to Brooklyn mentally, physically and emotionally spent. Exactly what it takes to reach a higher level of excellence.