If you happen to be near the British Museum this afternoon do drop into the Great Court and say hello to Lloyd Davis. He is engaged in some Tuttle consulting (about which I wrote here). The project is, specifically, for the British Council , and is about the nature of culture and cultural relations. You can read about it here, and see that the method of investigation is, in large part, conversation.
Lloyd’s assertion (I think this is right) is that culture – whether Britain Overseas, or the way we run organisations, or meetings, or just hanging out together, is determinated by people, and the way that culture evolves, and is defined, is substantially through conversations. Who could disagree? There’s more to it than that, of course, so let’s … well …. talk about it. Which is why Lloyd is in the British Musueum.
Earlier Lloyd had tweeted his 3002 Twitter followers to drop in for a chat anytime up to 5pm today. I did just that, and for once resisted the temptation to pull out a video recorder, and instead had a rather good conversation.
I think we talked about how far the nature of conversation could be determined by the setting at events, passing on a link to Sarah Hartley’s post about the difference between a social media Surgery in Leeds, and a London social media conference … and about how the nature of the people and their conversations subtly creates the culture and context. Naturally enough I cited the Tuttle Club, which Lloyd … and here I’m lost for a word: not organises, or convenes, but brings about. He doesn’t set any rules, but suggests the way he thinks it might work best simply by modelling (that is having) the sort of conversations he hopes others will find useful.
We touched on the sort of props it is useful to have to promote conversations at workshops … to which Lloyd’s response was – take some friends. People are the best props.
There was lots more we talked about, not least the relationship between spaces, culture and conversation. Julia Shallet had stopped for a chat, so we discussed how empty spaces in Brixton Market are being filled through the power of social media to promote a big event, develop buzz, and attract for more applications than vacancies. The power of conversation.
But don’t take my word for it … talk to Lloyd. I’ll tweet this post in case anyone is around this afternoon. Otherwise follow Lloyd on Twitter @lloyddavis or the project blog, or turn up to Tuttle Club any Friday morning. No idea what the conversations will be about, but they’ll be good.