At the Boyd & Beyond 2012 Conference, one of the people I had the pleasure of meeting was British political consultant Chris Cox, who blogs at Campaign Reboot. Chris not only a presenter at the conference, he was first out with a review of the proceedings too.
In terms of the event itself, I need to put it in the context that I found it. I know about 3 people who I can mention John Boyd to and have them know who I mean, so coming to the conference was special in and of itself. It was also gratifying to meet some other Brits there, JB and Michael Moore, who both spoke on their specific areas of expertise. Having so many people there who have immersed themselves in the concepts was hugely exciting.The calibre of all the speakers was extremely high and the range of topics as diverse as could be expected. It was particularly good to have so many Marine speakers in attendance, since for a civilian it’s sometimes hard to conceive of how Boyd’s ideas get used in the military context. I don’t want to call out particular speakers as being better than others. Some were more resonant to me but all had a perspective which was interesting and valuable.Getting to visit the Boyd archives was also a very special experience, and Mary Ellen Boyd was kind enough to take the time to talk to some of us about her father on a more personal level. I now have a copy of a hand drawn version of the OODA loop which we found in a draft of one of Boyd’s presentations. I also received audio copies of various of Boyd’s briefings which I can’t wait to listen to when I’m back in the UK.Overall I felt the strength of the event wasn’t in the questions that it answered, but in the questions that it raised. It’s easy to become navel gazing when you’re coming up with ideas in isolation, and I don’t think anyone who spoke got away without someone asking a sharp question or two which challenged what they were saying. I know from my own experience that I need to go back to the drawing board.Although the focus of the conference is on Boyd there was healthy discussion of ideas which are only loosely connected to Boyd, or are implementations of his ideas which could not be predicted. It’s a chaotic field, which I imagine is how Boyd would have wanted it to be, with people spinning off his ideas to unexpected places.
Read the rest here.
Working on my review, but the record of livetweeting is at #boydandbeyond on Twitter.