It’s been four days since International Men’s Day (19 November, 2020) and the end of the largest ICMI to date, the five-day-long ICMI20. It was a resounding success on every level, everyone seems to agree, and I thought I’d post a final blog piece on the matter.
Firstly, I’d like to thank my fellow organizers – Elizabeth Hobson, Tom Caulfield (J4MB Technical Director), Paul Elam, Robert Brockway and Tom Golden. They were all a pleasure to work with throughout the months before ICMI, and during it.
I’d like to thank everyone who provided a video, or was interviewed on Zoom for the event. The technical quality standards of the videos were generally higher than we were expecting, given that the vast majority of the speakers were not professional video makers, some had never made a video in their lives. It surely goes without saying that the quality of the content of the videos was high, and we’ve had very few negative comments.
125 videos were published in the end. A number of contributors failed to supply the videos they’d promised, for a variety of reasons. 108 of the videos were original videos recorded for ICMI, and in the final 24 hours I posted 17 previously-published videos, or “mirror” videos, selected by Elizabeth and myself, from among our favourites. The list of speakers and interviews and mirror videos is here. The mirror videos are numbered 109-125.
With the exception of the mirror videos, all the videos were released simultaneously on dedicated playlists on the J4MB YouTube channel – here – and on Paul Elam’s “An Ear for Men” YouTube channel – here. Paul’s channel has 103,000+ subscribers, more than the J4MB channel, so there are more comments there.
And what of future ICMIs? Given the continuing impact of restrictions on travelling and meeting due to COVID-19, ICMI21 will be another online event, held over 18 – 21 November, and starting at midday on 18 November. ICMI21 will be on a more modest scale than ICMI20 – maybe 72 speakers and interviewees – and with a higher proportion of interviews. It will be a highly interactive event with many live interviews, Q&A sessions, opportunities for nertworking, and more.
Work on ICMI21 will start in January in earnest, but the conference website is already up – here. I shall be the Conference Director and chairman of the organizing committee.
I am responsible for future physical ICMIs in Europe and North America, and I plan to organize the next one in July 2022 in Canada, when Covid-related restrictions will hopefully be relaxed sufficiently to make that a possibility. The contender cities are Calgary (shortly before or after the Calgary Stampede) and Vancouver (Professor Janice Fiamengo’s home city).
I shall be devoting more of my time and energy in future organizing and running ICMIs and other offline and online events (conferences, gatherings, meetings…) because I feel I can best support the fast-growing MRM that way. I worked as a business consultant for the Conservative party over 2006-8, developing and executing a new commercial model for their conferences including the main autumn conferences which have for long been the largest such events in Europe (12,000+ attendees). I’ve just established a limited company, MRA International Ltd., to support my events-related work.
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