PodCamp London – Law of Two Feet

I’m in the middle of PodCamp London and, as usual, completely blown about about the quality of talks, the attendees here and the overall excitement that is taking place around the Convergence Centre.

One of the major parts of PodCamps is the Law of Two Feet. At its core, the means that anyone who is in a session and wants to leave is encouraged to.

However, my fear is that this in fact encourages a type of attention deficit disorder. If the speaker isn’t engaging you, you just get up and  leave. But perhaps if you were to “stick it out” an attendee would benefit from staying there.

These thoughts lead me to to look around the web, and eventually the “user guide for the open space world” and this quote:

Finally we come to the One Law of Open Space. It is a law only in the sense that all participants must observe it or the process will not work. We call it the Law of Two Feet. Briefly stated, this law says that every individual has two feet, and must be prepared to use them. Responsibility for a successful outcome in any Open Space Event resides with exactly one person — each participant. Individuals can make a difference and must make a difference. If that is not true in a given situation, they, and they alone, must take responsibility to use their two feet, and move to a new place where they can make a difference. This departure need not be made in anger or hostility, but only after honoring the people involved and the space they occupy. By word or gesture, indicate that you have nothing further to contribute, wish them well, and go and do something useful.

I know that personally I’m going to work harder to exercise the law in this way and when I leave, its because I wish to further the experience for others and not just myself.