euroGel 2006 Conference

I’ve just come back from the Good Experience Live (euroGel) conference in Copenhagen (more on the city and Denmark in a later post). It was a superb and surprisingly moving experience, and as a conference that I paid for myself, I would say it was worth every penny for personal development reasons alone. I would recommend it to anyone with a wide range of interests.

The theme of the conference is hard to pin down; it is defined as ‘good experience in all its forms’. I’m still struggling to ‘get it’, but it didn’t seem to matter that I didn’t. In practice, this seems to mean a variety of speakers from across the arts and technology, some of them specialising in user experience or customer experience, coming together to share their stories.

This is the first time the conference has been run in Europe (it has been run in New York City since 2003), and current indications are that it will return to both places. The creator of the conference is Mark Hurst, who also leads the sessions at the conference, and who I unfortunately didn’t get to meet. A large number of the speakers are obviously personal friends of his and there is accordingly a sense of community, which is also explored online (see the Gel blog category on

The presentations were almost all entertaining, and most informative and passionate. Some of the highlights were:

I also met some interesting folks:

I was also lucky enough to win one of the prize draws - for a set of books written by some current and previous Gel speakers, so I now have the following to work my way through:

Thanks to all the folks who donated books for this - and to Mark Hurst and his team for organising euroGel. I will go again.

Update 2006-09-12: Alison Young’s website can be found here.


[...] my better photos from the conference on Flickr. I didn’t find this Gel quite as fulfilling as euroGel was, and this combined with the steep price (I pay for it myself) means I probably won’t be [...]
[...] Just finished reading Mark Hurst’s new book, Bit Literacy. Mark is a chap of many interests and the creative driver behind the excellent (and varied) euroGel conference I attended in Copenhagen last year. [...]
[...] Since meeting Alexander Kjerulf at euroGel 2006 last year, I’ve been following his work as the self-appointed Chief Happiness Officer with interest. He’s just released his first book, Happy Hour is 9 to 5. Alex is also one of the most energetic and inspiring people I’ve met. He’s kindly consented to be the first interviewee on this blog. I hope you enjoy it. [...]
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[...] Sidste nyt fra The Brain: - har du stadig lidt svært ved at finde ud af, hvad dette Gel er for noget (det er heller ikke sådan at sætte en finger på) så besøg disse sites, hvor andre gæster fortæller lidt om deres oplevelser: Fatdux - Eric Reiss Learninglaboratory - Annette Kramer Andrew’s blog - Andrew Ferrier [...]
[...] After euroGel 2006, which was truly a ‘good’ experience for me, Mark Hurst has announced that euroGel is coming back to Copenhagen in 2007. I’ve just booked my ticket, and as a previous attendee, I’ve got a 20% discount, so the price was only USD $480. I’m allowed to share this discount (which is only valid until this Friday, 22nd September) with friends and colleagues, so if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll send you the link. You can sign up at the regular price here. I’m already looking forward to this conference, and it’s almost a year away. [...]
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[...] Addendum (Sept 15, 2006): Mark has compiled a page with the reports and pictures from euroGel 2006 attendees. I especially like Eric Reiss’s comments and Andrew Ferrier’s observations. And, if you’ve got the time, don’t miss the Flickr photos tagged “eurogel2006″. By Mitch, Monday, 4 September 2006, 6:51 PM o'clock [...]
You can also see a video of a small part of Han Bennink's amazing performance as part of Michael Hatscher's article on euroGel:
Mark Hurst has posted a round-up of photos, articles, blog entries, etc. on euroGel here:
[...] I’ve long thought (I’m aware this will make me sound like a young fogey) that most concerts are way too loud. This is why I tend to avoid them - I’ve seen both the rock music of the Foo Fighters and the delicacy and dynamic range of Sigur Rós spoilt on stage because of poor dynamic range. The only times I tend to attend gigs are when the venue is small and the artist is unknown to me (which helps built the sense of atmosphere and overcome the poorer sound quality). There’s a long discussion on Edward Tufte’s website about the technical aspects of this over-amplification issue. Because of this, I was blown away when I saw Alison Young performing at the euroGel conference I recently attended. Not only was the sound mix delicate and well-balanced, but Alison is a superb singer who’s become my new favourite artist. She obviously has country and southern influences, but what I’ve heard from her so far has been both emotionally powerful and whimsical. You can download three of her songs as MP3s from her website: she also has plans to record an album, so you can sign up for the mailing list to find out about that if you like what you hear. Highly recommended. [...]
Jesper, thanks. Have to admit I haven't managed to start on a single one yet - too many other books to finish first! But at least I got them all home :) Thanks for the pointer to Alison Young's website, I'd been looking for that. Meet you next time, I hope :)
- those were supposed to be smilies, not surprisies...
Hi Andrew - I am the fellow who had the honor of presenting you with the rather large stack of books, enviously :o) Congrats! I totally share your view of the experience and only regret that I didn't have time to meet anc chat with absolutely EVERYBODY - that means you too! Yeah, Alison was great, wasn't she? Got to hang with her a bit and she told me her website is: A few songs there to listen too, her album is supposed to come out soon and more songs should hit the website as well...stay tuned. See you at the next gel :o) Jesper W.
Via the Good Experience mailing list, another review of euroGel from Eric Reiss: And some very impressive photos from Gene Driskell:
[...] Henrique’s recent comment reminded me of another interesting bunch of people I met at euroGel 2006: the incoming class of the Kaospilots, ‘The most unusual school in the world‘. Kaospilots is essentially a private university, teaching business and related creative subjects. They are partly self-funding, and the concept seems novel - all teachers are external consultants. The most striking thing I found in the students I met was their drive - it’s obviously not a university course you drift onto. I think this university model is worth keeping an eye on. [...]
Cheers, Henrique. I too was looking for Alison Young stuff but couldn't find any... hence the lack of a link. If you or anyone else finds a link, please feel free to post it here.
Hey Andrew! I was searching for material, CDs, music, anything on Alison Young on the web and I couldn't find anything... I mean, I found your blog! I was at the conference, remember you lucky man! Enjoy your reading! Greetings from the Kaos Pilots, Århus :)
great to meet you too, andrew! :)
If you're interested in an example, you can see Seth Godin's entire presentation from Gel 2006 in NYC here: