Past Meetup

Lighten Up: Humor, Playfulness And Humanizing Organizations

This Meetup is past

118 people went

Price: $10.00 /per person
Location image of event venue


Reputation is often the most valuable asset you have as an organization or individual, and the bigger and more prestigious you become, the more important it usually seems to preserve your status in public perception. When we trade on our authority, do we run the risk of taking ourselves too seriously? Do we become averse to taking risks and showing any signs of personality?

Our speakers will talk about how integrating humor, playfulness and personality helps humanize organizations and keep individuals true to themselves.


7:00pm – Doors. Mingling over wine and snacks.

7:30-8:30pm – Speaker presentations.

8:30-10:00pm – Conversation continues over more wine!


Sebastian Chan is director of Digital & Emerging Media at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. He is responsible for the Museum‘s complete digital renewal and re-imagining. Previously based at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, he is known for his expertise in open access, mass networked collaboration, digital strategy, cultural sector metrics, and cultivating innovation in the cultural sector. He has also worked as a consultant for museums and libraries worldwide helping them adapt and change to the digital age. He was a member of the Australian Government's Gov 2.0 Taskforce, and currently serves on several nonprofit advisory boards. He has a former life writing an aborted PhD, and as a festival and event organizer in new electronic arts and founded Cyclic Defrost magazine. He blogs at ( and enjoys a sweet botrytis after dinner.

Aaron Straup Cope is Canadian by birth, American by descent, North American by experience et Montréalais au fond. He usually just tells people he is from the Internet. Aaron is currently Senior Engineer (Internets and the Computers) at the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum ( Before that, Aaron was Senior Engineer at Flickr ( focusing on all things geo, machinetag and galleries related between 2004 and 2009. From 2009 to 2011 he was Design Technologist and Director of Inappropriate Project Names at Stamen Design (, where he created the prettymaps ( and map=yes ( projects.

Noel Hidalgo organizes Open NY Forum (, an open space where civic-minded communities and institutions can build civic engagement and civic technology. From 2009 till 2011, Noel served the New York State Senate ( as the Director of Technology Innovation where his team launched (, one USA's premier state legislative portals; organized the first unconference inside a State house,CapitolCamp ( From June 2011 till October 2012, he worked at the World Economic Forum ( In November 2012, Noel joined Code for America ( as their NYC Program Manager.

John Powers is a sculptor who writes about culture ( He was born in Chicago and now lives works (and plays) in New York City.

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