Yesterday, IP Draughts hosted a one-hour, online meeting, using Zoom, and titled IP Draughts’ Late Lunch. It was an experiment to see if people would turn up, contribute, and enjoy the experience. It was billed as a light-hearted, social conversation, for those of us who are in varying states of lockdown during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Early indications are that it was a success. For most of the hour, we had 13 participants, nearly all of whom were on camera. A majority were from the UK (spread from south-east England to Inverness, in the north of Scotland), plus others in the USA, France, Switzerland and Germany. Most of us worked in the fields of IP, technology transfer or contracts.
We talked about lots of different things. How we found home-working, our experiences of shopping and leaving home (with different rules in different countries), how we interacted with others, working at different times of the day, the social side of work, dealing with children while they are at home, and so on.
The consensus seemed to be that we should repeat the experiment, perhaps every couple of weeks. Two weeks from yesterday will be Good Friday, and people may have other commitments on that day. So, IP Draughts has scheduled another Zoom meeting for the previous day, Thursday 9th April, at 2 pm UK time (time differences with other countries may not be the same as yesterday, as we all seem to start Summer Time on different dates). Please put this date and time in your diary!
Again, IP Draughts will post log-in details on this blog about an hour before the meeting is due to start.
Yesterday’s experience suggests that once people break the ice, they are happy to have a wide-ranging discussion rather than stick to a specific topic. However, to get us started, let’s focus on the topic of building relationships remotely, i.e. when we can’t all be in the same room.
Suggestions for other topics and formats are welcomed.