Stayin'​ a Live(stream): a List of Online Learning Events, May 25-31

* NEW SPREADSHEET ALERT! *


You can check out my list of event recommendations here:

Over the past seven days, I’ve learned the basics of ASL, analyzed societal mega-trends, gleaned insight into the mind of a veteran entertainment photographer, pondered crisis management strategies, schooled myself on the botanical and chemical structures of tea varieties, analyzed pandemic-era relationships, delved into public transit optimization, and attended intimate live performances from three of my favourite artists. All while lounging comfortably in my pyjamas at home. 


I may be cocooned indoors, but my curiosity has never been more free to roam. 

Social distancing put a significant dent in the conferences, classes, concerts, and networking events that once colour-coded my Google calendar. However, in their absence, livestream events have come to the rescue.


Although nothing beats the rush of shared adrenaline that comes from interacting with peers, experts, and performers in person, these livestream events have provided some semblance of normalcy for me. I’ll even admit that, in some cases... I might even prefer them. For instance:

  • Torn between attending two different events that are painstakingly scheduled at the same time? No worries - video recordings will be made available, mere hours afterward, for you to browse later on.

  • Unsure if a topic will spark your interest? All good - you can easily leave the event without doing the awkward mid-session walk of shame to the exit. 

  • On a tight budget? Not an excuse - many of these events are either free, or PWYC. 


However, most notable for me is how geographic distance is no longer a barrier… if anything, it's actually become a boon. I’ve thus far attended sessions based in NYC, London, Los Angeles, and Belfast, alongside participants from all over the globe. (Time zones, on the other hand, are a different story… I decided to forego a 12AM session based out of Hong Kong... but all good - it was recorded!)


I’ve noticed one slight problem though - whereas organizations like Billboard and CBC curate up-to-date lists of concert livestream suggestions, no obvious resource exists for non-music related events. This is, of course, completely understandable given the sheer number of events out there, but it does make things slightly trickier.


Even when I browse event aggregators like Eventbrite and Facebook, I find their filtering and recommendations systems lacking. As much as I appreciate the masterful pop stylings of One Direction, I’m not terribly keen on delving into the endless array of DIY Harry Styles Appreciation Streams on Eventbrite... even if they are the "most popular" events on the site. Meanwhile, Facebook recommends events based on your geographic location, a constraint that, while useful in the before times, is almost irrelevant in the world of livestreaming.


After a good deal of scrolling, I’ve come up with a list of livestream learning events that I’m personally keen to check out next week. It’s by no means exhaustive, but I hope you find something interesting, and learn something new along the way. I’m constantly on the lookout for other online events to check out - so if you have any recommendations, please send them my way!


Five free livestream events that I'm especially keen on attending next week:


Tuesday May 26 @ 10:00am EST: Sidewalk Toronto Revisited, University Of Toronto, Centre For Ethics


Tuesday May 26 @ 12:00pm EST: The Power of Connection through Kindness (Leon Logothetis), SXSW


Thursday May 28 @ 1:30pm EST: How To Survive a Pandemic (John Hudson), How To Academy


Friday May 29 @ 11:00am EST: Reimagining Burning Man, C2 Montreal


Friday May 29 @ 1:30pm EST: How To Fix the Rigged Systems of American Politics and Power (Robert Reich), How To Academy


(A version of) this post was originally shared on LinkedIn