Zday 2017 – My Experience

Michael Kubler and Peter Joseph at the ZDay 2017 global event in Brisbane.
Michael Kubler and Peter Joseph at the ZDay 2017 global event in Brisbane.

Wow, the last 4+ weeks has been INTENSE. Certainly the most intense of my life so far.

First it was 12-16hr days at work trying to get a web project at work over the line.
Then 20 hour days (yes, only 4hrs sleep a night) trying to move out, putting most of my stuff into storage. There was my sisters wedding (sorry about being late for that sis, I got the starting time wrong).
Then with only just enough time I was off to Brisbane and I’d be doing both mentally and physically demanding work.

Casey and Zachary met me at the airport and we hung out for a few days whilst getting some ZDay prep work done and I caught up on sleep a bit.

Eleanor Goldfield and Casey Davidson walking in Brisbane

Eleanor Goldfield and Casey Davidson walking along the Brisbane river

Things got busy once I picked Eleanor up from the airport, from then on we were all very busy. There was social events every night and lots to do during the day. I still had my ZDay presentation to prepare for, tech stuff to organise and there was a whole lot of other stuff happening, Zac and his mum working on the food, Casey and all of us organising things, people and unexpected changes, etc..



Even before ZDay started we did so much socialising and connecting. Doing a pre-Zday podcast at Frequencies TV wtih Paul who even edited it. Meeting with Jason, visiting New Globe the venue, doing the presenters meet and greet at Zac’s, meeting Federico, cleaning up the venue, then the pre-Zday get together at Frequencies TV again, meeting Peter Joseph, plus a whole lot more amazing people.

Zac, Federico and PJ at Frequencies TV

Zac’s place had become the main hub of geisty activity and most of us there were only getting 4-6hrs of sleep a night.

ZDay hit and there was only an hour and a bit between rocking up at 8:45 and allowing people in. It was hectic but lots of people rocked up early and helped make it work.

I loved being able to delegate very broad tasks, like “You are now in charge of the Workshop space, you can delegate the task to someone else but it’s your responsibility for now” and then an hour or two later checking it out and things were running smoothly. The same with the merchandise and other areas. People just helped out.
That said, in hindsight I didn’t delegate the video camera stuff in quite the right way. I’d happily give people a camera, show them the shutter button and let them loose, but I should have delegated someone to make sure the GoPro was working at pointing at the stage and another person to be filming with the Canon 600D from the other side of the stage during the talks but taking photos during the breaks.
Still, the Panasonic HC-PV100 was amazing and I’m glad I got it. The dual SD card slots meant it would fill up one card and continue recording onto another.

We had all sorts of tech issues. The HDMI -> VGA adapter failed in various ways, mainly that it’d work the first time you tried, esp on a Windows machine, but if you disconnected it and reconnected then it wouldn’t connect. Restarting the computer would sometimes not even be enough.
We had a spare projector we used for the first presentation.
Then found enough laptops with direct VGA cables which would work flawlessly… Except everyone had their own devices. Mac’s, Windows, Powerpoint, Keynote, Google Docs. They all needed their own bits of work and most people needed to see the presenter notes (myself included) so whilst showing PDF slides was our ultimate backup, it wasn’t really acceptable in most cases.

Day 1 came and went and I needed sleep and to work on my presentation and dump all the footage and charge all the batteries, so I missed out on the after party.

Then Day 2. Whilst we had a bit more of a groove, I didn’t have as many people to delegate tech things to and those who I could, Jason and Ziggy were both presenting as well and at the end of the day all three of us were on the panel, so that made things a little harder. There was also much more animated presentations and I had planned to put the slides over the top of people’s presentations but animations or people directly pointing to parts of their slides was not something I’d put enough effort into filming.

Still, we’ve got plenty of good audio, 3 copies of the house / mixer audio, a zoom H4n and shotgun mic on the stage as backup, plus mic on the Panasonic camera and whatever else was recording.

The Canon 7D with zoom lens got some great close up photos. Thank you Jason and others for picking it up, and the other cameras and taking snaps.


My presentation went fairly well, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I went for a short run and also meditated to burn off some of the excited energy, but I was also very exhausted. The biggest issue was that I was reading from the presenter notes a reasonable amount and the screen and microphone weren’t quite in the best position. I’ve not got the charisma of some of the Day 1 presenters, but I did get some great thanks and feedback from people like Libby, THANK YOU! I love that people loved it and found the Price of Zero transition presentation informative and even wrote some notes.

Zday Panel Day 2 with myself and some amazing geisters

After Zday I wanted to go to the after party, I had my heart set on it, I’d basically been dreaming about it. Finally a chance to relax and hang out with people after the pressure was off, but Zac, myself and others ended up at the wrong hotel and didn’t get in. It’s a long story.
Amazing, intense conversations continued, especially between Federico and Rich, some of which is still going, continued as an online group chat.

I’ve finally paid off enough sleep debt to think properly and with all the cyclonic weather yesterday flooding the place it was the best day for staying indoors and just watching movies and sleeping.

Now the rains have past and it feels like ZDay 2017 is already fading into the past a little and I’m able to start thinking about what is happening next. But this ZDay was a big milestone point in my life and I think in the lives of the many people it’s touched.

For most the work for Zday is over, but it’s only just begun for myself and others who will be editing the videos or dealing with the positive and negative effects from such an amazing meeting of minds. The biggest annoyance now is that I didn’t stop/start the recordings after each presenter so there’s 8hr audio recordings and 1.5hr+ video recordings but people only need their 20mins of all the different files which can be over 30GB in size. That’ll be fun.

On the 8th of April I’m heading off to Auckland NZ so that the next day I can present my talk at their ZDay event. A week after that I’ll be back in Adelaide, living at my Dad’s place, back working on web development stuff and doing ‘normal’ things. Whatever that is. Probably dealing with web servers and programming more PHP and NodeJS sites.

The conversations have been amazing and intense. We’ve worked out whole new ways of decision making, esp when selecting people and thinking about change.

I’m reminded of a ‘an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We have to go far — quickly. And that means we have to quickly find a way to change the world’s consciousness about exactly what we’re facing, and why we have to work to solve it.’

I hope that we’ll collectively help get Humanity to being a Type 2 civilisation instead of a major collapse. As Eleanor put it in her talk. we have to both Fight and Build.
I’ve done a lot of fighting the current system, but that just negates things. It’s time to focus on the building a new model, a new system. Let’s get ready and do it!




Michael Kubler and Peter Joseph at the ZDay 2017 global event in Brisbane.

By Michael Kubler

Photographer, cinematographer, web master/coder.


  1. Thanks for all the great images! I’ll look forward to watching the presentations that I missed too.

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