Archive for Conferences

BarcampMilwaukee, an Unconference

By luck I was in town during the BarcampMilwaukee “unconference.” Participants created their own sessions. Topics included: Drupal, veganism, magic & technology, web security and the development of science fiction… Oh yeah, and there was a magnificent potluck.

I led a session called ‘Brainstorming Brainstorming’. 15 of us collaborated and created How to Brainstorm.

I also got to meet Gabe Wollenburg and James Carlson. Gabe MCed the event and kept an electric joy in the air. James was another organizer of the event, and he’s the inspirational force behind Bucketworks – “the world’s first health club for the brain:”

It’s a place and a methodology for directly connecting people to one another and to the wider world through their values and passions, so they transform their community. It’s a local place with a global strategy, because if we build healthy localities, our whole world will grow. We focus on the individual first, because until someone understands their values and their passions, they’re not likely to join in sharing interest in the wider world…

In the last five years our 700 members have created 28 new companies, 65 new jobs, a highschool, a student film festival, 7 theatre companies, 3 technology companies, and innumerable pieces of art, items for sale, performances, gatherings, shows, and events–there were over 863 events at Bucketworks in 2006.

I love meeting these people. =)

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Participation Camp – Cool People & Resources

I went to Participation Camp this weekend — my first unconference:

Democracy is a game in which we all make the rules.  How do we make this  serious game more inclusive, more fair, and more fun?

Participation Camp will provide the spark for an explosion of sharing, experimentation, and collaboration around this question…

Went to two great workshops:

  • Twitter & Iran – Discussion with 15+ uber geeks who are in the heart of the Iran/Twitter situation. What are technologists’ role in foreign affairs? How not to step on the State Department’s feet? How to win the cat/mouse game with authoritarians? Could we create a loose network of technologists – an “open source United Nations” or a “digital Red Cross” – to help those in need?
  • Gaming & Government – Led by Tim Hwang. Tim discussed the history of edutainment, principles to create successful games, and how to motivate students to act after they learn from them. I’ll write an blog post about this workshop later.

Met interesting people:

  • Matt Cooperrider – community organizer
  • Vanessa Scanfeld – Co-founder of MixedInk (technology used by the White House)
  • Tim Hwang – works with Yochai Benkler of Harvard’s Berkmann Center for Internet & Society
  • Will add more people soon
And learned of even more progressive websites to promote in our Digital Literacy Contest:
  • Tor – anonymity online
  • Littlesis – an involuntary facebook of powerful Americans, collaboratively edited by people like you
  • Guardian – make Google Android a secure, private and anonymous phone
  • ShiftSpace – open source browser plugin for collaboratively annotating and editing the web
  • WayBackMachine – archive of the Internet
  • USASpending.org – How the government spends money on contracts, grants, etc.
Thanks goes to Matt Cooperrider for working hard to put it all together. =)

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