Imagine a conference where the attendees take control of what information is discussed and even more, do the teaching. If you have yet to attend an unconference, BarCamp is certainly a great to get you introduced to the concept.
Born from the desire for people to continuously learn in an open environment, BarCamp runs a full day with seven breakout sessions, breakfast and lunch included. While the event may be free there is a catch, all attendees are required to either give a demo, teach a session or assist with one.
Hosted at the Microsoft Offices in Midtown, BarCamp sponsors this year included Microsoft, Aviary, Mashery, New Work City, Mail Chimp, and Pearson.
Topics for the 8th annual New York BarCamp:
– Big Data
– VC vs. Bootstrapping for Fun with Profit
– Networking Responsibility Pre/Post
– APIs 101
– BarCamp on Camps
– Digital Marketing Fails
– Ranking Philosophers Like Website
– Web Reading Patterns/Habits
– 3D Printing and Scanning 101
– Glass Hole: Project Glass Ideas
– Hardware: RASPBERRY PI,B-BONE, ARDUINO, ETC
– Help Rid the World of Shitty PowerPoint
– Managing Email
– Mad Medical Science: Gene Therapy + the Future of the Cure
– Health Data and Tech
– Workflow Workspaces Feng-Shui
– Hello Normal: Ridding World of Useless Tech
– Burning Man
– Cloud Computing
– Defining Rich
– Lightening Talks: Quick Round Table of Experience
– Sex at 120MPH
Unfortunately do to a previous late night networking event with the Startup Giraffes, making it to the morning sessions was not an option. I arrived just in time for lunch and to discover that mixing Coca-Cola and coffee does wonders.
The first afternoon discussion I sat in on was Managing Email. For roughly an hour and a half a room of about a dozen or so entrepreneurs and self-entitled techies complained about the obvious flaws in the current email interfaces. We debated organizational systems and tagging initiatives that alleviated some of the pain but ultimately concluded that an entirely new platform should be created. A comical fight broke out between the meticulous inbox zeroers and the over 150 unread inboxers that eventually lead us through the session time and into a fervent hallway discussion.
For my next session I chose to sit in on Defining Rich. Even though we were a considerably smaller cohort, we eagerly debated how much money it takes to live without financial fear. The topics of defining happiness and success seeped their way into the conversation and made for a rich discussion.
I left two sessions feeling engaged with my industry peers and excited to teach at the next BarCamp. As I was turning to go the cat was let out of the bag: Sex at 120MPH was not going to be the undeniably offensive and hilarious session we all had hoped for. It had simply been great marketing and the topic was really about self-driving cars.
To find out more about BarCamp and to get involved in next year’s reach out to Ari Fuchs of Aviary by tweeting at him here.
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Images via Christi Reid