Big Picture Days
Saturday 1 June
Big Picture Days – Slide to Unlock
Swarm Cooperatives are temporary social structures we create to solve problems, explore new ideas, and make the most of opportunities. You can think of Swarm Coops as “constructive flash mobs.” Common examples include unconferences, hackathons, and free schools.
The Evolution of Swarm Coops is a one day workshop on June 1st at The LimeWharf Annex to discuss Swarm Coops we have been grateful members of, and to examine how we can evolve the form with the knowledge gained by all the events we have been part of in the past. The emphasis will be on working together to discover and document practical methods for making hackathons and unconferences more enjoyable, engaging and productive.
Tangible problems we could work on include documenting unconferences, more effective code reuse after hackathons, and allocating sessions when time and space are both too limited. There is also room to examine the role of big organisations in sponsoring and managing unconferences and hackathons, and dealing with the tricky issues around licensing that can come up. After this event, we will all have an opportunity to put our ideas into practice at the upcoming Big Picture Days.
The Big Picture Days are a series of 5 one-day workshops co-curated by Thomas Ermacora (LimeWharf, Clear Village) and Vinay Gupta (Hexayurts, Truth & Beauty) Thomas and Vinay are bringing their friends and their heads together to create the kind of environment where genuinely breakthrough thinking can happen, by getting the requisite diversity into the room, and providing the kind of space and time that people need to get to the heart of the matter at hand and reveal the productive kernel of truth.
The first Big Picture Day will be on Stacktivism – the interface between politics, history and the critical infrastructure that keeps us alive, including sessions on cloud computing, human and cultural infrastructure, and London’s unique history as an pioneering infrastructure city. We will think about energy infrastructure, climate change, and trace some paths through future global political issues. The date is TBA, but it will be sometime in July.
Other days will be themed around topics for debate that are ring-fencing the edges of what we are might call Wikisociety, such as: artificiality, intellectual freedom in the 21st Century including defensive publication (including the intersection between bitcoin, cryptography and social media), the social impacts (good and ill) of big data, and the entire question of platform economics, equity and ownership.
PROVISIONAL SCHEDULE FOR SWARM COOPS JUNE 1st “Swarm Coops” are groups that come together for mutual learning and problem solving. Examples include free schools, unconferences, hackathons, hack days, bar camps and stakeholder workshops. There will be talks from practitioners, plenty of time to learn, teach, think and brainstorm together, and time to produce some tangible output to share with everybody. We’re going to evolve the medium forward to create better events. We’ll also use what we learn in the upcoming five Big Picture Days. #BIGPICTUREDAYS is the hash tag for the event. Edit/View our planning presentation.
11AM INTRODUCTION AND TALKS Thomas Ermacora & Vinay Gupta introduce Big Picture Days Lloyd Davis on Tuttle Club, #riotcleanup & #wewillgather, public service hack days, #hackthebarbican Zaid Hassan (of Reos Partners, a high stakes stakeholder partnership consultancy) on why planning is killing us, and how prototyping will save us Alberto Cottica & Nadia El-Imam on Edgeryders, the Living on the Edge unconference series, and bottom-up policy making We’re looking for one additional speaker on Crisis Camps / Crisis Mapping / H4D2 and other Humanitarian Hackathons – please get in touch with @leashless if that’s you!
12NOON SESSION PITCHES We’ll take half an hour to figure out together what we want to do in the next two sessions, and what concrete deliverables we can make in the workshop period. Expect a grid with a number of work spaces & a lot of post-it notes as we try and schedule what’s going on. Please, please if you are thinking about coming, fill in your page on the Attendee’s Deck so we can all get a sense of common interests and themes!
12:30PM LUNCH Eat, drink, maybe take a walk in the park, flesh out some ideas, and get ready.
WORKING SESSIONS Topics may include Engineering effective code reuse / project continuation at hackathons Managing intellectual property / licensing issues including patent or invention rights Documenting unconferences Creative use of back / side channels Scheduling sessions / talks when there are too many great things to fit in Creating genuine participation These are just some seed ideas – see the editable presentation above for more, and add your own ideas!
1:30PM FIRST SESSION Four to six break out groups, some led by the speakers from the morning, to deep dive on specific areas of interest. Last 15 minutes will be for session reporting to the whole group. 2:30PM SECOND SESSION Another set of breakout groups, heading towards some conclusions we hope! Last 15 minutes will be for session reporting to the whole group.
3:30PM REFRESHMENTS Possibly coffee, probably beer (there’s a nice pub just outside!)
4:00PM MAKE SOMETHING A two hour block to sit down in teams or on your own to deliver something concrete from the workshop. Things you might consider: doing a deep dive on a particular question and writing a blog post on what you have learned together, editing your pictures and notes from the day then uploading them, documenting the sessions you were part of from your notes, writing a specification for some software that expresses an important idea, or writing to people on projects you are involved in with insights you had today. Do some of the things you’d like to do later now while everybody is still here! If you need a break to think about things, the park is just around the corner – take a stroll, walk with friends, but do please try and write up something before the end of the day.
6:00PM CONCLUSIONS Plenary session. A chance to discuss the day with the group as a whole, and talk about next steps, subsequent projects, and canvas for support for any projects that have come out of our day.
7:00PM EVENING PROGRAMME We are investigating options. They include retiring to The Victory, the aforementioned nice pub, doing a Classic Album listening session in the main space, taking the whole show to the park for a late evening dinner picnic, etc. The answer may well be “all of the above depending on your mood” but I’ll have updates on our options later this week.
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Jun . 01 . 2013