Tuesday May 25, 2010

BarCamp Tokyo 2010: 4 Days Away

For those attending BarCamp Tokyo 2010 this Saturday the 29th, I look forward to seeing you soon! If you've never been to a BarCamp, here are two examples of what these events look like from right here in Japan: BarCamp Tokyo 2009 | BarCamp Yokohama 2009. And there is some basic information about BarCamp here and here. BarCamp Tokyo 2010 is just four days away, and it should be a really great day. We'll have some nice donations from some sponsors (multiple servings of food, shirts, stickers, pens, software, and the building itself, of course).

But as Karamoon said in his opening speech last year, BarCamps are basically living human wikis. People make BarCamps. People sharing interesting content and experiences openly and actively in many-to-many relationships. It's all about direct participation. That's the key. There are no special speakers standing on elevated stages lecturing at people safely separated from passive and silent audiences. Everyone engages. Everyone contributes. Everyone teaches. Everyone learns. And everyone picks up the trash.

So, start thinking about what you will present. Or what conversation you'll lead. Or what idea you'll plant. Or what project you'll start and with who. Formal, informal, technical, non-technical, software, hardware, community, panel discussions, debates, photography, artwork, evangelism, marketing, hacking, leadership, activism, internationalization, science, innovation, development techniques, environmental issues, solutions to the world's most difficult problems, health and safety challenges, economics, etc. What ties all these things together is a spirit of doing and building and sharing and that's what community is all about.

We have plenty of time and space for everyone to present something. We have multiple rooms for short 15-minute talks, and a larger room for longer 1/2 hour sessions (or even longer events if needed since the schedule is made up on the spot and must remain flexible). And if you don't actually deliver a talk, that's ok, but please participate by engaging in discussions with speakers and others and in hallway conversations or over lunch or dinner or at the bar afterwards. You could very well find yourself directly involved in a new life changing experience just by showing up and discovering a new project to which you can contribute. Your input is valuable. Your voice matters. The world changes by people doing things at the grassroots level, not from the top down. This is where the ideas come from. This is where the real value is generated. Down here where people do things.

The facilities we'll have for the day are seriously beautiful. Bring your cameras. The views of Tokyo are great. Bring your laptops. We'll have free wireless. Bring your ideas and keep your mind wide open. Also, keep checking the wiki this week for more information and schedules.

NOTE: If your name is listed on the wiki that means you are committed to come. If you can't make it, please remove your name so you give someone else the opportunity to participate from the waiting list.

We are getting close ...

Monday Feb 11, 2008

Building Community Across Cultures

Here's an attempt to help bridge natural language and cultural barriers here in Japan -- [tlug] Cross-cultural Engineer Party in Tokyo, Feb 15. I'm going for sure. I deal with this every day. It's not just a problem here in Japan, though. It's a challenge whenever you run any global project that cuts across any language and any culture.
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