Central Texas BarCamp
Have a very happy unconference.
They have those things for everything. You buy tickets and in an orderly fashion, listen to speakers droll on about the scheduled topics.
Sure, there's time for some networking while rushing between presentations and nudging elbows for a good seat.
But what about an un-conference? What would that be like?
"What that means is that on the day of the event all participants will come together and propose talks they themselves have come up with," says Joseph Lopez, an associate professor of convergent media at the University of Incarnate Word. "We will then vote on the proposed topics and then a schedule for the day is presented."
So, the participants are actually the presenters.
"It's a reciprocal event that allows engagement," Lopez says. "In addition to the talks, we will have two other spaces for open discussion. These spaces will also have open ended activities for people to engage in, such as exploring maps with data, art activities, maker activities and general space to engage with others."
And the topics are near endless at an un-conference, but what is certain, is the Central Texas BarCamp
is a way to bring brains together to help solve problems and better the community.
"In a tech world where people make promises of apps and technology saving the day, why is it, in our own tech-sector cities, that we have such large disparities between the haves and have-nots? Can we develop and integrate the existing communities and bring empowerment throughout our region," Lopez asks. "How can we economically develop our technopolises and help to retain the cultural and social heritage that so many cities and regional spaces hold? Can we bring our community, art, and culture together to impact youth-oriented interests in technology and media development?"
Lopez says one thing about the future is certain, and that's tech development.
"How will our region serve both our current citizens and future ones? How will we develop our roads, urban spaces, public transportation, education, community engagement, health and numerous other topics that our region will be facing in the coming decade," Lopez says. "And how do citizens get involved?"
The Central Texas BarCamp could be a good place to start. The un-conference starts at 11 a.m. on August 1 and runs through 6 p.m. The brainstorming will happen at Cafe Commerce
, which is at the downtown San Antonio public library. You can register to the free event here