Attend an ‘Unconference’ This Weekend
These days, there are more conferences than you can shake a stick at. Seldom a week goes by, when a TED offshoot, TED wannabe, or general gathering of creative folks doesn’t spring up in the city. Add into this mix, BarCamp, or the “unconference” as it likes to bill itself, the seventh edition of which will be held this Sunday, October 2 at the Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering in Vile Parle. Unlike TEDs, or INKs, or ThinkFests, BarCamps are gloriously democratic (some might call it unorganised) in format. Anyone can hold one, be a speaker, attend, and (if you so wish) walk out if a talk is deathly dull. There are no fees, or advance schedules. In fact, until the day of the event, when a sign-up sheet is posted on a board, no one has any idea who will be speaking when. And if none of it catches your fancy, feel free to hold your own impromptu talk or off-shoot at the venue. The only stipulation, says organiser Aditya Sengupta—the other four are Annkur Agarwal, Ranjeet Walunj, Mehul Ved and Netra Parikh—is the 20-minute time limit per talk. After that, Sengupta says, they will cut you off, though you’re free to take the discussion outside the classroom.
BarCamp was started in, where else, California in 2005, as an open platform programming-centric alternative to an invite-only conference called FooCamp (you can read more about BarCamp’s origins on the Wiki page). From there, it caught on across the world, including Mumbai, where it has regularly been held at IIT-Bombay, and has since diversified to include topics other than programming. “This is the most diverse one yet,” says Sengupta, who did a fellowship at IIT-Bombay. This Sunday’s BarCamp includes discussions on running a restaurant, cycling, number crunching, social media, Jain philosophy, a primer on how the Internet runs, making beer, making a satellite, and of course programming (you can see the entire list here).
If you’d like to throw your area of expertise into the mix and host a talk, you can simply modify the event’s Wiki page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. That said, there are no guarantees that people will stick around to hear your thoughts if things get boring. The organisers say audiences have been known to walk out, and some of the more successful talks have sprung from discussions held outside, rather than inside, the rooms where the talks are held. “We once had 200 people gather outside a talk to discuss crowd-sourcing,” says organiser Mehul Ved. “People just sat around the corridor, and that’s how it started.”
To learn more about BarCamp’s Mumbai event, visit barcampmumbai.org.Tags: Aditya Sengupta, BarCamp, Mehul Ved
LocationMukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering
Vile Parle (West)
Relevant DatesSunday, October 2
Hours9am to 5pm
Ticketing & Price InfoFree