BarCamp is not a traditional conference, but it is an “un-conference” that helps change makers to network with one another and build connections to promote social innovation. The sessions in the barcamp are facilitated conversations, which mean that there is no speaker and audience aspect in this conference. The reason behind this innovative approach to an otherwise innovative conference is that the conventional model of conference with experts in the front and a passive audience is now considered an obsolete and ineffective approach for the grappling of big ideas.
BarCamp is based upon participatory workshop events that are open and the content is created from the side of the participants. The framework of the this kind of event consists of sessions that are created and scheduled every day by the participants, more often on-site, typically with the use of paper or white boards pasted on the wall. The creation of the framework restricts the use of PowerPoint. In the social innovation barcamp, the participants are encouraged to facilitate or present a session. And all of the visitors are asked to promote and share the event information through different public channels including photo sharing, blogs, social bookmarking, wikis, twitter and IRC. This encouragement enables the event to move beyond the scope of a face-to-face, physical event and become a hybrid event, where individuals can get into an online engagement with the social innovation barcamp participants.
In addition, this kind of barcamp has two interesting simultaneous streams. The previous Social Innovation BarCamps have been a clear signal that even though the discussions and conversations have been quite amazing, a lot of the participants had an idea about social innovation but they required to identify actions in order to find their ideas come to life.
At this type of barcamp, participants can choose from the BarCamp enabled conversation format or from a number of BootCamp Sessions.
The barcamp is an ideal platform for those individuals who already have an idea about social innovation, but are wondering about what its future holds for them. And those individuals who are passionate about social innovation design, they could participate in the barcamp sessions. The interesting fact about social innovation barcamp is that all the conversations, whether they are one-to-one or to the entire room are on the record. There is no need for participants to ask for anybody’s permission to quote something they hear at the barcamp.