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, bar camps, hackathons, crisis mapping, and free schools.
The Evolution of Swarm Coops is a one day workshop at The Limewharf Annex Culture Laborotory 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 coordinating sessions when time and space are both too limited. I believe there is also room to examine the role of big orgs 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 that I’ll be curating with Thomas Ermacora (of Limewharf, Clear Village, Love the Earth w. Imogen Heap and many other projects!) Thomas and I are bringing our friends and our 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.
Update: looks like we’ll be coinciding with the National Day of Civic Hacking in America.