Learning Camp – A New Kind of Conference

Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed an increasing dissatisfaction with the kind of technology conferences being run in the UK, or at least in the way they’re run. Some of this has been virtual, such as these blog posts by Donald Clark, Clive Shepherd and Mark Betherlemy, but this has also come up in conversations with a lot of people.

It’s not my reading of any of these conversations that they want to see the current conferences replaced (although I may be wrong), but rather that they want another option (something ‘alternative’ rather than ‘an alternative to’).

Of course it’s easy to be critical of the status quo, and much harder to change it. This quotation from Terry Pratchett says it very nicely.

“So many people tut and say “Someone should do something”, but so few step forward and say “…and that someone is me”

With that very much in my mind, it happened that a couple of weeks ago I was talking with Jane Hart when the topic moved on to conferences and the usual ‘someone needs to do something’ conversation followed. What was different was that we decided we would be the ‘someone’ who did something; and so Learning Camp was born.

We’ve started the ball rolling over at http://learningcamp.org and if you have any desire to take part in or attend the first event, or help shape what it could become in the future, please complete the survey and follow the Twitter account for updates – more information on both can be found on the Learning Camp website. There’s not much on the site at the moment, but I can promise you that more will be happening in the next few weeks.

And finally, if you’re one of those people who has ever suggested that ‘something should be done’ you can expect to hear from us soon. Together we have an opportunity to do something, so now’s the time for all of us to either put up or shut up.

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