[HacktionLab] Bringing together two different visions

naomi naomi at aktivix.org
Sun Apr 28 13:47:52 UTC 2019

Hi everyone

We've now had some more offers of help around transport so I think we
are probably good to go.

On the tasks page https://hacktionlab.org/2019_Tasks we now have a
"beancamp version" of most tasks, so that people can choose within their
working groups to cut corners in various ways if necessary.

We are still struggling to find anyone to sort entertainment, so if you
are looking for a captive audience to play music to now's your chance!
Also please recommend any films about tech activism or riot pron
inspiring political struggles that might be suitable. Also, if any of
you have any PA equipment (doesn't have to be a full set, could
complement other people's) please do let us know.

I'll email the volunteers now and look at setting up a virtual meeting

Love & chaos


On 25/04/2019 00:31, mark wrote:
> Thanks Mick for those suggestions and Brent for the wiki-edits, and
> thanks to everyone who's come forward to volunteer. Can I just remind
> you all that in order to be contactable via the wiki, you need to have a
> valid email address registered.
> I can see that we now have two rather different, branched visions for an
> event floating about. Let's call them B for Barncamp E for bEancamp.
> Let's take a look at how these came about, and the relative merits of
> each, in the hope we can find a way of merging them and moving forward.
> B was based on what we'd learnt from experience [1] and from a survey
> after the last event [2]. In an off-list group of 13 people who'd
> expressed an interest, I proposed on March 26th, "that we try to do
> BarnCamp using the patterns and methods that we're familiar with, and
> our first move should be to ask Highbury Farm and Sam (our ace caterer)
> for some dates that would suit them, from mid-June onwards.
> PLEASE SAY NOW if you think this isn't the best way to start, or you
> have a counter-proposal, etc."
> There were no counter-proposals, blocks or stand-asides, one agreement
> and some comments e.g. about setting the target for number attendees. So
> some of us set to work on trying to make B happen. Many hours of work
> have been done. We have agreed with the farm that they will cater for
> about 50 people.
> E first came up on this list on March 22nd, but no-one brought it up
> again in the email consensus-forming exercise described above. One might
> have inferred that reading the fine manuals [1] [2] had dissuaded anyone
> from pursuing it further. But when your volunteer facilitators Naomi and
> I where at the point of abandoning A due to low engagement, E came up as
> again as an alternative and was helpfully fleshed out a bit by Mick.
> So we now have some ideas for what both A and E would involve. I don't
> think that either of them are viable as they are, for these reasons:
> B will fail because not enough people have committed themselves to
> finding all the necessary kit, beverages and so on, or bringing a van to
> get it all there.
> E will fail because it ignores some things we know from experience:
>  - we can't rely on the single-phase 13A supply in the barn (even before
> we started running a cable out to the field, 8 laptops and a coffee
> machine was too much for it)
>  - we can't self-cater because that creates a situation where there's a
> queue of people waiting to cook or wash up for themselves when there
> should be workshops starting, it's energy-inefficient, time-wasting,
> food-wasting, and some people will just give up and go to the pub. Also,
> last time we were there we encouraged the farm to develop their catering
> capacity, they've been out and bought the gear to do this, so we have a
> bit of a moral obligation there.
>  - we can't not have a bar because people coming by public transport
> can't carry all that they'll drink in 5 days, and in the past the bar
> has covered losses made elsewhere
>  - not having advance payment means people aren't as fully committed and
> are more likely to not turn up, e.g. if the weather looks bad, leaving a
> lot of wasted food and cash deficit (we have the stats to show this),
> also no money to spend in advance e.g. for bar stock, see above.
>  - we can't all bring an extension cable and 4-way because of limited
> rucksack space
> So, I hope I've explained where the holes are in both of the competing
> visions here. If you've read this far you can see that I've been doing
> too much of the work, so in the interests of decentralisation I'm now
> going to step back a bit and let someone else have a go at putting the
> pieces together.
> Cheers,
> Mark
> [1] https://mbharris.co.uk/articles/barncamp-a-diy-skillsharing-event/
> [2] https://hacktionlab.org/BC2017survey
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