Virtual Participation Camp: Changing the Rules, June 27-28

Having just blogged about conference formats, I have just received the following email from Stephen Dohrn via the km4-dev list-serv. I hope Stephen doesn’t mind me reproducing most of that post here. The virtual participation camp sounds like it could be a very different conference experience.

Participation Camp, Change the Rules, in New York on June 27-28, will provide the spark for an explosion of sharing, experimentation and collaboration. Democracy is the game where we can change the rules together! How do we make this game more serious, more fair and more fun? Please let us know if you are interested in convening a virtual session at this event on a topic of your choice, or collaborating with us in some way!

Participants may attend a wide range of physical and virtual presentations (or deliver one themselves), compete in a conference wide web participation game called Nomic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomic), or roll up their sleeves in a hands on workshop. For preliminary details see: http://participationcamp.org/.

If you might be interested in collaborating with us, please check out the wiki at: http://barcamp.pbworks.com/ParticipationCamp

What Makes Change The Rules Different?

Virtual/Physical Hybrid Structure: One particular feature of this event is that we will be bridging the physical and virtual worlds. We will be opening up virtual spaces in advance of the actual session so as to engage virtual participants in the project. We will also have a room where virtual presenters can connect with those at the conference.

Open Space/Defined Hybrid Structure: We will be using Open Space principles for the creation of some of the sessions, but will also be seeking out the involvement of those that would like to actively
engage participants on a specific topic. If there is an issue or a question that you would like to discuss at this event, please let us know!

Play Game: We will be playing the game, Nomic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomic). This is a game that is designed to teach participants, by virtue of their experience, some of the interesting features of governance, democracy, rule making, rule following, collaboration etc.

Pre-Session Dialogue: We will open SkypeChat spaces that enable those that are interested in the PCamp theme(s) to connect with each other, exchange ideas, plan potential sessions etc.

Sustain Dialogue: Due to the fact that virtual environments are accessible from anywhere, it becomes possible for participants to continue their conversations with others after the conclusion of the
session. This makes it possible for them to continue to explore the ideas and projects that they are interested in, as well as to cultivate the relationships with those that they have connected with.
We hate the fact that what happens when events end is that there is little or no follow up!

Questions/Themes

Here are a few questions that we have been thinking about. Are there any such questions that are of interest to you, and around which you might be interested in organizing a virtual session?

What, generally speaking, is the role that technology can play in fostering citizen engagement?
What are the best tools for creating the right frameworks for fostering citizen engagement?
What are the particular challenges of using open, collaborative, platforms?
What sorts of business models are consistent with ‘open collaboration’? How can organizations that subscribe to these principles also generate revenue?
How do we utilize technology to mobilize the youth vote?
Process

On June 20th, we will create a chat space/conversation in Skype to which we will invite all those that are interested in participating in an open dialogue on issues relating to open governance. This chat
space will allow you the opportunity to:

Introduce yourself and your project to others that are like minded
Connect with others that might be interested in your project or might have interesting project ideas.
Learn, via participation, about how open, collaborative, patterns of interaction work
Learn, via participation, how groups self organize
Virtual Tools

We will be using free online tools that are easily accessible by any participant, such as:
Drop.io: We will utilize drop.io (www.drop.io) in order to organize and share files.
Google Documents: will be used for the joint authoring of documents.
SkypeChat: Will provide a open space where people can start the dialogue, network and keep the discussion going.
Etherpad: for notetaking during sessions.
Twitter: as a channel to the outside to integrate other interested parties.
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You can’t get more web 2.0 and participatory than this conference!

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