FREE Volleyball taster – Sat 26th March

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To celebrate Manchester Community Games Day

Moss Side Volleyball club are hosting a FREE volleyball session. Its open to all Manchester residents this Easter Saturday.

ALL WELCOME (over 18’s only), male/female, young/old, experienced or total novice!
Moss side is a very friendly mixed club! proud of our inclusive culture with players from all corners of the world!

Here is a chance to see and play, all those friends who ask me about volleyball! (You know who you are)

See you on the court?

Moss Side Leisure Centre between 3pm – 5pm on Saturday 26th March.

#Etechmcr #2 with Erik Lehmann tomorrow

Its the second Etech Manchester event and as talked about previously, we have the pleasure of Erik Lehmann talking about the game changing movement. Not only will he talk about it but also the reasons why he set it up, how and what he has in the roadmap for the future.

eTech & future narrative #2 Erik Lehmann and the game changing movement

Monday, Mar 21, 2016, 7:00 PM

Rise
231 Deansgate Manchester M3 4EN Manchester, GB

25 People Went

This time we have the absolute pleasure of hosting Erik Lehmann, Founder of Dream Catalyst. As we look at games for good and serious games through the lens of the game changer movement.What is the game changer movementThe Game Changer Movement is a WITH movement that is here to create a community of at least 1,000,000 youth who are courageously w…

Check out this Meetup →

You can join us from 7pm at Rise Manchester, which is inside the Great Northern Warehouse on Deansgate, Manchester. The event is Free, and you can invite people along as we have plenty of space thanks to Rise Manchester for giving us the space for free.

Its also worth noting Erik Lehmann is interested in meeting key people in and around Manchester and London who are also setting up projects for good of community and society. Just tweet directly at him as he’s only in the country for a short while.

Hope to see you tomorrow… Its going to be a good one!

 

Emerging Tech Manchester #2: Games for good with Erik Lehmann

Erik Lehmann

After the great success of the First Emerging Tech Manchester a joint event with VR Manchester. Photos are up here on meetup.com.

We have the second #Etechmcr. This time we have the pleasure of hosting Erik Lehmann who is pioneering the game changer movement. I become aware of Erik and what he’s doing via Alex DS who introduced us.

We are looking at the wider future narrative of games for good through the work Erik has completed and doing at the game changer movement.

Its a free event thanks to the great hosts which are Rise Manchester, this time around. As we make use of the great spaces we have around Manchester.
Get it booked into your calendar for Monday March 21st between 7pm and 9pm and subscribe to the meetup group for more information around Eriks work and further events in the future.

 

 

Islington Wharf isn’t on fire…

Islington Wharf, Manchester

The Manchester evening news broke the story today that people in Islington Wharf Mews are being told that they will have to leave their homes for a good part of a year.

People are being forced to move out of a brand new city centre apartment block – because it breaks fire safety rules. Many of the residents in Islington Wharf Mews, on the edge of the city centre, had only bought their waterside properties last year.

But it soon emerged that their newly-built homes were not properly fireproofed. The M.E.N. understands they now have to move out for up to 10 months while the defect is fixed.

Yes ISIS waterside development hadn’t fireproofed the new apartments to the safety standards required by law!

This is frankly not only shocking but a total disgrace; putting many peoples lives in danger. I’m glad this was discovered or revealed before something happened and people died!

Of course as a home owner of ISIS waterside’s Islington Wharf (phase 1) I’m happy to finally see some press attention about the on going shocking state of the heat gain problem in the apartments. This was not taken lightly, with the worry about the affect on property value of course.

Meanwhile the same developer – ISIS Waterside – is also embroiled in a row with people living in the first phase of the development next door. People living in Islington Wharf, which was built in 2008, say they are considering legal action because temperatures soared to more than 35C in their flats every summer. The developer is planning to replace the windows and temporary air conditioning units have been handed out.

This is also pretty much true, its the number one reason why people leave the apartments. We have seen reports of things melting into sofas and temperature reports with photographic evidence of closer to 40c a few years back (we have them backed up). Yes its nice not having to put the heating on in winter but at least my flat is liveable in summer. Some residents have rooms with no chance to open windows!

There have been many tests, and I even had some equipment in my flat testing the heat in the past. Every-time, they (ISIS and others) all pretty much agree something needs to be done. However the proposals to the committee (which I am a part of) have been poor, short-sighted and full of holes.

The air conditioning units were/are temporary till a sustainable long term solution is found. The committee will not be pushed into a solution which ultimately is bad for everybody involved (we have meeting minutes also backed up), but we have been working very hard to make this a reality.

Its worth saying a few things…

The heat problem affects roughly half of Islington Wharf, I’m not affected as my flat faces the sun in the morning and evening only (by pure chance not by design or choice). Islington wharf has had many problems in the past including the terrible communal boiler system, but things have gotten better with a new management company, Revolution.ISIS have been granted approval  to build the 3rd phase of Islington Wharf, very much against the Islington Wharf committees support and many of the residents.Its my view that, their track record across Islington Wharf Mews, Granary Wharf (I remember their was a serious problem a few years back, but cant find anything about it now, maybe results have been removed?) and of course Islington Wharf. Should be a clear sign to put the 3rd phase on hold till the other issues are actually sorted out and the residents are happy. No matter what Nigel Franklin, Director of ISIS Waterside Regeneration thinks or says…

Updated: Dating against humanity dating talk with notes

…a game in which nice single people are roped into a horrible game with others, resulting in cognitive overload, shocking manners, narcissism, algorithmic prejudice, financial loss and decisions based purely on appearances.

I updated my presentation with notes or rather a little commentary inside the notes of what I’m thinking about in the slide; for example…

serialdater?

You can look at the slide and think, bit of serial dater? Really? Well here’s the background to my thoughts on that slide…

The word serial dater always conjures up visions of players, so I kind of prefered ethical dater. Because although I dated more than most typical people, it was a great chance to make friends and go to new places.

So here is the full breakdown of my thoughts on google slides or slideshare.

Enjoy! Next time will be the actual video, which I have actually seen, its pretty good and entertaining.

TedXManchester4 does Manchester proud

TEDxManchester 2016

Ok I’m bias here because I took part in TedXManchester4 as a speaker but honestly the line up was vast, diverse and had plenty of great talking points through-out. I said a similar thing about TedxLiverpool last year. But I have to admit Sir Ken Roberson did push it just past the dizzy heights of this excellent well conceived and very well executed TedX.

TedxManchester

The TedXManchester team did a great job and it was well worth the extra year we had to wait for HomeMCR to be built and for TedxManchester to move with it.

Here’s all the talks and my brief thoughts… I did write notes in a mindmap, which can be seen here.

Tom Cheesewright at TEDxManchester 2016

Tom Cheesewright

Tom gave much thought about our tradition notions of what a cyborg is and made some good arguments why we all are cyborgs now. Main point being we have all augmented  our minds already and we need to get over it. Really nice start to TedxManchester.

Rob Procter at TEDxManchester 2016

Rob Procter

His study of digital wild fire as Rob called it was certainly cause for concern. It was a study of the viral spread of provocative or false information over social media.

I did have a slide in my old deck talking about how intimacy happens at internet speed. And in Robs case, a clear sign of how internet speed can really spread false information at a incomprehensible speed. I later spoke to Rob and made the point that a study of the awful ways relationship break ups happen at online would be most insightful.

TedxManchester

Aala El-Khani

From bombs to bread was a breathtaking talk with plenty of passion and some incredible humanity on the things forgotten in a war. The effect of war is horrific but on those trying to carry on with family life in the middle of it can be devastating well past the end of the war.

Her project to focus on them  was fantastic to hear and see.

TedxManchester

Ruth Daniel

Ruth summed up one of my thoughts I had when I first moved to Manchester. They do things differently here. Yes besides the gravy sucking through a straw, there was something which spoke volumes to me.

Challenging the status quo, being inspired by those under pressure and if it wasn’t for Hip-Hop I would be dead. All spoke volumes to me. Great talk, shame we didn’t get a chance to talk Ruth.

TedxManchester

Sam Aaron

I first saw Sam at Thinking Digital 2015 in Gateshead/Newcastle. Back then, I said to myself I would give SonicPi a try but kind of forgot about it in the swirl of other things that year.

Since then, I’ve seen more and more live coding and started wondering if this could be a element the future of djing? I’ve already shared my ideas slides with Sam and Dan (who I work with in R&D) previously.

So I finally tried it with a little help from Sam…

Currently got a problem with JackAudio and PulseAudio, which I need to sort out.

TedxManchester

Jeff Coghlan

It was funny having Jeff just before my own talk. Jeff was making a lot of good points about games and play. Then there was me criticising game techniques in dating apps/systems/sites.

Interestingly I didn’t know Jeff’s company are involved in the VR upgrade of Alton Towers Air rollercoaster ride. I have already got in touch about what I wrote previously about Perceptive Media in a theme park. Who knows… could be interesting, just as interesting as his talk.

Ian Forrester at TEDxManchester 2016

Myself

I feel like such a idiot,  but its worth saying I was pretty good too but expect a full break down of my slides coming soon.

TedxManchester

Hayley Parkes

When I first heard Hayley play back in Thinking Digital 2014 in Gateshead/Newcastle., I was touched and frankly stunned. Shes incredibly talented and to hear the personal story which surrounds her playing Clair de lune, was heart touching to say the very least. I look forward to the next time I hear her play again. Such talent and just starting out in her adult life.

TedxManchester

Jan Blake

Jan was great, she told a old tale with such passion and such vigor you couldn’t help but be swept up in the story. She was right in the green room, these stories are as powerful today as they were then. I’ll be checking her out in the future…

TedxManchester

Danielle George

It was great to hear how Radio waves are having such a effect on much more than we think. Danielle was a really great talker and communicator of her passion for the science radio waves. This also extended well into inspiring the next generation of women into engineering fields. Look forward to hearing more and seeing where she goes next.

TedxManchester

Ed Carter

Looking at architecture as music is fascinating to think about and it actually makes a lot of sense, especially  when framed as immersive experience. Quite a unique way of looking and evaluating the landscape around us. I especially like the quote Architecture is frozen music.

TedxManchester

Lemn Sissay

Lemn’s poetry is incredible to hear again after Thinking Digital Manchester 2015. Epic and edgy as always.

Once again his trainers were of interest for the camera, maybe I should have wore my spring blades.

TedxManchester

Yandass Ndlovu

There is little I can say about Yandass without really seeing her dance. I mentioned to Yandass afterwards that she summed up the exact reason why I love freestyle dancing and tend to reject couple/organised dancing. Yandass, just danced, mixing styles and building up her own take on everyone of them.

It was amazing to see dancing, so free of movement and contemporary. Nice tie up with Ruth Daniel’s If it wasn’t for Hip-Hop I would be dead.

TedxManchester

As a touching end to the whole event, Herb and his daughter said thank you to everybody for coming along with the core team of the Isabelle, the Emmas and many other helpers. It deserved to be sold out and people stayed right up to the very end.

Thanks to Herb and the team, I enjoyed every moment. Heck I even got a valentine dinner date after my call out on stage… with Herb in pizza express… ha! Not exactly what I expected  but heck it was a great end to the day.

TedxManchester talk: Dating!

If you’ve missed my blogging recently… well I’ve been pretty busy, mainly writing my TedXManchester talk.

Normal blogging will resume after this weekend. Honest!

Interview about Black Culture Applied to Technology

I did a interview off the back of the Afrofutures talk I did in Manchester last year. Its part of a group of interviews on How We Get To Next. Its a good interview and thanks to Florence Okoye for the great questions which leads into my thoughts on black culture, diversity and growing up in a ever-changing world.

Ian @ BarcampLondon5 - Day 1

I was invited to do a interview off the back of the Afrofutures talk I did in Manchester last year. Its part of a group of interviews on How We Get To NextIts a good interview and thanks to Florence Okoye for the great questions which leads into my thoughts on black culture, diversity and growing up in a ever-changing world.

Here’s some interesting parts, although I have to say the whole thing is good and worth reading in full.

A little background on what made me the person I am today.

I kind of knew I was different from other people at an early age. Yes, there was the challenge of being one of three black people in a junior school, but I also found out I might be dyslexic. Friends could tell you I didn’t quite fit in — though I wasn’t a misfit. I was popular, kind of sporty, but also geeky and fiercely independent in thought. This meant I tended to find my own way of doing things, and therefore my independence was tied to use of technology. It was only later at university that I learned once and for all that I was dyslexic, and my coping strategies existed around technology.

Remembering the first time I created a webpage for my graphic design course and the conflict I faced. I feel this is similar to the perceptive media idea; its a new medium and we should/could treat it as such.

There was a key moment I will never forget when learning about the web and creating HTML pages. I did one of my design projects as a website and my college lecturer asked me to print it out. I tried to explain and pled with her that this was a different medium and printing it out made no sense. I think it was that moment when I started to side more with the tech.

The effect of dance music/culture on my life, and the start of my distaste and distrust of popular culture… If I was answering this again, I would add something about being you’re self, not what others want you to be. This certainly speaks to my inner fire for independance.

I hate popular culture. It winds me up [to] no end! I was a geek but never got into fantasy or really into science fiction. I found it too stereotypical and formulaic for me to take seriously.

I also was massively influenced by dance/rave music, which was a very different culture. I remember hating mainstream radio for not playing rave music. The mainstream press was vilifying ravers and this new culture.

They say house music is a feeling, but it’s a whole culture which didn’t get its dues till far later, and even now it’s been watered down and packaged up into something boring and generic

A little but on how I see [I don’t see as such but my mind connects them] the world as one hyper-connected system full of interesting emergent structures and challenges. It hard for others to imagine but I’m imagining its similar to the way synesthesia feels for people who have it. Its just the reality, and it only people telling you again that you are wrong, which makes you dobht.

I see everything as connected. It’s just the way my mind thinks, being dyslexic. I see technologies which are not ready for the mainstream, technologies which break rules and change the centralized power structures. They are ignored or rejected till they get too big and the incumbents have to face up to them or outlaw them, as it breaks their fragile business models.

This is classic innovator’s dilemma stuff, to be honest.

What excites me… open collaboration with open minded people, as too much effort is wasted settling peoples egos.

There are lots of interesting trends in store for the future. I don’t like to dream about [them]; instead, I follow the Alan Kay quote, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Instead of inventing it, which makes people imagine people in basements doing funny things alone, I would change the last part to collaborate.

Now if only I could adapt this into my Linkedin profile…

7 maybe 8 cheap date ideas in Manchester

Sunday Morning in Castlefield

Lauren’s blog always tends to catch my eye (specially the #ocadoandchill one) when reading through my RSS feeds. Unfortunately the feed doesn’t quite work as it should but her cheap date ideas got me thinking instantly…

How about 7 Cheap Manchester Date ideas? (got to be one better that London)

  1. Go for coffee or tea at one of the many coffee shops in Manchester
    3:1
    The Northern Quarter is a joy and its amazing the range of coffee shops where you can just sit and chat with a date for along time with no hassle. Be sure to buy regularly as you don’t want to be a leech on their business model. Its also worth mentioning Cholton is also worth visiting and now on the tram line.
  2. Visit HOME MCR, the royal exchange, the central library, etc
    Floating Points
    I love the royal exchange and its a great date location, as I have said previously. Home use to be the Cornerhouse but recently they moved to a new venue which is almost as unique as the old venue. In Home you can visit the exhibitions, have drinks, have a complete dinner and watch a film or theatre play,  Its a great space, relaxed, social  and ever so great for a whole day of activities if your date is up for it.
  3. Go for a wonder around Manchester city centre and look up
    42nd Street
    Manchester has such a variety of different areas and styles of buildings. You can wonder around the Northern Quarter, Spinningfields, Castlefield, Oxford Road,  Victoria, etc and get a very different sense of the buildings and styles. You just need to look up… All are walking distance from each other although there is plenty of public transport.
  4. Wonder the many canals of Manchester
    Manchester - Castlefield in Spring
    You can wonder for miles around the canals and frankly find yourself in some very interesting parts of the city centre and further. Yes there are some you might want to avoid (around Piccadilly’s redlight area)  but its all generally quite safe during the daytime and its quite romantic, wouldn’t you agree?
  5. Eat cheap at one of the many Indian restaurants
    The Curry Mile, Rusholme, Manchester
    Yes you could go down to curry mile, but there are these very cheap places such as this and that in the northern quarter. I wouldn’t recommend just going there alone, but it might make a good break from wondering Manchester. I mean you can’t beat £5 for 3 curries.
  6. Visit MOSI,  Peoples museum, Whitworth gallery or any of the many other museums and galleries
    Untitled
    Manchester has some great galleries and museums including MOSI (museum of science and industry). My favourite has to be the Whitworth gallery which simply wonderful and is always full of interesting exhibitions.  Even better if its a nice day, you can sit outside or have a picnic in Whitworth park, which is right alongside and closes very late during the summer months.
  7. Visit one of the many festivals
    Sharing Art
    Manchester loves its festivals! You only have to wait a month and you got the future everything, urban dance, food&drink, abandon normal devices, comedy, pride, etc, etc. And of course the grand daddy of them  the international festival every 2 years. Every single one has such a great number of events and for not a bad price at all. Still remember taking a date to see Marinia in the withworth gallary. That was so surreal but unforgettable.
  8. (OK one more extra) Play board games in Zifferblatt or any of the many other nerdy places
    Manchester Street Monopoly
    Not really my thing and I don’t like Ziffer for reasons already mentioned; but I will admit it could be a good place for some game playing with endless coffee and cakes. There are also many other places to play boardgames, etc which occupy Manchester city centre such as fanboy5. Also theres nerdy places like Fabcafe. holdfast and a bunch of game driven bars like 2022 (table tennis), Kosmonaught (table tennis), Marble (chess), etc… Great fun for a date along with drinking…

I didn’t mention parks, the pennies, bury market, weekend brunch, football, the underground tours, graffiti tours, shopping, cycle tours, etc… I’m sure many others have ideas, and all without mentioning netflix and chill.

Highlights of Thinking Digital Manchester

Thinking Digital Manchester

Thinking Digital is a breath taking conference which always wows and has become a stable part of the conference scene in the UK.  It was great to hear that Manchester would play host to the conference, but there was a worry that it wouldn’t live up to the dizzy highs of Newcastle?

Herb and the team set about taking the core elements of Thinking Digital and mixing it with Manchester. The results were great… It made perfect sense, rather than roll into Manchester with a exact formula, they will let it grow and mature like how Newcastle did. The conference took place in the darken space of the largest cinema at HOME, so my pictures didn’t come out too well. It certainly wasn’t the intimate feeling you get in Newcastle but I’m sure that will change and mature over time.

So enough blabbering, lets talk about the highlights…

Thinking Digital Manchester
Eddie Obeng

I missed Eddie when he talked in Newcastle, mainly as he was the first on, the 2nd day but I like his presentation style and what he had to say about counter intuitive thinking. Social media is broken, video conferencing is broken and we are digitally obese from the sugar, salt and fat of the digital era. Aka easy to use, convenience, and free. Very interesting metaphor

TDCMCR-08388

Conrad Wolfram

When ever I hear Wolfram talking about what they have done recently, I always think darn they are really doing stuff I could use within BBC R&D. It certainly was big data to better intelligence. The notion of insight is always a tricky but wolfram certainly seem to be leading this emerging field. Great to see a British innovator leading the field.

Thinking Digital Manchester
Julian Treasure

Julian I wrote about before at another Thinking Digital and his TED talk is something quite special with 4+ million views and very positive comments. Excellent talk and lots to think about when talking with purpose, which to be fair should be a lot of the time really.

Thinking Digital Manchester
LJ Rich

Herb must say to LJ, you have this much time and yes to anything you want. Shes an amazing woman with some seriously amazing ideas. Her thoughts about looking at the other senses, is exactly what I’ve been thinking for a long while. Why does Media have to be visual and audible? What about media which you feel and or smell?

LJ crafted a performance which was amazing to hear and see but also tightly focused around what you feel too. This was done with popping candy. At the right moment we all put the popping candy on our tongues and were treated to a wonderful symphony of interactive glitching with audio and video, representing a meteor storm.

I can only start to express how this all connected together to create a immerse experience like nothing else I can really explain while sitting in your seat.

I had the joy of talking to LJ about maybe doing something together in the future, so watch this space… Its one of those great things about Thinking Digital

Thinking Digital Manchester

Stephen Waddington

Stephen pretty much said most of the things me and Marie talked about in our workshop the day before on increasing your personal impact. There were things which we had to cut short including lots about the Cluetrain Manifesto. I think I was nodding my head through most of his talk, amazing a lot of this hasn’t just made its way into the conciousness of most people by now.

Thinking Digital Manchester
Pam Warhurst

Pam is a force of nature and I have written about her and her incredible (pun intended) work. I also got the chance to point out her wikipedia page is using the photo I shot at a previous thinking digital. I even told her I visited Todmordern purely because of her great work.

This time she talked about her aspirations to build a network joining all the other communities working on similar projects together. She is seeking people to get involved and help with the technical side of it all. I already said I was interested and just waiting for her to get in touch.

The idea of more civic/community driven startups (if thats the right classification) is something I’ve thought about a lot. It also reminds me that I must start that Civic startup manifesto following a conversation I had in BarCampManchester6 and attributing the excellent/crowd storming work the geeks of london did with the hackday manifesto.

Maybe I could link them in some way for the benefit of everybody?

TDCMCR-08584

Tom Chatfield

Tom’s talk was like a episode of Freakonomics live. He covered so much in his talk that I struggled to keep up.

Really interesting to hear about limited mental resources we all have, or as I prefer attention. He went off into a blog post I pretty much wrote a few days ago around swipe left or right culture. Which was a result of the substitution of difficult questions with easy ones (swipe left or right). Then talked about how difficult questions make us feel stupid and somehow ended up with what are we and physical stuff is a feature not a bug.

Good talk, wish I spent some more time at the social chatting to him. I was sandwiched between Wolfram and Tom, and to be fair I thought it would be better if they were sitting next to each other.

Thinking Digital Manchester
Lemn Sissay

Another new person I have never seen or heard of, till about half way through his talk. Reminded me of Jason Silva in his poetic wording and unique style.

Like Tom, so much was said and indicated, it was hard to tie the talk down to one singular thing. But the diversity aspect was well said and had me silently clapping and grinning.

TDCMCR-08645

I wrote down uniqueness and quality on my mindmap for Lemn’s talk, very fitting. Interesting the effect of uniqueness. I recently had a lot of comments about my latest trainers (Adidas Spring blades).

TDCMCR-08330

Thinking Digital Manchester was a very good conference with lots to take away, it doesn’t quite yet touch the legendary Newcastle events but I remember the original Thinking Digital in 2008, I can imagine in a few years time, it will be another jewel in the Thinking Digital crown. Home is a excellent venue with the bar, food and plenty of social space. But the cinema layout doesn’t have a patch on the sage two’s theatre. Imagine Thinking Digital Manchester in the royal exchange…now that would be something!

Regardless, the whole event was run very well and you felt like there was just not enough time in the day. It was seamless even with the new rash of technical faults (never happens at TDC usually). The format also worked well, but I did feel the social did need more emphases, as a lot of people didn’t realise the main social was on the night before the conference. Which makes for some fuzzy mornings I can imagine.

Excellent work Herb Kim and team… Me and Marie are looking forward to coming back with a even better workshop next year

Dating in the 21st century: Free ragged uni talk this Sunday in Manchester

Save The Date

I know most of my friends have heard me rave on about the state of dating in the 21st century, but this Sunday after your Halloween parties on the 31st October. Why not grab some brunch in the Northern Quarter and then head to the Royal Exchange in Manchester, to hear a whole hour of me talking about the affect of the internet on mating and beyond.

Royal Exchange (hall)

Its a totally free event and what better place to discuss the future than the Royal Exchange theatre in central Manchester.

It starts at 2pm and if you had enough of me talking about dating, fear not theres a great talk from Amber about the Mafia and what you think we know.

Hope to see you all there on Sunday, with or without your Halloween costumes…

 

Why I moved to Manchester…

#Manchester from Craig Murfin on Vimeo.

A video project inspired by the talented people and content featured on the @wearemcr instagram group.

Music mixed and edited by me
Wait For Me (Aaron Mist) / CC BY-NC 4.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode

What a great piece of work and really shows off why I moved to Manchester over 7 years ago.

What was learned from the lets talk about sex experiment at MOSI?

Let's Talk About Sex

Its been about 6 months roughly since I was involved in the MOSI experiment around speed dating. It was the most scientific thing I have done till I took part in the Horizon dating experiment (blog is written but I can’t publish till the TV show goes out – next year)

But I was wondering what was the results of the MOSI experiment? I haven’t heard anything but to be fair I did go on the date with one of the woman I met through the speed dating. She was nice and there was quite a bit of common interest but I got the feeling it wasn’t to be when we split the bill.

Oh well…

The best parts of BarCampManchester6

BarCampManchester6

I had a blast at BarCampManchester6 last weekend. Thanks to Claire Dodd for putting on a good BarCamp, and what a great venue. The Autotrader office in First street,

It reminded me of the BarCampLondon’s where the venues were purpose build with actual meeting rooms, etc. BarCampManchester5 for example, although in a lovely venue (SpaceportX) lacked the polish of a purpose build office, so we needed to hire chairs and make spaces.

IMG_1741

However that BarCamp will go down in history for starting a number of things. Autotrader was a sponsor and I’m sure that contributed to the discussion about BarCampManchester6?

The other big one is Claire Dodd, who I will freely admit did a lot of the work on BarCampManchester5. Enough to decide to go for it herself – which to be fair is always my plan, hand it off to somebody who makes it their own. This came up in a session later, which I did with Claire about how to run a barcamp. Encouraging others to maybe consider it but also learn from two people who have some experience of doing so.

The BarCampManchester6 went smoothly and although it wasn’t a overnight barcamp, we played Werewolf till 2:30am. You can’t have a barcamp in the UK without Werewolf (I blame Simon Willson for importing werewolf into BarCampLondon1 9 years ago! Maybe I should add it to his wikipedia page?) There were 2 parallel games next to a showing of that cult classic film Hackers (1995! Yes 20years ago!)

I am gutted I didn’t have the guts to follow though on the last game. As the seer but also a lover, I should have gone for the win with my cupid lover but my lover was also the last werewolf. Somehow I convinced myself, the lover connection was too obvious and led the village to kill the werewolf.

Afterwards I skateboarded home kicking myself for not doing it (ok a little drink and skating might have been involved, but I took it carefully, avoiding the clubbers and students going to the warehouse project on store street)

BarCampManchester6

Some of the highlights for me included a few of my own talks.

After looking at the grid for a while, I decided I wanted to do a talk about a few thing, which other talks had touched on.  I came with the idea of doing a talk about neurodiversity but felt it wasn’t the right time or place, so substituted it for a talk about the richness of life, getting over rejection and how to be lucky.. Lifting out my own thoughts from blog posts I written a while ago. It was well attended and glad I picked a larger room rather than a small one. A few people commented they enjoyed it quite a bit as it was quite different from the other talks.

Over the first day quite a few people asked what happened to the diversity talk and I said it got rolled into my 2nd talk about being neurodiverse and living with dyslexia. This was much lower attended but there was a guy there who was also dyslexic and explained the coping mechanisms he uses along side my own.  It was heart felt, with me admitting maybe too much, except not the stuff I will one day talk about.

I followed up the day afterwards with a talk titled How to be interesting… Not many people came but those who did, were touched by the blogging one.

Start a blog and update it regularly!
blogging or sharing your thoughts are still very important and really helps when referring to points in arguments. Its still what I recommend to many people who ask me where to start. Like above, the interchange of ideas with other peoples thoughts will make you a more interesting person. Also make sure its regular, otherwise you will loose the momentum or build it up too big in your mind.

Katrina Patel, wrote about her view of my talk. Specially about the same point.

One of Ian’s points focused on a blog of his in particular ‘How to be Interesting.’ Now let’s focus on point 2. Start a blog and update it regularly!

I’ve dipped in an out of blogging in the past, but it seems that things didn’t work out. I asked Ian this, and it seems that it’s okay to blog about anything and everything.

Yes indeed, this blog is a mash of my own thoughts and ideas, if you can’t write what you really think about, it will always seem like a chore. Hopefully this will aid in Katrina’s personal brand by making her much more interesting. Good luck Katrina and thanks for the post, let many more flow soon.

BarCampManchester6

At some point of Sunday morning, a few of us got wrapped up in a discussion, while waiting for the BarCamp to start its 2nd day about Startup Culture (real unconference/lobbycon stuff). There was a frustration with the emphases on startup culture and its affect on Manchester’s digital scene.

I took this up into a discussion which pulled in my thoughts about needing more social and community focused startups. I felt the debate was quite balanced about the need for profit making startups but deadly against the silicon valley culture of endless profit and continuous growth. I quoted something from Paul Graham about needing to startup in Silicon Valley.

We decided at the end of the session that we should do something about it all. I remembered the Geeks of London when they wrote the hackday manifesto. Its caused a stir but the best thing was, when people got upset they said fork it if you care so much.

20150926_BarcampMcr_12

I have to give credit to Teknoteacher (Alan O’Donohoe) who did a nice little session about podcasting  in a podcast.  He encouraged all of us to record the podcast. So Teknoteacher recorded it on his phone and others like myself recorded it on our devices.

One of my favourite talk of the barcamp was Vimla‘s diversity talk (she had done what I backed out of doing). So good, I convinced Vimla to put in a session at Mozilla Festival along the same lines. Vimla’s rage for diversity was infectious and the people who asked me about my diversity session were all there with lots to say. Vimla’s main point is something I keep banging on about but few people seems to understand.

The movement of women in technology is great and has a long long way to go, but thats only a small part of the diversity problem. Or Diversity is much greater than just male and female. It sounds so obvious but I can’t tell you how many times I have met and talked to people about diversity and they instantly fall back to the women in technology movement.

BarCampManchester6

No! Diversity isn’t simply that!

I even say it myself, what a poor victory it is, if we just add to while middle class women to the existing workforce of white middle class men. Our aim should be the moon not the lower stratosphere. Yes we work backwards but the aim should always be world changing, otherwise what’s the point?

There was quite discussion in the room and some slightly heated things were said (some people should know better, trying to put a hierarchy in place for diversity!), but Vimla kept some pretty dicey discussion on the level. Great work Vimla, look forward to Mozfest.

There were other good talks by many other people including the Happiness talk, Rosie’s Pareidolia and machine learning talk and many more. But Vimla’s talk really took the top spot for me.

BarCampManchester6

The wrap of BarCampManchester6 was full of prizes, which seems to be a tradition coming from BarCampBlackpool. I won something this time instead of being a prize myself (last time a date with me was a prize!). Claire and the team around her did a great job and they got me thinking about doing another BarCamp soon????

Will it happen…? Who knows… but lets say I have retired from running BarCamps 3 times now. Maybe its just time to stay in retirement.

As Claire said in the talk about running your own Barcamp, you can’t help but look at venues and think… This would be a great venue for a BarCamp…