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iHub By Jessica Colaço / October 13, 2011

Barcamp Nairobi 2011

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It is that time of the year again, when Nairobi’s tech community gets together to share ideas and exciting new projects at Barcamp Nairobi. Barcamp is a geek unconference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an open, participatory workshop-event, the content of which is provided by participants.The procedural framework for Barcamp consists of sessions proposed and scheduled each day by the attendees. Unlike classical conference formats, Barcamp relies on passion and responsibility of the participants.

The first Barcamp Nairobi was held on 31st March 2007 at the University of Nairobi and was attended by 50 brave campers (40 more than the organisers had anticipated). The first talk at this Barcamp was on the fastest car in the world then, the Bugatti Veyron. Since then, Barcamp Nairobi has included a wide range of topics from tech-heavy ones like Cloud Computing Applications in Kenya and Linux as a Development Platform for Engineers to those that are delightfully unique like How To Make The Perfect Cappuccino and Using My GPS Enabled Cell phone To Avoid Traffic.

This year, Barcamp Nairobi celebrates its 5th birthday with a lot of pride. From 50 campers in 2007 the event has exploded to 600 campers in 2010.  For a couple of hours on one afternoon in a single room, Barcamp Nairobi now runs over a whole weekend, morning to evening, in venues at the heart of the Kenyan tech community with over 100 very influential local and international bloggers making up a key part of the audience.

Although the event has changed beyond recognition the key values remain the same; sessions proposed and scheduled each day by attendees, all attendees are encouraged to present or facilitate a session, everyone is also asked to share information and experiences of the event via public web channels, attendance is typically monetarily free and generally restricted only by space constraints. More people, more time, bigger venues, same price, same principles.

Each year, Barcamp Nairobi operates around a theme and for 2011, the theme is “Open Governance” in line with the recent launch of the open data initiative in Kenya. We welcome discussions about, and around it. Barcamp Nairobi 2011 will be held at the iHub Nairobi and Nailab on Saturday 15th October, 2011 from 9am. Early birds get a free Barcamp T Shirt. Registration is now open here

Author : Jessica Colaço

Jessica Colaço is currently the Director of Partnerships at iHub. She was the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya as she uses her position at iHub to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an upcoming angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage. She is also a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist, Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair, TED Global Fellow 2009 and upcoming Guitarist. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya's business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent! She blogs at: www.jessicacolaco.wordpress.com


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