We’re back again with a Global Innovation Gathering edition of the podcast, as the global network becomes an organization, and the cross section of projects moves from theoretical to practical. 2017 is a momentous year for this group of people and the work they are passionate about, and I had the good fortune of being with them and getting to hear all about it.
Almost 10 years ago we began to see the founding of creative spaces made up of members who had a common interest in tinkering, creating, and sharing their ideas under one roof. Some of these were known as hacker spaces, others took up titles like Maker Space or Innovation hub. These places generated a modest amount of attention, primarily from the tech community, occasionally from the business community, and often- they were ignored or demonized by national governments. Over the years, more and more spaces emerged, under different names, in different corners of the planet, often thanks to inspiration from another such hub. Occasionally a high profile story from some hub somewhere in the world would get some well deserved attention and of course there would sometimes be an inspiring keynote speech from a hub-trepeneur at a conference. One such conference, now in its tenth year, is Berlin’s very own Re:publica conference, which covers the internet, politics, the media, and society. It was here that a global movement would discover itself, helping transform the lives of its participants as well as people back home, wherever home may be.
Every 4 years, a massive collection of curious and creative minds from all over the world make their way to a green space outside of Berlin where they build a temporary physical community made up of what for most of the year, is only a virtual one. It is here at hacker camp, over the course of a week, they share their work, inspire one another, learn something new, relax, play, swim or simply drink tea with friends.
The event: the Chaos Communication Camp 2015 an open-air even where the ideas go far beyond the tents and blinking lights, to a larger world where questions of privacy, information, rights, and more, are so often being decided for us behind closed doors. Today we explore this event and what it is about and what impact it has on… well.. everything.
At the height of the hacker space movement in 2008, technology enthusiasts around the world were busy creating spaces for co-working, experimenting, and learning.. among other things. Many of the design layouts and organizing methods they were using came from the established hacker spaces in places like Berlin, Hamburg and San Francisco. In those days, not unlike today, there was a lot of talk about what cool machines and gadgets a space should have, not to mention strategies for attracting and keeping membership. Of course methods that work in Berlin may not necessarily work in Baghdad, which is an issue today’s guest has been tackling for the past few years. Beyond cultural differences, as an organizer and fascilitator of co-working and hacker spaces throughout the world, Bilal Ghalib believes there is a fundamental re-evaluation needed in the quest to make creative spaces for people, a new way of thinking that goes beyond having cool devices or making things and instead focuses more on community and the idea supporting one another.