In 2009 / 2010 I participated in a number of barcamps and the first barcamp that I have been to for a long time was the #MucGov18. I prefer the barcamp format with open and spontaneous sessions over a standard conference format since there are always more discussions and in particular, since people are ready to share unfinished and unpolished ideas in order to get open feedback from the other participants. This creates an open and constructive atmosphere that to me is very unique for barcamps.
The topic of the #MucGov18 was to create and discuss ideas, projects, and apps for the digital city of Munich. Often, people have very little connection to their city administration and since I am very interested in topics such as mobility, digital society, art, or smart city applications, I was curious to see how I could contribute to these topics in the barcamp. A barcamp lives from active participation, you either hold a session or you participate in the discussion. and in the sessions that I have been to the discussions were very lively and everybody was really into the topic. This is definitely a huge difference to standard conferences, where the majority is only listening.
The topics of the different sessions were quite varied. I have been to sessions on human-robot interaction in administration, Thomas Bönig’s (Munich’s new head of IT) session on digitalisation, Rosi’s session on how to get different employees accustomed to change, Anke’s spontaneous session on digital culture, and the naming session for the new Munich chatbot. All were fun, but the best thing were the other participants – everybody had different backgrounds, but everybody was easy to chat to and interested in sharing knowledge, ideas, and experiences.
Here’s a detailed article (in German) on the barcamp on the IT-Muenchen Blog. Thanks to the team for the organisation and if you are interested in participating next time, there is an open government day coming up in October.