We are organizing one or two events in each city as our main means to get together with local designers, developers and entrepreneurs. We don’t really know what to expect and it is hard to organize remotely, but we already got and will continue to get a lot of help from the hubs, co-working spaces and other contacts.
The main goal of AfricaHackTrip is to connect with fellow hackers and to establish an exchange of knowledge, ideas and culture regarding the tech world. Us presenting or teaching something would not really convey the core of these goals. Additionally, although we as a group share a lot of interests and values, we don’t all do the same thing, so what would we present and teach?
Still, if we just say that we wanna check out what’s going on and meet people, maybe working on interesting projects together, people are a bit confused about that. Yes, we tried… But how can you advertise that? How can you get members of the communities interested in something that blurry?
We needed something more tangible. We needed to come up with exciting descriptions of our events that can be published on the venues’ websites, that appeal to tech people, entrepreneurs, sponsors and press alike. And if the talking and working together part is not working out as we hope, it would also be good to be able to present something instead.
So our event concept now includes barcamp-style unconferences and hack-a-thons as a compromise between prepared presentations and workshops, and more or less unstructured hangouts. We got some valuable feedback from the venues about the potential participants for our events. Still, we don’t have a concrete feeling what to expect, and we believe we should not schedule too much and instead be open to let things develop and encourage participation as much as possible. Thanks to my involvement in OpenTechSchool I have some good experiences with this approach.
We are currently working on writing event descriptions that will contain general topics such as “open source”, “world-wide collaboration”, “web technology”, “open standards”, “web UX design”, “diversity in tech”, “open knowledge exchange” that we stand for.
We try to get a community together based on these topics.
In addition we will name FirefoxOS as a concrete technology and product that represents many of our values and that we would love to present and talk about. FirefoxOS is a hot topic right now, probably a good fit for African markets, and we hope to meet people that are excited about it, too. Thanks to our partner GeeksPhone we will have a few phones with us that we can use for presentations and workshops and donate to co-working spaces.
We have a lot to talk about. Judging from what we learned so far, there will be loads of projects to be worked on, so our events will be a full day each. Thanks to our partner GitHub and the efforts of the venues we can offer catering for the participants so we can focus on what is important to us.
The events are the heart of the trip and we would love to get feedback about our plans. Get in touch or comment here. We want your ideas, your questions, your complaints and your favorite topics!
We are all excited and looking forward to this!