iKAMP, a BarCamp for Innovation & Knowledge Management | 9th July 2011 | Bangalore Whitefield

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iKamp BarCamp MindTree unconferenceThe innovation & KM unconference is being planned for the 9th July 2011 in Bangalore on the 9th July 2011 @ MindTree Ltd Campus in Whitefield.

This will be a gathering of  practicing KM & Innovation professionals for discussing topics that are important to KM & Innovation professionals and get insights from fellow colleagues in an informal environment.
In true unconference style, there will be no KeyNote speakers or Chief Guests. All topics to be decided by the participants themselves. So everybody is requested to actively take part by contributing to the event wiki with your ideas!

The list of suggested topics to be discussed is quite interesting & relevant for the innovation & KM professionals.

  • Why KM alone will not work. KM need’s to collaborate better with other departments KM Systems.
  • Why “build it and they will come” doesn’t work
  • Compliance or Adoption: Key to success of KM
  • Everyone, including their Mother-in-law & their dog has an opinion on KM/Innovation. Challenges for KM/Innovation professionals
  • Social/Web2.0 Systems & approaches to KM & Innovation. Have they delivered?
  • Boot-strapping KM & Innovation within organizations without formal mandates
  • Future of KM/Innovation professionals. Is there any; beyond content management?
  • Reality Check: The organization cares two hoot about KM and is just a ‘nice to have’ function
  • Communities: In the age of internet & google, what’s the advantage of communities within organizations
  • KM for Project Delivery & Large Accounts
  • Innovation 101. What are we talking here? Innovation in IT Services business? You must be joking

More details here on this barcamp wiki page

Google Map for the MindTree Office


Are unconferences, barcamps the new ‘Speakers Corner’?

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While we may believe that unconferences, barcamps are things that have evolved in the recent past and the openspace concept is where they draw inspiration from, I believe that even openspace draws inspiration from something that has existed for decades if not centuries.

It is called the : THE SPEAKER’S CORNER — a place where public speaking is allowed and anybody can turn up announced to speak on any topic, as long as it is within the law.

In my opinion, the speakers corner represents all the essential elements that the unconferences, barcamps are about. The fundamental aspects of a speakers corner are the same as that unconferences, barcamps emphasize.

Let’s look at some of the fundamental aspects of a ‘Speakers Corner’

  • Any one can turn up at the speakers corner and volunteer to speak on any subject
  • The audience are ‘active’ participants and can argue, debate with the speaker and even heckle the speaker
  • There are ‘n’ number of speakers speaking at the same time
  • The audience can walk to the next one if the one they are listening don’t hold their attention
  • There are no rules. You can speak on anything as long as ‘you are within the law’
  • The whole atmosphere is electric, informal, chaotic and yet engaging and full of energy. There is never a dull moment

Speakers corner have been frequented by the leading though leaders of the world, including Valdamir Lenin, Karl Marx, George Owell etc. It’s no coincidence that many of the bright minds of todays generation are so in tune with the unconference, barcamp movement and instead of the Marx & Lenin’s we see the CEO’s, CTO’s, future thought leaders frequenting the barcamps.

So, Hyde Park Corner London can lay claim to as the venue for the oldest unconference, barcamp. In fact may countries besides UK have had the equivalent of Speakers Corner for ages.

What’s similar between the concepts and principles behind Web2.0 and unconferences?

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Is it a coincidence that the adoption and popularity of barcamps, unconferences has coincided with the emergence of Web 2.0? Are there any parallels and similarities between the underlying principles of Web2.0 & barcamps, unconferences? After all both web2.0 & unconferences are about user generated content, architecture of participation etc.. etc..

I have tried to map the web 2.0 principles from the seminal article on Web 2.0; Oreilly: The Web 2.0 Design Patterns and tried to map them to the underlying principles of unconferences — and I see a striking similarity between both.

So; are unconeferences as the Web 2.0 equivalent of conferences? I bet they are..

Web 2.0 Principles

Unconference Principles

architecture of participation The basic premise behind the unconference philosophy. Every one participates. The (un)structure of barcamps, unconferences is such that it makes it easy for everyone to participate – in the manner they want.
self organized The participants themselves are the organizers. There is no ‘official organizer’. Every participant is welcome to volunteer and organize some aspect of the barcamps, unconference.
Emergent The agenda, content and even schedule is not pre decided. Everything emerges at run time and from the participants themselves as the barcamp, unconference unfolds
Perpetual beta Some unconference sessions can be washouts. It is taken in stride and no body minds that aspect. In fact participants just walk over to some other session
Gets better as more people use it The more the merrier. You can break away into smaller groups and start your own sessions
Informal & light weight No keynotes, welcome address, 5 star ambiance etc. no frills, no flashy brochures, no marketing, just to the point
Harnessing collective intelligence Every one is a participant. There is no distinction between the speaker & the audience. Everyone contributes
Rich user experiences Extreme socialization & interaction between participants. Here it goes beyond exchanging business cards and networking. You exchange thoughts ideas. You can even enter into a dialogue, debate and even make some of your best friends here.
Users add value “The audience is smarter than the speaker”… A fundamental aspect of the unconference. It is the users, the participants who make the unconference successful & add value – as opposed to formal conferences, where it’s the speakers who are perceived as adding value.
Cooperate, not control Nobody controls the unconference. It is delivered not by control but by the cooperation of participants, volunteers.

KM India Conference

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Had attended the KM India conference in Delhi from 14th to 16th Nov. Though I must say that it was one of the better conferences I attended, but still I would put it as a waste of time. You know, the speakers, the panelist — even though intelligent people in their own right, don’t have anything worthwhile to say.. Sometimes I feel that this whole conference business is a sham, I feel it’s like the scenario of nobody saying that the ‘King is naked’.

I mean, these speakers, panelists, keynote speakers have ‘nice things’ to say but is that equivalent of ‘relevant things’ to say? At times, the question asked is something and the answer is something else. 🙂 Imagine speaker after speaker saying that India is into a knowledge era and that the managing of this environment is very important and there are issues with our education system and so on and on.. whoopie do.. EVERYONE knows that.. it’s not anything new…

Anyway, as usual the best discussions happened over lunch, tea & coffee.. and that’s what I like about ‘unconferences’ that they are a ‘one long coffee break’..