Community Planning Meeting #2

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Engduino
Isn’t it cute! UCL’s Engduino

We had a really useful session on the 17th of June and digifest is now really starting to take shape! Once again we had some fab ideas for sessions. One of the most interesting suggestions was to get in contact with the team behind the Engduinos and see if they’d run a session with us. UCL being what it is, some of our academics wanted to build on the great work being done with Arduinos and the Raspberry Pi and make devices like those even better and even more accessible to beginners and so the Engduino was born. We thought maybe we could involve the UCL Academy in this too, all very exciting.

Another big topic of discussion was copyright, creative commons, and open resources. We talked about the importance of copyright in research, how to navigate copyright and IP as a user, the pros/cons of different licensing systems (CC, GNU, etc). All of this lead us onto the idea of running a session around open source software, which would include some of these issues but also give the participants something practical like new tools and pieces of software to use.

#riotwombles are probably digifest’s favourite kind of Wombles

All that talk of licensing got us thinking about digital things and the law, and ethics more generally. Particularly the role social media played in Arab Spring and, even closer to home, its use for organising student and other kinds of activism in the UK. It was also widely used in the both the riots of 2011 and the subsequent clean up effort by the #riotwombles, exemplifying the opportunity these tools provide to do good but also the ways in which they can be abused.

From there we chatted about digital art and getting in contact with some of the creative people over at the Slade to show off some of the incredible work they’re doing. One of the people we contacted wasn’t keen on joining the G+ community we’d been using due to privacy concerns and this sparked another lively debate about people’s digital footprint and right to be forgotten. One idea was to air our digital dirty laundry by getting people to display their online footprint on a washing line.

Then we discussed how we were going to promote our amazing festival. Projections onto buildings, video diaries, social media campaigns, pop up events, posters, branded beer mats were just some of the ideas we had. But what would be put on these branded beermats?  We need a logo! We pondered what our logo should be and represent; should it be in four colours to represent the four themes? Would that look a little too much like Google or Microsoft? The questions and debates were endless so we decided the best way to proceed would be have a competition. Everyone tinkering and making their own designs (very much in the spirit digifest!)  and then the community voting on the one the liked best. We had a ton of entries, some a little whacky and some a little more sombre. Have a look at all the entries below, did we make the right choice? Let us know in the comments.

As you can see it was a really packed session, and we haven’t mentioned the talks on surveillance, Jeremy Bentham, digital death, gender in social media, digital health, crowd sourcing we had too! To find out about those, have a look at the minutes on our G+ community. We’d love to see you at our next planning meeting. So join the conversation and join our newsletter or G+ group to find out more.

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