Did you make it? well, you missed quite the event! There was free food, free beer and other freebies but the best thing about Barcamp Nairobi 2010 was the energy. I’m a lover of all things tech so it was very exciting to see so many smart people working on so many different and interesting things. I am pretty sure that the energy that was at Barcamp is very hard to replicate elsewhere in this country. Please make sure that you make your way to the next Barcamp, for your own sake.
What is Barcamp? I’d say its an experiment in controlled chaos. There is very little order and the main “thing” is that whoever wants to present anything to the audience can go right ahead and do so. Sound fun?
Here are a few of the presented projects that I loved the most:
- Crowd-sourced courier service – Virn‘s Kahenya presented on an interested idea where, if I got it right, they would hire university students and get them to do deliveries for them during their free time to make up an elegant and simple courier service. They claimed to be able to deliver a T shirt to Turkana in 48 hours or less, for less than Kshs 500/- Amazing, ama?
- IPO2 – another one from Virn. Details were scant but basically it is going to be a new way to raise funds for your business. It will work a little like Kick Starter but fully local.
- Shika – this is a group formed by some young and interesting people who come from the slums (not sure which one). Basically, they had gotten funding and studied some computer courses so after graduating and seeing how much better they were, they thought the best thing to do was to give back to the community. They formed Shika which is an organisation that aims to help more people from the slum get computer training. They especially focus on the girl child. A very good idea that they have it to create a freelance hub where interested companies with computer projects would list them there and the newly trained scholars from Shika would then get an opportunity to earn something and get your work done. I wish them success.
- Map Kibera – Did you know that Kibera is probably the best mapped area in this country? That was all thanks to these guys. Their presentation detailed how they managed to most complete and detailed map of Kibera in less than a year, producing some of the most dense maps in the world!
- Theft-based Activism – fixing democracy by using democracy’s own exisiting, broken, rules. This was a fascinating presentation on how civic hackers managed to cause crowd-sourced reform and help fix Britain’s democratic institutions. I wonder if we can pull the same thing of in Kenya!
Well, those were my favorites but there were many more. I’ll post some videos soon.
I know you wish you had not missed it, eh?