About a BarCamp

What is so special about a BarCamp?

A BarCamp is the physical transformation from social media communication into an event format, the so-called un-conference. Key element is the difference between participants and speakers – there is none, it’s reversed. All attendees are equal and asked to bring their ideas, questions or positions into discussion rounds, so-called sessions. The sessions are the programme of the BarCamp and are exclusively determined by the attendees at the event itself, yet discussions about the possible sessions should take place beforehand through social media or a special interactive webspace that is usually provided by the organiser of such a BarCamp. That is why there is no programme available beforehand, as it is shaped at the event itself through the present people. The number of parallel sessions taking place at a BarCamp is only determined by the interest of the people to take part in one session, and the availability of time and space at the meeting venue. The interest of the people to take part in one session is identified at the beginning of the BarCamp when all proposals for the sessions are presented to the whole group of attendees of that BarCamp. The main aim of a session is not to lecture about a specific topic – it is about the exchange and the discussion of it!

Of major importance is the direct link to online media: a BarCamp is embedded into online services such as Twitter (our Hashtag is #ybcvie) and blogs to ensure time bound news coverage on the one hand, to receive feedback from interested ones that cannot be present at the event themselves, but also for documentation purposes. At the Youth BarCamp Vienna we will be even use video-live stream including a chat function from some sessions. More about the event format BarCamp is to be found here (also in particular about youth BarCamps). Yet the handbook is currently only available in German, but very soon in English as well:http://www.ijab.de/uploads/tx_ttproducts/datasheet/JugendBarCamp_Online.pdf

Thematic focus of the youth BarCamp Vienna #ybcvie

The main focus of the youth BarCamp is the discussion of the current status of the „Guidelines for e-participation of young people“ that are developed by the youthpart-project-network. These guidelines are available prior to the BarCamp on youthbarcamp.eu. For the BarCamp itself they are split into useful sections to facilitate the discussion and editing process. Next to the discussion related to the guidelines also current questions about youth policy, democracy, social networking and participation are addressed. Here the common platform youthbarcamp.eu comes into action: prior to the BarCamp proposal for sessions are collected in here. A BarCamp is a free event format that allows strong deviation from the main focus, yet, during the BarCamp in practice attendees chose for the given main focus though. The active role of attendees is also visible when it comes to the voting and prioritising of presented sessions: it’s exclusively all up to them, not to the organisers!

For some people rings a bell when comparing a BarCamp to the Open Space technology; yet there are differences, as outlines above. Basically, it is one big group work, where everyone can be an expert, not only the few we see at normal conferences. During the event we link to (political) decision-makers but also afterwards the results are serving as rich source of expertise and inspiration.

Your contribution before the Kick-off

You are invited to contribute actively before the Youth BarCamp kicks off. This will happen through the platform “barcamptools.eu”, where you can make session proposals and vote upon them before actually arriving at the Youth BarCamp. If you made a proposal you can share this through social media and gain attraction for the event and your proposal. At the same time you can learn who else is interested in the Youth BarCamp and start discussions even prior to the event. By this you take an active role in exercising your right of participation, making your interests and voice heard and receives instant feedback and responses to your ideas.

In particular, the content of the Youth BarCamp provides a thematic framework to issues directly related to young people in Europe: such as youth participation, Europe, European citizenship, active citizenship, eDemocracy, ICT for decision-making processes, Open Data, Open Government. Through its interactive and innovative character, it offers an ideal space for you to contribute to the topics of the framework as well as bring your own issues within this framework to the table.

How to start a session proposal?

Prior to the Youth BarCamp everyone can hand in a session proposal.
Hereunder we have listed some ideas how that work.
The key idea of posting a session proposal prior to the Youth BarCamp is to get an idea what questions and ideas are also interesting for the other participants of the BarCamp before it actually takes place. At the same time also everyone can read what other people are interested in.

How it works – some suggestions:
- You can only hand in a session proposal when you are logged in.
- The session proposal is to be written in simple English, the official event language.
- Please note that your proposal needs to fit into the thematic framework of the event.
- You can edit your initial proposal anytime.
- A session lasts approximately and at the maximum 45-60 minutes
- You can start your session also with a small input, a youtube-clip or a short article
- Anyone can comment on your proposal.
- Some ideas what your proposal could be: a question, an observation, a comparison, a hypothesis, an assumption.
- You can vote on any other session and express thereby your interest to discuss it at the BarCamp. Of course it is possible to change your opinion at the BarCamp. Your vote is anonymous; it is not visible to anyone when, what and what tendency you voted.
- To vote and to hand in a proposal you need to be registered.

Keep in mind that a high-ranked as well as a low-ranked session proposal does not necessarily imply that your session is a fixed part of the program or is not to be considered at the program; the program of the BarCamp will be set up jointly at the event itself, Saturday morning in Vienna. Yet it may give an indication what is interesting for many others too.

We trust that you don’t post any inappropriate proposals, such as xenophobic or sexual content. In case inappropriate proposals are posted, we reserve the right to delete them and exclude the author from the Youth BarCamp. We also encourage you to report inappropriate proposals to us at the contact address as indicated at the contact page.
We hope for your understanding on this procedure, yet, we believe, you also don’t want to welcome young people with those ideas among you at the event.

Remote participation

There will be the possibility to take part in the Youth BarCamp through remote participation, that means, you cannot be at the event itself, but you can see what is happening, and take part in discussions at the same time - with the difference that you sit behind a screen or your mobile device and not in the conference venue.

Follow the Twitter-Hashtag #ybcvie.
You don’t need to be on twitter yourself to follow the discussion passively; through using twazzup and enter the hashtag you can read all contributions there.
For active participation through twitter you need to have an own twitter account.

In addition you can watch the livestream from the plenary sessions and some discussions. The link will be displayed here and send through the twitter network.

Use the etherpads that are used to comment and contribute to the discussion, for examples, your ideas, additional points, examples, questions, links, etc.