In a packed afternoon of inspiring and provocative talks it was a great opportunity to announce a Call for Assistance for BIL, the un-conference we’re working to promote for next year.
By the time they got ther their group had grown to 30 and so they held their own impromptu un-conference just down the road.
Fast forward 2 years and BIL 2009 was held on the campus of California State University at Long Beach and with over 100 speakers and 500 participants, doubling the size the previous year.
These are the principles that guide BIL to this day;
- Take advantage of the TED conference and its approach to sharing Big Ideas
- Do it in a way that is open, distributed and democratic, sometime chaotic and always interesting
Henry and I met Bill when he was over here blagging his way into TED Global 09, which he did successfullly. And being a conference junkie and a fan of TED since the 90s (did I mention I interviewed Richard Wurman, the TED founder? I’ll do a little re-edit and put it up here). So naturally I jumped at the opportunity of creating a Salon des Refuses to TED’s Salon.
The end result is that we’re taking the BIL show to Oxford to coincide with TED international being held 16-17 July 2010.
To make all of this happen we’ve formed a small working group for next year and this is what we’re planning on doing;
- Other people have already solved the problem of being interesting and putting on interesting events.
- We’re going to act as an umbrella organisation, bringing these people and events together
- We’ll be doing the work of finding venues, providing infrastructure, marketing, sponsorship, all the top-level organisational bores / chores
- What this means is, we’re going to find some pubs, clubs & other spaces in Oxford where events can live, help match up events with venues and provide a overall framework for events organisers and attendees.
- TED being in town means there’ll be a certain amount of interestingness sloshing around. We want to feed off some of that and add a whole big pile of our own interesting. We’re structuring BIL to kind of wrap around TED in a couple of evenings after conference days and the trailing weekend to encourage some crossover between the two.
If we pull it off, it’s going to be super-fun. We’re going to have all these great little events going on in pubs around Oxford over the weekend, you’ll be able to roll from one to the other watching stuff in and joining in and have a geeky little dance in the evenings – we’ve got some good ideas for afterparties.
So here’s the Call for Assistance;
- If you’d like to speak as an individual or bring a collective of speakers to one of our venues we’d love to work you into our program
- If you know Oxford and people up there. we’d love to talk to you and tap into your network
- If you’d like to help organsie; take donations at the door, print the daily program, run around with mikes, manage a sound system
- If you’re a sponsor who might be able to give us wi-fi, beer, organic tofu burgers or cash
It all went rather well and afterwards we were swamped with generous offers from lots of lovely folk, all of whom we need to follow up with properly.