Manchester Girl Geeks BarCamp 2014

The blog has been quiet for a long while. This is mainly because I’ve been doing (confidential) business to business marketing work. I’ve also been spending a great deal of my time doing ongoing pro-bono work with Manchester Girl Geeks (MGG) by helping to organise BarCamp 2014. This event took place last month and I’ve pleased to say it was a great success!

MGG a not-for-profit organisation that promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects to women and girls through networking opportunities and workshops. All events are open to men – especially if they are coming along with a girl geek.

The MGG BarCamp, like all ‘unconference’ events relied on attendee stepping forward and nominating themselves to share their passion in a talk / demo / discussion session. With so many spontaneous sessions taking place, it was impossible to attend them all. Here are just a few highlights:

In @paulineroche’s session, she invited the audience to talk about their STEM journey. This was a great way to start the day as it encouraged participation and allowed everyone to do a little bit of public speaking. One lady was learning to programme using free online resources. She felt that although she may have started her STEM journey later than others, having not pursued it during her time in formal education, there was nothing to stop anyone from starting that journey later in life.

I really enjoyed @defproc’s talk on The Internet of Toys. It reminded me that there is so much joy to be found in the act of playing, and that it is such a creative process. Mental note to do more of than on a regular basis!

@technancy shared with us her experience of Imposter Syndrome. This session was very popular and a topic many in the audience could relate to. Nancy’s slide, with some good reading links are available: http://tinyurl.com/nmt2pyc

There are also a few lovely BarCamp blog posts written by attendees that are worth noting: numbersmatter and girlgeekupnorth.

A quick thank you to the generous sponsors who helped make BarCamp 2014 a reality:

I was always aware of of the amount of organisation / management / liaising involved with making an event happen. Especially having witnessed it first hand while freelancing at Rapport Events. My role of designing and creating artwork seems so straightforward, in comparison to the skill and patience their team displayed while navigating towards another of their award winning experiences. The amount of energy required in this position has led me to reflect on the added value a good account handler adds to any (creative) process.

It was definitely very fun and rewarding to have helped organise this year’s BarCamp and I look forward to more design orientated activities with Girl Geeks!

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