I have recently been putting some hours into planning Ann Arbor’s first-ever “sharing festival” — being organized by my buddy Ryan and made possible by a grant generously provided by shareable (thanks, Shareable).
The festival, hosted at the UM Botanical Gardens and sponsored by the UM Campus Farm, has several overarching goals. One of the goals is to raise awareness of the Ann Arbor Area’s shareable resources and to build capacity of the Ann Arbor Area sharing economy. Another goal is to simply stimulate thoughts/talks about what sharing means (e.g., as an “alternative” economic system; as a way of building community; etc.)/how it relates to economic, environmental, and social sustainability. As a person who has long been geeked about how crowdsourcing can be used to advance science, I am personally thrilled to be thinking about how crowdsourcing can be used to promote other things — such as personal and community well-being, environmental health, and so on. That said, I am still planning to lead a small breakout session about citizen science and demonstrate how this unique form of “sharing” can (if done right) help both scientists and the public.
We hope to represent a few different “categories” of sharing at the conference. Categories, so far, include: goods & services, food, technology/science, art & music, and planning/governance. (Yes, you can share a lot more than your favorite toy… or your talents. You’ll have to come to the conference to learn more.)
I personally look forward to learning a lot — both during the conference planning process and during the conference itself.
While our original goal was to host a conference,we did some extra legwork and established a small community organization that serves to “house” the conference — while also serving as an informational “hub” of resources in the Ann Arbor Area. We have a website, twitter, and facebook right now. Check them out for more details as they emerge.
Thanks again to Shareable for making this conference possible, and to my buddies/team members Ryan, Ian, Mariel, and Parker who are all working so hard to plan it.