Crowdsourcing the next BarCampBankBC

BarCampBankBCFor the last two Septembers, Tim McAlpine, Gene Blishen and I have planned and put on BarCampBanks here in Vancouver. We have been discussing what to do this year and we think it’s time for new blood.

So here’s the deal: I’d love someone to step up and take over the planning of a BarCampBank here in BC. It’s a great event, but the three of us feel like we’d be re-hashing old territory and some new energy and ideas need to surface.

Leave a comment if you’re interested, and we’ll go from there.

BarCampBankBC2 was a local, reflective event.

BarCampBankBC2BarCampBankBC2 took place today. Tim McAlpine, Gene Blishen and I decided to make it a lower key, locally-focused event, given the economic times. It took place in the Vancity board room, and about 25 people from FIs and FI-related organizations took part in the conversations. The conversations focused a lot on co-operation, and, as often happens at BarCampBanks, the participants were mostly from the credit union world.

We talked about co-operation amongst co-operatives, about innovating new products, about channel strategy, about pulling together our members’ data to help them understand their finances more easily.

As I reflect, I think the main theme that emerged was the implicit or explicit barriers that are in place in our various organizations that hinder innovation, agility and sometimes even common sense. In some ways it was a ‘grass is always greener’ conversation where smaller organizations envy the resources bigger organizations have, and larger organizations envy the agility and lack of silos in smaller organizations.

It was a pleasure to discuss the issues of the day with some Twitter friends, including @eddron, @wendyholm, @dcesarini, @currencyTim, @pennyminder and @ebrett. Almost all of whom were at BarCampBankBC last year. So, I think we’re safe to say we’ll do it again next year. Perhaps same place and same weekend…

The wifi was spotty, and the conversations were involved, so there wasn’t a lot of Tweeting, but the Twitter tag was #bcbbc2, if you want to see the commentary.

On a personal level, BarCampBankBC2 marks the end of one of the busiest periods in recent memory for me. Starting with buying our house, going to Bologna, moving, launching the League of Kickass Business People in Vancouver, Ivan starting Kindergarten, finishing a major business case to revamp our intranet and bring enterprise 2.0 to our organization, writing an online service experience strategy, driving Vancity’s co-op week activities, plus some critical business issues at work and, oh yeah, my day job. Summers are usually a little slower, but this one was jam packed, almost all with outstanding items, but slightly more than my plate could hold. It’s one of those times where I’m excited about all the different things I’m involved with, but I’ve still been looking forward to having some of them behind me and not in front of me.

So there it goes.

Four down, one to go.

William at BarCampBankBCI honestly have no idea what I was thinking a few months back when I agreed to speak at five conferences in two months. Today I finished my penultimate engagement, and I’m starting to feel relieved.

It was been an extraordinary honour to be able to address such a diverse set of audiences.

  • From the Internet Marketing Conference here in Vancouver focusing on general online marketing techniques and tactics
  • Organizing and promoting BarCampBankBC, which was a truly amazing, inspiring and rewarding experience
  • Traveling to Indiana for the 2008 Partnership Symposium which was an event I had been looking forward to for almost a year and was a fantastic chance to see many of my favourite CU people from across North America
  • And today I spoke here in Vancouver at the IABC Communicating Social Responsibility Conference where I got to address a room full of people dedicated to bringing integrity and values to their business models.

I have one last one to get to. Net.Finance East will take place October 28-29th in New York and will be focusing on banking innovations. I always enjoy Net.Finance conferences, as I learn so much and get to meet some amazing peers.

After Net.Finance East, I have nothing until January when I go back to New York for The Finance 2.0 Summit.

Next year, I need to be a whole lot more selective, I just can’t afford to be away from the office and my family this much.

It feels a little like the end of an era for me. I have learned a ton, met some amazing people, sparked some incredible dialogue and really found my place in the industry. If you’re reading this, it may well be because we met at one of these events. If so, shoot me a comment and say hello.

(photo credit by Brent Dixon)

BCBBC08: Some final thoughts.

BarCampBankBCI am elated that BarCampBankBC was pulled off so wonderfully. It was a true pleasure to plan it and host it. But most of all, it was amazing to attend.

I must thank my two incredible partners in crime, Tim McAlpine and Gene Blishen. It was a great experience planning the event with these two. I also want to thank the incredible Brent Dixon who ensured as much of the event was webcast as possible and Morriss Partee for his truly hysterical and humbling Pecha Kucha.

I’ve updated the wiki with all the blogs and photos from the event I can think of. If I missed any, please add them.

In the end, it’s less about any particular thing that was discussed than the nature of the conversations, the quality of discussion, the collaboration, the learning and advising. Two trends that emerged, I think were the future of banking and the ethical nature of banking. I was surprised that the session on social finance was completely full, almost everyone came and it was a lively discussion.

I’m tired, and I may post again as the dust settles for me, but I wanted to get a post out before the day ended. I am grateful to all the people whom I got to see again, all the new people I was fortunate enough to meet and all the people who engaged in the conversation. You make my life a better place.

Thank you to all who attended and contributed. It was a real high!

A note to those attending BarCampBankBC.

BarCampBankBCOkay, what is this BarCampBank thing about?
With BarCampBank coming up this weekend, we thought it would be good to let you know what we’re all in for.

The first thing we’ll do on Saturday morning is a quick round of introductions, so we know who we have with us. Then, those of us who want to create a session will write it up on a piece of paper and stick it on a grid made up of times and rooms. Once we have the sessions on the grid, the people who wrote them up will give a short pitch to the rest of us.

Then we’ll vote with our feet and join the sessions that interest us. If no one comes to a session, it’s cancelled. If someone wants to take up two time-slots in a row to create an extra long session, that’s cool. If you’re in a session that you’re not interested in, leave it and find one that you like better. The conference will be developed organically by all of us together.

What often works well is to propose sessions around the things you want to discover and learn, not the things you have to teach. Curiousity is the name if the game.

All participation is welcome (well except for pitches for specific commercial products or companies, and long-winded presentations). Participation, however, is not mandatory. If you want to listen more than discuss, that’s up to you.

We are lucky to have a great mix of local BCers and people who have travelled from far and wide to participate. Some of us have been to a BarCampBank before, and many have not. We have all the right people and expertise to create a truly amazing weekend.

We hold this philosophy to be true:
The right people will show up and the right things will be discussed.

Pecha Kucha
At the end of day one, we’ll have a Pecha Kucha, where each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds, giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. If you want to do one, come with your presentation on a USB key.

Thinking of live blogging or taking photos?
We welcome all ways to record the sessions. Update the wiki, blog it, upload photos to flickr. Tweet away! We’ll all be using the same tag, which is:
bcbbc08

Anything else?
Oh yes, breakfast will be provided both days, and lunch will be provided on day one. On September 20th, we’ll start at 9am and wrap up at 5pm. On September 21st, we’ll start at 9am and wrap up the whole thing at 1pm. Please come on time, so you can participate in creating the sessions.

We’ll be at the BCIT Downtown Campus, 555 Seymour Street.

We look forward to seeing you here!

PS: Here are two great resources.