(“Trojan Pony” reference courtesy Will “Community Guy” Pate)
Toronto Transit Camp went off even better than our wildest imaginings. We even got great press in the “traditional media”, with more to come.Â Here’s the CityTV coverage [YouTube]:
We had an amazing group of creative problem solvers who braved the bitter cold and an early morning start (Superbowl Sunday, no less!) to take on difficult design challenges while advancing the work of the TTC, developing their own skills, learning, getting to know some new people and having a great time doing it. It was a new community emerging from the nursery. Jay and I are proud new dads looking forward to baby’s first steps.
In addition to press we also had the attention and participation of the TTC from the staff to executive to the political levels. They were wonderful, really open, helping clarify facts of reality while holding back the hard reality enough that creativity could emerge. Eli Singer, Jay Goldman and I briefed the TTC prior to the event. I think they benefited from a clear understanding of the event structure, the nature of the TorCamp community and the rules of engagement. They appeared very happy with the results.
This was an experiment in bringing BarCamp event practices, social media and online collaboration tools and community stewardship practices to the rest of the world – the real world. Web 2.0 obsessed technologists (this means you DemoCamp) often forget that technology is a means, not an end. Transit Campers were challenged to become city-builders and at the end of the day an amazing new community was born armed with tools and practices to start making an ongoing difference in the shape of our city. That’s a good thing.
It needs nurturing, but there seems to be a great pool of people to look to within the Transit Camp community for stewardship. The TorCamp community’s role is to help the Transit Camp community solidify, continue the conversations and start some specific projects.
This is part of an emerging new paradigm of civic participation and peer production that we’re calling Open Creative Communities, which are part of OpenCities. Expect to see much more on this file in the weeks and months to come.
So many people to thank. Big thanks to all our amazing organizers, participants and supporters, and especially our sponsors. Thanks to Robert Oullette of ReadingToronto for starting this crazy thing. Buy A.M.’s cool ambient electronic CD inspired by subway sounds, “Underground“. Hire Misha for your next Open Space event and then book the Gladstone. Get your bags and t-shirts at Stitchy Lizard. Signup for ZipCar or Autoshare to haul your stuff around. House your social enterprise startup or social mission organization at the The Centre for Social Innovation. Be nice to Radiant Core, Navantis, Cundari SFP, Tucows and ONESTOP Media Group. And definitely get all your GPS bus tracking systems from Grey Island Systems.
Admit it, you know you want one.