Barcamps – a great way to learn

Barcamps are very powerful, open, participatory knowledge-sharing events where the actual content of session is provided by the participants, not by a preselected panel of speakers and lecturers. This is why barcamps are also referred to as un-conferences, pointing out that like in a normal conference everyone will gather for a given main theme. But in contrast to a conference barcamps are not curated before, but the daily schedule is developed by everyone togther in the “auctioning plenum session”. Attendance is typically free of charge. A group of 50 – 150 participants is easily manageable, more might be difficult to handle in the plenary sessions.

How to enjoy learning

Barcamps and the related worldcafes are among the best and most sustainable formats for knowledge sharing, be it as face-to-face live events but also in hybrid or purely digital form.

Barcamps ensure a high level of participation and activation of the participants. As flexible and inspiring learning formats oriented towards cooperation and non-hierarchical exchange they are becoming more and more popular.
Since barcamps deliver educational entertainment at eye level they are also very suitable for schools, universities and further education. In 2022 I have expanded this idea into the “Future Day” where a blend of barcamp and worldcafe tools are used to help bringing teachers and if possible students and parents onboard for the school-development in the next months and years.

How I got involved

Since my first Barcamp in 2010, I have enjoyed attending, moderating and supporting more than 50 barcamps across Europe. I am also very happy to pass on this knowledge.

Barcamps have been successfully run with a wide variety of topics, including education, public transit, health care, democratic empowerment, climate change and political campaigning. Barcamps can be esaily adapted for specific purposes, tageting specific audiences.

How to run a barcamp

In november 2020 I gave an online workshop for Barcamp organization for the IFEN, the National Training Institute for Teachers of Luxembourg. Two important institutes in the Luxembourg education system, the National Language Insitute INL and the European School in Esch and Differdange used the Barcamp format to work on the topics with the highest priority in the field of school development very efficiently and goal-oriented and with the involvement of all stakeholders.

Barcamps and Worldcafes offer

  • real learning fun
  • low-threshold access
  • getting to know new, unusual perspectives
  • optimal networking for follow-up projects
  • content that is currently important for the participants
  • opportunities to rethink ones personal learning habits