So BarCamps look an interesting way to meet.
But I rather see a larger scope than geeks meeting geeks ;-)
From there I did a jump (could not find the link anymore) to CivicForge which goes one step to this direction: bring our opensource competences and way of working to fields such as promoting open source in cultural, academic and corporate institutions around the world. As open source development has primarily focused on software, it is now becoming the dominant organizing model for online grassroots participatory social networks and microeconomies.
Personally with some other friends (yep opensource brings you great valuable friends ;-) we tried to setup such very ambitious project targeted to belgian education system.
Reality is that we were all too busy to spend time properly towards one single goal, being all involved into 20 other thinks at the same time.
Find a formula where:
- we, opensource proponents and connoisseurs, can help some other social groups such as asbls, NGOs, artist groups, etc.
- their need could be internal (self-organisation through wikis, MLs, etc) or external (presence on the web, portail, etc)
- we cannot individually spend too much time on one single project, or, said the way around, the projects should not be hampered by the lack of availability/motivation/whatever of our volunteers
- the goal is to give just the first kick, to get something in the hands rather quickly, to bootstrap the system
Bootstrapping is what came in my mind when looking to a name for this idea, with my technical background but actually wikipedia teached me that bootstrapping is a word used in many other contexts, sometimes with a definition even closer to our goal:
In science fiction, to bootstrap a culture is to give it technology until that culture is technologically equal or close to equal to one's own culture
Actually it's a two-way transfer because if we can share a little bit of our technical vision, I hope we can learn also a lot about the cultural or societal goal of the helpees by listening to their needs in their daily work.