I wanted to share with you the story of how I started going to BarCamp. My name is Flutura Sadiku and I’m a booklover/tech and science geek/human rights activist. I’m studying computer science and engineering, and I always try to go to as many educational events as possible so I can know what is really going on in the real world, besides the one we see online every day.
It all started in January 13th 2013 when I received a Facebook invitation for BarCamp #10 and it said that there was going to be some “speedgeeking”, which was like speed dating for geeks. But I didn’t know that the whole speedgeeking thing was just the pre-event for Wiki Academy Kosovo, another successful project of Ipko Foundation that I didn’t even apply for. So, I’ve decided to go to the BarCamp with a good friend of mine just to see what was really going on and it instantly became sort of a tradition.
First speakers were these guys who owned a bar. It was actually a bar that I’ve only been once before the BarCamp, and didn’t know anything about its story. The bar is called Crème de la crème, and its co-owners shared their great and inspiring story of how they turned their nightouts into a bar of their own and how it affected their lives. Their presentation in BarCamp made me go at their bar very often, having the chance to closely see how the whole entrepreneurship thing was going and how successful all young men and women may be if they are ambitious enough and love what they do.
The variety of speakers and the topics changed every edition, giving the participants the opportunity of listening to many success stories of different individuals or teams who made their dreams come true by working hard and not giving up. I learnt a lot about how technology innovations can change lives of people, by hearing how much attention a country may get through art, by learning the educational experiences of others and the opportunities offered nowadays to improve the educational system, and everyday life challenges of many people struggling to reach their goals and fulfill their potential. By making questions in a very friendly environment and by getting honest responses, every participant gets to learn more about stuff they’re curious about. They also give the chance of proposing specific speakers whose stories you would like to attend.
These good experiences shared on BarCamps in Prishtina, inspired IF to organize BarCamp events each month in the biggest cities of Kosovo. The need to expand became a necessity since many youngsters expressed their interest in joining such occasions where they would meet and listen how they could make a difference in the community or the world.
BarCamps were and still are a great place to catch up with friends you don’t get to see very often and also meet new people with common interests and ideas.
As for me, BarCamp was just a gateway drug to other Ipko Foundation programs, such Wiki Academy II, Doku:Tech, Digital Kosova, and many other events that they supported. One cannot only be a part of one IF program, without showing interest in other sociable and important events that can definitely help in advancing your current career or get you a great motivation to start building one.
Frankly, BarCamp is an amazing opportunity to renew friendships, meet new people, gain new information, learn from others experiences, and GET INSPIRED.
May the force be with you!