[act-ma] 7/25 to 8/2 Hope Conference Update
cwelch at tecschange.org
Sat May 30 07:25:11 PDT 2020
Hope is an amazing "Hacker" conference that usually happens every 2
years in NYC. The conference focuses on the "Social Implications of
Technology". The people that organize the conference do a radio show
on WBAI in NY. Below is a link to the latest show.
You can also find links to other weekly shows among the items on
Update on the Hope Conference.
While we all want things to go back to normal, the science just doesn't
make that possible. July and August may still seem far away, but there
simply is no way the COVID-19 crisis will be over by then, even in the
best-case scenario. We had planned on waiting until June to make a final
decision, but it's become clear that planning an in-person conference
simply wouldn't be the responsible thing to do. Nothing matters more
than the health and safety of our attendees. Yes, this will be a
financial kick in the teeth for us. But it's one we'll willingly take as
the mere possibility of putting any of you at risk is unconscionable.
We want to be clear on one important point. Apart from the obvious
disappointment of not being able to host this historic event at a new
venue we were so looking forward to, we want everyone to come out of
this not feeling dissatisfaction beyond that. More on that later.
This is what we're now looking at:
We are NOT canceling HOPE. Instead, we are changing what this year's
HOPE will be.
HOPE 2020 will now be a NINE DAY EVENT, beginning on Saturday, July 25th
and running until Sunday, August 2nd, 2020. Why did we add an entire
week? Because we want some good to come out of this and we believe our
community is in a position to do just that. We all know what we WON'T
have without a physical conference, but let's now focus on what we CAN
have with some imagination and collaboration. That's what the hacker
community is all about.
We intend to have around the same number of talks as we normally do, but
spread out over a much longer period and available for viewing on a high
capacity stream. Those of you who bought tickets will have exclusive
access to the presenters so you can ask questions, participate in
workshops, and interact with other conference attendees. In addition,
you will also receive a conference t-shirt and badge that won't ever be
made available to anyone else.
We plan on having NINE keynote speakers, again with exclusive Q&A access
for our attendees.
Participation in HOPE will no longer be bound by visas and worries of
arrest by certain controversial types. So expect a dynamic and varied
cast of characters. It wouldn't be HOPE without that, but now we can
REALLY remove some barriers.
In addition to ongoing talks and panels, we'll also have workshops for
the duration of the nine day event. Expect everything from lockpicking
to soldering instruction to our infamous ham radio exams.
For the overnight hours, we're planning on having concerts, DJs, and
other fun stuff. HOPE will remain a 24 hour event, but for nine days!
All of this has been - and will continue to be - a daunting task. The
COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in varying ways. The continued
survival of 2600 was quickly put into doubt as our distributors stopped
paying us, bookstores with our issues in them shut down, and new issues
were left in loading zones. We've lost more than half a year's income at
last count and have had to stop getting paid in order to continue to
survive. Making this year's HOPE a success is really the only way we can
come through this.
As mentioned above, we don't want anyone to feel extra unhappy because
of this. If you want a refund, we will give you one. But with all of the
losses we've already suffered, we won't be able to continue existing if
we have to issue very many of those. That's why we're hoping we can put
together the best event possible and make this the highlight of our
summer despite all that's happened.
We are in the process of accepting talk and workshop proposals that have
already been submitted. We will be providing technical support so that
presenters will be able to participate smoothly in a virtual
environment. We are now opening up the submission process to include
many more participants from all around the globe, something we never
really had the ability to do before. We hope to have talks, workshops,
and musical presentations from a truly international community, no
longer bound by a physical presence.
While we have a dedicated team of volunteers already working on making
this happen, we can definitely use many more, especially as the event
draws closer and becomes bigger. Email volunteers at hope.net
<mailto:volunteers at hope.net> and let us know how you think you can help.
We're looking for people with experience setting up and producing live
online broadcasts. We are also looking for emcees, moderators for online
forums, and people to fulfill other behind-the-scenes roles.
If we get through all of this, we fully intend to hold a physical HOPE
in 2021 (the first odd-year HOPE since 1997). This will also enable us
to continue publishing once bookstores start opening again. All of this
depends on our hacker spirit getting us through the toughest times we
ever could have imagined. And if you share our enthusiasm over what this
new incarnation of HOPE will mean, this summer will indeed be one to
look forward to.
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