It will be fascinating to see how the camp actually develops because, unlike traditional conferences, the agenda will be set by whoever attends. There is always a possibility that someone volunteering to give a 1 to 3 minute lightning talk, at the start of the day, on a subject they are passionate about might point the ensuing sessions in a new and unanticipated direction. That is the great thing about these conferences and camps. There is so much reward to be gained from actively participating. There are some great sessions being prepared:
"How Healthcare could be transformed by the adoption of Social Media, Open Standards and Web 2.0 technologies."
- Health 2.0 - What do we mean by Health 2.0? - Where are the opportunities to apply Social networking to the Health Care landscape?
- Using mobile technology to make better food choices
- Clinical healthcare opportunities vs consumer (patient) healtcare business models
- Using Clinical Informatics professionals in the 2.0 business quest.
- Personal Health Records (PHRs) - using Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault to build open source software that allow patients and clinicians to collaborate on each patient's care.
- Biology Futures, particularly personal genomics and synthetic biology
- Personal genome analysis with SNPedia
Will we get through all of these topics? We will have to see but the people who are coming are passionate about the issues and that should lead to fascinating discussions.
I am not an expert in running a barcamp so I am looking forward to the experience. I have been thinking about how best to engage people so I have stolen unashamedly from my experience at the recent AgileCoachCamp which was facilitated by the excellent John Engle. John did an amazing job of quietly guiding a passionate crowd. His facilitation skills are quietly effective, a real master. They are big shoes to fill.
Will I fit in?
One thing that I had concerns with when I thought about attending my first camp was whether I would fit in. We all probably have that concern in some form. What I have learned is that the passion that people bring to these events makes it a welcoming experience for everyone. It doesn't matter what level of expertise you bring, everyone has something to contribute. Indeed, not being an expert can be an advantage. The non-experts bring that uncanny ability to stop an expert in their tracks by asking a question as simple as "Why?" causing the expert to consider an issue from a completely different perspective.
So, I urge you, if you are in the Baltimore area on June 14th come down and join in. You will be made welcome. Bring your enthusiasm to learn and participate.
Once again, here is the link: http://barcamp.org/HealthCampMd