Bar Camp Bank London

The Saturday just past, I attended the inaugural Barcamp Bank in London, along with, I suppose, about 40 or so others. The event was held in the offices of Sun Microsystems. A great turnout I thought.

It was my first BarCamp, and I have to say that I’m now a convert to the unconference format. There’s no set agenda, so the topics are decided by group consensus on the day of the event. Anyone can speak, and each session seemed to quickly get to group discussion, rather than the PowerPoint style speak-at-the-audience style we’re generally used to at conferences.

My thought? Old style conferences are dead, or soon will be. My experience was that the information was timely, not dependent on the quality of individuals, and highly relevant. You don’t normally get that from ordinary conferences.

The were a range of people there, also. Other banks, both UK and international, including some other Heads of Innovation. Many startups, particularly in the P2P lending space, all with various takes on banking and the business model in general. Some consultants and vendors, of course. And, naturally, quite a few bloggers, who, I am sure, will write rather more eloquently than I about the event.

There are photos from the event on Flickr, and Frederic Baud, one of the people who helped organise the event, has quite a bit to say about how these things work here.

I was talking with Frederic afterwards, and he suggested there might be value in a BarCampi (i for innovation). It would be an unconference on the subject of innovation generally, and how to do it, specifically. Any takers? 

2 Responses to“Bar Camp Bank London”

  1. July 7, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    James, it was great having you with us Saturday. You contributed a lot to the success of this BCB.
    Concerning a BarCamp style event, I’m ready to help for any cross-sector “InnovCamp”, any “CTBCamp” (Change-the-Bank Camp) or any event in banking and finance where we could apply the unconference format. And, of course, anyone interested in organizing a BarCampBank, do not hesitate to contact me if you think I can help.

  2. July 8, 2008 at 9:26 am #

    Hi James – I agree with you about the old style conferences dying out. We’d be happy to get involved and support your idea of a general, cross-industry innovation barcamp. I find that I learn a lot from my peers in other industries, probably more than those in my own.

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