We're back, but we'll never be the same again!!!
This is the most honest way I can describe our experience at the Chaos Communications Camp 2011. A meet up of ~3500 of the finest minds and the kindest hearts on the planet.
Yes there were a lot of interesting discussions, a lot of new technology demonstrated, a lot of knowledge shared....though what I am most proud of is the opportunity to have witnessed something we all seem to have forgotten...the simple act of how to work together as a community :)
As I walked all over the camp it was not very surprising to hear people yell out loudly - "Free food!!! Free Beer!!!...come over guys".
The food was cooked by people working together. The beer was donated by others too.
Someone described how they were trying to pitch a tent there by themselves and it suddenly started to rain and as he looked up he saw people rushing over to help him, in a few minutes his tent was pitched and he was well in it protected from the rain :)
I witnessed the community working together first hand on the first night of the camp itself when the temperature dipped and I was caught without a sleeping bag and completely frozen almost to death. By next morning everyone in the Milliways village I was staying at had heard of my dilemma, within a few hours Erle and I both had new sleeping bags procured by the kind guys at milliways - as simple as that. A simple act of kindness that I shall not forget.
To describe the camp site itself, it was over an ex-soviet air base. Lectures would take place in Bomb Shelters ;) The site itself now also serves as an airplane museum and was strewn with some really rare airplanes, choppers et al. Of course being techies the entire camp site was bathed in laser lights et al sorts of awesome lighting effects at night like the one you see in the picture above :)
The entire camp was strewn with tents, villages, hackcentres strewn with soldering irons and people hacking all sorts of hardware and people would teach and exchange information :)....and of course loads and loads and loads of beer :)
There were a lot of interesting lectures from people as part of the official camp lectures and then there were workshops by individuals/groups. You can find recordings to the official lectures at http://events.ccc.de/camp/2011/wiki/Recordings
The workshops provided an awesome opportunity for like-minded people to get together and exchange ideas and learn more about each others projects with a view of actually contributing. I will write more on some of the interesting workshops and people that I have met. In the meantime you can learn more about these workshops at http://events.ccc.de/camp/2011/wiki/Workshops
The experience is highly highly recommended for anyone who wishes to see what the world can be living as a community :)