I would like to think that we have different vehicles. We mentioned our bus in the past ran out of gas, no transportation alas…yet _we remained fueled all the same _. I would like to think that we have a great opportunity here to introduce something. I see the Cafe (or perhaps this particular Cafe as good place for the barcamp method, a didactical foundation @MarcoM mentions in his synopsis of his book Free Progress Education for our “education” here.
Marco's Barcamp description
The ‘barcamp’ or ‘un-conference’ modality might play a role in a future higher education environment also. A barcamp might be defined as an alternative way with which people could communicate their ideas, projects, studies, and even dreams. It works as follows. In the beginning, all the people convene in a hall, and everyone is allowed to present in a minute or two his or her session. And ‘everyone’ means just that: everyone. There is no hierarchy of sages, teachers, or professors. Also a perfectly unknown person could rush in and present a speech. ‘Mister nobody’ can propose for instance to discuss with those who like to attend ‘The future of humanity on Mars’, or instead of presenting his own project he/she might ask for solutions to questions such as how to find funds to publish a book on hand surgery, or discuss how far didactical and pedagogical optimism is justified, and so on. Once the session has been briefly presented, and if among those present some raise their hands to show interest, a room and a time segment for a discussion are assigned. The same procedure repeats itself for all the others who present a topic. In this fashion, several sessions will have been programmed, without any previous intervention or approval by a commission. On a board, in less than a half an hour, a huge programme of sessions is set. Then everyone attends those which are considered the most interesting. What follows is not a talk by the proponent of the session, but only a brief introduction, after which an informal discussion is opened to all those present. The idea is that the classical seminar format might be occasionally replaced also by ‘un-seminars’. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the traditional seminar is going to die. However, in several situations a barcamp-style seminar might be a better solution because seminars are used primarily to convey information. Instead, an un-seminar can function as a platform to ask for information. For example, one might have an idea for a research project, and might want to hear what other students and faculty members might think of it. Another might want to set up a research group, and to look for members wishing to join in. Yet another might wish to share opinions and impressions about a new discovery, and so on. The barcamp, un-conference, and un-seminar formats might prove to be a great tool for communicating among students and university members ideas, projects, findings, news, etc. That would also foster a real socialization and new forms of group work, which are not forced and imposed from above, as they are at the present time.
For example: If we see fit, we would all lay out some ideas or projects we would like to work on. I could state that I want to start CosmosKids, @madrush would state he wants to read x book, @Mark_Jabbour would state that he wants a Readers Underground group to form for his new book to receive feedback and spark a great discussion, @achronon states that he need help on learning to combat his curmudgeonous personality and wishes to have a one-on-one session to discuss plans on how to go about this. @KPr2204 wants everyone to visit Virginia and host a weekend retreat to discuss a re-writing of the Bible (KJV -Katina’s Jivin’ Version). @Michael_Stumpf wishes for everyone to bring their best images of metaphorical mapping to the next Cafe so he can compile a list of metaphors to suit his fluid personality.
It may be that only one proposal leads to a separate project. @Mark_Jabbour’s request is met and we make the RU group happen. Everyone elses request didn’t find the followers needed to bring the project into fruition…so they are on the backburner, perhaps. Or forgotten. But not neglected…it may just need the right time…the right place.
I see the Cafe as for EVERYONE (edit: EVERYONE who wishes to participate). Everyone must be here to have voices heard or not, to create a direction or not. or just to chat…that is partly what the Cafe is. To plan separate projects, the Cafe is a great place to try out the barcamp style. But Tuesdays at this particular time to try and cram in everything is not fruitful. We haveany other time available and the skills as adults to start our own projects. We have the tools here to make shit happen, to make projects real. All it takes is a Zoom link and a processing buddy. And a little bit of event planning. The Zoom link is easy enough. The processing needs a bit of work if we were to handle a load of 10+ individuals and their projects. But I believe that we can make things happen.