Smarter By Sharing
The open schools are un-conferences (unstructured conferences ) that we run across South-East Asia. Anyone can attend these; there is no fee. The participants discuss a range of topics — travel, relationships, career, education and personal development. The meets are held at local libraries, cafes, co-working spaces, riversides etc. — any venue that we can beg, borrow or steal.
We crowdsource stationery and equipment. We urge the participants to bring their tumblers for water. We do not have banners, lanyards and swag. We use a minimal amount of paper for posting topics and voting. There is no food at the event (sometimes fruit, thanks to generous participants). We publish a list of nearby cafes and restaurants, and we urge the participants to explore these with their newfound friends.
We believe that there is a lot of knowledge locked away in our cities and communities. We wanted a platform where people from diverse backgrounds, ages, and occupations can come together. We were tired of rigid conferences with their expensive fees, non-context-aware speakers, VIP areas and a general waste of name tags, banners and other paraphernalia. We run the un-conferences as a neutral venue for people to come together and share skills, ideas and interests with an as low ecological footprint as possible. There is a lot of talk of smart cities - the open school community thinks that a “smart” city is the one that is smarter by sharing.