Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My BarCamp Diaspora '09 interview with Shara Karasic

BarCamp Diaspora '09 (Investing our talent where it counts) took place on July 25 at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies. The event was a success and drew about 80 participants and had many more following proceedings through Twitter, Ustream and Facebook.

After the event, Shara Karasic (one of the organizers of the awesome BarCampAfrica at Google in October 2008) asked me a few questions about the BarCamp and how it had gone. This is what I had to say

I already reviewed the event on my blog at this link. Initiatives are coming out of the BarCamp already and as they became more structured, we'll let you know. It's taking awhile to consolidate the action items but once that is done, more initiatives shall follow. The initiatives that existed before BarCamp are only going to get stronger with new partnerships and support.

It's not easy organizing events at all and once you do it, you have more respect for those who do it and do it well. I had second thoughts about future barcamps while I was helping put this one together and I was leaning towards brushing my hands off it. You know, maybe this kind of thing is not for me, not my calling. Like I even know what my calling is (tsew). Turns out, I am passionate about what I have chosen to do and the shortcomings of this BarCamp only make me want to plan better ones. We need more events like BarCamp Diaspora, especially for Ghanaians. I haven't seen or heard of any similar events in all my time in the US, someone correct me if I'm wrong. Other countries have been doing it and doing it even bigger. I hope we'll get more support for future BarCamps now that we've built some more momentum and are working towards more traction.

With all the goodwill Ghana is enjoying these days, we have to milk this to the max. But the big question always is, who will take the initiative? Someone said he thought I was some old Odadee from the 70's organizing this thing. There's no reason why we should wait till we are 40. Many people have taken various initiatives in their youth and I can name a whole bunch of them who are my age and even younger. Like my friend's favorite signature says - The destiny of any nation is shaped by the opinions of its young men and women. Obama already called on young Africans to take charge, there are no more excuses to wait.

PS: If you are interested in helping out in future events or helping the GhanaThink Foundation implement more ideas, get in touch with me. Tsooboi! It's time to move, less talk, more action.
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