Announcing All Things Open (ATO)

On the second Thursday of each month, starting on Thursday 10th December 2015, we will be hosting a new social salon entitled All Things Open (ATO).

ATO will, as the name suggests, provide an informal and accessible space for the discussion of all of the various things that have benefited and blossomed thanks to the contemporary explosion of openness.

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Software (Linux, WordPress, Libre Office)
  • Hardware (Electronics, 3D printing, Single Board Computers)
  • Culture (Art, Books, Music)

The format of the evening will evolve over time but initially we are planning to provide a monthly round up of open / software / hardware / culture / related news, followed by a talk from a visiting guest speaker. We have already got some interesting and notable visitors lined up for the new year.

After the talk we would like to invite attendees to join us for a drink (coffee or beer!) at a local hostelry to be confirmed.

ATO will start at 6.30pm and run until 9pm at which point we will retire to the pub to carry on the discussion.

On evenings when no visiting speakers are available, we will instead offer practical workshops covering a wide range of ‘open’ related subjects.

Our wish is that ATO will be accessible to all, particularly those people who may not feel welcome at the average tech meetup.

Entry is free to Bridge Rectifier members. Non members can make a suggested donation of £5 at the door on the night.

For the December ATO, we would like to encourage everyone to bring some drinks and nibbles to help get us off to a good (and festive) start.

I will be giving a talk entitled - “The Origins of Open - what is it and what does it mean for me?”

Please spread the word, and hopefully see you there!

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sounds good. who is visiting in the new year? I can’t make the one in December but if you can put up an advance schedule of the visiting speakers you’ve already got lined-up I’ll try to attend some of the sessions if I can.

All will be revealed in due course. Still got some details to finalise.

Sounds great. Looking forward to this and I’d be up for bringing a varied selection of open hardware along to one of these — from Arduino to a laptop and a GSM base station. Not so much a talk, but a discursive mumble around a table of bits and bobs, with a demo or two.

yeah - I like a bit of a mumble. I’d also be happy to contribute maybe later next year - maybe it would be useful to talk about the appeal to openness in the cyber-utopian ‘californian ideology’? - but it would be great if we are inviting visitors and hosting something external to the community. and really great to be able to pay a visiting speaker and cover travel expenses, hospitality etc - do you imagine we’d be able to do this? if so I don’t mind contacting possible visiting speakers once any gaps in your schedule are a bit more known and I could give people decent notice to book them in etc.

@dxhales it would be so great if you could give us a mumble as you put it. I don’t know anyone better qualified to talk about the cultural side of all this.

Initially I was planning to take a leaf out of your book and pay for the train fare of at least one person from London I’m asking to come up. They are a friend though so they will stay over at my place and save the cost of a hotel.

I’ve been really inspired by MWUG at the madlab. They run the most accessible and inclusive meetup I’ve ever been to. If we can attract older people, and other groups who might not usually be willing to come, then hopefully we can grow it the point where we can do things properly, as you suggest.

I’m going to get a logo together so I can do some fly posting and leafleting soon.

I really like the idea of having invited speakers and in many cases it would likely be necessary to cover travel and perhaps accommodation costs.

I’d suggest that as a general rule, it should be up to the person doing the inviting and acting as host for that speaker, to underwrite the costs and assume responsibility to lead on the publicity. Of course, there may also be cases where 2 or more are keen on a particular topic or speaker, in which case the liability could be shared. However, inviting guests and expecting others to assume any liability, financial or otherwise, would not be cool. Well, this is my opinion in any case.

that is good to know. I agree that with an org configured the way Bridge Rectifier is that this might be one sensible approach: but I certainly won’t be inviting anyone to either speak or attend any events on that basis, other than members. member/director led events for member/director benefit and member/director liability.

and I think that can be positive by the way - despite it sounding a tad negative. I think its good to have a clear position.

Well, that is simply a suggestion — an opinion — and I’m all ears as far as proposals for alternative approaches go.

Just to be clear: I was not suggesting that the organising member must foot all the bill. Rather instead that if they choose to organise a loss making enterprise, it is they who should be on the hook for making up any difference. I do not think it is reasonable, in my opinion, to expect Bridge Rectifier to underwrite and subsidise member-led activities. That is, at least until we have a healthy operating surplus — which is some way off.

But, once again, I’d love to hear of an alternative position that would foster a greater number of such events, albeit without potential for significantly increased financial exposure.

I honestly can’t think of better alternatives for BR. I agree with your thoughts here. But you do seem open to BR led events as a future possibility. How do we distinguish between BR led events and member use of BR for their events?

Maybe this needs discussing elsewhere?

You raise some good points and this is something that needs working out. One option would be for “official” events to be supported by some magic number of members and to then follow a set of clear guidelines or rules even, that apply to such things. Covering, for example, financial exposure and other risks, safety and public liability etc. Whereas a member led event would work on the principle that they are responsible for all this stuff — and with another set of rules.

At the moment events are all member-led in the sense that BR does not fund them. However, the name may get used. As of now, this is likely not an issue, but developing a a much clearer position on the matter before it ever becomes one would be a sensible thing to do.

As you say, this is really a discussion for elsewhere and started a new thread:

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@treb0r nice of you to say so… I can think of plenty of other folk tbh! but happy to do something next year at this member led event at some point. I haven’t been to a MWUG event before but do intend to get over to madlab a lot more.

I’ll be there in January @treb0r, but already know I can’t make 10th Dec. Thanks for organizing this.