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15 Jul


Save the date: 26/27 Sept Barcamp “Atoms & Bits”

July 15, 2009 | By |

Update (26.August): We’re getting there! Official announcements both on my blog and (so far in German only) on the atoms&bits website.

Note: We’re still in a very early planning stage, so please take this with some caution, it’s all very much in flow at this point.

Update (18. August):

  • Locations are confirmed: A&B Camp will be held at IMA Design Village, Betahaus will be the central hub for A&B Festival Berlin. Both are right next to each other for your convenience.
  • Sponsorship info is ready to be mailed out the next couple of days. We have very good sponsorship conditions and are looking for sponsors who fit the event. Sounds like you fit that description? Please drop me a line (!
  • Theme tracks: While A&B Camp sticks with the topics outlined below, A&B Festival will have five consistent theme tracks: Coworking, DIY/Maker, OpenEverything, Politics, Production of Art. Of course we’ll be weaving some kind of online component into many of the events.
  • Plenty of events are confirmed and being planned. Not giving any of that away yet because the website and program will be online in the next couple of days, but trust me, there’s some wicked stuff.

Updates (5. August):

  • Name: It’s official, the name will be “Atoms & Bits”. This will be the theme for both the larger festival and the concrete camp.
  • Twitter: updates via @atomsandbits
  • Hashtag: #atomsandbits or short: #anb.
  • Festival: Want to run your own event as part of the festival? Drop us a line to tell us about it and to learn about our next planning meetup:
  • Camp: Won’t be called Barcamp since we’re going to tweak the format a little, but will be run on the same principles; difference: we’ll have sort-of curated dedicated rooms/tracks for some key topics (Coworking, DIY and Open Everything).
  • Topics: At the A&B Camp pretty much as outlined in the first draft. At the A&B Festival there are going to be additional events around art&culture as well as politics.
  • Party: Yes. (Details TBA.)
  • Photos/Who Are You?: A complete list of everybody involved will be on the website (see below). Until then, you can get an impression through these A&B photos on Flickr.
  • How to get involved: See below. For participants, we’ll announce the registration process soon. For sponsors, we’re putting together very decent sponsor packages. Until we have the website up and running, feel free to get in touch with me ( and I’ll hook you up with the right info or right people. Please let me know if you’re interested in sponsoring primarily the camp or the whole festival.
  • Website: Yes. Very, very soon. Promise.
  • Logo, claim, press contacts & more info: Yes. Very, very soon. Promise.

Conference Season

The divide between online and offline world doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to most of us; neither does the divide between private and professional lives make a whole lot of sense to mobile laptop workers and coworkers; designers, scientists, musicians and other creatives are discovering and (in the best sense) exploiting the advantages of open source principles; and with open source hardware, even the barriers between the hardcore techie world and the rest of us out here are falling. (Arduino, anyone?)

All this, plus our love of the Barcamp unconference format made us want to run a really neat event. And now we found the perfect excuse to do so. So here goes what we’re thinking about – again, we’re in a very early stage, and none of this is confirmed yet – and how we’d like to combine all these aspects in one event. As an overarching theme, we picked the working title Atoms & Bits, referring to the blurring boundaries of online and offline world; not sure yet what it’ll be called in the end.

So, hopefully, on the last September weekend (26/27 Sept 2009) the following will be happening in Berlin (and at connected events all over Germany, Europe and worldwide):

  • Barcamp
    A classic barcamp, no topical limits. This will be the frame, or rather umbrella, for the event. Let’s see if we can use the name barcamp with all the modifications to the format, or if we’ll call it some-or-another camp; details to be discussed. The important part is, The Rules Of Barcamp apply.
  • Maker/DIY/Tinker Track
    a room (or track, or bunch of sessions) full of exploring the tinker and bausteln sphere, Arduinos, MAKEZINE-style stuff, maybe a 3d printer or two. This could also include some power stitching or guerilla knitting, of course. No limits.
  • Open Everything Global
    Open Everything will have a global event on Sept 26. Open Everything is a great initiative taking open source principals and practices out of the software sphere and into other areas like design, fashion, science, business – you name it. We’re talking to the Open Everything Berlin crew and they’ve signaled interest, so let’s see if we can put this together. At the last global Open Everything, we witnessed some pretty fun handovers via livestream from HongKong to Berlin and then off to (I believe) the US. A room is reserved for Open Everything.
  • Breakout Festival
    Also a global event, Breakout Festival is all about coworking (which personally I’ve been really interested in lately). With the Studio70 crew, and other coworking spaces in Berlin, we’d like to take part in Breakout, and what better opportunity the combining both events. Breakout lasts for a month (17 Sept to 16 Oct), so our Berlin event will fit right in. At least a room (or the cafe?) will be dedicated to discussing coworking and working on the concept. Edit: Sebastian just reminded me (thanks!) that this track is only a small part of the local activities within Breakout. There’s more, and there’ll also be more events the day before. (Some info over at Sebastian’s blog [de].)
  • Breakaway rooms
    Inspired to plan or code something right there and then? If the location allows, we’ll also have breakaway rooms to dig in and work on stuff. After all, it’d be great to come out of this weekend with some concrete results at hand.

In general we feel that we should have some real results from this weekend. Get stuff done! So I’d like to encourage folks to stream or record sessions, and why not do brief interviews with the speakers and participants at the end of a session; I’m sure we can collect all the stuff and share it afterwards.

That said, and again with all the disclaimers noted at the beginning, Nicole and others and I will try our best to get this set up. And we’ll do all we can to make it rock.

Wanna get involved? We’ll be setting up a website and mixxt network soon; until then, feel free to get in touch via email (, contact form or Twitter (@thewavingcat).

How to get involved?

  • As a sponsor: Barcamps are 100% non-commercial and free. That only works with your help. We need to pay for catering, internet, insurance, location. The currency we can pay you back, or rather pay it forward, is by links. We’ll ask the participants to blog and twitter about you. It’s a good audience. Sounds good to you? Please get in touch (
  • As a co-organizer, helping hand, volunteer: You’re the ones keeping it all together. We’ll be trying to make it as easy and smooth for everybody as possible. We can’t pay you (we don’t get paid either), but you’ll be part of something cool. Wanna help out? Get in touch!
  • As a participant: You’re the most important part of the event. You make it or break it. Yet, please wait a little bit, we’ll set up a system to handle registrations. (Thanks!)

Update 29 July 09: Comments were closed automatically after 14 days, now commenting is back open for another 14 days. Sorry, my bad. Also, more – and more concrete – info about barcamp, festival and how it all fits together very, very soon. Within a few days. For really up-to-date info, please follow @atomsandbits, but I’ll be posting an update here, too.

Photo by Boogah (Creative Commons)


  1. Okay, but the date is really hard. the two days before is the stARTconference at duisburg. Featured by a project of mine. So i would reach a helping hand if i only could. :/

  2. Is date fixed already? If not you might want to reconsider as it clashes with the RegioWikiCamp

  3. clemens

    Die Wahl zum 17. Deutschen Bundestag findet am 27. September 2009 statt. picnic Amsterdam, stARTconference Duisburg, dmexco Köln, puh, das ist ne menge los in der woche. klingt aber interessant, was ihr vorhabt. wir sprechen uns ;-)

  4. Hi Clemens, ertappt. ;) Ja, genau deswegen machen wir die Aktion an dem Wochenende. “Gesellschaftsgestaltung zum Selbermachen” quasi.

    Und nicht nur in Berlin, sondern mit so vielen Orten wie möglich. Lust, mitzuorganisieren?

  5. hehe, klar, mache gerne im Rahmen meiner bescheidenen Möglichkeiten mit. wann wo? ;-)

  6. Danke allen, die heute da waren!

  7. Die Präsentation zur Cloud ist auf Slideshare

  8. Sounds really exiting, saving the date!

  9. Nächstes Vortreffen für Festival und Camp: Di, 28.7. 19 bis 22 Uhr im – Kottbusser Damm 70

    Für News:

  10. Nächstes Vortreffen für Festival und Camp: Di, 4.8. 19 bis 22 Uhr im – Prinzessinnenstraße 19-20 (am Moritzplatz)

    Für News: