As BarCamp Philly leadership wrapped up a sold out and successful unconference on Saturday, on the mind of at least three attendees was what was in store for the future of the event.
Kelani Nichole, a co-organizer of the popular event — which in its fourth year, has been and was an early catalyst of the young technology community in Philadelphia — said that she and her fellow founding organizers JP Toto (of CognisIT) and Roz Duffy (known well for organizing TEDxPhilly), were planning on letting off the gas.
The tone didn’t suggest letting go, but in long hallway on the second floor of Huntsman Hall at the University of Pennsylvania, where the event took place, Nichole suggested that it might be time for a change in leadership.
In an email exchange Sunday evening, Duffy agreed. “This was definitely my last BarCamp as an organizer. I kinda want to shout it from the rooftops,” Duffy wrote. “I’m so proud of what we have created and I think yesterday’s event was the best yet.”
Organizers are still deciding to whom to pass the torch, but Sarah Feidt, a web development and communications consultant who has helped organize the past two BarCamp Philly events, and volunteered with the first two, is likely to lead the change.
That coming change sounds aligned with what was maybe the more important takeaway of Saturday’s event: there’s no shortage of talent, ambition and leadership emerging in Philadelphia’s tech and creative communities.
LessFilms checks out the event’s pre-party. Full story after the jump.
With 350 attendees, more than 60 sessions filled the boards of the day-long event, which can be seen in full here. The diverse content of the sessions, which were lead by veterans and new arrivals, are perhaps best summed up by an early morning session proposed by Bryan Lyles, who visited the conference from Baltimore.
“Lightning Geeks,” as it was titled, provided everyone in the classroom the opportunity to share five minute pitches about something “that you think others need to know about.” The session was dominated by discussion of several SEPTA applications that utilize the transit agency’s recently unveiled API, but also highlighted startups and food co-ops. Call the session a mini-BarCamp. Throughout the day, dozens of people were able to share with the community what they thought was important.
Forty-five minutes earlier, Anthony Shull demonstrated how he and his buddies were working to provide mesh WiFi in Port Richmond while in another room, several startup veterans shared tips for those looking to start or grow businesses in Philadelphia.
Later in the afternoon, there was much buzz around a session that looked to create networking opportunities for freelance workers living outside city limits. The group even launched a Twitter account and Google Group the same day. Maria T. Sciarrino led a conversation about gender issues in the tech community at a conference whose population made mostly of men.
Whether or not the event can continue to inspire at the same pace remains unknown, but as Nichole put it in a later email: “I am stoked to pass the torch and looking forward to sharing my knowledge with new folks for next year’s event.”
Below, some of the notable tweets of the day.
View “2011 BarCamp Philly” on Storify