Our official introduction in to the world of drumbeat was at the first “Space Wranglers” meeting, a meeting that just happened to be in the Future Class/Storming the Academy Tent. During this meeting we learned that part of our travel scholarships from Mozilla meant we were volunteering to help guide people through the festival should they have questions. We also needed to have a general sense of what was happening with the schedule. This role allowed us to make sure we had any pre-event questions answered.
The Gunner Experience
Allen “Gunner” Gunn changed how everyone in Future Class views successful facilitation and collaboration within diverse groups (so much so that a blog post was written about his methods). We started using his term, “love bomb” in our emails, almost immediately.
Just a big “love bomb” (to use Gunner’s term) to FutureClass. I really, really enjoyed getting to know everyone better in Barcelona (and Mary Caton in Durham!)
-From Whitney’s first post-Drumbeat email to the listserv
The meeting was scheduled to last 4 hours, from 1pm-5pm with a regroup the next morning at 7:30AM. I was too tired to note the time it actually ended but I know I managed to get lost in Barcelona catch a taxi to my hotel and take a 1.5 hour nap before the evening’s festivities.
The Science Fair took place that evening. It was the opening event. We were “unveiled” as Future Class. The Science Fair lasted quite late into the night (so late that an email was sent in the wee hours of the morning rescheduling the 7:30AM meeting to 8:00AM… I missed the email).
To see the full Storming the Academy Schedule Click Here (PDF) (or right click save as to download).
Thursday was the first day of the festival component of Drumbeat. I was one of the two people from Future Class to see the opening speeches and activity pitches (the other members manned the tent while we were gone). I remain in awe that two amazing women were the featured speakers in the only organized component of the day. I am humbled to be in a class “taught” by Cathy.
The festival was on. Storming the Academy had multiple events with standing room only. Future Class kind of let go of the idea of side table events, something I am convinced was for the best. We always had someone at the tables and we interacted with people and explained who we are but we were very flexible with our programming. Most of Future Class managed to explore that day. I stayed at my “field site”.
This was to be a day of misses for me. The final day of the festival started with a morning meeting that I missed. I also missed a discussion/activity I wanted to attend that happened in the tent, facilitated by Whitney, a member of Future Class. I had some time to wander around Drumbeat: another miss! It was an awkward experience since so many of the tents/groups had already found their core teams and were well on their way to building. After lunch, I looked around a bit, but my jet lag hit me and I ended up back at the tent.
The day ended with the closing “variety show” performance Anya of DIY U. It variety show was a selection of highlights and speakers from the various Festival tents and spaces. Next steps for Drumbeat were also discussed. We learned that one of the tools Future Class brought to Drumbeat had been chosen by Mozilla to be sent to their open source development community, if the class so wanted.
That night (at 11:30PM!) there was a closing party at a club called City Hall with live music, free drinks for name tags, and lots of dancing… there was also a thumb war.