Over 80 people from various walks of life, most of whom did not know each other, walked into the colorful Mindtree office on a Saturday morning. Not many knew what to expect from the day ahead, but what connected them instantly was that all of them were bright and cheerful people, not scared of the ambiguity that the day brought in and ready to explore what was there. Well, now is that not exactly what an “Innovation Community” should look like.
It was a day that most of us who participated would remember. It started with, well getting up on Saturday and driving all the way to Banashankari, which in itself is a big deal for most of us. Once there, we found the smiling Prakasan, who had work relentlessly to make the event happen and everything was well organized. There was a whiteboard up for grabs for anyone to block a time slot and put his or her topic to speak on. There were 7-8 time slots that were available with a provision to run two parallel sessions and dilemma was all the topics were too interesting and one did not feel like skipping any of them. I managed to get few of them serialized, but unfortunately still had to miss a few of them.
Interestingly about 90% of the people were attending a barcamp for the first time, so Murli took this opportunity to explain all of us about the do’s and don’ts of a barcamp or an unconference, and all the rules can be summarized in one simple sentence ‘there are no do’s and don’ts’. Anyone who is present is the right person to attend and contribute. We were told that you can actually hijack someone’s topic and take it to any direction that you want.
The topics that people chose to speak or discuss brought out the various dimensions of Innovation, some obvious and some not so obvious. Some of topics were as diverse as “How to use Innovation to manage relationships?” and “Innovation and Spirituality”. Topics were as innovative as the group. There was a discussion on Innovation in education and on an eternal topic ‘Innovation / Creativity and Processes’. It was suggested that we form an Innovation community comprising of people from diverse backgrounds and professions that can explore many more dimensions of Innovation and can probably be a fertile learning ground for the likes of the people who attended the iCamp. The response was tremendous and we hope to keep the momentum intact.
As a small contributor to the organization of this iCamp, I would like to thank Mindtree for hosting us and delighting us with Samosas and Jalebis so that the flavor of Saturday was not lost in a corporate environment. I would also like to thank K-community for providing support to iCamp through enthusiastic participation. I am already looking forward to the next camp. In the mean time if you would to be a part of this community, you may please get in touch with me.