With a little help from our friends

Executive summary: We are a bit in trouble and we need money to secure our future projects and we are looking for people and organizations to support us. If you think you can help, please read the rest of this article to understand what we are looking for. Thanks.

If you are following this blog, chances are high you are a following our activities for a while, probably even for a long time. In a few weeks, CCC will turn 25 years (!) and next Congress at the end of the year will be the 23rd reiteration. This is a long time and we have come a long way. But since the beginning a lot of things have changed.

I wouldn’t say the scene has changed much. The supporters and activists of the Chaos Computer Club are still sharing common goals and ideals and in a way a common culture. The Club attracts open-minded people that care about the world, the society and the future. These people are usually interested in technology but keep an eye on the developments and try to differentiate between the chances and the risks new developments represent. The CCC itself is more of a social infrastructure that tries to tie these people together and to provide as many platforms for discussion as possible.

With no doubt our most important platform is the Chaos Communication Congress. In the recent years we saw a surge in activity at and general interest in the event. We guess this was due to an increased openness on our side by turning the event into an international event with a stronger focus on global issues. But it can also be attributed to a change in societies on this planet. While hackers get arrested at conferences in the US, Germany still retains a romantic relationship and considers hackers a positive contribution to society. This is good and it should stay that way. And we plan to contribute to this by doing the right thing.

In recent years, we let the Congress grow: more talks, more projects and a much improved handling of the conference program. We also tried to allocate more resources to improve the conference (presentation technology, audio and video recording) and take care of speakers both before and during the event. And we took care about addressing an international audience by shifting the focus toward english-language content. So far this has been a very positive experience for us and – telling from the feedback we got – for the speakers as well. This is good and we want to keep it that way.

But it is no surprise better organization and infrastructure comes with a price. Last year, we extended the Congress to four days because we thought it would be valuable for the event and its participants (we still think this was a good idea). But we also had to raise the entrance fee from a very low level to a less low level. But unfortunately, the amount of money we make from this doesn’t pay the bill in an adequate manner. While we have been able to cover basic costs, there is no room to cover the preparation costs and to make sure we have a dedicated team that takes care of 80% of things upfront. We have so many ideas how to improve Congress but too many just die in the beginning as the lack of funding doesn’t leave room for these things.

So here we are. As we want to keep entrance fees for Congress as low as possible to keep it an affordable event for many, we need to tap other sources to ensure that we can keep on doing what we like to do most: to continue to create the best alternative technology conference available, bring together the brightest heads from everywhere on this planet and to still have fun without having to enter the Dark Side (TM). Contrary to many rumours we want to keep the Congress (and every other CCC event) a non-commercial, independent and groundbreaking event.

We are now looking for partners that can help us finance 23C3. We are currently very low on financial resources and there are so many things we just can’t do which desperately need a kickoff. Right now there isn’t even a planning office to meet and this is a really bad situation.

Please take a minute to think about how you can help. We are explicitly not shouting “Sponsors!” here as we are primarily looking for people and organizations that do understand what we do, how we do it and why we are doing it. But money makes the world go round and we have to find a way out of this dilemma. We are naive enough to think that we can get by with a little help from our friends. Please help us to retain our naivety!

To be able to go ahead we need to raise a fairly large sum to ensure our future operations which not only include the 23C3 but also the planned sequel to our Chaos Communication Camp series in summer next year. If you think you can contribute please get in contact with us. We will treat every supporter well (but we won’t sell out either) and we are open for your requests and needs.

If this doesn’t work preparation of 23C3 will be complicated and the next Camp will be probably impossible. So we count on your support: talk to your company if it could sponsor 23C3. If you know of people or organizations that might be helpful for us, let us know so that we can talk to them. If you have an idea what would be a good way for us to get funding, drop a line.

Thanks in advance for any help. We never asked you for anything. But this time, we really need it. Please spread the word.

For all requests please get back to us by e-mail at 23c3-orga@cccv.de.