Description Hacker/ maker/ & community spaces are popping up in the most unlikely places around the Middle East and they are slowly influencing (as well as being slowly influenced by) their local communities and cities.

Lamba Labs, Beirut's first hackerspace, is one such space, that, through and since its foundation, has faced many external/internal cultural/social challenges that were initially perceived as purely local.

As it turns out, those challenges are just extreme or localized variants of those we all face in the hacker community and this interactive talk/discussion will revolve around some of those challenges and what we have done or can do about them.

Type Discussion
Keyword(s) social
Person organizing RajaO
Language en - English
Other session...

Subtitle Are hackerspaces reflections of, or resistances against, local culture?
Starts at 2013/12/30 03:00:00 PM
Ends at 2013/12/30 04:00:00 PM
Duration 60 minutes
Location Hall 13

In this interactive session, I'll start with some of the qualities we, at Lamba Labs, believed a modern-day, Middle Eastern hacker/ maker -space ought to exemplify and the effects we believed it ought to have on our local community.

In practice, however, we learned not only that many other spaces (in the region and around the world) share the same ideas, but also that our space (like many other spaces) fell short of these qualities. Some of the questions I want to bring up include:

- How do we balance between reflecting local culture and changing it, especially in regions of the world that have a strong cultural heritage but also warrant a great deal of change?

- What are acceptable compromises and sacrifices, especially when members are educationally multidisciplinary and ethnically/religiously diverse and when that diversity ought to be preserved?

- How do we run those spaces and deal with member gridlock, especially in regions prone to sectarianism and/or violence?

My hope is for us to leave the session inspired and ready enough to lead our local hacker/ maker -spaces towards better reflecting the positive aspects of their communities and towards more effectively addressing the issues in those communities-- anywhere in the world-- as well as towards being more inclusive of differences in every way from gender, race, background, education, and discipline.

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