Meet the 36C3 track team “Resilience and Sustainability”
We’re 36C3’s Resilience and Sustainability content team and want to show you just our bit of work that helped making this year’s Fahrplan as amazing as it has turned out.
Our team consists of hackers and scientists, tinkerers and PhDs and was formed for 34C3 when we felt that the conference was developing a blind spot between complete destruction of all the IT things and the fascinations for the resulting apocalypse. We wanted to give a stage to new and shiny useful technology for a better and more resilient world – with actual prototypes!
This year’s motto “resource exhaustion” added a perspective on sustainability to the track – even though the term is rather overloaded. There’s a plethora of conferences selling you on the most recent hypes about how machine learning, crypto currencies and the cloud will save the world, but we think that it is in the spirit of this community to question everything, think and focus on technology that will last for much longer – both physically and from a software engineering point of view. We found it fitting to see how the existing resources can be used and reused, who’s building resilient technologies that can help people in emergencies, oppressive regimes or off-grid situations, and – in a broader scope – how can we build the systems of the future not riddled by the problems of our generation.
Along the way, we hope we can make software developers think about the impact of their busy-looping JS, bad communication patterns and faulty software architecture – all of which are significantly contributing to climate change.
The concept of resilience itself – especially combined with sustainability – is rather interdisciplinary, part hacking and making, part science and politics. This puts us in competition with other track teams trying to catch the most interesting lectures for a given subject, but also allowed us to trade slots with those teams as well, once we were running out of our allotted time budget. ;)
Next year, we hope to collect the “haveyoursay” feedback much earlier so we can incorporate your feedback and follow your suggestions for valuable speakers and topics.
While we were quite pleased with the submissions we found once CfP kicked off, our curation process started way earlier: Reflecting on feedback we received after 35C3, we came together in IRC and RL, brainstormed about interesting projects we heard about in the past year, thought about relevant topics and identified speakers worth having.
Even then, the speakers we “invited” still had to go through our rigorous curation process. After all, our team received a total of 74 lecture submissions and had to narrow them down into only 15 hours (in 18 lectures) of 36C3 programme. We vetted each submitter, trying to make sense of their submission, read their papers, ask and answer questions and spend the remaining time meeting and coordinating with all the other track teams, before finally writing this blog post! If we add up all the time spent preparing our 18 lecture foot steps in the Fahrplan, we’re looking at one or two weeks full time work for each of us.
In the end we’re quite proud of the topics we could cover this year. Of course, we’re still not short of topics to cover next year :-) It’s time for more critical reflection of wastefulness within the computer nerd scene and how we can minimise the environmental impact of our C3s and Camps in the years to come.