Transportation Camp - an opportunity or not for mobility managers? Did any of you go to Transportation Camp last time when it was held in NY and San Fransisco? There is one in January in DC.
Dwight, Can you tell folks about what Transportation Camp is and the unconference idea? Do you think it is worthwhile for mobility managers? Maybe it's worthwhile to have a report to the group about it even if people can't go. There is no charge, but travel is expensive.
It's a pleasure to describe my experiences at Transportation Camp. I attended the first Camp on March 5-6, 2011 in NYC. About 300 people attended. Answers to the questions - "What is Transportation Camp? And what is an unconference?" can be found by going to the StreetFilms site http://www.streetfilms.org/transportation-meets-technology-in-new-york/ . (Be sure to see the short video.)
Camp in a nutshell. After hearing from five high profile keynote speakers (http://vimeo.com/album/1548518), conference participants proposed and conducted 52 concurrent sessions over the course of the conference. People vote with their feet. If you do not like a session, you leave and go to another one. The program is created organically at Camp. People propose sessions by writing a topic on a large post-it note. Conference staff posts sessions on the wall in time slots. There's a lot of energy in the lobby as people look over the every changing schedule and ask one another "What are you going to next?".
BTW. I teamed up with Susan Zielinski, Director of Smart at University Michigan (http://www.um-smart.org/) to present a session on selling integrated mobility services to consumers. Four people came to our session, but they were the right four people - highly motivated and interested in the subject.
So, who came to camp? I will generalize and say people with an entrepreneurial spirit attended regardless of their job titles and responsibilities. There is an information technology niche at camp, which drew app developers. Other entrepreneurs, who work at FTA, Federal Reserve, MTA, academia, transit systems, local agencies, MPO's, new mobility businesses start-ups, municipal agencies, state agencies, university students, bloggers, new media, non-profits, foundations etc., were busy exchanging cards and networking. Several people flew in from Europe. I'm recruiting a group from Ithaca, NY to go to Washington.
Should mobility managers go to Transportation Camp? You'll feel a tug in your heart and know if you should go to Camp.
- Dwight Mengel