Why I volunteer at OHM2013

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Although I have been writing a lot lately, it’s been a bit quiet here again. I will tell you why:

This summer the next international outdoor hacker conference will take place again. These camps, taking place in the Netherlands, provide a very open, friendly, motivating atmosphere, with a high level of knowledge. Every four years a bunch of random people come together and get started, the group grows, ideas flow, things get crazy and *poof* one year later you and 3000 other people are having a lot of fun and learning a lot of new things at a hacker camp and never want to go home again.

The 7th edition in this line of events is called OHM2013 target=_blank (Observe. Hack. Make.) and will take place from July 31st till August 4th 2013 at a stretch of land 30km North of Amsterdam. Around 3000 hackers, free-thinkers, philosophers, activists, geeks, scientists, artists, creative minds and others will come together from all over the world for this. During these five days they can attend (and give) workshops and lectures, do whatever project they can think of, share information, have fun at the many many parties and learn a lot of new people.

I first attended these kind of camps in 2009, also in the Netherlands. And again in 2011, in Germany. This summer I will also be there. And like in 2009 I am organizing the InfoHelpDesk. At the moment this means I am writing a lot of content for the wiki, collecting a lot of information, answering questions, reviewing a bunch of blog posts and attending multiple meetings.

Why I devote my spare time for this? It’s just a lot of fun! I like the free spirits wandering around the campsite. The buzzing energy. From my opinion, the whole world should be like that. No complications, everyone is treated the same and if you disagree on something, you just agree to disagree and move on to the next subject of conversation. I am still surprised by the enormous amount of imagination people show in their projects. Are you sitting in the lounge having a laugh talking about a silly idea? Next morning it’s reality! And it’s amazing! I also learn a lot myself. Not only on subjects from workshops and lectures, but also about people, communities and myself. Being a part of organizing these kind of events, I gained a lot of working experience I can use in my everyday life. Other way around, I can also learn a lot of my own skills to others. So, that’s why. It’s inspiring and I’m enjoying every minute of it!

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