Wednesday, 10 June 2015

GeekFest Dubai 2015. We're BACK Baby!!!

GeekFest Dubai is back with a vengeance and I have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it. 6PM on Saturday 13th June at Impact Hub Dubai is what you need in the old diary.

What is GeekFest? It's an event my old mucker Saadia Zahid and I put together after drinking too much coffee a few years back. It's sort of designed to bring online people together offline with as few rules, restrictions or people telling you what to do as possible. Think of a Montessori TED organised by Anonymous and you're sort of getting there. We became so wrapped up with letting the whole thing descend into chaos, we even referred to ourselves as UNorganisers. The event's not supposed to be disorganised, but it's not supposed to be organised in the sense that you're channeled places or have to deal with people shouting brands at you or having expectations of you. You want to come in a geeky t-shirt? Fine. You want to Cosplay? Fine. You don't? Just as fine. You want to be late? Fine. Early? Fine. Get the picture?

GeekFest went regional, with events taking place all over the Middle East. Beirut, Jeddah, Damascus, Cairo, Amman, Sharjah even! And then we stopped doing it. Simple as that.

The team at startup funky workspace hangout place Impact Hub - Diya Khalil and Sara Saleh - missed the good old days when Geeks Wandered The Earth and decided they wanted to get down and geeky again, which is just fine by me, so I gave 'em a copy of the Geekifesto and left 'em to it.

Impact Hub has many of the aspects that made Old Shelter so good for GeekFest. It's got a central space as well as breakout rooms aplenty, food and drink and, of course, copious Wifi. The team there have been beavering away and have come up with the following Smörgåsbord of delicious delights to tempt and tantalise your tastebuds. I've included reminders of what each element is in italics!

15 minute talks from people who care too much about stuff to be considered normal.

The Internet of Things
Elias Jaber

Social Media Clichés
Aby Sam Thomas

Revolutionising Finance with Bitcoin
Tarik Kaddoumi

Simplifying Freelance Journalism
Mohammed Parham

Displays of new technology backed by people that understand what the hell it is that's on show...

3D printing from DaVinci and The3DBee

Drones from Parrot

Hadoukenido retro gaming from Mohannad Ashtar

The Hop Away Game App from Hybrid Humans

The Oculus Rift from Spark Bits

Artistic events and happenings, new ideas and inspirations from pencil squeezers.

Middle East Comic Con is bringing a fistful of artists to pack 'Artists Alley', whatever that is!

BeanBag Workshops
Ongoing 'how to' workshops for self-selecting audiences of people on, well, beanbags...

3D Printing by Doodlebare

Educational gaming by Hybrid Humans

Animated film making featuring new movie Hujan Dan Hijau from Emirati animator Mohammed Fikree.

Food on the night

Spontifora (which sounds interesting, in a sort of 'grows on the world in Avatar' sort of way) and There Will Be Crepes

The Big Picture Art Platform presents live experimental sound from Kapital7

Now I'll warn you fair and square - the event's already looking over-subscribed with some 470 guests registered to the Facebook event (Impact Hub's capacity is about the 250 mark), so it might get a bit jiggy in there. But what the hell, go on down and have a blast anyway. Although mightily tempted to be there in my authorial velvet smoking jacket telling everyone how much better it was back in my day, I find myself with a packed weekend and shall therefore leave it to people younger and smarter than I to attend...

Impact Hub is to be found here.

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