I’m about to start the second day of a 2-day Hackademia workshop in Trivandrum, India. I met my host, Satish Babu, head of ICFOSS, the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software, at last year’s IEEE Global Heath Technology Conference. I gave a talk about Hackademia and Shift Labs, and we talked afterwards about hackers and makers and innovation, and now here I am, in beautiful Kovalam, staring at the sea, and about to head back to help a group of participants — ranging from embedded systems designers to undergraduate information systems students — build some open source hardware prototypes.
Yesterday we made some light-up cards and some e-textiles, and we had an introductory sewing workshop which was a delightful moment of cultural learning. I should probably wait for after the workshop is over to write about it, because I’m still not sure how it’s going to turn out. Day 1 seemed to be successful, but launching into a new cultural environment and trying to get a group of 35-40 folks with very diverse technical skillsets to work with construction paper and LEDs and bluetooth shields with a spirit of fearlessness and curiosity and collaboration is daunting.
But we’ve made claims about the Hackademia model, and this is pretty much its first public road test. I’ll let you know how it goes.