CityCamp Raleigh Recap by City Councilor Bonner Gaylord

CityCamp Raleigh Recap by City Councilor Bonner Gaylord

August, 09, 2011

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Article by Raleigh City Councilor (and CityCamp Organizer) Bonner Gaylord Website 

What was CityCamp Raleigh all about? It depends on who you ask...

Our website says: “CityCamp Raleigh is three days of open sourced talks, workshops, and hands-on problem solving to re-imagine the way the web, applications, technology, and participation will shape the future of Raleigh. CityCamp brings together government, business, neighborhood, non-profit, and academic communities to work toward next generation solutions for Raleigh.”

For Leo Suarez, CityCamp Raleigh made him "inspired and motivated to demand that our city, county, and state open up more data to the public for our consumption."

For Jonathan Minter, CityCamp taught him a few things, including (finally) the value of twitter and "that there is a passionate group of citizens who are willing to not just talk about the problems our city faces – but are also willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work solving them."

For David Both, CityCamp Raleigh was "a perfect example of how Open Source works."

For Jason Hibbets,  Raleigh's "community of passion for a more open and transparent government" and the "collaboration of individuals who are excited to be a part of this movement has trumped time and challenges."

For Jason Horne (on Gov 2.0 Radio), CityCamp Raleigh was this.

For David Warlick, events like CityCamp Raleigh are moving towards making "our cities more transparent and more efficient with better solutions."

For Cris Mulder, CityCamp Raleigh "provided a working foundation and understanding of technology, transparency, collaboration, and open source in government, while at the same time highlighting the importance of citizen participation"

For me, CityCamp Raleigh was about redefining how we can work together. I have been on all kinds of teams... Baseball teams, basketball teams, football teams, soccer teams, project teams, mission teams, ultimate Frisbee teams, a water-ski team, and an Olympics Team (Olympics of the Mind, but that still counts).

I have not been on many great teams. On that water-ski team, we did an exhibition for the girls camp and I almost hit a wooden piling and busted in front of a crowd of girls.  While showing our balsa structure during the Olympics (of the Mind), one of my teammates kicked it and it collapsed.  Once, I took a basketball full court for a runaway layup scoring two points for the opponent.  These were not great teams.

CityCamp Raleigh was a great team.  Unlike any team I have been involved with in the past this team formed around a seed planted on Twitter:

Jason Hibbets (@jhIbbets): @govfresh @kmcurry I'm game for @CityCamp in Raleigh - let me know how I can help

Me (@bonnergaylord): @jhibbets @govfresh Just spoke with @kmcurry about @CityCamp yesterday! Let's do this... Chat later?

Thus began a great team that changed the way I think about technology, government, data, citizens, and the idea of “open source.” Mostly though, this experience changed the way I believe we can work together.

For CityCamp Raleigh, a group of strangers self-formed around a kernel of an idea to create a 3-day conference without personal benefit within a few short weeks. I have never seen this before...  A singular and alien idea was floating in space until in some pseudo-zygotic development, twelve people coalesced, self-organized, self-delegated, and then executed their collective plan.

CityCamp Raleigh showed me the power of an idea and the power of individuals formed around that idea.  If you want to know exactly what happened there, see the articles already posted above, there’s not much more I can say. 

I’m more interested in the next great idea and the next team.

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  • CityCampout
    08/10 12:47 AM

    CityCamp@ douche who will listen: Downtown has gone crazy with homeless people.  It has gotten worse this summer and even Gaylord can not stop them. I wish the DRA would do something about it soon.  It is so sad they took all the concerts out of the Moore Square and now the police don’t have a reason to kick the bums out of the park.  It is a joke how many times I have heard from visitors from outside Raleigh they feel intimidated walking through this area.  It is also unfortunate that there is a kid’s museum adjacent to the park and parents have to deal with it.  Not to mention how the restaurants in that immediate area are affected.  DRA/NR/DLA - have you not noticed this or are you more concerned with the food trucks that serve microwavable pizza??

  • Aaron
    08/10 04:03 AM

    Microwaveable** pizza my ass.

  • gaylord focker
    08/10 07:47 AM

    Bonner Gaylord= worst name ever?

  • Tony Woodard
    08/10 09:34 AM

    Oh, woe is us that we don’t have Creed coming to town so the cops have a reason to harass the homeless? Give me a break. Raleigh has an unbelievably low crime rate, so your out-of-town friends’ paranoia is just that. Either volunteer to help these people get off the streets or say no to the request for a hand-out and keep walking. CityCampout, your screed reeks of thinly-veiled racism and unabashed classism. If our city is to grow into a truly cosmopolitan place, we’ll need a few more homeless to scare the provincials like you out to one of our more homogenous suburbs.

  • Francesco Zappa
    08/10 10:22 AM

    How dare the homeless sit somewhere nearby the Salvation Army shelter which opens onto Person St. and Moore Square! They should be forced to live in the sewers, right CityCampout?

    Turn ‘em into C.H.U.D.‘s!

  • Bill Jenkins
    08/10 10:25 AM

    As always, our city is not to grow into a cosmopolitan place, and is in fact (and will remain despite incessant boosterism for magically turning Raleigh into NYC) itself a provincial city.

  • Dr Jones
    08/12 10:19 AM


  • Marky Mark
    08/12 05:34 PM

    Hmmm….I think I would rather see an influx in scared provincials downtown than an influx of drunk and cracked out homeless people. I guess that makes me a racist and a classist too.

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