Foo Camp China

This weekend I managed to keep my plan not to work much on weekends anymore. Because of a schedule filled to the brink, that was not too difficult.

On Saturday I was in Beijng, where I attended the first Foo Camp in China (pictures). As usual this Foo Camp was organized by Tim O’Reilly and his team. About 80 people participated in this unconference. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, it basically means that it’s not a normal conference where you listen to speeches, but a seminar where everybody is involved actively in every session. There was no schedule, but at the end of the opening session everybody who wanted to discuss something could sign up for that. The board was filled in no time.

For me the event was interesting not only from a business perspective (Got to know an interesting start-up with an idea I totally believe in, and even learned some new things about online gaming in China – thanks Frank!) but also from a personal perspective (meeting interesting people, and talking with smart people about things you normally do not talk about too much).

China Foo was not just about tech as many people think, but you could talk about everything that you are passionate about. I had a good discussion with Paul Denlinger about the whole global warming problematic, and we both agree that this is underestimated by most people. Why are people so passive about it? Do they not realize what is happening, or do they just not care? Things can get out of hand very quickly, but most people just sit and wait. I am worried about this. Paul sent me an interesting article today, read it if you are interested in this subject. One small part I want to point out here: About 11,000 years ago the earth went from a warm, wet climate to a cold, dry climate within 3 years (results from the Greenland ice coring experiment). Think about it, a complete climate change in just 3 years. Can the collective power of the people -through the internet or other technologies- still do something to avoid this?

After China Foo I took a plane back to Shanghai (yes, that might be a cause of Global Warming), because I was going to meet Gary and Bill for drinks. Finally a flight without much delay. And it was my last flight in the next 2-3 months, because I don’t want to miss the birth of our baby. Nice to know that I don’t have to travel for the next couple of weeks!

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  1. Ha, the first job I applied for is related to Sustainable Energy. After talking a while on the phone with the consultant. He asked me how old I am.. I answered, and he told me he was looking for a person much maturer, around 40 years old. HUHU

  2. Marc,
    glad to know that you are also so concerned about climate change. I think the main problem is our planet is too overcrowded and yet most people in this world are still poor and struggling. Individually, we are unwilling to face the seriousness of the issue, because tackling it would demand tremendous moral courage and individual responsibility. I hope people will come to realise that while this is one of the greatest challenges that would potentially destroy us all, it is also the greatest opportunity for mankind to collectively move on to a higher level of morality and self-awareness. I wish our government is more aware of the urgency of the issue, and I really think China is one of the main keys to the problem, we should have a great vision and the ambition to transform our industry into one of the green and high-tech, that’s definitely the way to go for the future.