Time for Change (#t4change) at DigitalMediaCamp Toronto (#dmcamp)

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DigitalMediaCamp Toronto (#dmcamp) took place this past Saturday, where participants gathered in an attempt to address the question,

“How can we work together to propel Toronto’s technology, content and design communities into the future and make Toronto a globally competitive hub of digital media entrepreneurship and innovation?”

Facilitated by Mark Kuznicki, and supported by the Canadian Digital Media Network, some excellent conversation took place throughout the day around this question, with some concrete action items attached to specific timelines emerging at the end of the day. A number of blog posts have popped up following #dmcamp, providing an overview of the day’s proceedings, including a blog post over at TechVibes by Karim Kanji. For a much more comprehensive listing of blog posts to do with #dmcamp, please visit dmcampto.slinkset.com

The day’s events were captured in real-time, on the #dmcamp Toronto wiki, as well as on ScribbleLive, where any tweets or blog posts with the hashtag #dmcamp, were automatically fed into the ScribbleLive feed. It was almost disarming to find a picture of yourself projected on the wall in real time whilst engaged in a group discussion (look closely at picture 6 and 7 in the photo gallery above). It is interesting to see how social media is changing the way conferences and events are being communicated in real-time for those unable to attend, as well as documented for future reference.

#t4change at #dmcamp

Nick (@petten), Ruby (@rubyku) and myself (@renjie), took part in a conversation facilitated by Gabe Sawhney later in the day, where the topic revolved around connecting the technology industry with community organizations in order to create real change on the ground. Notes from this session can be found here.We brought up Time for Change, known as #t4change in #dmcamp-speak, and how this model is based on the original Timeraiser concept where we value time over monetary donations. We highlighted our pilot event on December 3rd as an existing ‘action’ item that we were already pursuing, and we acknowledged that we did not have all the answers as of yet, but were keenly interested in learning and adapting as the project unfolds.

A lot of people seemed to take interest in this, judging from the quality of the conversation at #dmcamp, as well as the number of times the hashtag #t4change appeared alongside the hashtag #dmcamp on Twitter. We outlined that we were looking to redefine the terms ‘volunteer’ and ‘service’, and that we were focused in our efforts to engage young professionals working in the corporate sector, utilizing their professional skills and matching them with opportunities in the community best suited to their skills, interests and passions.

Next steps for #t4change

One of the concrete action-items that emerged from #dmcamp was a commitment to host a roundtable discussion on #t4change at the Centre for Social Innovation sometime in early January 2010, with the help of Mark Kuznicki and Gabe Sawhney. Notes from this session can be found here.

We invite all those interested, including those who attended Time for Change on December 3rd, as well as #dmcamp this past Saturday, December 12, to join us to discuss possible next steps forward with #t4change. We will be posting more information on our blog as well as on Twitter once we have finalized a date and time for the roundtable discussion at CSI.

For now, we are extremely excited for what lies ahead with this project, and will continue to learn and adapt as the project emerges. We want to make it clear that we would like to continue to be the holders of the process for #t4change, but we do not want to control the process. We want this emergence to be a product of co-creation, and we certainly welcome any input or critical feedback provided. As of now, we do not know if #t4change could spin-off into its own independent organizational structure, or become a project embedded into an already existing system infrastructure.

It is exciting for us to have people excited about #t4change. This project has certainly resonated with each one of us (myself, Nick, Ruby and Kristina) and perhaps this has to do with the much broader trend of young people in today’s world, wanting to pursue their passions and create meaning in their lives.