[Battlemesh] Divide and Conquer? (Was: Summary of the futuristic meeting)

Linus L├╝ssing linus.luessing at c0d3.blue
Tue Jun 13 22:04:27 CEST 2017

Hi Nefeli,

Thanks for summarizing the discussions that had happened so far!

tl;dr: "Divide and Conquer?" - split the event?

A few thoughts and maybe an idea/proposal came to my mind only
after the second meeting:

I love the vibrant interaction between developers and community
activists which seems to have grown every year. There is a
lot of valuable feedback and ideas coming out of this, I think. I
love the growing, social bond and the "informal"/"unconference"
style, with a variety of talks not just about but also around mesh
networking. Which all in all hopefully makes it easy for new people
to not just attend but also to easily be part of it. And
growing a global community/bond is something very, very necessary
to be able to make a real change in the world out there. Code
alone won't do.

The discussions at this years BattleMesh made me think back about my
first BattleMeshes (my first time: WBMv2) and what has changed and
whether there is something I'm missing from the more recent ones.
And I think, at least for me, there is:

I remember these totally crazy, long nights in hackerspaces like
in Brussel or places we just made our hackspaces, like the
camping site in Italy or the bastion in Sant Bartomeu del Grau.
We had many (too many? :D) ideas, rapid prototyping, long
coding sessions. I still vividly remember the adhoc 15 minutes
GDB session in Brussel where Marek and Andrew used the beamer to
fix a bug - with slowly more and more people just gathering and
staring at screen. When the bug was fixed, someone said something
like "I have no idea what you just did, but it looked amazing!".
Back then, amazing things spontaneously happened. But that was a
time, where having 30 wifi routers on one table seemed amazing,
too. Macking them talk/collaborate with each other seemed like

Now, more and more time is used for talking instead of hacking.
Which I guess overall is a good sign, as it seems to indicate
that we did something right, that it seems usable, that meshing
gets ready for "The Big Thing(tm)".

So, I can haz more hacking? Hm, I guess that turns out to be
quite difficult to achieve now with the size this whole event has
grown to: I don't want to skip the talking/discussions/exchanging
either and time is always too short at the BattleMesh :/.

Here is a proposal (which might sound familiar to people involved
with the Chaos Communication Congress - but maybe it might work
better for a BattleMesh?): Divide and Conquer.



* Hackathon
* Some Hackerspace
* Focussed on hacking and finally testing new stuff
  -> The testbed!
(less "social"/"political"/... tracks to be able to focus on
 getting things running)
* No Orga Team
  -> self organized (except of someone local taking care of
                     having the hackerspace open+available
* Time of the year:
  -> Maybe one or two months before or after the Chaos
     Communication Congress (End of December); the
     rainy/dark/cold times which keeps you indoors and
     focussed on your screen :-).

(maybe someone here knows the CriticalMass?)

* Basically what the BattleMesh has shifted to in the last year?
  - More talks, exchange; a friendly, informal event
  - less/(no?) testbed focus
* Evaluating/interpreting the last BattleMesh results from
  a "user perspective", brainstorming about interesting things
  to try at the next BattleMesh?
* Time of the year:
  -> Summer

Regards, Linus

On Fri, Jun 09, 2017 at 02:39:37PM +0200, Nefeli Kousi wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> As announced, we had a meeting today regarding the organisation of the next
> Battlemeshes. I will sum up the open discution we had today in this email
> to the best of my ability. More detailed notes can be found in the
> etherpad: https://etherpad.funkfeuer.at/p/wbm-future.
> *Subjects discussed:*
> *- Who is stepping up as mentors?*
> We talked about the mentor's role in the event. The role is very useful for
> guaranteeing the event happening and helps the local team feel supported
> and not get lost.
> *Outcomes:*
> The organisers of the current year should participate in mentoring the next
> year and stick around for an extra one in order to ensure continuity.
> Mentoring team that stretches over the 3 previous years, eg for WBM11,
> mentorship team is from 8, 9 & 10.
> In every event there should be a meeting like the one we had today in order
> to ensure that there will be mentors for the next one.
> Paul, Claudio and Philippe have volunteered to be mentors for this year
> (thank you! give an applause from home too.).
> *-Do we need a recon team?*
> We discussed the role, value and necessity of having a recon team.
> *Outcomes:*
> A recon team can benefit the event greatly in keeping things organised
> since their presence will force deadlines and show commitment from the
> community.
> It is a costly role both on money and time perspective.
> It could be taken over by each years team for the next current year's team
> in the 3 year fashion mentioned above.
> It is possible to try and fund the travel costs of the recon team using a
> yearly budget (i.e. 1000 eur/year).
> *- Formalising BattleMesh?*
> The idea came to make an association for Battlemesh specifically. Or to
> attach to ISOC or an other big organisation to lower the organising load.
> *Outcomes:*
> It can be beneficial for sponsors yet we have already managed to cover most
> of the benefits that the association would give us via existing ones.
> *- Are we changing the name to something without "battle" in the name?*
> The discussion is familiar to many. "Battlemesh" can be misrepresenting the
> event and create wrong expectations (e.g. a winner or lengthy flamewars
> taking place) that confuse people. It was also reported that the first
> phrase of the WBM website can be altered to better represent the format of
> the event.
> *Outcomes:*
> Even though there is some friendly competition between the different teams
> the community is friendly and collaborative.
> An email will be sent with further information and proposal of names.
> *- Are we changing the format for the next events?*
> Many interesting ideas came up on this subject. Adding workshops in order
> to speed the learning curve of new people, try and unload the duties of the
> organisers via offering a "bare minimum" list of items and maybe some
> pre-backed items (e.g. logo) that they can use.
> It was noted that supporting newcomers is valuable for the community to
> continue to exist in the future.
> *Outcomes:*
> Balancing open time (un-conference) with structured time worked well for
> this edition and it might serve us well in the future.
> Booking accommodation is up to the local team and not mandatory.
> *- Focus for the next events (experiments, talks, social events?)*
> There were suggestions about workshops (e.g firmware building 101) as well
> as moving to remote locations.
> *- Duration of the event?*
> This is to be decided by each organising team.
> *- Do we want to reach out to Academia/Universities?*
> We already try to reach the local academia in each event. It was discussed
> that trying to involve more academics would mean focusing on (well-written)
> results.
> Cheers,
> Nefeli

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